first_img Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “It’s a very good front and they also brought a lot of pressures for a third preseason game,” Palmer said Sunday night. “They brought cover zero a handful of times that you don’t typically see. I thought we reacted pretty well up front to some of the situations that they put us in.”The results may not have shown up on the scoreboard, but the lack of concern over a group that entered training camp unsettled at right tackle and right guard, lost its starting center for a stretch with an injury and has since seen the presumed starting left guard miss time with turf toe has to be viewed as a very big positive. And while there are no guarantees that the starting five from Sunday’s game will play every snap together this season, there’s little doubt the team’s front five has come a very long way. And the better the offensive line plays, the better the offense, as a whole, should perform.“You look at last year’s tape, particularly at this time, our offensive line has played significantly better than it did a year ago from today,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday. “And the fact that we have the ability to make explosive plays on the offensive side of the ball is encouraging.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling LISTEN: Steve Keim, AZ Cardinals GM Your browser does not support the audio element. Listen. For all the worry about the Arizona Cardinals’ 19-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, one thing you do not hear being talked about is the offensive line.Arizona’s group was…umm…good.That’s right.“I thought our offensive line played extremely well,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Monday afternoon. The starting group consisting of Jared Veldheer, Ted Larsen, Lyle Sendlein, Paul Fanaika and Bobby Massie gave quarterback Carson Palmer time to throw. While he had to move around in the pocket a bit, he was not sacked in the game. – / 30 Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

Rep Rendon welcomes local students to Capitol

first_imgPHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Daire Rendon visits with Surline Middle School students during their trip to the state Capitol in Lansing. 12Feb Rep. Rendon welcomes local students to Capitol Categories: Daire Rendon News,Daire Rendon Photoslast_img

Middle Eastern pay TV platform Etisalat is launchi

first_imgMiddle Eastern pay TV platform Etisalat is launching three channels from India’s Times Television Network. The company, which operates the e-Vision pay TV service in the United Arab Emirates, is launching Times Now, ET Now and Zoom as it looks to appeal to the growing South Asian community in the country.The deal was announced by e-vision chief executive Humaid Rashid Sahoo, who said that the deal means it now has over 350 channels in 21 languages as well as more than 30 high definition channels.Separately, kids channel KidsCo has struck a deal with Endavo Media, the OTT video services platform, that will see KidsCo launch VOD programming on Etisalat’s OnWeb Video Service, beginning in the UAE. Etisalat, which aims to build a worldwide presence in 18 countries, will provide subscribers across the Middle East and Africa with KidsCo content, on demand, in English.last_img read more

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries Liberty Global repor

first_imgLiberty Global CEO Mike FriesLiberty Global reported higher subscriber numbers and revenues in the first quarter and said it was on-track to complete its Virgin Media buyout and continue rolling out its Horizon TV platform.As of March 31, the European cable giant said that it had 19.7 million customers, a year-on-year increase of 158,800, who received 35.2 million services – up 5% compared to last year.These services consisted of 18.2 million video service subscriptions, 9.5 million broadband internet subs and 7.5 million telephony subscribers, with bundling credited as an “important driver” of subscriber growth.Total video subscribers dropped by 92,000 during the quarter. However, Liberty said it now has more than 200,000 Horizon TV subscribers, 55,000 of whom are in Switzerland, where Liberty rolled out the service in January.Liberty said it plans to launch its full Horizon TV platform – which lets viewers watch TV anywhere in their home on multiple devices – in Ireland this summer, followed by Germany later in the year.Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries said: “We remain on track to complete the acquisition of Virgin Media before the end of the second quarter. We recently received regulatory approval from the European Commission and both companies have scheduled their respective shareholder votes for early June to approve the transaction.“With a combined customer base of 25 million and an aggregate reach of over 45 million homes passed, we are excited about our collective growth potential and we will remain focused on delivering superior value to customers and shareholders.”In the first quarter, Liberty’s consolidated revenue increased 9% year-on-year to US$2.77 billion (€2.11 billion). Operating income increased 6% to US$525 million. The firm reported a net loss of US$1 million, compared to a net loss of US$25 million in the same period last year.last_img read more

Liberty Globalowned Dutch cable operator Ziggo is

first_imgLiberty Global-owned Dutch cable operator Ziggo is to launch a new sports channel, Ziggo Sport, on November 12. The channel will focus on major sporting events and will feature a weekly talke-show, Peptalk, and sports-related films and documentaries.The channel will offer what Ziggo describes as a broad range of international and national sports, including football, motor racing, tennis, golf, basketball, hockey, rugby, volleyball and athletics.Baptiest Coopmans, CEO of Ziggo, said that the launch of the channel had been made possible by the merger of UPC and Ziggo to create a single cable operator with national coverage.Thje new channel will air as channel 14 on the Ziggo EPG.Ziggo Sport will be a free-to-air channel, complementing premium service Ziggo Sport Totaal, which replaces the former Sport1. The premium offering comprises six channels – Ziggo Sport Select, Ziggo Sport Voetbal, Ziggo Sport Golf and Ziggo Sport Racing.last_img read more

