Florida freshmen team up for Scarlet and Gray

Ohio State’s baseball team didn’t end the season how it wanted to, but it wasn’t a total failure going to Tallahassee, Fla., for the NCAA Regional.The Buckeyes lost to Florida State 37-6 in a game the team would like to forget.Recruiting visits in Tallahassee for the Buckeyes were more successful than the actual baseball playing. Manager Bob Todd was able to snag a right-handed pitcher and an outfielder, both from the same high school.Outfielder Hunter Mayfield and pitcher Cole Brown both decided to leave Tallahassee to go north to play baseball.For Brown, the decision to come to OSU to play baseball was a relatively easy one. Brown said Mayfield committed to OSU and then the coaches started pursuing him.“I came up here on a visit,” Brown said. “I just loved everything about OSU.”Mayfield may have not been the reason for Brown to commit to OSU, but he has been helpful. Brown said that he and Mayfield have been friends since middle school.Mayfield shared the same feelings, saying that it was nice to know at least one person at the start.The Buckeyes will be making a series of trips back to Florida for tournaments over the next month and a half, and both are looking forward to those trips.Unfortunately for Brown, playing time to start off the season will be limited. In his senior year of high school Brown only made two appearances because of an injury to his shoulder.“I’m doing good. I am back to 100 percent,” Brown said. “Now I just need to get my velocity back.”Todd spoke on Brown’s injury, saying he is going to bring him along slowly. Giving him the needed rest and rehab now, Todd is hoping he will be able to be used late in the season.On the other hand, Mayfield said he has been told he might see some playing time early in the season. If he isn’t able to play, Mayfield said he is fine with that. He just wants to do whatever to help the team.Whether the two see playing time or not, they have one positive thing to look forward to. With all the snow that Columbus received over the past few weeks, both are ready for warmer weather.Brown said in Florida they get to play outside throughout the year, while here at OSU they have had to stick to practicing inside. read more

Black Mirror season 5 Trailer posters release date cast and more

first_img Brooker isn’t done with the video game world after previous episodes Bandersnatch and Playtest, with Klementieff’s character suiting up as a Street Fighter-esque warrior in a Street Fighter-esque digital arena. Grace is also there, with an orangey tan and ponytail and a grim look on his face. Whether those things are connected to his mood remains to be seen.Rounding out this impressive cast is Miley Cyrus using her multitalents to play a pop singer with trippy digitized backup dancers. Check out the Djib Mo YouTube video for another hit of Black Mirror-esque imagery, which seems to mirror some of her look.The Marvel-DC crossover probably isn’t a thingblackmirror-season5-episode1-00-54-57-07-1170986Stars Anthony Mackie and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II are looking suitably grim-faced for their Black Mirror episode. Netflix/Entertainment Weekly Black Mirror knows how to paint a portrait of society — and in our case, it’s one that’s obsessed with Marvel and DC.On the way to the first trailer, Netflix stoked our excitement by letting loose a first look at the episode starring Mackie and Abdul-Mateen II a day beforehand, via Entertainment Weekly. After Avengers: Endgame, Mackie is on his way to greater stardom having taken over Captain America’s mantle. Capitalizing on that, Brooker said of his episode: “It’s the Marvel-DC crossover no one saw coming.”But following the trailer, it seems like Brooker was toying with us as usual, since Mackie looks to be less superpowered and more in strife with his wife. But we won’t know for sure until June 5.bm-bandersnatch-still-05Bandersnatch is a one-off interactive Black Mirror film on Netflix. Netflix Release DateAs the trailer confirmed, the release date is June 5.Brooker had a tidbit for us when talking about the season 5 release. “It’s all imminent-ish. It’ll be out soon,” he said in a January interview with RadioTimes.com. “We’d already shot like, one of the episodes of season 5 before we did Bandersnatch."Ralph Breaks The Internet" European Premiere - Red Carpet ArrivalsBlack Mirror creator Charlie Brooker. Mike Marsland/Getty “At one point we weren’t sure whether we were going to make Bandersnatch part of season 5.”Black Mirror season 3 arrived on Netflix in October 2016. Season 4 launched in December 2017. Season 5 was pushed back to accommodate Bandersnatch as the sprawling choose-your-own-adventure epic took a lot of hard work to pull off.”Doing Bandersnatch was like doing several episodes at once,” Brooker told RadioTimes.com. “It was Netflix’s suggestion as well — ‘Let’s do it as its own thing’. As it expanded and got bigger and bigger and bigger it became apparent that the way to do this was to do it as a standalone thing.”The starry castBlack Mirror alumni includes Jon Hamm, Bryce Dallas Howard, Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson.Graham Norton Show - LondonCyrus is excited for us to see her episode. Isabel Infantes/PA Images Now we have for season 5:Anthony MackieYahya Abdul-Mateen IIMiley CyrusPom KlementieffTopher GraceDamson IdrisAndrew ScottNicole BeharieAngourie RiceMadison DavenportLudi LinCyrus noted how excited she was for people to see her episode. “I’m really actually excited for everyone to watch the ‘headshaking project’ we said yes to,” Cyrus said on The Howard Stern Show in December, 2018.San Junipero sequelSan Junipero 2… is not happening. Sorry, Kelly and Yorkie fans.Despite the show’s penchant for including Easter egg references to earlier episodes, many of which you can find in Bandersnatch, Brooker isn’t delivering on his comments about doing a “Return to” episode that could expand season 3’s much-loved romance.”I’ve always wanted to do a ‘Return to’ story,” Brooker said in his book Inside Black Mirror, published in November, 2018. “Return to San Junipero! Or do Crocodile again, but backwards, like Memento. Crocodile Two: Back in Business.”Even if Brooker does go back to the ’80s utopia of San Junipero, Kelly and Yorkie’s story will be left alone.blackmirrorep1sanjunipero1660r1.jpgBeloved episode San Junipero won’t have a sequel. David Dettmann/Netflix “In terms of a sequel to San Junipero, no, certainly not in its current form — I don’t think we’d revisit those characters unless we had a really, really good reason,” Brooker told NME.”And I very much doubt that we would do that as an episode. Maybe as a graphic novel or some sort of commemorative biscuit. But we wouldn’t want to pick that apart and tinker with it, as we’d like to leave Kelly and Yorkie where they are.”Guess we’ll just have to make do with original, groundbreaking storytelling. 1:47 Comment These TV shows and movies obsess over tech’s dark side TV and Movies Notably, according to the Netflix press release, this is the episode featuring Klementieff, and Abdul-Mateen II plays a college friend to Mackie’s character who kicks off the life-changing events.Full season 5 trailerSet to the powerful Lonely Feelings by Djib Mo, season 5’s trailer confirms Black Mirror’s music choices remain on point, as well as showcasing a starry list of cast members and a few possible themes the three stories will explore.Scott, recently seen in the acclaimed Fleabag, looks to be a man driven to gun-wielding insanity by everyone’s constant connectedness to technology. Mackie’s character may be in strife with his marriage, in part because he has eyes for another woman pictured on his phone. A friendless teen played by Rice of Ladies in Black and the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home may be getting more than she bargained for with a little robot buddy, bringing Eighth Grade mixed with Alexa-gone-wrong vibes. A possible theme of this episode is what it’s like for a young girl to grow up and be herself in the digital age when a “lovable” robot like Aibo or Lovot takes the form of a Barbie-esque robot. Netflix’s press release says of the plot: “A lonely teenager yearns to connect with her favorite pop star — whose charmed existence isn’t quite as rosy it appears…” The end of the trailer, where the charging robot, named Ashley Too, says “Get this thing out of my ass” is a lovely weird Black Mirror highlight, and possibly hints at further exploration of the “cookies” from White Christmas.Striking VipersThe title Striking Vipers doesn’t exactly help clear up the mystery the trailer for Mackie’s episode poses around the tech unsettling his character’s life. We’re introduced to a couple trying for kids, but there’s something standing in the way. It appears to be connected to the nodes Mackie’s character affixes to his temples that blur over his eyes with some kind of digital cloud — what is he looking at? Could it have a connection to the “grains” from The Entire History of You? Rachel, Jack and Ashley TooMiley Cyrus’s episode features the singer not only voicing the companion robot Angourie Rice’s character befriends, but she also plays singer Ashley O, who looks to be under heavy management intent on exploiting her talents with robot tie-ins — this really is the near future. Guns, mobile phones, creepy robots… Black Mirror must be back.Season 5 of Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology series has sidestepped out of the shadows with not just one trailer but three, which finally confirm cast member Miley Cyrus, alongside Anthony Mackie, (Falcon from Avengers: Endgame), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Mantis from Aquaman) and a few more surprises including a second Marvel team member in Pom Klementieff (Mantis in the Avengers).Creepy robot, check. Screenshot by CNET/Netflix Along with a release date — June 5 — we know just three stories will be told this time round, same as the first two seasons of the show when it was originally shown on Channel 4 in the UK. Excitingly, all three of these episodes come from the pen of Brooker himself.For everything else we know about the upcoming season, check out the explainer below.PostersBlack Mirror episodes are like mini movies, so here are three movie-type posters to go with the upcoming episodes, released by Netflix on Tuesday.screen-shot-2019-05-24-at-1-42-05-pmThat’s not Hannah Montana in plastic packaging. Netflix 3 individual episode trailersIt wasn’t long after Netflix uploaded the season 5 trailer (which you can view below) that it piled on three individual trailers for the new episodes.SmithereensIf we read into episode titles literally, then Smithereens will continue to pave Black Mirror’s path of unhappy endings. It features Andrew Scott and Topher Grace in what looks to be an exploration of one’s relationship with… one’s car. We do often sit in our cars alone with our dashboard technology, and in this case it looks like self-help audio guides, sat navs and Uber are the tech going rogue. “Don’t forget to rate your drivers,” the Netflix YouTube caption reads, and its press release: “A cab driver with an agenda becomes the centre of attention on a day that rapidly spirals out of control.” Now playing: Watch this: 25 Photos Share your voice 1 Note: This article was originally published March 13 and is updated as new information rolls in. Tags Netflix drops trailer for Black Mirror season 5 Marvel Target Netflixlast_img read more

