News outlets report that the changes to Medicaid proposed by likely GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan would have immediate and far-reaching consequences for millions of people, including poor seniors.The Washington Post: Medicaid Shapes Up As Major BattlegroundMitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate has reignited a debate over the future of Medicare. But Ryan’s proposed cuts to Medicaid, the other huge federal health program, could have quicker and more far-reaching consequences, with the potential to dramatically affect state budgets and health care for millions of people (Somashekhar, 8/14).Kaiser Health News: FAQ: Ryan’s Plan Would Make Key Changes In Medicaid, TooUnder Ryan’s plan, the federal share of Medicaid spending would become a block grant indexed for inflation and population growth. States would have more flexibility over who is covered and what benefits are offered. … Opponents of Ryan’s plan say it would lead states to reduce enrollment, cut benefits or require more cost-sharing from beneficiaries (Carey, 8/14). The Associated Press: The Other Paul Ryan Plan: $800B In Medicaid CutsRep. Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare gets all the attention, but the GOP vice presidential candidate has proposed more fundamental changes to medical care for the poor and disabled. Under the Wisconsin congressman’s Medicaid plan, states would take over the program. Simultaneously, Ryan’s proposed budget would reduce projected federal spending by about $800 billion over 10 years, shrinking Medicaid as a share of the overall national economy. The plan has passed the Republican-led House two years in a row (Zaldivar, 8/15).Bloomberg: Medicaid Cuts Ryan Doesn’t Tout Would Limit Aid To Poor Seniors Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare wouldn’t affect today’s seniors. His Medicaid proposal would. While the Republican vice-presidential candidate is careful to avoid touching Medicare benefits for anyone at or near retirement, his budget would impose immediate cuts to Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor that funds nursing-home care and other benefits for 6 million U.S. seniors. “It’s very easy to forget about these people,” said Howard Gleckman, a resident fellow at the Urban Institute, a Washington-based policy research group. “It’s a big, big cut” (Faler, 8/14). Ryan’s Medicaid Proposals Emerge As Campaign Issue This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Credit: Pixabay, Free-Photos (CC0 Source:https://www.plos.org Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and other animals and are caused by a misfolded form of the prion protein. Currently, effective treatment for prion diseases is not available, and they are inevitably fatal. Prion strains can differ in incubation period and can interfere with each other when present in the same host, in some cases, completely blocking another strain from causing disease. Interference between prion strains is thought to be an important factor affecting the emergence of a dominant strain after interspecies transmission. Previous studies have examined the capacity of strains with long incubation periods to interfere with a short-incubation strains, but until now, it was not known if two strains with long incubation periods could interfere with each other.Related StoriesScreenIn3D receives technology innovation prizeNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchIn the new study, Bartz and colleagues show that combinations of prion strains with long incubation periods do not interfere with each other in a test tube or in infected hamsters. Rather, both co-infecting strains amplified independently. The concept that not all prion strain combinations result in interference suggests that strain diversity in naturally infected animals may be greater than previously thought. Overall, this observation changes the paradigm of prion strain interactions, provides further evidence that strains are a dynamic mixture of substrains, and has important implications for interspecies transmission and the emergence of prion strains.“This work provides further evidence that prion strains compete for the template of conversion, PrPC,” says Bartz. “Importantly, we found that when the abundance of PrPC can fully support conversion of both prion strains in the same environment, strain interference does not occur.” Oct 19 2018The first example of prion strains that replicate independently in vitro and in vivo suggests that strain diversity may be greater than previously thought, according to a study published October 18 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Jason Bartz of Creighton University, and colleagues.