The crypto party is over… Rece

first_imgThe “crypto” party is over… Recently, Bitcoin crashed 69% amidst regulatory fears. And now, governments are taking action. What may be in store in America will come as a surprise to many… One millionaire currency speculator has just released a must-see video outlining the Fed’s likely plan. I recommend you check it out. Because this affects you, even if you’ve never bought crypto. See the video here. — — Jeff ClarkP.S. Next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, I’m holding a one-night-only online training event to ensure you’re prepared for the volatility ahead.We’ll discuss one of my most reliable trading indicators for volatile markets. And I’ll tell you how it could increase your returns by over 1,000%—even in unpredictable times. I’ll also send you a copy of a special report full of my most prized trading tools, just for dropping by.You don’t want to miss this one… Reserve your spot for Wednesday’s event right here.Reader MailbagAre you planning on placing any trades as volatility rises? If so, which sectors are you most interested in today? Let us know here.IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…Critics have called Doug Casey uncaring… Racist… Sexist… Irresponsible…But they’ve never called him wrong…Today, we want to mail you a copy of Doug’s “dangerous” new book, Totally Incorrect Volume 2. If you feel like political correctness is ruining America, this is a must-read… FREE EVENT – ONE NIGHT ONLY: For the First Time, Master Trader Jeff Clark Reveals How to Profit from the Coming Tidal Wave Of Volatility 2018 is the choppiest market in 7 years. We’ve already seen the single-largest one-day point drop in the history of the Dow – and the worst start to an April since 1929. But this is just the beginning… And while the average investor sells their stocks and stays the heck out of the market… this is the type of opportunity where traders get rich. Sign up for this free event, and master trader Jeff Clark will show you how. Details here. Recommended Link Recommended Link Now, understand that extreme conditions can always get even more extreme. The rubber band can always stretch a lot further than you think. But in my 35 years of trading, the rubber band has always snapped back.Think back to the parabolic rally we saw in the stock market in January. The stock market was already overbought just eight trading days into the new year.To me, the situation looked dangerous. So I advised folks to resist the urge to add new positions until we got some downside action to relieve the overbought condition. The S&P 500 was trading around 2800 at the time.But the rubber band kept stretching… The stock market kept pressing higher all the way through the rest of the month. It finally peaked above 2870 on January 29.That day, I wrote this in the Market Minute…The S&P 500 has gone vertical. While we can’t possibly know exactly when the rally will end, the slope of the parabola suggests we’re approaching the exhaustion phase.Also, key technical indicators, like the MACD momentum indicator, closed Friday at the most overbought levels in the 35 years I’ve been involved with the financial markets. Maybe they’re the most overbought levels ever.This is a dangerous environment in which to put new money to work. We can’t know for sure. But it seems to me traders should get a shot at investing at lower prices sometime within the next three months.That’s when the rubber band finally snapped back. Justin’s note: Regular readers know that I read master trader Jeff Clark’s newsletter every morning to see what’s going on in the markets. His recent essays have made one thing very clear: The rest of 2018 will be huge for traders.Below, Jeff explains why… and how you can start taking advantage of this setup, too… By Jeff Clark, editor, Delta ReportThe back half of 2018 could be the best time to be a trader in years…Volatility is back. After an entire year of low volatility and one-way price action, the stock market has been swinging wildly so far in 2018. The Volatility Index (VIX) is 50% higher today than where it was at the start of the year.And that’s a good thing. That’s because higher volatility leads to more extreme conditions. And more extreme conditions means more opportunities to profit.You see, I prefer to trade using a “reversion to the mean” philosophy. I look for extremely overbought or oversold situations and then attempt to profit as conditions revert back to neutral.Think of it as a “rubber band” style of trading. I look for situations where the rubber band is stretched just about as far as possible. Then I bet on it snapping back. Why Crypto Lovers Just Got Scammed It took only about a week for conditions to go from extremely overbought to extremely oversold. That’s when I started buying.I was early. The rubber band continued to stretch to the downside. But, like I said earlier, it always snaps back.Here’s what I wrote in the Market Minute on February 9…The stock market is now back down to where it was the last time I was interested in putting money to work. The selling pressure has shaken out a lot of the “weak hands.”Just to be clear… I don’t expect the market to reverse all of a sudden and immediately rally back to new highs. Rather, the market is likely to chop around in a wide trading range for the next several weeks.But much of the immediate risk has been wrung out of the market. So, for traders who have cash, now is the time to take advantage of the move and buy at depressed prices while everyone else is selling.It’s hard to do, no doubt. It can be gut-wrenching to step up and buy when everyone else is selling.But it’s those gut-wrenching trades that tend to work out the best.So, here’s my point to all of this…We’ve already seen a HUGE increase in volatility so far in 2018. This condition is likely to continue for the rest of the year—at least.This is an opportunity for traders to make a lot of money as the proverbial rubber band stretches and then snaps back multiple times.Best regards and good trading,last_img read more