Will Local Leaders Get Behind Pres Trumps Immigration Plan

first_imgManuel Balce Ceneta/APAs NPR has been reporting, the White House has laid out President Trump’s immigration plan. It includes a path to citizenship for nearly two million immigrants, but it also proposes changes to the legal immigration system.But is the plan something local leaders and Congressional representatives can get behind?Houston Matters talks it over with Rep. Gene Green, a Democrat who represents the 29th District of Texas, Jeronimo Cortina, an associate professor of political science at the University of Houston, and Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL Houston. Sharelast_img read more

UPDATE Columbus ISD Says Juvenile That Made Shooting Threat Has Been Identified

first_img Share The Columbus Independent School District (CSID) announced Monday that a juvenile who had threatened with a shooting has been identified and “there is no longer a danger.”In a statement posted on its website, the CISD detailed that the suspect is a juvenile and, therefore, school officials can’t provide further information. Students reportedly alerted parents about the social media post regarding the threat and Columbus ISD Superintendent Brian Morris confirmed to News 88.7 it was made on Snapchat.The school district will have a strong police presence on Tuesday and is asking parents to continue to monitor their children’s social media.Columbus ISD is 80 miles west of Houston. last_img read more

Heavy drinking may lead to breathing problems

first_imgDrinking too much alcohol may disrupt the healthy balance in the lungs and impact your breathing, a new study has warned. In the study, adults who drink excessively were found to have less nitric oxide in their exhaled breath than adults who do not drink.  The finding were published in the journal ‘Chest’, and is significant because nitric oxide helps protect against certain harmful bacteria that can cause respiratory infections.“Alcohol appears to disrupt the healthy balance in the lung,” said a researcher. Nitric oxide is a colourless gas produced by the body during respiration. The researchers examined data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES).  It conducts interviews and physical examinations to assess the health and nutritional status of Americans.For the study the researchers have examined data from 12,059 adults who participated in NHANES between the years 2007 and 2012. Excessive drinkers were defined as heavy drinkers (more than one drink per day on average for women and more than two drinks per day for men) and people who binge drink at least once per month (four or more drinks per occasion for women and five or more drinks for men).In the sample population researchers examined, 26.9 percent of the participants weto be excessive drinkers.  The researchers found that exhaled nitric oxide levels were lower in excessive drinkers than in adults who never drink, and the more alcohol an excessive drinker consumed, the lower the level of nitric oxide.In an asthma patient, the amount of exhaled nitric oxide in a breath test provides a good indication of how well the patient’s medication is working. “Excessive alcohol consumption might complicate the results of such tests. “Lung doctors may need to take this into consideration,” the researcher said.last_img read more

Happy 170th birthday to Staffordshires ticket to ride

first_imgDave Barrett and Robin Mathams In 2017 the busy services take 56 minutes to travel from Stafford to Rugby – travelling at up to 125mph. But back in 1847 the stopping passenger service would have taken two and a quarter hours – longer than most journeys between Stafford and London nowadays. At first the line was used for through goods traffic and local stopping passenger services only, but Victoria, husband Prince Albert and their-then five children were aboard the first through train of passenger coaches to use the line, on their way from Fleetwood to London, on an unscheduled passage of the Royal Train. Robin and Dave said: “The train had hastily been laid on because the Royal Family had experienced a severe delay due to a storm on their sea voyage from Scotland. “The line was due to be opened on June 26 1847, for which a sumptuous luncheon for around 600 guests was held at Tamworth, but because of the recent disastrous collapse of Robert Stephenson’s bridge over the River Dee at Chester, the opening was delayed whilst six bridges of a similar, but upgraded design, were subjected to additional tests and found to be fit for purpose – they lasted some 50 years. An engraving of Rugeley Station published in the London Gazette “Sir Robert Peel was the principal speaker at the luncheon and Sir Robert’s brother, Edmund, was Chairman of the Trent Valley Railway Company.” The Trent Valley Railway Company had been formed in April 1844 by a group of mainly Manchester businessmen, to build a line to bypass Birmingham giving a more direct line to the north, Robin and Dave explained. This timber trestle bridge at Baswich spanned the River Penk and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal before it was destroyed by fire in 1858. “Theirs wasn’t the first proposal for such a line, but they succeeded. They later sold their company and the line – still under construction – to the London and Birmingham Railway Company in April 1846, it becoming part of the mighty London and North Western Railway which was established three months later on July 16. “The railway was initially surveyed by Robert Stephenson. It was constructed by Thomas Brassey and partners with construction starting in November 1845, the same month Sir Robert Peel ceremonially cut the first sod of earth at Tamworth. It took 18 months to build and cost £1.177m (around £160m today). Volunteers give Longton railway station ‘a spring clean’ “Of the 11 original stations – Milford and Brocton being opened 30 years later – Nuneaton, Atherstone, Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley and Rugeley Trent Valley remain open today. At Polesworth only the northbound platform remains open, with one train per day calling at 7.23am. Villagers call on HS2 plan for Whitmore and Madeley to be revised – with residents told to have their say “Atherstone Station retains its original, magnificent Trent Valley Railway building designed by John Livock, but rest of the buildings have long since been demolished, apart from Station House at Colwich and the level crossing keeper’s lodge at Mancetter, Atherstone.” Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA RAILWAY line that provides a vital link to London for Staffordshire passengers celebrates its 170 anniversary today. The Trent Valley Railway, a 50 mile section of the West Coast Main Line between Stafford and Rugby, was opened on September 15 1847 – 10 years into the reign of Queen Victoria. Little Haywood residents Robin Mathams and Dave Barrett have spent the past eight years researching the detailed history of the line, which passes through Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth, Atherstone and Nuneaton and is currently served by London Midland trains. A photograph of the approach side, courtesy of Mrs Margaret Neal, showing the half-timbered Rugeley station building designed by John Livock and built by Thomas Brassey.last_img read more

Illinois lawmakers vote to allow samesex marriage

first_imgThe U.S. state of Illinois is set to become the 15th state and largest in the heartland to allow same-sex marriage, after both chambers of the state legislature approved a measure legalizing gay weddings.Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, said in a statement Tuesday that he would sign the bill into law, although he did not specify a date. The House, which had adjourned in May without passing a Senate bill legalizing same-sex marriage, approved the measure Tuesday by a vote of 61 to 54.“Today the Illinois House put our state on the right side of history,” said Quinn, who campaigned for the measure, which is scheduled to take effect in June.An aide to Quinn said the governor will sign the bill by the end of the month.The vote capped a string of legislative and legal victories for same-sex marriage activists since they won ballot initiative fights in Maryland, Maine and Washington state in 2012. This year, they won legislative battles in Delaware, Rhode Island and Minnesota, where an attempt to ban same-sex marriage failed the previous year; a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June striking down California’s same-sex marriage ban; and a ruling last month by the New Jersey Supreme Court that the state had to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples because a challenge to the state’s ban was likely to win on appeal. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, subsequently said he would not challenge the ruling.“It’s been an absolutely historic year of powerful momentum, and I think it just shows the country is ready,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director for the group Freedom to Marry.Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said in a statement that it was “disappointing but not surprising that the House has voted to redefine marriage. The losers will be the people of Illinois who will see that redefining marriage will unleash a torrent of harassment toward those who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”Brown added that the law, which stipulates fraternal religious organizations such as the Knights of Columbus do not have to host same-sex wedding ceremonies, lacked sufficient religious liberty protections.“Once the law goes into effect in June of next year, we will see individuals, businesses and religious groups sued, fined, brought up on charges of discrimination and punished simply for holding true to the traditional view of marriage,” he said.U.S. President Barack Obama — who campaigned for the law this year — praised the Illinois legislature, where he once served.“As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law,” Obama said in a statement. “Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else. So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours — and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.”Hawaii is likely to be the next state to legalize same-sex marriage; the state Senate passed such a bill Oct. 30, and the state House is expected to vote on the measure in a matter of days. Hawaii, like Illinois, allows for civil unions of same-sex couples.The New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the question of same-sex marriage on Oct. 23 and is expected to rule on the matter in the coming months.The state’s constitution is silent on the issue, and six same-sex couples have sued for the right to marry.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