By Lois Zoppi, BAJun 25 2019Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology have revealed that plant foods may be transmitting antibiotic resistance to the gut microbiome.Understanding how antibiotic-resistant bacteria are transmitted to humans through meat and plant foods is important when considering public health, food safety, and the subsequent economic burden. “We found differences in the ability of bacteria to silently colonize the gut after ingestion, depending on a variety of host and bacterial factors. We mimicked antibiotic and antacid treatments, as both could affect the ability of superbugs to survive passage from the stomach to the intestines.Marlène Maeusli Related StoriesAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasAntibiotic susceptibility pattern of Enterobacteriaceae found in GhanaMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribingOne of the antibiotics tested in the study did not make the superbug better able to hide itself in the mouse intestines, but a second antibiotic led to stable gut colonization after ingestion. Colonization was also altered after the E. coli bacteria was consumed with food, along with consuming an antacid before ingesting the E. coli.In a separate study also presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, six probiotic Bacillus strains were found to be resistant to several types of antibiotics.With Bacillus strains often being used in probiotic products purporting to benefit the health of the gut, researcher and Masters student at CSU Fresno Emmanuel Flores felt it was important to determine whether “probiotic Bacillus are capable of transferring their own antibiotic resistance to bacteria and cause illness such as food poisoning.”Fresno’s study found that probiotic Bacillus does have the potential to transfer antibiotic resistance, but further tests are required to discover which types of bacteria this resistance can be transferred to.Marlène Maeusli explained the future steps in the investigations into plant foods and their role in transmitting superbugs to animals and humans. She said: “We continue to seek the plant characteristics and host factors that result in key microbial community shifts in the gut that put us at risk for colonization and those that prevent it. The environment and human health – in this context via agriculture and microbiomes – are inextricably linked.” Sources: Plants – Not Just Antibiotic-Fed Poultry and Livestock – May be Transmitting Superbugs to People. ASM Press Release. June 22, 2019. Antibiotic Resistance in Spore-Forming Probiotic Bacteria. ASM Press Release. June 21, 2019. Monika Wisniewska / ShutterstockThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that agriculture was responsible for 20% of the 2 million infections that are resistant to antibiotics that occur every year. While this estimate is based on infections and superbugs (so called because of their resistance to antibiotics) caused by the consumption of meat, there is a paucity of research into how big an impact plants have in transmitting these superbugs to humans.In a mouse study conducted by the USC researchers, it was discovered that superbugs were able to “hide” in the mice’s intestines after they had been fed lettuce contaminated with E. coli, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria.The researchers accurately mimicked the nature of a superbug infection caused by plants, which does not cause immediate symptoms or signs of illness. The bacteria causing superbug outbreaks can live inside the intestines for up to several years, only causing infection (like urinary infections, for example) when they travel outside of the intestines.After infecting lettuce with E. coli and feeding it to the mice, their fecal samples were analyzed over time.Lead author of the study Marlène Maeusli, PhD candidate at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, said: “Our findings highlight the importance of tackling foodborne antibiotic-resistance from a complete food chain perspective that includes plant-foods in addition to meat.”
Citation: Nintendo says working with Tencent to release Switch in China (2019, April 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-nintendo-tencent-china.html Nintendo says full-year profit up nearly 40% on strong game sales © 2019 AFP Explore further Japanese games giant Nintendo said Friday it was working with Chinese internet firm Tencent to roll out its popular Switch console in China, confirming rumours that have dramatically pushed up its share price. Mario from Super Mario Bros. is already a well-known character “Nintendo… is announcing that a collaboration is in progress with Tencent Holdings Limited… to release the Nintendo Switch video game system in China,” the firm said in a brief statement.The announcement came a day after Nintendo unveiled strong full-year profit numbers lifted by strong sales of blockbuster game titles for the Switch console.Net profit for the fiscal year to March rose 39.0 percent from a year earlier to 194 billion yen ($1.7 billion), on sales of 1.2 trillion yen, up 13.7 percent.It said then that sales of Switch hardware were projected to rise six percent to 18 million units for the current fiscal year with plans to release “Super Mario Maker 2”, “Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield” and “The Legend of Zelda”.The Switch has become a huge global seller, helped by the release of innovative, family-friendly titles that have wowed critics and gamers alike.The company’s shares have surged more than 12 percent since news reports said earlier this month that its games and the Switch would soon be available in China via Tencent.Nintendo boss Shuntaro Furukawa was quoted as saying on Thursday that they wanted to grow China into a major market like Japan, the US, and Europe.”But the size of the game console market is small. So it might not be easy,” said Furukawa.’Definitely positive news’However, Nintendo stock was off three percent in early exchanges on Friday, as analysts said they had been hoping for news of a new Switch console.The Tencent news is “definitely positive news”, said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. “Shares are down because people wanted to square positions before the holidays.”After the closing bell on Friday, Japan will embark on an unprecedented 10-day holiday as special days off to celebrate the emperor’s abdication combine with the traditional “Golden Week” break.The long holiday has sparked some fears that Japanese markets will be volatile when they reopen as traders catch up with the news that has broken during that period.The Switch has “enormous potential” to succeed in China, Yasuda said, partly due to the games’ family-friendly nature.”Chinese authorities have strict rules when it comes to consumer products… you cannot show running blood and corpses.”Nintendo’s games in general avoid grotesque depictions. I feel it should face an easier time than others when it applies for permits,” the analyst told AFP.The characters such as Mario are already well recognised, which should also give it an edge.And although most Chinese gamers play on PCs, Nintendo’s software “offers benefits that PCs don’t”, said Yasuda.”You can carry it around. You can hook it to TVs. It offers various styles of gaming. It has already been accepted around the world,” he noted. 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.