In a rare show of congressional cooperation Repub

first_imgIn a rare show of congressional cooperation, Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate announced a two-year budget deal Wednesday that would increase federal spending for defense as well as key domestic priorities, including many health programs.Not in the deal, for which the path to the president’s desk remains unclear, is any bipartisan legislation aimed at shoring up the Affordable Care Act’s individual health insurance marketplaces. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a vote on health legislation in exchange for her vote for the GOP tax bill in December. So far, that vote hasn’t materialized.The deal does appear to include almost every other health priority Democrats have been pushing the past several months, including two years of renewed funding for community health centers and a series of other health programs Congress failed to provide for before they technically expired last year.”I believe we have reached a budget deal that neither side loves but both sides can be proud of,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the Senate floor. “That’s compromise. That’s governing.”McConnell said, “This bill represents a significant bipartisan step forward.”Senate leaders are still negotiating details of the accord, including the size of a cut to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which would help offset the costs of this legislation.According to documents circulating on Capitol Hill, the deal includes $6 billion in funding for treatment of mental health issues and opioid addiction, $2 billion in extra funding for the National Institutes of Health, and an additional four-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which builds on the six years approved by Congress last month.In the Medicare program, the deal would accelerate the closing of the “doughnut hole” in Medicare drug coverage that requires seniors to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket before catastrophic coverage kicks in. It would also repeal the controversial Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is charged with holding down Medicare spending for the federal government if it exceeds a certain level.Members have never been appointed to the IPAB, however, and its use hasn’t so far been triggered by Medicare spending. Both the closure of the doughnut hole and creation of the IPAB were part of the Affordable Care Act.The agreement would also fund a host of more limited health programs — some of which are known as “extenders” because they often ride along with other, larger health or spending bills.Those programs include more than $7 billion in funding for the nation’s federally funded community health centers. The clinics serve 27 million low-income people and saw their funding lapse last fall — a delay advocates say had already complicated budgeting and staffing decisions for many clinics.And in a victory for the physical therapy industry and patient advocates, the accord would permanently repeal a limit on Medicare’s coverage of physical therapy, speech-language pathology and outpatient treatment. Previously, the program capped coverage after $2,010 worth of occupational therapy and another $2,010 for speech-language therapy and physical therapy combined. But Congress had long taken action to delay those caps or provide exemptions — meaning they had never actually taken effect.According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, permanently repealing the caps would cost about $6.47 billion over the next decade.Lawmakers would also forestall cuts mandated by the ACA to reduce the payments made to what are called Disproportionate Share Hospitals, which serve high rates of low-income patients. Those cuts have been delayed continuously since the law’s 2010 passage.Limited programs are also affected. The deal would fund for five years the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, a program that helps guide low-income, at-risk mothers in parenting. It served about 160,000 families in fiscal year 2016.”We are relieved that there is a deal for a 5-year reauthorization of MIECHV,” says Lori Freeman, CEO of advocacy group the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, in an emailed statement. “States, home visitors and families have been in limbo for the past several months, and this news will bring the stability they need to continue this successful program.”And the budget deal funds programs that encourage doctors to practice in medically underserved areas, providing just under $500 million over the next two years for the National Health Service Corps and another $363 million over two years to the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, which places medical residents in Community Health Centers.Kaiser Health News correspondent Emmarie Huetteman contributed to this report. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

Drugmakers gave millions of dollars to paintreatm

first_imgDrugmakers gave millions of dollars to pain-treatment advocacy groups over a five-year period beginning in 2012, in effect promoting opioids to individuals most vulnerable to addiction, according to a new report released Monday by a U.S. senator.The 23-page report, put out by Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, sheds light on the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to shape public opinion and to fuel demand for such lucrative and potentially addictive drugs as OxyContin, fentanyl and Vicodin. These drugs have played a key role in the addiction crisis that has swept the U.S. in recent years, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.Fueling an Epidemic: Exposing the Financial Ties Between Opioid Manufacturers and Third Party Advocacy Groups describes how the arrangement between pharmaceutical makers and advocacy groups “may have played a significant role in creating the necessary conditions for the U.S. opioid epidemic.””The pharmaceutical industry spent a generation downplaying the risks of opioid addiction and trying to expand their customer base for these incredibly dangerous medications, and this report makes clear they made investments in third-party organizations that could further those goals,” McCaskill said. “These financial relationships were insidious, lacked transparency and are one of many factors that have resulted in arguably the most deadly drug epidemic in American history.”The report follows a similar investigation in 2012 carried out by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that looked into financial ties between drugmakers and medical providers who helped establish guidelines for prescribing opioids. That investigation was ultimately shelved.”It looks pretty damning when these groups were pushing the message about how wonderful opioids are and they were being heavily funded, in the millions of dollars, by the manufacturers of those drugs,” Lewis Nelson, a Rutgers University doctor and opioid expert says, according to the Center for Public Integrity.But some of the groups and companies say they’ve changed their practices as the toll of opioid abuse has become clear.Bob Twillman, the executive director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, says in an email to NPR that his organization in recent years has focused on improving access to methods other than opioids to control pain. Those include physical therapy, chiropractic, massage and acupuncture.”Insurance coverage has been a big barrier to greater use of these, because patients often have to pay out of pocket,” he says. “That’s what we’ve emphasized — a position that, if anything, should DECREASE opioid prescribing.”Still, he says, some people need opioids to control their chronic pain and the AIPM also tried to ensure they are able to get the medication they need.Paul Gileno, the founder and president of the U.S. Pain Foundation, says the bulk of the money his organization received, $2.5 million, goes to a copay assistance program.”The program is designed to ensure that people with cancer pain and breakthrough cancer pain have help paying the copays for prescribed analgesics,” he says by email.The new report says that nearly all health advocacy groups accept funding from drug manufacturers, adding, “These financial relationships — and the lack of transparency surrounding them — have raised concerns regarding the information and initiatives patient advocacy organizations promote.”The report cites the Journal of the American Medical Association as saying that 8 percent of such patient groups responding to one study “reported [that] pressure to conform their organizations’ positions to the interests of industry funders is of concern.”A single company, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, funneled $4.7 million to advocacy groups over the five-year period, according to the report.Purdue Pharma says it has stopped marketing OxyContin to doctors altogether. The company will still sell the drug, but its representatives will no longer peddle it when visiting physicians. The company has come under fire in recent years for what some say were aggressive and misleading claims about whether its drug was as addictive as other opioids.Also cited in the report are Depomed, which markets the narcotic Nucynta, the brand name of the opioid pain reliever tapentadol, and three makers of fentanyl, a powerful and potentially addictive pain reliever: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Mylan and Insys Therapeutics, whose founder was charged in October for using bribes and kickbacks to promote unacceptable uses of the company’s flagship fentanyl spray, Subsys.The companies gave more than $10 million between 2012 and 2017 to 14 advocacy groups and affiliated doctors, the report says.In that period, Insys gave $2.5 million to the U.S. Pain Foundation for one of the group’s patient assistance programs, the report says.The U.S. Pain Foundation said, “Any funding we receive has never nor will it ever influence what we will do to help people with chronic pain,” according to a statement published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The Associated Press writes: “The findings [in the report] could bolster hundreds of lawsuits that are aimed at holding opioid drugmakers responsible for helping fuel an epidemic blamed for the deaths of more than 340,000 Americans since 2000.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