OrangeFrance Telecom has reportedly ended discuss

first_imgOrange-France Telecom has reportedly ended discussions with Yahoo! about the latter buying a majority stake in its online video site Dailymotion, following objections by the French Ministry of Culture. According to a report last week in French paper Le Monde, the government expressed misgivings about a US firm taking over one of France’s few preeminent internet companies, leading Orange – which is 27% state-owned – to drop the talks.Reports first emerged last month that Yahoo! was interested in buying up to 75% of the French video site, after the Wall Street Journal claimed that Yahoo! could pay around US$200 million for the asset, in what would have been Marissa Mayer’s first major deal since joining Yahoo from Google last year.The news comes as Yahoo! moves forward with its own video strategy, unveiling six new original web series at its ‘New Front’ event in New York last night.Morgan Spurlock is producing Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos in which the eponymous actor will interview celebrities about how they lost their virginity.The Daily Show’s Ed Helms has created Tiny Commando, an action comedy about a four-inch tall private detective that will be produced by Principato-Young Entertainment.Principato-Young is teaming with Michael Eisner’s digital production company Vuguru for another of the original, We Need Help about an overworked personal assistant.The three lifestyle shows are Fashion Recipe, hosted by celebrity stylist Brett Alan Nelson, food and film show Cinema & Spice and cookery show Grill Girls (WT).“In the last year, we have more than doubled the original video programming on Yahoo! to become one of the Web’s largest content publishers,” said Erin McPherson, Yahoo! vice president and head of video.“The new shows and partnerships we’re announcing at Yahoo!’s NewFront demonstrate how we are building scale, reaching more targeted audiences, and innovating with content.”last_img read more

Could JPMorgan et al engineer a price decline at t

first_imgCould JPMorgan et al engineer a price decline at this juncture. Sure. They can do it anytime they want.Gold didn’t do much during the Far East trading session on Tuesday, but a smallish rally began shortly after 3:00 p.m. Hong Kong time around the $1,609 spot price mark.  The high of the day [$1,619.50 spot] came minutes before 9:00 a.m. in New York…and from there it got sold off to its low of the day [$1,607.70 spot] at 10:00 a.m. Eastern…the time of the London afternoon gold ‘fix’.  From that time onwards, it didn’t do much.Once again, net volume was pretty light…around 93,000 contracts…and gold closed at $1,612.30 spot…up the magnificent sum of 70 cents.Silver began to rally at the same moment as gold…and really took off to the upside about 1:00 p.m. in London…about twenty minutes before the Comex open.  Silver’s high point of the day, like gold, came about 8:50 a.m…and that price was $28.34 spot  Silver got sold off about two bits going into the 5:15 p.m close of electronic trading.Silver finished the Tuesday session at $28.10 spot…up 22 cents on the day.  Gross volume was pretty chunky, but once the roll-overs out of the September contract were removed, the net volume was very light…around 19,000 contracts.The dollar index didn’t do much at the Far East open…but rallied a bit going into the Hong Kong afternoon.  The high tick [82.38] came shortly after 3:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and the low tick [82.07] came about 8:30 a.m. in New York.  From that low, the index rallied back and closed at 82.35…virtually unchanged from Monday.The rallies in both gold and silver coincided perfectly with the moves in the dollar index yesterday.The gold stocks opened up…and stayed up…and this time there was no last half-hour sell-off going into the close.  The HUI finished up 1.38% on the day.After Monday’s big price-run up, the silver shares had another decent day yesterday…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up another 1.56%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 76 gold and 4 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Thursday within the Comex-approved depositories.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV…and no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either.There was a huge amount of activity in silver for the second day in a row over at the Comex-approved depositories.  On Monday they reported receiving 225,034 troy ounces of silver…and they shipped  2,523,686 troy ounces out the door.On Friday and Monday combined, these five depositories received 3.31 million ounces of silver…and shipped 4.30 million ounces out the door.  This is almost two days of world silver production coming in the door…and more than two days of world silver production going out the door.  One has to wonder the reason behind this frantic in-out activity that’s occurring on a weekly basis.  Ted Butler says that in a ‘normal’ week, it’s only about 2 million ounces in and out.  So with the week still very young, it will be interesting to see if this level activity continues.The link to Monday’s activity is here…and it’s worth a quick look.It’s been a busy week for stories…and today’s column is no exception.  I hope you have time to skim them all.There are no markets anymore…only interventions. – Chris Powell, GATALike Monday, I wouldn’t read a whole heck of a lot into Tuesday’s price action, either.  Prices basically followed the dollar index…and it was just “another day off the calendar” as Ted Butler is wont to say.Yesterday, at the close of Comex trading, was the cut-off for August’s Bank Participation Report…and the new Commitment of Traders Report.  Just eye-balling the price patterns over the reporting week, I’d say that we’ll see an improvement in the Commercial net short position in both gold and silver…but I wouldn’t bet a huge amount of money on that.Could JPMorgan et al engineer a price decline at this juncture. Sure. They can do it anytime they want.  They could hit gold for around sixty bucks or so…and silver for a dollar or more.  But will they?  Don’t know.  September is a big delivery month for silver…and the roll-overs out of the September contract have just started…and there’s no reason to think that they couldn’t fix the markets so that all these options/futures contracts close out-of-the-money on or before expiry day.When they smashed the precious metals last week, they started on Wednesday morning in London…and had the deed done by the time the job numbers came out on Friday morning in New York.  There’s no reason why they couldn’t do it again if that’s their plan.  We’ll just have to wait it out.Nothing worth mentioning happened in the Far East on their Wednesday…and nothing much is happened in London during the first two hours of their trading day.  Volumes continue to be vapours…and the dollar index isn’t doing a thing, either.  Will the rest of the Wednesday session be just “another day off the calendar”…or something more exciting?  We’ll find out soon enough.Enjoy what’s left of your day…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. 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Brown, Director, founder of Rare Element Resources Ltd.Low risk exploration strategyShare structure and cash on hand (12/31/2011):16.1 million shares outstanding; 23.7 million shares outstanding, fully diluted40% of shares held by insiders, family, friends, and long-term investorsApprox. C$ 500,000 cash on hand (consolidated Canada and Europe)Antofagasta has provided US$ 350,000 for all anticipated Alvalade JV expenses for Q1 2012.Please visit our website for more information.last_img read more

