Best getaway options around Mumbai

first_imgIs the big city life getting to you? Can’t wait to get away from it all? Simply Mumbai has caught the travel bug too this month so give in to temptation before the good weather runs out and take the first road out. Get set and read on as we,Is the big city life getting to you? Can’t wait to get away from it all? Simply Mumbai has caught the travel bug too this month so give in to temptation before the good weather runs out and take the first road out. Get set and read on as we scrounge through popular travel hubs and adventure hotspots as well as carefully hidden secrets to bring you the best weekend getaway options.Vertical limitMahuli: The highest point in the Thane district, Mahuli fort is a favourite with those who like adventurous getaways. Located at a height of 2,815 feet, Mahuli is a trekker’s paradise. It has a strong local trekking and rock-climbing fraternity, and there’s plenty of assistance even if you’re a beginner. Enroute is the Manas Mandir, an important religious place for the Jain community. Once you reach Mahuli, at the foot of the fort is a resplendent Shiva temple.The forest cover that surrounds the fort makes for an exciting and challenging trek from the Shiva temple to the fort. Many of the paramount temples in Maharashtra like Sangameswara, Visveswra, Boleswara and Rameswara, are located in this region. With a backdrop of mountains, lush green forests and the river flowing by, it makes for a breathtaking experience. For the brave-hearted, there are caves to explore in the mountains, but they aren’t very easily accessible. Surrounded by a sanctuary, this fort has no history of who built it. But in the 15th century, it came under the rule of Nijamshahi dynasty. Soon afterwards, it came under the rule of the Marathas and after a long tussle with the Mughals, it was retained under Shivaji’s rule till 1817, when the British took over. Just the idea of the adventure that lies ahead makes this trip one worth taking.advertisement Fact fileGetting there: Take the train to Asangaon and then a cab to Mahuli.Distance: 95 kms from Mumbai.Stay: Harshgiri Lake Resort.Contact: 25113897.Cost: Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per night.Nature’s trailIgatpuri: Standing tall at 1,900 feet, Igatpuri is nestled in the lap of the majestic Sahyadris. The hill station is perfect for its splendid sunrises and boasts of housing the largest Buddhist Pagoda for Vipassana meditation at Dhammagiri village at the base of the mountain. Full of challenging treks and ample opportunities for rock-climbing, it is close to Mount Kalsubai-the highest peak of the Sahyadri Range. For those who love history, there are the forts that were built on the hill tops during the Satavahana dynasty’s rule. A popular destination for tourists, both domestic and foreign, Igatpuri is full of picnic spots such as Bhatsa River Valley, Camel Valley and Five waterfalls that are bound to reinvigorate your tired bones. The beauty of this hill station is best experienced during the monsoons. For the religious, there’s the Amruteshwar temple that was built 1200 years ago in Hemadpanti style and is best known for its elaborate design. Fact fileGetting there: Take the NH3.Distance: 140 kms.Stay: Manas Lifestyle Resort.Contact: 9833941515.Cost: RS 3,500 onward per night.Ride the tideKarjat: If you want to trek, hike, climb mountains, go river rafting or just have a quiet picnic with your family, Karjat is the place to go to. An hour and a half’s drive from Mumbai, Karjat prides itself as the land of farmhouses. With the longest chain of farmhouses in the country, it is fast developing into a popular weekend hotspot in the state of Maharashtra. With the Ulhas valley that has the Ulhas River flowing through it, white water rafting is a favourite sport here. The historical port of Bhor Ghat is what used to connect the trade routes on the Konkan coast. Then there are the Buddhist Kondana caves that give you a sneak peak into the lives of the ancient Buddhists through their intricate sculptures and the Kotligad fort, a conical structure in the Matheran ranges, a vantage point that leaves you with a breathtaking view of the foothills.Fact fileGetting there: Take the Eastern Express Highway.Distance: 91 kms.Stay: Mohili Meadows Resort.Contact: 