For the first time since the Supreme Court legaliz

first_imgFor the first time since the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the House of Representatives has a majority supporting abortion rights. And that majority is already making its position felt, setting up what could be a series of long and drawn-out fights with a Senate opposed to abortion and stalling what could otherwise be bipartisan bills.Democrats have held majorities in the House for more than half of the years since abortion became a national political issue in the 1970s, but those majorities included a significant number of Democrats who opposed abortion or had mixed voting records on the issue. A fight among Democrats over abortion very nearly derailed the Affordable Care Act as it was becoming law in 2010.This new Democratic majority is more liberal — at least on reproductive rights for women — than its predecessors. “I am so excited about this new class,” Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, told reporters at a Jan. 15 news conference. “We are systematically going to reverse these restrictions on women’s health care.”Indeed, the House has taken its first steps to do just that. On its first day of work Jan. 3, House Democrats passed a spending bill to reopen the government that would also have reversed President Trump’s restrictions on funding for international aid organizations that perform abortions or support abortion rights. As one of his first acts as president, Trump re-imposed the so-called Mexico City Policy originally implemented in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan. But the Senate, where Republicans still hold a slim majority, is not budging. If anything, Republican Senate leaders are trying to push further on abortion. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called a floor vote on a bill that would ban any federal funding of abortion or help fund insurance that covers abortion costs. Congress routinely adds the “Hyde Amendment” — a rider to the spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services to bar federal abortion funding in most cases for Medicaid and other health programs — but McConnell’s legislation would have made the provision permanent and government-wide. When the House was under GOP control, it passed similar measures repeatedly, but those bills haven’t been able to emerge from the Senate, where 60 votes are required. In the end, McConnell’s bill Thursday got 48 votes, 12 short of the number needed to move to a full Senate debate. Organizations that oppose abortion were thrilled, even though the bill failed to advance. “By voting on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the pro-life majority in the Senate is showing they’ll be a brick wall when it comes to trying to force taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand,” says a statement from the Susan B. Anthony List.The Senate action Thursday was clearly aimed not just at House Democrats’ boast that they would vote to overturn existing abortion restrictions, but also at the annual anti-abortion “March for Life” held in Washington on Friday.”I welcome all of the marchers with gratitude,” said McConnell in his brief remarks on the bill, noting that they “will speak with one voice on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.”But these first two votes are just a taste of what is likely to come. At a breakfast meeting with reporters Jan. 16, DeGette, newly installed as chair of the oversight subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that reproductive issues would be a highlight of her agenda. Meanwhile, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., the other co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, and Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., the first female chair of the House Appropriations Committee, announced they will introduce legislation to permanently eliminate both the Hyde Amendment and the Mexico City Policy. In an odd twist, the abortion language in the Mexico City Policy bill passed by the House this month was taken directly from a version approved last June by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who generally support abortion rights, joined with the committee’s Democrats to approve an amendment overturning the policy in the spending bill for the State Department and other agencies. The full Senate never voted on that bill.Still, neither side is likely to advance their cause in Congress over the next two years. The Republican leadership in the Senate can block any House-passed bills lifting abortion restrictions. But the Senate, while nominally opposed to abortion rights, doesn’t include 60 members who would vote to advance further restrictions.Where things get interesting is if either chamber tries to strong-arm the other by adding abortion-related language it knows will be unacceptable to the other side.That is exactly what happened in 2018, when the Senate was poised to pass a bipartisan bill to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. House and Senate Republicans proposed a version of the bill — but with the inclusion of a permanent ban on abortion funding. Democrats objected and the bill died. Sen. Patty Murray,D-Wash., who was one of the senators engineering the original bipartisan effort, said at the time, “This partisan bill … pulled the most worn page out of the Republican ideological playbook: making extreme, political attacks on women’s health care.”It is not hard to imagine how such an abortion rider could be used by either side to squeeze the other, as Republicans and Democrats tentatively start to work together on health issues such as prescription drug prices and surprise out-of-pocket bills. Abortion-related impasses could also stall progress on annual spending bills if House Democrats keep their vow to eliminate current restrictions like those limiting self-paid abortions for servicewomen or imposing further limits on international aid.Abortion fights on unrelated bills are almost a certainty in the coming Congress, said Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. He noted that abortion not only complicates health bills, but also sank a major bankruptcy bill in the early 2000s.”The only question is how it will emerge,” he said. “And it will emerge.”Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. You can follow Julie Rovner on Twitter: @jrovner. Copyright 2019 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