In This Issue Dollar stuck in a tight range…

first_imgIn This Issue. * Dollar stuck in a tight range… * German confidence highest in 6 years… * Kiwi falls after NZ’s trade deficit widens… * Precious metals are largely unchanged… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Budget negotiations leave the dollar stuck in a rut… Good day, and what day is it???  HUMP DAAAAAY!!  I just love that commercial.  Yes we made it to the halfway point of the week, it is all a downhill run from here.  Chuck will be back writing the Pfennig tomorrow, so this is the last day of writing for me.  I can get back to my early morning workouts tomorrow and take advantage of these beautiful mornings we have been having.  The weather has cooled off just enough to make my morning runs nice and crisp. The markets have cooled off a bit also, staying in a fairly tight range after a pretty volatile last week thanks to the FOMC.  The dollar edged lower vs. most of the major currencies, but still didn’t break out of the tight range it has settled in following the big drop last Wednesday.  The uncertainties surrounding the US budget negotiations have most investors staying on the sidelines.  I still believe a budget deal will be reached, I just hope it gets done soon. The US data released yesterday was mixed, and did little to convince investors the US economy is gaining strength.  The S&P/Case Shiller home price index ticked up slightly, but was just below estimates.  The data showed US home prices have slowed their rate of gains, rising just .62% in July after a .88% increase during the prior month.  A separate report released by the US Federal Housing Finance Agency showed a slightly better increase in home prices with a 1% increase in July.  But both of these reports are for July, and don’t fully reflect the higher interest rates which took hold over the summer.  The other big piece of data released yesterday was US consumer confidence which slipped a bit in September.  The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index came in at 79.7 this month following a revised reading of 81.8 in August.  This was largely in line with economists’ expectations and reflect consumers’ worries that the US economic recovery could continue to be in jeopardy.  The uneven recovery of the labor market, and uncertainties about the Federal budget and new healthcare requirements continue to weigh on consumer confidence.  This recent drop in confidence is even more worrying for the markets as we are entering the incredibly important Christmas shopping season.  Today we will see some additional information on the health of the housing market with the release of the New Homes Sales figures.  We will also get a relatively new piece of data which shows the Household Change in New Worth (largely driven by home prices).  And before we see the latest readings on home sales we will get the Durable Goods Orders that are expected to have decreased by .2%.  This is actually an improvement over last month’s reading when durable goods orders fell a surprising 7.4%.  The budget battle has led to a bit of risk aversion, providing some support for the US$ and Japanese yen while some of the ‘riskier’ assets have been sold.  As I mentioned earlier, the currencies are all trading in a fairly tight range; the largest mover of the major currencies vs. the US$ today is the NOK which is down .8%.  This move is in concert with a similar slide in the value of the Swedish krona which got sold after data showed Swedish consumer and manufacturing confidence slumped in September.  The Nordic country’s consumer confidence gauge fell to 98.0 from a revised reading of 98.8 in August.  An increase in confidence was expected, so the more pessimistic view came as a surprise to the markets.  This Swedish pessimism stands in stark contrast to German consumers whose confidence in their economy rose to 6 year highs.  GfK market research group released its forward looking consumer sentiment indicator yesterday, and the survey showed German consumers are as confident in their economy as they have been since before the 2008 financial crisis rocked the markets.  The same firm predicts private consumption in Germany will increase about 1 percent in real terms during 2013 a sign that the German economy will grow moderately this year as the euro-area emerges from the ‘second dip’ of a double dip recession.  Another report confirmed the GfK numbers as the Ifo Institute’s business confidence indicator improved slightly. Merkel’s victory in last week’s German elections was a big deal for the euro as it provides businesses and consumers some confidence that the euro is here to stay.  All of the uncertainty about the euro’s future hung over the European continent like the sword of Damocles; smothering any real economic progress in the euro-region.  While the euro-crisis will undoubtedly show up on our radars again, the question of the euro’s survival is less of an issue.  The ECB and European Union can hopefully continue to move toward creating a banking and financial system which will continue to support the weaker members while keeping the overall economy on a positive growth track.  Things are certainly starting to look up for the euro area.  The New Zealand dollar fell in overnight trading after official data showed the nation’s trade deficit widened to 1.2 billion NZD last month.  This was the largest deficit in five years, and exactly what has been worrying us about the kiwi.  Chuck and I were just discussing the New Zealand dollar a couple of weeks ago, and he brought up the tiny island’s trade deficit as a factor which could weigh on the currency.  Trade deficits are typically a drag on a country’s currency, as the currency is sold in exchange for goods / materials being imported into the country.  In contrast, countries who run a trade surplus are actually creating demand for their currencies which of course supports their price.  Adding to the kiwi’s woes was a earnings warning by the NZ dairy giant Fonterra.  Dairy exports are very important to New Zealand’s economy, accounting for about 7 percent of annual GDP and one quarter of annual exports.  The kiwi is off .58% vs. the US$ today, but is still one of the best performing currencies during the month of September.  The best performing currency during the month of September?  The Brazilian real which is up over 8% vs. the US$.  Brazil’s central bank chief Alexandre Tombini said their FX market intervention had accomplished their intentions, reducing volatility for the Brazilian currency.  Tombini told Brazilian lawmakers that the central bank would continue to ‘stand at the ready’ with its $60 billion intervention program.  I am not a fan of currency intervention, as it rarely works over the long term, but it can have an impact in daily trading levels.  One piece of positive news which Tombini relayed in his speech was that he expects Brazil’s current account deficit to fall to 3% of GDP from the current level of 3.4%.   Also supporting the real is the expectation that interest rates will increase 75 basis points before the end of the year.  Inflation expectations have been increasing, with current forecasts of 5.96% inflation next year; well above the central bank’s target rate of 4.5%.  The commodities inched higher as China demand drove prices of raw materials higher.  Precious metals reversed a 3 day drop in overnight Asian trading, but couldn’t hold on to the gains in early European trading and are mostly unchanged. Then there was this. The folks on the desk know I sometimes struggle for material when I’m writing the Pfennig, so they help me out by sending me a steady stream of what I call ‘Pfennig Pfodder’.  Tim Smith did just that yesterday, sending along a couple of very good quotes which he had come across on the internet; and one in particular stuck out.  It is from Peter Coy, in a posting on the Bloomberg-Businessweek website on September 17th: ”The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday projected a much gloomier long-term outlook for federal budget deficits than its year-ago forecast.  The CBO now predicts that federal debt held by the public will rise to 100 percent of gross domestic product by 2038 under its ‘extended baseline scenario.’  (It’s around 73 percent now.)  Last year it predicted the ratio would fall to 52 percent over the quarter-century in the baseline scenario. This is, as the CBO notes, a ‘very large’ forecast revision.” ”Reasonable people can disagree as to whether the federal government needs to tighten its belt right now, with the economy weak and unemployment high, but it’s pretty obvious that in coming decades, something has to give. Here’s how the CBO put it: ‘How long the nation could sustain such growth in federal debt is impossible to predict with any confidence.  At some point, investors would begin to doubt the government’s willingness or ability to pay U.S. debt obligations, making it more difficult or more expensive for the government to borrow money.  Moreover, even before that point was reached, the high and rising amount of debt that CBO projects under the extended baseline would have significant negative consequences for both the economy and the federal budget.’ ” Chris again.We have been writing about the growing debt and deficits for years now, but the story just doesn’t get old as the IOUs just continue to pile up.  As the CBO suggests, we will eventually hit that ‘tipping point’ but even before that we will definitely see dramatic reductions in the amount of funds available for ‘discretionary spending’ as rising interest rates continues to push the cost of servicing all of this debt higher.  It isn’t a pretty picture, but unfortunately it is one which is certain. To recap. The US dollar is stuck in a range as the congressional budget battle has investors wondering where to turn.  European data showed German confidence is at a 6 year high, while Swedish confidence levels dropped.  The New Zealand dollar was the largest loser vs. the US$ after a report showed the trade deficit widened and the globes largest dairy company issued an earnings warning.  The Brazilian real moved higher and the precious metals are largely unchanged. Currencies today 9/25/13. American Style: A$ .9359, kiwi .8218, C$ .9696, euro 1.3504, sterling 1.6033, Swiss $1.0979. European Style: rand 9.8683, krone 6.0194, SEK 6.4259, forint 221.96, zloty 3.1198, koruna 19.153, RUB 31.99, yen 98.44, sing 1.2541, HKD 7.7533, INR 62.42, China 6.1497, pesos 12.9780, BRL 2.1971, Dollar Index 80.424, Oil $103.80, 10-year 2.64%, Silver $21.63, Platinum $1,426.24, Palladium $718.97, and Gold. $1,321.06. That’s it for today. Another absolutely gorgeous evening here in St. Louis and another win for my daughter’s JV field hockey team.  I ran home from her game to watch the Cardinals inch a little closer to wrapping up the division.  Rookie pitcher Michael Wacha (who we got with the compensational pick after losing Pujols) got within one out of throwing a no hitter last night.  What a game!  If any of you were watching it on TV last night you saw both Jack Stapleton and Frank Trotter sitting in the first row behind home plate.  I just love the post season, and if our ‘young arms’ can hold up we could see our Redbirds go deep into the fall again this year.  Chuck will be back in the saddle tomorrow, so this is it for me.  Thanks to everyone for putting up with me the past three days, and I hope you all have a Wonderful Wednesday!! Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