28625858.Cost: Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,500 per night.Back in timeMatheran: Get away for a whiff of clean air with no honking cars or traffic lights at Matheran. The state’s only hill station which prohibits the entry of vehicles, it’s all about enjoying nature’s vast beauties here. With mist-soaked valleys and a grandiose landscape stretching out as far as the eye can see, explore Matheran on horseback or simply walk around. The highlight here is the 100 year old toy train that crawls through the hills ferrying passengers from the base to the 803 meter high hill station. What’s charming about Matheran, which was discovered by Sir Mallet in 1860, is that despite modern amenities and hotels, the holiday spot still retains its colonial aura. While here, enjoy the local treats like coal roasted maize or freshly churned candy floss. Another relic is the 100 year old Lords Hotel known for its grand colonial architecture. Take a moment by the placid Charlotte Lake, watch the sunrise at Panorama Point or trek up to the One Tree Hill.-Aditi PaiadvertisementFact fileGetting there: Take the train to Neral and change to the toy train to Matheran.Distance: 120 Km.Stay: Lord’s Central Hotel.Call: 02148-230228.Cost: Rs 4,500 per night.Eco cool Hide-Out: If you’re looking for tranquility and want to escape the maddening crowd of the metropolis, then look no further. Head to Hide-Out, an organic farm in a tribal hamlet tucked away in the lap of nature. There’s a plethora of nature-related activities to choose from. You can go camping or try your hand at organic farming. For those who wish to connect with their inner selves, there are spiritual activities such as workshops in yoga, meditation, alternative medicine and holistic healing to help you find yourself. Ecologically viable camping amidst waterfalls and streams where you can dive in and swim or just sit by and have a conversation with a loved one are other tempting options. For the religious, it has the Mahalaxmi temple to offer, the seat of the Worli tribal deity. From simple vegetarian food cooked in earthen pots to eco-shopping, Hide-Out is perfect for the nature-lover. There is an option of visiting other places in the vicinity, such as Jawahar, famous for its cashew orchards and Dahanu, a quiet seaside town with an Iranian heritage. Fact fileGetting there: Take the Eastern Express Highway.Distance: 91 kms.Stay: Mohili Meadows Resort.Contact: 28625858.Cost: Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,500 per night.Fort townMurud-Janjira: A quaint little port town on the west coast, Murud-Janjira is a packaged deal that caters to all kinds of sensibilities. Janjira, derived from the Arabic word Jazeera, meaning an island, was built in the 12th century by the Siddis of Abyssinia. It is the only fort in Maharashtra which was not subjugated, although the British, the Portuguese, the Dutch tried attacking the city several times. Even the great Maratha King Shivaji tried to dominate the fortress more than six times but failed in all his attempts. The 19 rounded bastions that surround the fort look like they rise from the sea. All that is left now are ruins of what was once an invincible city. Three kilometers into the sea from Murud, the fort allows you a glimpse of the grandiose medieval architecture. Murud Janjira is the only place in Maharashtra where one can get the best of the quiet beach along with a visit to historical and religious sites the town is famous for. Apart from the fort, one can visit the Dattatreya temple, Nawab’s palace inside the fort, the Padmadurg fort or simply unwind at the Murud Janjira beach, where you can also indulge in water sports. Accommodation isn’t a problem since there are plenty of options to stay at.advertisement Fact fileGetting there: Take the Mumbai-Goa Highway 17 via Revdanda.Distance: 165 kms.Stay: One can choose from several resorts along the beach.Cost: RS 1,000 onward per night.Flying highKamshet: If your idea of a holiday is soaring high in the skies, then Kamshet is the destination for your next weekend retreat. One hundred kilometres from the city, the area’s windy hill tops are an ideal location for paragliding activities with two popular schools here-Temple Pilots and Fly Nirvana. You can do a beginners’ course, an advanced level programme or simply