A company is facing three separate investigations

first_imgA company is facing three separate investigations after a wheelchair-user discovered that the reception desk of the hotel he was staying in was left unstaffed every night.Mahmood Qureshi only made the discovery after he had already spent a night in a wheelchair-accessible room at the Knighton Hotel (pictured) in Knighton, on the Welsh-English border.On his first night at the hotel – where he was staying during a visit to an international draughts competition – he booked an agency care worker to arrive at 9.30am, but she agreed to arrive earlier on the second morning.When he checked with the hotel staff that they would let her in at 6.30am the next morning, he was told that would not be possible because there were no staff at the front desk between midnight and 7am.Qureshi, who lives in Bradford, pointed out to hotel staff that he had high support needs and was staying with an older friend who was also disabled. If there was a fire, he said, he could be trapped in his room on the first floor.He said: “It was very dangerous. We were on the first floor, and there were… steps going down to reception.“Basically, we would be left to defend ourselves if there was a fire. I would have panicked, I wouldn’t have known what to do.”Following his two-day stay last October, he complained to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, which has launched an investigation into the hotel’s fire safety procedures.The hotel is also being investigated by trading standards, and by Visit Wales, the Welsh government’s tourism team.A Welsh government spokeswoman said: “These allegations are very concerning.  “Visit Wales is in contact with the owners and hoping that these issues can be resolved quickly.”Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said there was an “ongoing investigation” into the concerns raised by Qureshi.And a spokesman for Powys council’s trading standards department confirmed that it was also carrying out an investigation into Qureshi’s concerns.Rowena Williams, director and owner of Rural Retreats and Leisure, which runs the Knighton Hotel and several other hotels in England and Wales, said Qureshi’s complaints were “completely unfounded” and “completely fictional with completely inaccurate information”.She said the hotel had a duty manager “on site”, but she confirmed that the hotel did not have a night porter and so the front desk was not staffed overnight.Her husband, Paul, said the hotel had a “sleepover manager” while “the building is manned 24 hours per day seven days per week”.He said: “In the event that a guest requires assistance out of hours, they just dial 0 from their room or the hotel number if they are not in the room, the call is then put straight through to the duty manager who is on for that evening. “This is common practice and is explained to all of our guests and is also outlined in the guest information booklet contained within each bedroom.”But he admitted: “It is true that we have been asked to modify our risk assessment and procedures but this is all that was requested following an inspection that was carried out on 13 November by the fire service.”Rowena Williams said that all the rooms had fire doors and that “the 20 stepped staircase [is] wheelchair compliant” [with wide enough steps to allow a wheelchair to sit on it] while a “risk assessment shows there is no serious risk”. She said: “The hotel is not being investigated by trading standards at all.  This is complete fabrication.”She added: “The fire brigade have raised no major issues but minor issues that have been dealt with as a matter of course.”last_img read more

US China in talks over potential cyberspace armscontrol deal

first_imgAdvertisement Could cyber attacks one day be governed by treaties like those limiting the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons? The US and China are reportedly taking a first step in that direction.The countries are discussing a mutual promise not to launch a first-strike attack with cyber weapons on the other country’s critical infrastructure, such as power plants, hospitals and banks, The New York Times reported Saturday.The talks are geared toward producing a deal that would be announced next week during China President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the US, the Times said, citing unnamed officials involved in the negotiations. – Advertisement – Such an announcement might not mention an official rule barring attacks on critical systems, a Times source said. Rather, it could involve a general embrace of a United Nations code of conduct that spells out nonbinding “principles of responsible behavior” regarding the use of cyber weapons like malicious software.Nonetheless, the UN guidelines single out attacks on critical infrastructure as the “most harmful,” and the negotiations could evolve into the first-ever arms-control deal for cyberspace, the Times said.[related-posts]The news comes amid increased tension between the US and China over hacking and cyber spying. In June, the FBI said it suspected Chinese hackers of an attack on the US government’s personnel office that compromised the data of millions of current and former federal workers. And in August, officials with the Obama administration told The Washington Post that the US was developing a range of “unprecedented” economic sanctions against China over online espionage.The deal under discussion wouldn’t prohibit such spying, or the theft of intellectual property, but it would, the Times said, “be a first effort by the world’s two biggest economic powers to prevent the most catastrophic use of cyber weapons.” It’s not clear, though, how effective a cyber weapons treaty would be, the Times noted. Unlike a missile strike, a cyber attack can be tough to track, making deterrence and retaliation difficult.“It could create some self-restraint,” a Harvard professor who studies US power told the Times, but “how do you verify it, and what is its value if it can’t be verified?”The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the Times report.[CNET]last_img read more