In This Issue Dollar rallies on budget deal…

first_imgIn This Issue. * Dollar rallies on budget deal… * Mixed data in the US… * Chuck shares his thoughts on the RBA… * Goldman agrees with us… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Dollar rallies on retail sales and budget deal… Good day. And welcome to Friday the 13th.  I’m not too terribly superstitious and I actually like the number 13 for some odd reason.  Perhaps it is because it was my son’s football jersey number, and it was the name of one of my favorite ‘clubs’ during my college days.  So I am heading into this Friday the 13th with a positive attitude.  Chuck is also planning on having a fabulous Friday 13th as he is off ‘shopping’ with a few good friends today; a great way to begin his vacation. The dollar certainly doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that it is Friday the 13th as it has been on a two day rally which has pushed the dollar index up to trade at the highest level this week.  The big news in the markets overnight was the House approval of the bipartisan committee’s $1.01 trillion budget agreement.  The deal will now go on to the Senate who will vote on it sometime next week.  Antione was nice enough to forward me a quick synopsis of the spending plan which ‘moves’ a big chunk of the sequester spending cuts planned for this year out another 10 years and also includes additional revenue from higher TSA fees and adjustments to the calculation of Federal pensions.  The deal definitely does not go far enough in attacking our budget deficits and growing debt, but in the words of the House Speaker it is a ‘good start’ and a ‘move in the right direction’.  The markets certainly like the deal, as it removes another potential land mine which was awaiting us early next year.  We still need the Senate’s approval, and a debt ceiling agreement but the markets think this is pretty much a done deal now.  The currency markets are also moving higher on the retail sales numbers released yesterday here in the US.  Retail sales advanced .7% MOM in November with the less volatile Ex Auto number moving .4% higher.  Both figures beat economists’ expectations and last month’s figures were also revised higher.  These numbers carry a bit more importance than usual as consumer confidence was fragile going into the very important holiday shopping season.  But as Chuck mentioned the other day, US consumers seem to be settling back into their borrow and spend ways which is exactly what the administration wants to see.  While consumers seem to be confident enough to borrow in order to get all of those gifts for their loved ones, this confidence may be short lived.  The weekly job numbers jumped back above the 300k level, leaping all the way up to 368k for the week ending Dec. 7.  This was well above the expected number of 320k and proves that last week’s dramatic drop may have been a aberration.  Speaking of last week’s job number, the figure was revised from 298k to 300k which is a small move in actual numbers but a big psychological figure.  The 298k number was touted by several economists as proof the labor market was definitely improving, as it was only the second time the weekly number had been below 300k since May of 2007.  But the revision has thrown a wet blanket over all of that rhetoric.  The labor market is still struggling to recover here in the US, and this week’s jobs figures definitely suggest the FOMC will not taper during their meeting next week.  In addition to the Retail Sales and weekly jobs numbers we also got a report which showed Business Inventories increased .7% during October, something which we had already known from the details of the preliminary GDP report.  The retail sales figures suggest at least some of this inventory is heading out the door, but the question is will sales be enough to offset the big inventory buildup we saw going into December.  We will see the PPI figures this morning which are expected to show producer prices were mostly unchanged during November.  The  MOM figure is expected to be flat, with the YOY figure reflecting a .8% rise in prices.  Inflation still does not seem to be creeping back into the economy which is another reason I don’t think the quantitative easing efforts of our FOMC will end any time soon.  I was speaking to a reporter yesterday morning and the conversation turned toward the taper, as it always seems to!  Economists have increased predictions of a December taper up to 34% from last week’s 17% level. Pfennig readers know that neither Chuck nor I are expecting a taper this year, and not even during the first quarter of 2014.  I just don’t think the data on the labor markets support a start to the end of the bond buying.  Not that I was ever a supporter of QE, and I would actually love to see the FOMC announce an end to their bond purchases but I just don’t think the data which they have continued to point to support the thought that the taper will start next week.  I personally think the bond buying will continue until Bernanke steps away and the jobs data show that there is a consistent trend of improvement.  By the way, today is not only Friday the 13th but it is also the 60th birthday of our Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, I’m sure all the readers will want to wish our Fed Head a very happy birthday – you certainly should if you have any money invested in the US equity market! The taper talk continues to dominate trader’s thoughts, and the future direction of interest rates is one very important factor driving the currency markets during 2014. Overnight the Japanese yen fell to a five year low on yield differentials. Policy divergence between the BOJ and the FOMC was given as the main reason for the weaker yen. Currency investors seem convinced the FOMC will start to taper while at the same time the BOJ is planning to expand its asset purchase program.  The view that fiscal policy is moving in opposite directions seems to be a popular one as you will see in today’s TTWT section.  Firms like Barclays, BNP Paribas, and Morgan Stanley all point to rising US rates in support of their calls for stronger US$ levels during 2014.  At least one bank is more in line with Chuck and my thoughts, and it is a big one in the global financial markets!  Goldman Sachs’ London based chief currency strategist said he expects the dollar will weaken through 2014, reaching $1.40 per euro.  This is in line with Chuck’s thoughts as he agrees the euro will strengthen next year.  I agree with the consensus that the Fed will start to taper sometime in 2014, but any taper in bond buying will be offset by the Fed keeping interest rates near zero through the use of reverse repos and negative deposit rates.  At the same time, I don’t think the ECB will be as aggressive with monetary stimulus as many of the other banks have predicted.  According to Goldman’s strategist, “Tapering is in the price already, we find it difficult to see where the dollar strength would come from. There is always a risk that stronger growth in the US suddenly pushes rates even higher as markets anticipate a stronger Fed response.  However, our base case is that we see only marginal support for the dollar from interest rates.”  Chuck expressed similar thoughts yesterday when we were discussing the possibility of a December taper.  Any taper is already priced into the dollar and the markets, so when it occurs it shouldn’t really have a dramatic impact.  Chuck sent me his thoughts on the Aussie dollar on the way out the door yesterday, so I will share them with all of you.  Take it away Chuck: Well, the Aussie dollar (A$) really got whacked yesterday after I signed off, and all the selling points back to an interview that Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Gov. Stevens had with the Australian Financial Review.  In the interview, Stevens really attacks the A$’s strength. He indicated that he wants an A$ closer to 85-cents, and called on the nation to face an urgent conversation about the spending cuts or tax reform that will be needed to return the federal budget to surplus.   These words spooked traders and investors to really unload A$’s, for if a Central Banker puts a figure/ level on a currency most likely he’s going to guide the currency to that level.  Now, back in “the day” the markets would fight him on that, IF they thought he was wrong. But in today’s world of Central Bank influence in the markets, that just doesn’t happen any longer. Yes, the markets have cowered to Central Bankers, I can’t believe I’m saying that. But it’s true, it’s true, I did see a putty tat! Why has this changed? Because have you seen what the Fed has done to anyone who dared to fight their bond buying? They just kept adding to the programs, and extending the amounts, thus wiping out anyone that tried to sell short Treasuries, for they felt the Treasury Bubble had seen enough air blown into it.  So, now, the markets know all too well that they can’t fight city hall any longer, for if the Central Bank needs deeper pockets, they simply turn on the printing presses.   I’m going shopping later today, I’m going to have a lot of fun, and put all this talk of Tapering, Central Banks, Central Bankers, Bubbles and everything else in my rear view mirror. I suggest you do the same, for there’s nothing we can do to change these things, only make moves to protect ourselves from the outcomes of all this meddling.  Now back to Chris! It will be nice to be able to finally see an end to all of the ‘taper talk’ but unfortunately I don’t think that is coming until next week.  All of the markets have been held hostage by the FOMC and their bond buying.  The big question is what happens if/when the bond buying stops.  Then there was this. Our head currency trader, Jennifer sent me an excellent piece from her counterparts at Barclays sharing their thoughts on where the US$ is heading in 2014.  The title of the piece “More in store than USD strength” should give you an idea of their overall view which is basically the same as my own; that there will be opportunities in the currency markets during 2014.  Unfortunately I am unable to post the entire piece here (it is proprietary after all) but will share some of the highlights:  1. ECB will diverge from the FED – they believe the Fed will begin tightening while the ECB will continue to pursue looser monetary policies.  On this point I disagree, as I don’t believe our new Fed chief will be eager to start tightening, and the ECB will not be eager to start throwing money at the markets (I expect them to continue to use words instead of euros).   2. JPY will continue weaker.  On this I agree.  3. GBP will continue to outperform.  I am non-committal on this one but tend to lean toward GBP weakness in 2014. 4. AUD will continue to fall while CNY will move higher.  I don’t agree with the call for AUD but do agree the Chinese renminbi will continue to appreciate.  5. CHF will move lower.  This is in conjunction with their call for a weaker Euro and I disagree as I believe the Euro will see some strength in 2014. 6. EM currencies will be stronger in 2014.  On this point I heartily agree.  The emerging markets are beginning to see some strength again, and investors will turn back to the higher yielding currencies as the global economy improves. To recap. The dollar is stronger after positive retail sales figures and a budget agreement was passed by the House.  Taper talk continues to dominate the news, with many now expecting a cut in the bond buying next week.  Most major banks are predicting further dollar strength in 2014 while Goldman Sachs is going against the crowd (along with Chuck).  The Aussie dollar takes a hit from Governor Stevens who successfully ‘jawboned’ it lower.  And I shared some of Barclay’s currency predictions for 2014. Currencies today 12/13/13. American Style: A$ .8917, kiwi .8210, C$ .9380, euro 1.3716, sterling 1.6265, Swiss $1.1220. European Style: rand 10.3375, krone 6.2092, SEK 6.5908, forint 220.93, zloty 3.0486, koruna 20.066, RUB 32.86, yen 103.57, sing 1.2569, HKD 7.7530, INR 62.125, China 6.1148, pesos 12.9821, BRL 2.3322, Dollar Index 80.367, Oil $97.18, 10-year 2.88%, Silver $19.51, Platinum $1.364.99, Palladium $722.75, and Gold. $1,231.30 That’s it for today. I had a great night as I got a last minute invite to watch the Blues who absolutely dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs. We are supposed to get some bad weather today, with a ‘wintry mix’ (two scary words during winter!) expected midday.  I’ve got a busy weekend planned with a high school hockey game tonight, my daughter’s first high school swim meet tomorrow (good luck Lauren!), and the Rams game on Sunday.  And I’m going to try and squeeze in some duck hunting and Christmas shopping at some point which will definitely make it a full weekend.  Got to go now as it is Friday which means it is our ‘weigh in’ day on the desk.  Many of us on the desk are competing in a ‘biggest loser’ contest which is in its third week.  I am not expecting much this week as I weighed myself yesterday and I think I actually gained a pound.  Oh well, we still have a couple months left.  Hopefully everyone will have a Fantastic Friday the 13th and a wonderful weekend!  Thanks for reading the pfennig. Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