China has been accused of using its rare earth leverage for political reasons before.Japanese industry sources said it temporarily cut off exports in 2010 as a territorial row flared between the Asian rivals, charges that Beijing denied.In 2014, the World Trade Organization ruled the country had violated global trade rules by restricting exports of the minerals. The case was brought by the United States, European Union and Japan, which accused China of curbing exports to give its tech companies an edge over foreign rivals. China has cited environmental damage from mining and the need to conserve supplies as the reason for any past limits on output.While disruptive, any leverage gained from a supply block may be short-lived, experts said.”This would accelerate moves to find alternative supply sources,” said Kokichiro Mio, who studies China’s economy at NLI Research Institute.Empty threat?China is not the only country with sizeable reserves of rare earths.The United States Geological Survey estimated last year there were 120 million tons of deposits worldwide including 44 million in China, 22 million in Brazil and 18 million in Russia.China is the leading producer partly because the environmental risks deter some countries from harvesting their own deposits. Mining rare earths creates toxic waste and the potential release of harmful radioactive tailings.”There is a possibility that China would go ahead (with export curbs) but chances are what we are seeing now is just a threat,” Mio said.”The US would be in trouble over a short period of time. But it is unlikely that they (China) want to pour oil on the flames.”During Monday’s visit, Xi was accompanied by Vice Premier Liu He, who has led China in fraught trade negotiations with Washington—a fact not lost on China-watchers.State media coverage of the visit was dry, but a commentary on a social media account run by the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, stressed China’s dominance in the global supply chain and the relative paucity of US output.Meanwhile, cutting off the United States would mark a sharp escalation that Beijing may not have the stomach for, said Li of the RSIS.”The difference is the US is targeting specific Chinese companies. If China targets the US as a country… that may be regarded by the US and the world as a significant escalation of the trade war,” he said. A seemingly routine visit by President Xi Jinping to a Chinese rare earths company this week is being widely read as an obvious threat that Beijing is standing ready for action.”We should firmly grasp the strategic basis of technological innovation, master more key core technologies and seize the commanding heights of industry development,” Xi said during the visit, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.”Rare earth is not only an important strategic resource, but also a non-renewable resource,” he added, in comments likely to further fuel speculation.However, analysts say China appears apprehensive to target the minerals just yet, possibly fearful of shooting itself in the foot by hastening a global search for alternative supplies of the commodities.Xi’s inspection tour “is no accident, this didn’t happen by chance,” said Li Mingjiang, China programme coordinator at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.”At this moment, clearly the policy circles in China are considering the possibility of using a rare earth exports ban as a policy weapon against the US.”The United States last week threatened to cut supplies of US technology needed by Chinese telecom champion Huawei, which Washington suspects is in bed with China’s military.The US move has fanned speculation that Xi could impose retaliatory measures and in an indication of the importance of rare earths to the US, Washington did not include them in a tariffs increase on Chinese goods this month.China has leverageChina occupies a commanding position, producing more than 95 percent of the world’s rare earths, and the United States relies on China for upwards of 80 percent of its imports.Rare earths are 17 elements critical to manufacturing everything from smartphones and televisions to cameras and lightbulbs.That gives Beijing tremendous leverage in what is shaping up largely as a battle between the US and China over who will own the future of high-tech.”China could shut down nearly every automobile, computer, smartphone and aircraft assembly line outside of China if they chose to embargo these materials,” James Kennedy, president of ThREE Consulting, wrote Tuesday in National Defense, a US industry publication. EU joins US, Japan in ‘rare earth’ trade case against China Citation: Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war (2019, May 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-china-weaponise-rare-earths-tech.html The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing’s control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war. © 2019 AFP Rare earths are used in a number of goods including smartphones, televisions and lightbulbs Explore further 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.