A FirstGeneration American Entrepreneur Reflects on the Immigration Proposal That Would Have

first_img Apply Now » Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Guest Writer –shares Recently, President Trump said he supports a Senate bill to curb legal immigration to the United States. The legislation, a revised version of an immigration-reform bill introduced in February, would give priority to high-skilled, English-speaking immigrants.For me, the news hit especially close to home.My parents landed in the United States in the early 1960s. Like hundreds of thousands from Cuba, they did so to escape the heavy-handed regime of Fidel Castro. With little money and no formal education but a few life-learned skills under their belts, they survived in a strange land where they did not speak the language and knew only a few family members.Related: 4 Reasons Why Immigrants Are Essential for EntrepreneurshipThey moved to an area of New Jersey where other Cubans had fled, and they banded together with other Spanish speakers. Eventually, they met, married and raised four children on modest means and a backbreaking work ethic.While Dad spoke broken English at best when he arrived. Mom spoke none. As a young boy I remember people giving her the stink eye or poor customer service while she tried her hardest to convey what she needed. Some told her, “If you’re in America, speak English.”These comments sometimes made her cry but never broke her spirit. Her inability to speak English was in no way a reflection of her character or work ethic, nor was it a political statement or a lack of love for her new country. Mom believed strongly in the American dream and was determined to see it come to fruition for herself and her family.Early on, Mom was a cleaning lady. She recently retired as a senior manager overseeing major projects and a staff of more than 70. Today, I’m proud to say that she is a competent English speaker. Though sometimes when she tries to pronounce certain words we kids get a good laugh, Mom faced her challenges head on and carved out a decent life for her family.Related: The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Behind Major American Companies (Infographic)Mom’s bilingual skills came in handy as she climbed the career ladder to eventually oversee a crew of cleaners. They, like her, came to this country with “low skills” and unable to speak the dominant language.My parents are the immigrants many of Trump’s supporters would like to ban from entering this country. Mom and Dad may have been stopped at the border if this bill been law when they fled Cuba for freedom. Because of my parent’s resilience and perseverance, their American children now have a much easier life.I was able to attend Parsons, one of the country’s foremost design schools. From there, I had a two-decade career as a designer for some of the world’s most successful luxury brands. A few years ago, after a trip my partner and I took around the world, I launched Bixbee, a backpack and accessories company for kids.Because of my own family’s struggles and their belief that an education helps pave the way to big dreams, it was important to create a company that gives back. Since our launch, we’ve donated tens of thousands of backpacks to kids in the United States and around the world. Providing kids in need with an opportunity for an education is my way of helping them achieve their own dreams and part of the American dream my parents taught us to believe in.Related: Here’s How to Fix the H-1B Visa Program to Drive Startup GrowthMine is one story of millions. America was, after all, built on the trials and triumphs of immigrations, many of whom were unable to speak English and came to this country with little more than an unshakable work ethic. It’s in our national DNA and has made this country so great from its beginning.I’ll be the first to admit that our current system is far from perfect. But in the course of trying to fix it, let’s not forget that most who cross our borders are more than just workers. They are liberty-loving risk takers who, like my parents, came here to create a better life for themselves and their families.As Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.” A First-Generation American Entrepreneur Reflects on the Immigration Proposal That Would Have Barred His Parents Luis Manuel Garcia Mom and Dad had no skills and didn’t speak English but achieved the American dream by working tirelessly. Pending legislation would bar people like them now. 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Add to Queue Co-Founder & CEO at Bixbee August 7, 2017 Image credit: Science Source | Getty Images The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. American Dreamlast_img read more