The velocity of money is below Depression era leve

first_img The velocity of money is below Depression era levels. Will MSCI include China’s locally traded shares in its benchmark indices? If it does, billions of dollars could flow into Chinese stocks. OPEC Won’t Curtail Oil Production OPEC, the cartel that controls 39% of global oil production, is meeting in Vienna. Its members have reportedly agreed to keep pumping lots of oil, rather than curtailing production to boost oil prices. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister says he’s “happy” with low oil prices. And why wouldn’t he be? The Saudis have $750 billion in currency reserves. They can afford to continue selling oil for cheap. Unlike US oil producers, whose hedges (which protect them from low oil prices) will soon run out. The Saudis appear committed to their strategy of squeezing higher-cost producers by selling oil for cheap. So the question is: how much longer can Wall Street keep the US shale sector afloat? Gold Stocks Are Primed for a Bull Market If history is any judge, there’s huge upside in gold once this bear market ends. There have been eight gold bull markets since 1975… and the price of gold more than doubled in seven of them. Senior Precious Metals Analyst Jeff Clark says gold’s current bear market is now longer than the one in the early 2000s… and gold went on to soar over 600% when it emerged from that bear market. The best time to buy anything is when it’s most hated. And the mining sector is the most depressed sector in the world right now. Blips & Bogeys The Next Market Crash The true story of how Stansberry analyst Paul Mampilly survived the Crash of 2008 and made 5 times his net worth with a simple strategy. Plus, how you can use it to make huge gains in the months ahead. Click here to learn more. Russia’s oil output is at a post-Soviet high. Signs of capitulation in the gold and silver markets suggest now may be the time to buy. The Colder War: Greece backs Russia’s Turkish Stream project. Recommended Links Russia may issue debt in Chinese yuan. There’s chaos in European bond markets. German 10-year bonds yields have climbed to 0.9%, from the record low of 0.049% in April. They haven’t sold off that hard since October 1998, when hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management imploded. The bond rout is partially European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s fault. On Wednesday, he spooked markets when he warned “prepare for higher volatility.” Many, including Draghi, believe bond yields are rising because inflation is picking up in Europe. But we think it might be because the Greek debt crisis is finally boiling over. Signs are ominous. European officials are holding an alarming number of “emergency” meetings in Brussels. And Greece has become the first developed country to ever miss a payment to the IMF. It‘s getting harder to ignore the reality that Greece will have to default eventually. The turmoil has even spread to the United States bond market. Treasury prices have tanked and liquidity is drying up. And for the first time in 2015, 10-year Treasuries are now down for the year. The Casey Report warned readers in May that “It’s time to exit bonds and watch from the sidelines.” The International Monetary Fund urged the Fed to delay a rate hike. — Will IMF ruling crush U.S. dollar? (Expected Oct 20th) The International Monetary Fund is rumored to make a big announcement on Oct. 20th. It could initiate a transfer of wealth, unlike anything we’ve seen. And determine who in America gets rich in the years to come… and who struggles. Get all the facts about this announcement before it hits the wire – right here. Weak mining companies are biting the dust. Will “Obamatrade” give corporations global access to everyone’s data?last_img read more

Boeing Chevron and Other Huge Companies Are Spending 90 Million on Trumps

first_img Next Article Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Donald Trump Dan Bobkoff and Danielle Muoio Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Enroll Now for $5 Image credit: Reuters | Jonathan Ernst The Presidential Inaugural Committee has raised at least $90 million — a record — to pay for the festivities and provide big donors some face time with the new administration. Add to Queue 7 min read January 20, 2017 For big-time donors like Boeing and Chevron, the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump sounds downright romantic.They’ll be treated to an “intimate” dinner with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife. Then there’s the “elegant” meal by candlelight — part of inaugural festivities described by the event’s planner as having a “soft sensuality.”All that and more could be yours if you ponied up at least $250,000 to help fund Friday’s inaugural events, according to a brochure obtained by multiple news outlets.The Presidential Inaugural Committee has raised at least $90 million — a record — to pay for the festivities and provide big donors some face time with the new administration. Donors at the $100,000 level even get a “policy discussion and dinner with select Cabinet appointees.”In addition to the aerospace giant Boeing ($1 million donated) and the oil company Chevron ($500,000), AT&T, Verizon and Coca-Cola are among the big companies helping fund the galas, balls and other pomp and circumstance welcoming Trump to the White House on Friday.Presidents in both parties have long welcomed corporate donors to their inaugurations. What’s different this year is the amount raised — roughly equal to the sum of each of President Barack Obama’s — and a lack of transparency. Trump inaugural officials have broken with recent tradition and declined to release donor information before the event.Critics say this cozy access for corporations and special interests goes against Trump’s campaign rhetoric.”This is very dangerous,” Fred Wertheimer, president of the nonpartisan government-accountability organization Democracy 21, told Business Insider. “It is a form of filling the swamp rather than emptying it, to use the words of the president-elect.”What are they paying for?President Barack Obama bows to Michelle Obama at the Inauguration Ball in 2013.Image credit: Reuters | Kevin LamarqueThe only part of the inauguration mandated by the Constitution is the swearing-in ceremony. And the expense associated with the president-elect standing on the steps of the Capitol and putting his hand on a Bible comes from taxpayers, not donors; it’s managed by a separate congressional planning committee. Likewise, part of the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue is managed by the US military and paid for out of its budget.Everything else, the ad hoc inaugural committee pays for with corporate and other donor support: the concerts, porta-potties and jumbo TV screens. The style and schedule of the inaugural events are entirely up to the incoming administration’s inaugural committee, which can also decide how much contact donors have with the new leaders.”It’s a blank slate,” said Brian Screnar, who was finance director for Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee. “What access can you provide? Tons, or zero. That’s all a choice.”Obama forbade all corporate giving and all donations above $50,000 at his 2009 swearing-in. That changed in 2013 for his second inauguration, when the administration reversed course and welcomed donations from big companies. Corporations like AT&T spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the event.Screnar told Business Insider that forbidding corporate giving can cause problems for organizers. If a company wanted to host a free concert, for instance, it could be considered an in-kind contribution. And the ban didn’t prevent some CEOs from shaking hands with the president-elect in 2009.”President Bush took it. President Clinton took it. Now President Trump will take it,” Screnar said. “The inauguration is a one-time hit. I don’t think you can get that much access.”But watchdogs say what’s notable this year is the brazenness of the promises of access, like the small discussions with Cabinet nominees for big-ticket donors.”The pay-for-play aspect of this one — special access for special money — is not typical,” Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told Business Insider. “The money for the companies is chump change, and they will have access regardless. But, of course, it gets a little extra special treatment.”Who’s paying?A Boeing 747.Image credit: BoeingThe information we have, such as Boeing’s $1 million gift, comes from voluntary disclosures by the companies themselves. The Presidential Inaugural Committee did not respond to numerous requests for comment.Boeing’s and Chevron’s gifts are among the biggest known. Coca-Cola said this year’s donation will be in line with what it gave in 2013, which was a little over $431,000. Verizon told Business Insider it’s contributing $100,000 to this year’s events. AT&T is also donating but declined to say how much.Boeing is giving the same amount it did in 2013. However, Chevron seems to have dialed back its contribution. Chevron gave $1 million in 2013, according to OpenSecrets, a website that compiles federal campaign contributions and lobbying data.Of course, the companies giving to the inauguration could be significantly affected by the Trump team’s policy proposals — and while that could be said of any business, it’s still difficult for ethics watchdogs to overlook.”There’s a very self-serving reason for funding the inauguration,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, which advocates reducing the influence of big corporations in politics.Boeing’s future, for instance, is heavily dependent on U.S. defense contracts; Trump has threatened to cancel the new Air Force One that Boeing is developing. And his foreign policy could affect Boeing’s ability to sell planes to countries like Iran and China.”What it is, is buying time with the president and Cabinet officials,” Holman told Business Insider.Boeing declined to comment when asked whether its contribution could be seen as “buying access” to government officials. A Chevron spokesperson said the company has long participated in presidential inaugurations and has “worked successfully with 23 different presidential administrations.”TransparencyPresident Clinton takes the oath of office as first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on.Image credit: Reuters | Blake SellWhile donations to presidential campaigns are heavily restricted and regulated, there are virtually no rules on inaugurations. It wasn’t until 2002 that inaugural committees were required to release the names of the companies and individuals that gave more than $200. And they have to release that information 90 days after the ceremony.Obama and former President George W. Bush voluntarily released that data beforehand. Trump’s team has, so far, broken with the tradition.”He’s trying to keep this as secret as he can until he has to file his disclosure requirements,” Holman said.Obama’s inaugural committee raised $55 million in 2009. It had so much left over that it used the surplus to renovate and redecorate the Oval Office and still had several million dollars left over for the second inauguration, Emmett Beliveau, who was CEO of the presidential inaugural committee at the time, told Business Insider.Tom Barrack, the private-equity investor overseeing Trump’s inauguration, has described this year’s event as more low-key, less of a “circus-like celebration.” This raises the question of how the committee — with more than $90 million on hand — will use all that cash, which came in above its goal of raising $65 million to $75 million.”I can’t imagine what you’d spend it on,” Beliveau said. “I have no idea how you could spend nearly twice the budget of the most widely attended inaugural to date,” he said, referring to 2009, which drew nearly 2 million attendees.An inaugural committee spokesman told the Associated Press that excess money would be donated to charity, though he didn’t give specifics.Wertheimer of Democracy 21 said there are no rules governing how the committee uses any surplus funds.”They can put it in people’s pockets and just pay taxes on it,” Wertheimer said.Or there are other options.”We don’t have much gold in the White House, and the incoming president likes his gold,” he said. –shares Reporters This story originally appeared on Business Insider President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania deliver remarks at a luncheon in Washington. Boeing, Chevron and Other Huge Companies Are Spending $90 Million on Trump’s Inaugurationlast_img read more