go for a joyride. They even have special flying workshops for children if you are planning a family outing.With trained pilots and instructors, you know you are in safe hands as you soar. At both centres, you’ll find other entertainment once you are done with flying. At Fly Nirvana’s home stay resort called The Native Place, you often find founder Sanjay Rao playing chef and cooking up a feast for guests. Non-flyers can have their share of fun with nature trails and treks in the surrounding hills, visits to the ancient Bhedsa and Karla caves nearby or occasional inhouse yoga sessions at Fly Nirvana. So, if adventure is what you are looking for this weekend, strap on your gear and enjoy the aerial view of the picturesque Sahyadri hills.-Aditi PaiFact fileGetting there: Take the Mumbai-Pune highway.Distance: 128 km.Stay: The Native Place.Call: 9920120243.Cost: Rs 5,000 onward per night.Natural wonderLonar: Situated in the Buldhana District, the Lonar Crater, which is now a lake, was first discovered in 1823 by British officer, J.E. Alexander. While the dates are still uncertain, this crater, which also happens to be the world’s third largest, is said to have been created by a two million tonne meteorite more than 50,000 years ago. Even though its creation was the outcome of a natural disaster of sorts, its evolution is anything but. The brilliant blue water surrounded by thick green forests makes it one of the most beautiful natural wonders that exist. Whether you like photography, science or just the wilderness, Lonar has plenty to offer. The crater houses hundreds of peafowl, chinkara and gazelles that can be spotted in the shrubbery growing around the lake. There are egrets, moor hens, herons, coots, white-necked storks, lapwings, grey wagtails, grebes, black droungos, green bee-eaters, tailorbirds, magpies and robins as well. There’s also the famous Daitya Sudan temple, which has been carved in a style similar to the Khajurao temples. And that’s not all-if you’re lucky, you’ll even spot some migratory birds stopping by in their journey across the world. Fact fileGetting there: Take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.Distance: 600 kms.Stay: Government Rest House.Contact: 07260 221602.Cost: RS 900 to Rs 1,100 per night.Nature’s spectacleSilvassa: The capital city of the Union Territory of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Silvassa is a popular holiday destination for many in the state. From a Roman Catholic Church built by the Portuguese to the Silvassa museum, it’s a perfect family vacation destination. If you like wildlife, there’s the deer park at Dapada and a lion safari at Vasona in store for you. A fun-filled weekend packed with activities is what you’ll take home from Silvassa.There’s boating at Madhuban dam, the lush Dadra Park, the Dudhani lake about 35 kms from Silvassa (which also houses a water sports park), the Vrindavan and the Balaji temples and the Ban Ganga Lake- a location so beautiful that one can get lost in its scenic grandeur. Fact fileGetting there: Train from Borivali station to Vapi.Distance: 170 kms.Stay: khavel Resort.Contact: 0260 2677401.Cost: Rs 6,000 onward per night.View from the topThe Machan: There’s nothing like a quiet secluded tree house in the middle of a forest to make you forget about blaring horns and constantly ringing mobile phones. The Machan offers just that with a secluded tree house set up in Jambulne village in the Western Ghats. Cradled in the branches of a huge tree at the edge of a precipice 45 feet above the ground, the luxurious structure overlooks acres and acres of lush forest land. Climb up to the loft, aptly called the Crow’s Nest and the stunning aerial view from there is bound to take your breath away. For those who want the thrill of camping out, the Machan has also introduced three well-furnished tents atop raised platforms. With little to do here except soak in the natural beauty or explore the village, this is a perfect place to get your much needed dose of peace and tranquility to hide in the trees.-Aditi PaiFact file Getting there: Take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.Distance: 80 Km.Check out: Koraigad and Tungi forts.Contact: 09594053113; themachan.comCost: Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 per day for two.last_img read more