This Company Wants to Sell You Raw Water

first_img Gene Marks –shares The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Health and Wellness Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Contributor 4 min read Add to Queue Apply Now » When ‘raw’ water comes out of your tap, you’re warned to boil it. But, these entrepreneurs say theirs is good for you. President of The Marks Group January 10, 2018 Next Article Image credit: Live Water | Facebook Mmmm … yummy. A big glass of unpurified, unsterilized water from a stream or other water source that may contain harmful microbes and bacteria. Does that sound like a good idea to you? For some startups, it sounds like a great one!These companies actually believe that “raw water” is even better than that horrible, filtered, disinfected stuff that comes out of our taps. And they’re out to create a new hot industry based on these ideas.Related: How Food Makers Are Convincing America to Eat BugsOne company doing this is Live Water, which sources its products — delivered of course in a reusable glass — directly from a spring in Oregon. It also sells tools to help customers do their own raw water sourcing. According to its website, raw water is a “new, yet ancient idea,” that, unlike filtered or bottled spring waters, is not subjected to UV light, ozone gas and other sterilization techniques that “destroys beneficial sources of minerals and probiotics” that helps prevent “anxiety, weight gain, fatigue, and countless other ailments (that) are linked to an imbalance of proper gut bacteria.”Does science back up these theories? Uh, not much. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, American drinking water supplies are among the safest in the world. The advances made in filtration and disinfection in this country have reduced water borne infections to an amount so low that it is “one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.” But heck, I guess these entrepreneurs think we can do better.Live Water is not the only company promoting the benefits of raw water. Last week The New York Times did a lengthy piece on the growing industry which featured other startups who have raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital funding to pursue the opportunity.Related: This Entrepreneur Plans to Live to 180 — Here Are His 5 Health HacksAmong the entrepreneurs behind these start-ups is Cody Friesen, who sits on the boards of LinkedIn, Netflix and OpenTable, and Doug Evans, a familiar face in Silicon Valley well-known for his failed Juicero venture last year. With a track record like his, why not follow? After Evans’s company went bust in September, he went on a 10-day cleanse and became hooked on the unfiltered stuff.Is this the start of a cool, new industry or just another passing fad that’s capitalizing on the latest desire for natural foods and “off-the-grid” living? One CEO, Seth Pruzansky of Maine-based Tourmaline Spring, touts his company’s “sacred water” and strongly believes this movement is definitely more than just a fad. “The natural food industry has been in the dark ages when it comes to water,” he told the Times. “Now there is a renaissance.”Related: 5 Ways to Turn a Crazy Idea Into an Awesome RealityIt’s crazy. It’s silly. It’s gross. And it may be really bad for you. But you know what? Good for them.Yeah, that’s right: good for the raw water entrepreneurs. They’re passionate. They’re investing their time and their money. They believe that their product is good and can genuinely help people. They’re savvy enough to embrace the trend of natural products, organic goods and back-to-nature lifestyles that is sweeping the country. They, like any good entrepreneur, are taking a shot at making some money there. So, as long as they’re in compliance with regulations and not breaking any laws, why the hell not?I don’t go to strip clubs. I don’t gamble. I don’t own a firearm. I’ve never used an abortion clinic and I will never, ever drink a glass of raw water. It’s just not my thing. But good for them. Sure, it’s fun to make jokes about stuff like raw water, but I don’t question the rights of the people who do these things and the businesses that provide these services. And neither should you. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List This Company Wants to Sell You ‘Raw’ Waterlast_img read more

Vietnam passes cybersecurity law despite privacy concerns

first_img The law requires service providers such as Google and Facebook to store user data in Vietnam, open offices in the country and remove offending contents within 24 hours at the request of the Ministry of Information and Communications and the specialized cybersecurity task-force under the Ministry of Public Security.Addressing the Communist Party-dominated assembly before the vote, chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security Vo Trong Viet said the law is “extremely necessary to defend the interests of the people and national security”.Viet said the law doesn’t contradict Vietnam’s commitments to multinational trade treaties such as the World Trade Organization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but he said there are exceptions on national security grounds.He said requiring foreign companies to set up data centers in Vietnam may increase their operational costs, but it was necessary for the country’s cybersecurity and will facilitate the companies’ operations and user activities.”When there are acts of violation of cybersecurity, the coordination in handling the violations will be more effective and more viable,” Viet said, without elaborating.An estimated 70 percent of Vietnam’s 93 million people are online and some 53 million people have Facebook accounts.Jeff Paine, managing director of Asia Internet Coalition, an industry association that includes Google and Facebook, said that the group was disappointed with the passage of the law whose requirements on data localization, content control and local offices will hinder the country’s ambitions to achieve GDP and job growth.”Unfortunately, these provisions will result in severe limitations on Vietnam’s digital economy, dampening the foreign investment climate and hurting opportunities for local businesses and SMEs to flourish inside and beyond Vietnam,” he said in a statement.The Vietnam Digital Communications Association said the law may reduce GDP growth by 1.7 percent and wipe out foreign investment by 3.1 percent.Facebook did not comment on the new legislation.The United States and Canada had called on Vietnam to delay the passage of legislation.The U.S. Embassy said last week it found the draft containing “serious obstacles to Vietnam’s cybersecurity and digital innovation future, and may not be consistent with Vietnam’s international trade commitments.”Amnesty International said the decision has potentially devastating consequences for freedom of expression.”In the country’s deeply repressive climate, the online space was a relative refuge where people could go to share ideas and opinions with less fear of censure by the authorities,” Clare Algar, Amnesty International’s director of global operations, said in a statement Tuesday.She said the law grants the government sweeping powers to monitor online activity, which means “there is now no safe place left in Vietnam for people to speak freely.””This law can only work if tech companies cooperate with government demands to hand over private data. These companies must not be party to human rights abuses, and we urge them to use the considerable power they have at their disposal to challenge Viet Nam’s government on this regressive legislation,” she said.Despite sweeping economic reforms since the mid-1980s that made Vietnam one of fastest growing economies in the region, authorities maintains tight control over almost all aspects of life including the media and religion and tolerate no challenge to the one-party rule. 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. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Vietnam passes cybersecurity law despite privacy concerns (2018, June 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Vietnamese legislators on Tuesday passed a contentious cybersecurity law, which critics say will hurt the economy and further restrict freedom of expression. Uber signs partnership with Vietnam’s leading e-wallet firmlast_img read more