ExDrug CEO Martin Shkreli Ordered to Testify on Spike in Drug Pricing

first_img A U.S. congressional committee has demanded that former drug executive Martin Shkreli appear at a hearing on drug prices to testify about his former company’s decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine by more than 5,000 percent, congressional aides said on Wednesday.Shkreli, who is separately facing federal criminal charges that he defrauded investors, has been served with a subpoena to appear on Jan. 26 before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the aides said.The Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, which is also investigating the company’s drug pricing practices, said on Wednesday that Shkreli has invoked the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, and has refused to produce subpoenaed documents.Shkreli, 32, fired back at lawmakers on Twitter, writing on Wednesday that the House was “busy whining to healthcare reporters about me appearing for their chit chat next week. Haven’t decided yet. Should I?” He declined an interview request.The outspoken entrepreneur sparked a firestorm last year after he raised the price of Daraprim, a decades-old treatment for a dangerous parasitic infection, to $750 a pill from $13.50 after acquiring it. The medicine once sold for $1 a pill.Shkreli pleaded not guilty last month to criminal charges that he ran his companies like a Ponzi scheme, using each subsequent company to pay off defrauded investors from a prior company.After his arrest, he stepped down as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals and was fired as chief executive of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. KaloBios also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.Shkreli’s past companies also include Retrophin Inc, which sued him for alleged mismanagement.Testifying before Congress is risky for someone facing criminal charges because of the chance they could say something prosecutors would later use at a trial. For that reason, many such witnesses invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions.To even travel to Washington, Shkreli is required to first get the sign-off of a federal judge because his release on bond restricts him to certain parts of New York state. However, judges typically grant temporary travel waivers to white-collar defendants.U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the oversight committee, said the hearing will give Shkreli a chance to explain his views on drug pricing.”I have been trying for the better part of a year to get information from Martin Shkreli about his outrageous price increases, and he has obstructed our investigation at every turn,” Cummings said in a statement.(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and David Ingram in New York, additional reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis) Ex-Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Ordered to Testify on Spike in Drug Pricing –shares 3 min read Martin Shkreli (C), chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs U.S. Federal Court. Next Article Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Reuters Image credit: Reuters | Lucas Jackson | Files Legal January 21, 2016 Add to Queue Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuterslast_img read more

We Tried This Vegan Startups Taco Meal Delivery Kit Heres What We

first_img 3 min read Next Article Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. –shares Delivery Register Now » Image credit: Chef’d | Instagramcenter_img January 22, 2016 Beyond Meat makes vegan food, including “chicken” strips and ground “beef.” According to the company, these products don’t belong in the imitation meat category, too often characterized by chewy blandness. Instead, as founder and CEO Ethan Brown told us in November, the goal is to create plant proteins that, on a molecular level, taste virtually indistinguishable from the juicy, fatty goodness of real meat.While Brown’s campaign to get his products placed behind the meat counter at supermarkets hasn’t panned out yet, Beyond Meat items are sold at more than 10,000 stores nationwide. Since launching in 2009, the company has raised $17 million in funding and attracted a high-profile list of investors including Biz Stone, Bill Gates and the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers.This past November, the company teamed up with meal-delivery startup Chef’d to bring its products, plus all the additional ingredients necessary to cook a full meal, directly to consumers’ doors.Related: McDonald’s Ex-CEO Will Help Sell You Vegan BurgersOf the two available options — a barbeque kit and a taco box — we choose the latter.Did it taste like real ground beef, or a chewy, vegan crumble? Here’s how things panned out.The meal kit costs $28 for a two-person serving and $37 for a four-person serving, plus a $10 shipping fee. Delivery is available as soon as one to two days after placing an order.Our order arrived in an enormous, insulated orange box (which, for a company whose message revolves around sustainability, is slightly problematic, though Blue Apron and Plated are in the same boat).Image Credit: Laura EntisAll of the ingredients were inside. In addition to a package of Beyond Meat’s beef crumbles, the box included: lime, garlic cloves, shallots, tomato paste, vegan cheddar cheese, red chili flakes, various spices, lettuce, avocados, onions, corn tortillas, chipotle sauce, cilantro and black beans.After cutting the onion, shallots, cilantro and garlic, it was time to make the guacamole. First, we juiced the limes.Next, we cut up the avocados and mashed them in a bowl, adding the lime juice, chopped shallots, chili flakes and cilantro.Image Credit: Laura EntisImage Credit: Laura EntisImage Credit: Laura EntisRelated: Why Wendy’s and McDonald’s Still Don’t Have Veggie BurgersWhile the beans simmered over medium heat in a separate saucepan, we sauteed the garlic and onions, adding the tomato paste and the Beyond Meat crumble. Cooking the “beef” itself was slightly disquieting. It looked like meat, but it didn’t smell like meat. And it certainly didn’t sizzle like real meat — instead, the sauteeing process was eerily quiet.Image Credit: Laura EntisAfter heating the tortillas in a pan, it was time to assemble the tacos. We topped each one with the “meat” crumble, guacamole, shredded lettuce, beans and vegan cheddar cheese.The estimated cooking time was 40 minutes, but altogether it took closer to an hour.Image Credit: Laura EntisOut of curiosity, we heated up some of the “beef” crumble alone in a separate pan. Without the sauce and spice, it was unlike meat in both texture and flavor. While it worked in the taco, Beyond Meat has a ways to go before its products compare to meat dishes without the help of spices and sauces.That said, the tacos made for a tasty and satisfying meal.Image Credit: Laura EntisRelated: We Tested Chipotle and McDonald’s New Delivery Services. Here’s What Happened. Add to Queue Guest Writer Laura Entis We Tried This Vegan Startup’s Taco Meal Delivery Kit. Here’s What We Thought. Chef’d fiesty tacoslast_img read more

Obama Administration Rolls Out Rules on Paid Sick Leave Pay Data

first_img September 30, 2016 Reuters 2 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Federal Government Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. U.S. President Barack Obama U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told reporters in a phone call that the sick leave rule would directly affect more than 1.1 million workers.center_img Image credit: Emmanuele Contini | Shutterstock Register Now » The Obama administration on Thursday finalized rules requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to employees and expanding the type of data employers must provide on their pay practices.U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told reporters in a phone call that the sick leave rule would directly affect more than 1.1 million workers. Effective Jan. 1, it will require companies working on federal contracts to provide up to seven days of earned leave.”You shouldn’t have to win the boss lottery or the geographic lottery to have access to paid sick leave,” Perez said, noting that the rule would help businesses by decreasing turnover and ensuring sick employees don’t show up for work.Meanwhile, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces federal employment discrimination laws, released the final version of a new reporting form requiring employers with 100 or more employees to annually disclose aggregated pay data. The information must be broken down according to the gender, race and ethnicity of employees.EEOC Chair Jenny Yang said on the call that the new reporting requirements would make it easier for the agency to root out discriminatory pay practices.Business groups, however, say analyzing pay data is complicated, and the new information employers must disclose will do little to help the EEOC while opening companies up to more discrimination claims.The same groups and many Republicans in Congress say the sick leave rule could discourage many employers, particularly small businesses, from seeking federal contracts.(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York, Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and David Gregorio) –shares Next Article Obama Administration Rolls Out Rules on Paid Sick Leave, Pay Data Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Alibaba Singles Day Sales Pass 2015 Total But Growth Rate Slows

first_img Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Sales on Alibaba’s platforms had raced to a billion dollars in under five minutes and within the first 60 minutes had passed $5 billion. Next Article November 11, 2016 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on Reuters 4 min readcenter_img Alibaba Singles’ Day Sales Pass 2015 Total, But Growth Rate Slows Reuters Register Now » Add to Queue Sales Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Singles’ Day sales surged past last year’s 91.2 billion yuan ($13.36 billion) total with nearly nine hours left on the clock, but growth was markedly slower than in 2015 as shoppers sought even bigger price cuts.Amid fanfare and celebrity razzmatazz, sales on Alibaba’s platforms had raced to a billion dollars in under five minutes and within the first 60 minutes had passed $5 billion — a third faster than 2015 as the ecommerce giant looked to shrug off a domestic economic slowdown and a U.S. accounting probe.The 24-hour event held annually on Nov. 11 offers a benchmark for Alibaba’s performance and an insight into China’s swing to online shopping, especially via smartphones. Launched in 2009, Alibaba’s version of the event was designed to encourage consumers without a partner to treat themselves.Sales growth was down from last year’s 60 percent amid a more saturated domestic online retail market, a weaker economy and sluggish personal income growth. A strong U.S. dollar also hit the headline sales figure in dollar terms.The discount shopping day, also known as “Double 11,” still shifts more goods than Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States combined. Sales on Alibaba platforms, including Tmall and Taobao, are tipped to exceed $20 billion this year.”Back in 2013, 35 billion yuan ($5.14 billion) was our one-day GMV (gross merchandise volume),” said Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang in a live microblog posting on Alibaba’s event. “Now we can achieve it in one hour.”Image credit: Reuters | Bobby YipGMV refers to the value of goods sold by vendors through Alibaba’s platforms. Alibaba makes money through advertising and charging vendors a proportion of their sales.Mobile shopping surgeAfter a beefed-up marketing push over the last month — with fashion shows and virtual reality games — sales officially opened at midnight, releasing a wave of pre-orders that shoppers had placed ahead of the event. Sports stars David Beckham and Kobe Bryant attended the countdown, though headline act Katy Perry pulled out last minute citing a “family” issue.At 15:19 p.m. (07:19 GMT) a live sales tracker at Alibaba’s main event in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen passed the 2015 yuan total, ensuring the day will set a new record but, in dollar terms, was still short of 2015’s $14.3 billion.The rise of Singles’ Day reflects how China’s consumers, armed with smartphones, are racing online to shop — to the detriment of bricks and mortar stores. So far on Friday, 83 percent of sales were via mobile devices, up strongly from last year, Alibaba said.The day itself is a double-edged sword for many: Couriers, packaging firms and vendors say low prices and steep competition mean profit margins are slim despite large sales volumes.Cut-throat competition for customers has also caused concern over false advertising and massaged statistics. This week China’s business regulator advised mainland online shopping platforms to guard against suspect sales tactics.In May this year, Alibaba said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was looking into how it reports its Single’s Day figures. Alibaba said at the time it was cooperating with the authorities, and that the SEC advised it the investigation should not be seen as an indication the company had violated federal securities laws.Alibaba declined to comment on the SEC probe on Friday.Alibaba is not the only retailer to mark Nov. 11 with a massive sales drive. China’s number-two ecommerce player JD.com Inc. and many others also offer discount deals on the day.(Reporting by Cate Cadell and Xihao Jiang; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Christopher Cushing)last_img read more