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Monroe Chamber chairman joins Rep Bellino for State of the State speech

first_img Categories: Bellino News,Bellino Photos,News,Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Joe Bellino, of Monroe, was joined by Matthew Budds (left), chairman of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, as a guest during the 2018 State of the State speech today in the state Capitol.“As someone who knows the pulse of Monroe County business, I’m pleased Matthew was able to join me for the governor’s speech tonight,” Bellino said. “Our state is emphasizing workforce training right now and that’s a focus for us in southeastern Michigan.” 23Jan Monroe Chamber chairman joins Rep. Bellino for State of the State speechlast_img read more

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Viacom reported an increase in revenues and operat

first_imgViacom reported an increase in revenues and operating income in its fiscal third quarter following a strong performance by its Media Networks division, which includes channels like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.The firm said that revenues in the quarter were up 14% year-on-year to US$3.69 billion (€2.78 billion) and operating income was up 20% to US$1.085 billion, buoyed by its Media Networks arm, which had a 13% increase in revenue to US$2.57 billion and a 24% increase in operating income at US$1.158 billion. The latter helped offset a decline in filmed entertainment income and losses related to corporate expenses and equity-based compensation.Viacom said that Media Networks revenues were “driven by increases in affiliate fees and advertising revenues.” Affiliate revenues grew 28% domestically and rose 26% worldwide, due to “the benefit of digital distribution arrangements and rate increases.”Domestic advertising revenues rose 6%, due in part to increased ratings, and worldwide advertising revenues rose 5%, Viacom said.In terms of channel performance Nickelodeon witnessed a year-on-year increase in global subscribers at 373.3 million people – compared to 348.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier. However total MTV subscribers slipped slightly from 554.9 million last year to 545.7 million this year.last_img read more

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Video technology provider Imagine Communications h

first_imgVideo technology provider Imagine Communications has agreed to buy the assets of multiscreen video delivery firm RGB Networks. Imagine said that it will integrate the assets into its advertising management and video infrastructure portfolio, and that the transaction will include the majority of RGB Networks’ employees.RGB’s technology will be used to enhance Imagine’s end-to-end video playout and distribution portfolio, boosting its TV Everywhere and video processing solutions, according to Imagine.“The acquisition of RGB Networks, combined with our innovation in video playout and distribution, enables us to strategically navigate the convergence of IP, mobility, and the internet, which has changed the way we consume entertainment and information,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications.“We also gain an enviable customer base and will continue to support the RGB Networks product portfolio,” he added, along with a “world class technology, operations and sales team.”Jef Graham, chairman and CEO of RGB Networks, said: “By combining our award-winning innovations with Imagine Communications’ vision and resources, our integrated portfolios will greatly advance the transformation of the video delivery landscape.”“We are at an inflection point in the expansion of TV Everywhere, and Imagine Communications is delivering the end-to-end portfolio required to lead the industry through this disruptive period being defined by IP, software and the cloud.”California-based RGB Networks provides IP cloud-based video delivery solutions designed to help media providers streamline and monetise TV Everywhere and OTT services. Its technology strengths are in video packaging, cloud DVR, and ad insertion and RGB claims that its products are deployed in more than 400 communication service providers worldwide.Imagine’s latest acquisition gives it access to RGB’s cloud-based dynamic ad insertion technology, complementing its acquisition of Kudelski-owned OpenTV’s advanced advertising unit last year. That acquisition gave the former Harris Broadcast a group of products to provide campaign management, traffic and billing, to which it now adds RGB’s CloudXtream platform.Imagine Communications provides ad management and video infrastructure solutions and serves global TV networks, broadcast stations, multichannel video programming distributors, governments and enterprise markets.The deal, which was agreed for undisclosed terms, is subject to customary approvals and closing conditions.last_img read more

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Econet Mediaowned African free and pay TV provide

first_imgEconet Media-owned African free and pay TV provider Kwesé has tapped Alpha Networks for the delivery of its new OTT TV services, Kwesé Play and Kwesé TV.According to Alpha Networks, which is supplying its Tucano back-end platform for the new services, Kwesé Play is the first Roku video service launched by any operator in Africa. Kwesé TV is an OTT complement to the service provided to Kwesé’s existing DTH satellite subscribers.Alpha Networks said that its Tucano back-end multi-tenant functionality enabled both products to be distributed across several African countries on a single software platform. Tucano CMS supports live, EPG and video-on-demand content along with enhanced editorial and promotional features.“We are excited to have partnered with Alpha Networks in the creation of a seamless end-user experience for our Kwesé Play and Kwesé TV offerings using the Tucano back-end software platform. As we continue to penetrate markets in the rest of the continent, we look forward to an enhanced customer engagement through this partnership,” said Joseph Hundah, President and CEO, Econet Media.“The pay TV environment is more complex and users are more demanding than before. Operators want to deliver a mix of live and VOD content, either paid or Freemium, coming from different content sources, across different networks, targeting multiple screens including smartphones, tablets, STB’s, smart TVs.” said Kris Warreyn, CEO of Alpha Networks.“Our open and modular back-end provides a faster time-to-market for delivering new services so that network operators and media companies can maintain their competitive edge in the marketplace.”last_img read more