Amazon wants to get Alexa into your car

first_imgThe floor of the sprawling Los Angeles Auto Show is filled with fancy vehicles showing off their ultra-flashy, state-of-the-art infotainment systems, with giant screens that drivers really shouldn’t be looking at while driving. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further (c)2018 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. (But come on, you know they do.)Inside the car, “it makes more sense to use voice,” says Ned Curic, the vice-president of Amazon’s Alexa Auto division. “You want to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, so using your voice makes more sense.”To that end, Amazon is looking to bring to bring the Alexa personal assistant to autos to help drivers with important tools like mapping and music navigation and to help find the nearest gas station and the like.Curic came to the Auto Show this week to make a pitch to automakers and third-party vendors.He’s not alone. Apple, via its CarPlay system, and Google, with Android Auto, have been targeting the lucrative car market for several years, with the features available as part of step-up packages at the time of car purchases or as stand-alone accessories on sale (for around $250-$500, plus installation) at auto and electronics shops.Amazon will have its own, non-visual device for the car, Echo Auto, available in 2019. It currently sells for $24.99 as a pre-order now, but will be bumped up to $49.99 when it launches. At his presentation, Curic showed slides of car hacks Amazon discovered online, where car owners brought the entry level, compact Echo Dot speaker into the car, hooked it up to the cigarette lighter for power, used the internet signal from their smartphones and got Alexa playing music and offering information.”We realized there was something there,” he said, and got to work on its own device.The end goal is to have manufacturers embed Alexa into the dash entertainment, so that it’s totally seamless, he said.”Connected to a smartphone is one way,” he says. “Our future is all about having Alexa embedded directly into the car, so you don’t have to buy a device. It’s there, it’s integrated, you don’t have to do much, just engage with Alexa.”Audi has a new electric car for 2019, the ($75,000) e-tron, that will do just that, and BMW will add Alexa functionality to all new BMWs produced from March 2018 on beginning next year.Curic hopes to make more announcements in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Meanwhile, there are several stand-alone products that currently bring Alexa into the car without hacks. They include:—Roav Smartcharge F2: Touts the ability to charge your phone and use it to bring hands-free phone calling and entertainment into the car, via Alexa. It plugs into the cigarette lighter for power and has two USB ports for phones to bring you music and Alexa commands. But fine print alert: The Amazon listing for the $26.74 unit notes that it won’t work with several models by Audi, Honda, Toyota, Dodge, VW, Hyundai, Mazda and Nissan.—Garmin Speak is a $49.99 device that rests on the windshield and connects to the smartphone and the Garmin Speak app. The app directs Alexa to connect to music services like Pandora, offer navigation through Garmin maps and weather information.—Muse Auto Alexa Voice Assistant is a similar $49.99 device that connects to your smartphone to bring in Alexa commands.James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research, says Amazon is in for a challenge getting to automakers, since Apple and Google have been at it for so long, and bring something to table—smartphone devices they make that can be easily connected to the car to connect to the entertainment systems.”Amazon doesn’t have that,” he says.The bigger question, he says, is which personal assistant consumers would want to live with in the car—Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa.While Apple says Siri is the most used personal assistant, producing over 1 billion daily queries, “Alexa blows Siri away in terms of minutes spent,” he says. “Fewer people use Alexa, but they spend more time with it.”center_img Alexa, send up breakfast: Amazon launches Echo for hotels Citation: Amazon wants to get Alexa into your car (2018, November 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

VW says cooperation talks with Ford close to completion

first_img © 2019 AFP Explore further The two manufacturers said in January that they would collaborate on vans and pickup trucks, without ruling out building up their alliance in other areas.”Talks on cooperation with Ford on (electric vehicle platform) MEB and automated driving are going well and are close to completion,” Diess told a meeting of almost 500 Volkswagen managers in Wolfsburg.In March, Diess said Ford could be granted a license to use VW’s Modular Electric Toolkit “MEB” platform—the technical underpinnings of all the future electric cars planned by the German giant.In exchange, Ford could offer its Argo AI automated driving technology to VW, which this week announced the end of its partnership with American self-driving tech startup Aurora.According to press reports, Ford and Volkswagen could announce that the German company is taking a stake in Argo AI in the coming weeks.”The Ford partnership is of paramount geostrategic importance for the company,” Diess said Thursday.”Without a strong engagement in the USA, we risk finding ourselves cornered in global trade conflicts” as “today we are a company very strongly linked to China,” he added.Manufacturers are increasingly banding together to foot the massive investments required to develop next-generation cars.Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler and BMW—who have been fierce rivals for years—are working together on automated driving, while BMW is developing electric motors with Jaguar Land Rover. Car giant Volkswagen’s talks on co-operation with US-based Ford concerning electric vehicles and automated driving are “close to completion”, the German company’s chief executive Herbert Diess said Thursday. Ford to invest $500M in electric vehicle startup Riviancenter_img 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. A strong link with Ford would put VW in a better place as a US-China trade conflict rages Citation: VW says cooperation talks with Ford ‘close to completion’ (2019, June 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from read more