RELATED Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – PTI COMMENT Published on justice and rights New Delhi SHARE ‘Centre egging on Delhi officials against Kejriwal’ Kejriwal calls off nine day sit-in Following is the chronology of events in the case related to the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government in which a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court today unanimously held that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal does not have independent decision making powers and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.It had started with lodging of an FIR in 2014 by the then Arvind Kejriwal regime against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Mukesh Ambani and others including UPA ministers M Veerappa Moily and Murli Deora (since dead), accusing them of “fixing” gas prices.2014 May 2 RIL moves the Delhi High Court for quashing of FIR and challenging a 1993 notification of the Centre giving power to Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to probe union government employees.May 8 Centre moves HC opposing FIR against the ministers contending that ACB has no powers or jurisdiction to probe.May 9 HC issues notice to Delhi government on the plea to quash FIR against the ministers. HC allowed ACB to continue with its probe.May 20 HC asks Centre, RIL to cooperate with ACB probe.August 9 ACB tells HC that it has powers to lodge FIR in gas pricing case.August 19 ACB tells HC it cannot probe the gas pricing case against RIL and a former UPA minister as a July 23, 2014 notification of Centre has taken away its jurisdiction to investigate central government employees.October 16 Delhi government tells HC its ACB can prosecute RIL and ministers.October 28 Delhi HC gives time to Centre to clarify on ACB’s powers.December 4 RIL argues in HC that State probing Centre’s decision on gas pricing is absurd.2015May 25 HC says ACB has jurisdiction to arrest policemen who come under Centre. It says the Centre’s May 21 notification limiting ACB’s powers was “suspect”.May 26 PIL in HC against Centre’s May 21 notification giving powers to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) to appoint bureaucrats in Delhi.May 28 Delhi government moves HC on Centre’s notification on LG’s powers. Centre moves the Supreme Court against Delhi HC’s May 25 order terming as “suspect” its notification.May 29 HC asks LG to consider Delhi government’s proposals on shifting of nine bureaucrats from one post to another.June 10 HC refuses to stay MHA notification on ACB power.June 27 Delhi government moves HC to restrain LG appointee ACB chief M K Meena from entering anti-graft body’s office.2016January 27 Union government tells HC that Delhi is under Centre’s control and not full-fledged state.April 5 AAP government asks HC to refer to larger bench petitions on powers of LG on the governance of Delhi.April 6 Delhi government tells HC it was competent to set up a commission to probe allegations of corruption in awarding licence to conduct CNG fitness tests.April 19 AAP government withdraws from SC its plea seeking setting up of a larger bench in HC.May 24 HC reserves order on AAP government’s plea for a stay on proceedings on the petitions arising out of its stand-off with LG over powers to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues.May 30 HC turns down AAP government’s request to first decide its stay application. July 1 SC agrees to hear AAP government’s plea seeking a direction that HC be restrained from delivering judgement on issues, including the scope of powers of the city government to exercise its authority in performing public functions.July 4 Justice J S Khehar of SC recuses from hearing AAP govt’s plea on declaration of powers of Delhi as a state.July 5 Justice L Nageshwar Rao of SC also recuses from hearing Delhi government’s plea.July 8 SC refuses to entertain Delhi government plea to first decide the preliminary issue as to whether it has the jurisdiction over disputes between the Centre and the state or is it “exclusively” triable by the apex court.August 4 HC says LG is administrative head of National Capital Territory and AAP government’s contention that he is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance”.2017February 15 SC refers to constitution bench the pleas on Delhi-Centre row over governance.November 2 Constitution bench of SC commences hearing.November 8 SC observes that responsibilities conferred upon LG are not absolute.November 14 SC raises a question if constitutional scheme on division of executive powers between the Centre and the states can be made applicable to the union territory of Delhi.November 21 Centre opposes AAP government’s submissions in the SC, says Delhi has been accorded “special status” among union territories but that does not make it a state.December 6 SC reserves judgement on a batch of pleas on Delhi-Centre power tussle after hearing arguments for 15 days. 2018July 4 SC says LG does not have independent decision making powers, and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. July 04, 2018 What is Kejriwal’s issue with L-G, whose role is clearly defined: Sheila SHARE SHARE EMAIL Delhi power tussle: A big win for Kejriwal as SC says LG doesn’t have independent powers politics COMMENTS
Health economist Tomas Philipson has been named acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, a White House spokesman said Monday. Mr. Philipson, a professor at the University of Chicago, has served as one of three members of the council since August 2017. He has been serving as the acting chairman after the resignation of Kevin Hassett on June 28. Mr….