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Smartphone ownership in the US could match that of

first_imgSmartphone ownership in the US could match that of TVs in the next five years, as these devices continue their “meteoric popularity” rise, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).The CTA’s 20th ‘Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study’ found that smartphones are now owned in 87% of US homes, with the devices second only to televisions at 96%.For the first time the three most-frequently owned tech products were also ‘screen devices’, with laptops coming in third with their highest ever ownership level at 72%.Elsewhere, ownership of smart speakers, including Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, nearly tripled to reach 22% of American households, making the emerging category “one of the fastest-adopted technologies since tablets”.Smartwatches grew six percentage points year-on-year to reach 18% of US households, while ownership of drones and virtual reality headsets reached 10% and 11% of households, respectively.“‘The Three Screens’ – TVs, smartphones and notebook computers – now dominate the kinds of tech devices Americans have in their home, speaking to consumers’ desire to be connected and entertained, anytime and anywhere,” said Steve Koenig, vice president of market research, CTA.“The rapid ascent of smartphone ownership in US households exemplifies the versatility of these devices – for communication, for entertainment, for productivity and more. And because of that, it’s possible we’ll see smartphone ownership in the US match that of TVs within the next five years.”The CTA, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association, is a standards and trade organisation for the consumer electronics industry in the United States.last_img read more

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In This Issue   Chuck gives some parting words