SynergySuite Closes 6 Million Series A Led by First Analysis

first_imgUtah-based restaurant management platform SynergySuite invests in sales, marketing and expanded U.S. presence; also names a new CEO.SynergySuite, the leading all-in-one, cloud-based restaurant management platform, announced $6 million in Series A funding to accelerate growth in the U.S. market and continue product innovation, and named Greg Staley as CEO. The financing round was led by First Analysis, a Chicago-based venture capital firm, with participation from Irish private equity firm Oyster Capital. A veteran sales and marketing leader with deep SaaS experience, Staley’s focus will be on building SynergySuite’s position in the marketplace, and ensuring the product continues to respond to the challenges enterprise restaurants face.Recommended:MarTech Interview with Ajay Gupta, CEO at StiristaSynergySuite helps multi-unit restaurants simplify operations and increase profitability with an easy-to-use restaurant management software. Businesses have the insights and tools they need to run the back office—all in one place with SynergySuite.Global brands trust SynergySuite’s mobile first software with inventory, purchasing, recipe costing, food safety, scheduling, cash management, human resources and business intelligence. “Restaurants are dealing with an increasing number of challenges to profitability, and SynergySuite is well positioned to answer the needs of restaurant operations teams,” said Jim Macdonald, managing director at First Analysis.Jim added, “Our investment in SynergySuite is rooted in our confidence that they are well positioned to disrupt this industry, providing restaurants with the visibility and automation they need to optimize operations.”With the new funding, SynergySuite will drive continued customer growth by expanding sales, marketing, implementation and client success. SynergySuite’s powerful back-of-house platform has experienced exponential growth in the last two years by giving restaurants the tools they need to see what’s happening in every location and optimize food and labor costs.Read Also: Everything You Need to Know About WordPress and Database“This funding will allow us to continue growing the best purpose-built back-of-house platform on the market. Restaurants are selecting SynergySuite because we offer the most comprehensive and powerful restaurant management product, paired with a world-class support team, and I’m looking forward to continuing our success,” CEO Staley said.SynergySuite co-founder Niall Keane will serve as chairman and chief strategy officer, where he will guide continued product development aligned with the company’s technology roadmap.“SynergySuite was founded because I saw first-hand how frustrating it was to manage restaurant operations with piecemeal technology solutions. I’m excited to focus on continuing to build an innovative system that makes it easier for restaurant brands to be successful and profitable,” Keane said.Currently, First Analysis is a leading venture capital investor, having invested more than $780 million over four decades. With its integrative research process, it aims to invest in the best, established rapid-growth companies in the targeted sectors where it is an acknowledged expert.Read More: CONCURED Named a Cool Vendor in Gartner’s 2019 ‘Cool Vendors … SynergySuite Closes $6 Million Series A Led by First Analysis Sudipto GhoshJuly 11, 2019, 8:18 pmJuly 11, 2019 First AnalysisfundingNewsOyster Capitalrestaurant managementSaasSynergySuiteTechnology Previous ArticleAd Fraud to Cost North American Advertisers $100 Million a Day by 2023Next ArticleNextStage to Support YSEOP, a World Leader in AI Dedicated to Natural Language Generation, in View to Accelerating Growth, Particularly in the United Stateslast_img read more

Growth and spread of deadly eye tumor suppressed in cells animals

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 12 2018By comparing genetic sequences in the eye tumors of children whose cancers spread with tumors that didn’t spread, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report new evidence that a domino effect in cells is responsible for the cancer spreading. Their experiments suggest that blocking part of the chain of events — which they successfully accomplished in zebra fish and human cells — stops the growth and spread of the eye tumor cells.The new findings, the researcher say, offer a tempting target for treating the most common eye cancer in children — retinoblastoma — that originates in the retina. According to the World Health Organization, the cancer affects an estimated 7,000-8,000 children and kills up to 4,000 worldwide each year.A report on the experiments was published Nov. 6th in the journal Oncogene.”There is no effective treatment for retinoblastoma that spreads,” says Laura Asnaghi, Ph.D., M.Sc., a research associate faculty member in the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “However, there is a chance for us to treat this deadly cancer if caught early before the tumors spread. Therefore, we looked into the causes for the tumor invasion, which can help us develop targeted therapies to prevent invasion.”To uncover the series of molecular actions involved in tumor spread, the Johns Hopkins researchers started by analyzing tissues from 10 patients — five of the patients had invasive tumors and five had tumors that were not invasive. The researchers compared the RNA profiles of these two groups and found a twofold to threefold increase in RNA levels for the gene that codes for activin A receptor type 1C (ACVR1C) in invasive retinoblastoma cells compared to noninvasive cells. This finding stood out because the activin receptor gene is already known to have a role in other cancers, including gallbladder and breast cancer. Researchers considered that the activin receptor may be a key target for suppressing cancer spread and growth in retinoblastoma.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessarySugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNormally, when the activin receptor detects a growth signal, it triggers cells to grow and divide. The researchers treated cells with the drug SB505124, which blocks the activin receptor from detecting other growth signals, to see what would happen. They put the cells with the drug on a filter and measured invasion by looking at how many cells moved through the filter. Results showed that the growth, proliferation and invasion of retinoblastoma cells treated with the drug were suppressed by 60 to 80 percent.After confirming the activin receptor’s role in spreading retinoblastoma in cells, the researchers wanted to see whether this worked in live animals. They next pursued experiments in embryonic zebra fish, since this convenient model hasn’t quite developed its immune systems yet and won’t reject other types of cells transplanted into it. The researchers injected human retinoblastoma cells into 2-day-old zebra fish eyes, and they monitored the growth and spread of the cancer cells by measuring the diameters of eye tumors over the next four to six days.Then they administered the same drug (SB505124) used to inhibit the activin in the zebra fish eyes. According to the researchers, they saw a 55 percent reduction in the diameter of eye tumors compared to zebra fish eyes not injected with the drug. Overall, Asnaghi says, the experiments show that blocking the activin receptor could be effective in suppressing the growth and spread of invasive retinoblastoma cells in people.”We hope our findings will provide new therapies for retinoblastoma, and lead to preserving vision and improving outcomes in a greater number of children affected by retinoblastoma both in the United States and worldwide,” says Asnaghi. “We are cautiously optimistic though, because we need to do more research before any related therapies can be safely developed or tested for patients.” Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/spread-of-deadly-eye-cancer-halted-in-cells-and-animalslast_img read more

Sony CEO Hirai to step down

© 2018 AFP Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai, who led a major and successful overhaul at the Japanese electronics giant, will step down at the end of March, the firm said Friday. Sony chief promises profitability, but is short on specifics Citation: Sony CEO Hirai to step down (2018, February 2) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-sony-ceo-hirai.html Hirai will become Sony chairman, filling a post that has been empty since June 2012, and will be replaced by the company’s current chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida on April 1.”As the company approaches a crucial juncture, when we will embark on a new mid-range plan, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony and also for myself to embark on a new chapter in my life,” Hirai said in a statement.Sony said Hirai had approached the board seeking to step down.The 57-year-old company veteran was tapped in April 2012 to head up an overhaul of the once-iconic company, which was then suffering from huge losses largely tied to a hard-hit consumer electronics business.He said he was “very proud” of the company’s current financial health.”And it excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again,” he added.Hirai praised his successor as the “ideal person” to lead Sony going forward, saying the pair had worked closely together since 2013.In October, Sony said its net profit for the quarter to September was more than 27 times higher than a year earlier, while revenue expanded by 22 percent.The Tokyo-based company cited improved results in its semiconductor business, which includes image sensors found in smartphone cameras.The results marked a comeback for the electronics and entertainment giant, which has struggled with huge losses in recent years.To try to stop the bleeding, Sony has cut thousands of jobs and sold assets, including its Vaio laptop unit and a US headquarters in Manhattan.Sony took a nearly $1 billion writedown at its movie unit in 2016 following several box office disappointments, including the reboot of the ’80s classic “Ghostbusters” with an all-female cast and “Inferno”, a sequel to “The Da Vinci Code”.Last month, it unveiled a new version of its robot dog “aibo” to much media fanfare.The company will post its latest financial results later Friday. Explore further Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai, who is to step down at the end of March 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. read more