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Chuck gives some parting words *  A quiet week for US data *  Most currencies edged higher *  Is this the beginning for gold And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A Walk On The Quiet Side… Good day.and welcome to Monday morning. As Chuck had mentioned, it’s going to be a steady mix of Chris and I over the next several weeks since he’ll be out west speaking at a conference and then heading back east for a little summer fun. Chris also has some speaking engagements to attend as well, so that’s the reason for the split squad approach. I’ll start today’s Pfennig with some parting words from Chuck that he wanted me to share before he takes to the air, so here you go. “Ok, right after I signed off and headed to the ice rink to watch Big Boss, Frank Trotter, play hockey on Friday morning, I received an email alert from the WSJ with some news that we can file alongside the other stories we’ve accumulated over the years, that is quickly becoming the playbook that China will have used to get their currency to replace the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. The WSJ reported that “China took a key step in its drive to liberalize its financial system on Friday, announcing it would scrap its curbs on lending interest rates. China’s central bank said Friday that it would abandon the existing floor on lending interest rates, allowing banks to set loan rates by themselves. The next step will be for China to remove the ceiling they have on deposit rates that banks can offer. So, look for that news somewhere down the line.Hey! It may not seem like much, but baby steps turn to toddler running, which turns to jumping, and then taking over the currency regime! I was really confused on Friday as to why the markets just let the fact that the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. History.Let me repeat that Detroit filed for the largest municipality bankruptcy in U.S. History, just slide right off its back, like water on a duck’s back.What was long thought (journalists 50 years ago predicted Detroit would go bust) to be in the making, finally reached the bankruptcy court. And yet, the markets didn’t care! DID NOT CARE! That’s right! There was more dollar selling when the city of Stockton, CA filed for bankruptcy.So what gives? There have been 36 municipal bankruptcies since 2010, folks.but Detroit is the biggest, and the one that should have raised a few eyebrows, and caused some slippage in the dollar. And then finally before I head out the door, for real this time  (see you thought you got rid of me last week!) I just had a brief phone call with a dear reader, a fellow Roosevelt High here in St. Louis fellow to boot, and we talked about Gold.I told him that I hoped that the manipulators had gotten what they wanted, by getting all the “Johnny-come-latelys” and the “short-term holders” out of Gold, and in doing so, had gotten the price of Gold to fall so much, that they were able to cover short positions.And now maybe, the manipulators will go away for awhile and leave us alone! Now. back to Mike!” Thanks again Chuck. I’m just as confused with the market’s reaction, or should I say lack thereof, to the whole Detroit thing. I would have to think if something like this happened with one of the European nations, the markets would be treating it like the end of the world as we know it, but for some reason, nobody gives a hoot about this one. Anyway, it doesn’t look like its getting resolved one way or the other anytime soon since the state court judge ordered Michigan’s governor to withdraw the bankruptcy petition saying the Chapter 9 filing violated the state’s constitution. Just for reference, it took one year for a bankruptcy judge to rule that Stockton, CA was eligible for bankruptcy. Why are we not talking about a contagion like effect with the other states that are in big trouble. If Detroit is able to successfully proceed with filing, what’s to stop others from following suit since precedent has already been set. I guess everyone knows the government will just step in and bail out so why get all worked up. As sad as that sounds, I think it’s the unfortunate truth. Well, it was fairly quiet when Chuck left us on Friday morning and that trend continued right on through the rest of the day since we didn’t have any data here in the US to talk about and the weekend was staring us in the face. Speaking of data, it’s going to be a quiet week. In fact, all of the reports for this week fit on one page and that doesn’t happen very often. It’s going to be a week dominated by housing numbers so I don’t expect to see much in the way of surprises. All of the housing data is from June, which the 10 year didn’t really start taking off until late in the month, so I would have to agree with most economists who are calling for a slight improvement. I’ll be more interested to see how the July numbers were impacted by the higher rate environment. Other than the existing and new home sales out today and Wednesday respectively, Thursday will be the only other day to hold any weight with not only the weekly jobs numbers but we’ll also see June’s durable goods report. There are a few other second tier reports sprinkled throughout, but that’s about all we have for US data. That means the markets will most likely be hanging on every word spoken by any of the Fed heads this week, so the potential for a couple wild rides would be there if any of them would decide to steal the mic.. Otherwise, we’ll be relying on data abroad to give us direction in the market. The dollar did end Friday slightly on the lower side with everything, including metals, remaining in a tight range all day long. The dust is still settling after Bernanke’s comments last week regarding the Fed’s role going forward. Even though he didn’t really say anything meaningful, he didn’t indicate a specific timetable as to tapering efforts, if any, and still left the door open for additional stimulus if needed. As a result, some of the dollar bulls were taken out of the game and sent back to the bench for a breather. With that being said, the only two currencies that finished in the red on Friday were the Brazilian real and Mexican peso. There weren’t any new developments pushing either one downward on the day so it was just the same concerns that we’ve seen. In Brazil, it’s the constant reduction in growth expectations that most are concerned with and the greater possibility that rates will be put back on hold. A stronger real would go a long way in helping the inflation problem, but I think most investors want to see a much higher risk premium, in the way of interest rates, before feeling comfortable enough to pile on. If we take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum, we had the Swedish krona finish as the best performing currency on Friday. The currency was still riding the wave from last week where the central bank decided to not only keep rates on hold but also indicated rates probably aren’t going any lower. Not that it’s a positive attribute, but high levels of consumer debt are preventing officials from loosening policy even though inflation is running on the low side. The South African rand finished the day in second place and up just over 0.5%. Along the same lines, it was no news is good news. While the prospects of additional reductions to growth forecasts are still on the table, the fact that the central bank kept rates on hold last week gave the rand a little pep to its step. The labor situation has also been quiet lately as annual wage talks are taking place, but that whole situation remains extremely volatile. In the end, not much to see here, so let’s move on. All of the other currencies finished up with less than 0.5% gains, so their moves were mostly a function of a weaker dollar on the day. The pound sterling finished in the top five as the results of June’s back to back increase in retail sales on Thursday carried the currency to wrap up the week. As a result, we have some investors starting to make calls the British economy will outperform the eurozone, but that’s not really saying much. Recent data has shown some improvement but until the BOE moves away from its dovish stance or we see a marked increase in inflation, I don’t see the pound outpacing the euro by leaps and bounds. It’s nice to see that gold ended the week in positive territory as well as putting together a back to back weekly performance in the black. Hopefully this trend continues as it almost broke through $1,300 and finished the day around $1,295. Bernanke’s comments suggested that stimulus could remain in place a little longer than some of the calls from weeks ago, so that helped to put the wheels in motion. The next couple of Fed meetings should have a significant impact as to the near term direction of metals as any hints of procrastinating plans to taper should act as a springboard but anything to the contrary would tend to keep it suppressed. As I came in this morning, the dollar is down against most currencies and metals have taken another step forward. As I’m sitting here writing, gold is up $20 and silver is up nearly 50 cents so its smooth sailing so far at least. I couldn’t find much to explain gold’s jump to a one month high other than technical trading, but I’ll take it. I did just see a story that some refiners in Switzerland will close for summer holiday in August so maybe that has also contributed to the move higher. Either way, the prices can move very quickly, as we know all too well, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. For What It’s Worth. Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers who met in Moscow said they plan to put growth ahead of austerity to revive a global economy that “remains too weak.” The policymakers said they will back stimulus to ensure market volatility doesn’t wreck the economic recovery. Germany toned down its position that governments must reduce borrowing, sources said.  To recap.Chuck gave his thoughts on China’s decision to become less involved with lending rates as well as expressing some confusion about the market’s reaction to Detroit’s decision to file bankruptcy. Friday was a fairly quiet day as all of the currencies, including metals, traded in a very tight range since there was no data released in the US. Speaking of economic data, it’s going to be a quiet week here as we’re only going to have housing data and durable goods to entertain us with a few second tier reports for added flavor. The dollar did end Friday slightly weaker as most currencies were able to squeeze out some gains. Gold was also able to put together another weekly gain so that marks the second straight month, so hopefully this is the beginning of a trend. Currencies today 7/22/13. American Style: A$ .9223, kiwi .7929, C$ .9669, euro 1.3179, sterling 1.5334, Swiss $1.0648, . European Style: rand 9.8131, krone 5.9329, SEK 6.4917, forint 223.08, zloty 3.2002, koruna 19.6812, RUB 32.3029, yen 99.95, sing 1.2621, HKD 7.7580, INR 59.7237, China 6.1721, pesos 12.5053, BRL 2.2471, Dollar Index 82.33, Oil $108.52, 10-year 2.47%, Silver $19.94, Platinum $1,440.55, Palladium $750.95, and Gold. $1,316.34 That’s it for today.Welcome to a new week and hopefully you were able to get out and enjoy your weekend. As Chuck mentioned, I recently experienced the best thing that’s ever happened to me as my wife gave birth to our daughter on July 10. That’s right, I feel truly blessed to have my little Giavanna Marie and when I’m home, I never want her to leave my arms. With that said, I do have somewhat of disclaimer as it pertains to the Pfennig. Since the hours of sleep that I get each night right now can be easily counted on one hand and broken up into several segments, my Daily Pfennigs over the next several weeks will most likely be super short. I had all weekend to write this one, but I just want to apologize in advance if my writing is only a few paragraphs and disjointed. Antione brought me an energy drink last week so I’ll definitely be putting that to use very soon. With that said, I’ll let you go for today. Until tomorrow.Have a Great Day! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

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In 284 AD the Roman empire was in deep trouble Bu

first_imgIn 284 AD the Roman empire was in deep trouble. But then a soldier named Diocletian rode into town as the new emperor. This was the man who rearranged Rome and set it up to endure (even as it declined) for another 180 years. How he did this was simple: autocratic control, AKA tyranny. Diocletian gave up the illusion that the emperor was merely the leading citizen. He was the boss, and if you didn’t play along, you died. And not only that, but he instituted a policy that I want to focus on today: Anyone who wanted to see Diocletian had to prostrate themselves on the ground. Then, if they were to be shown favor, they were allowed to crawl over and kiss the hem of his robe. People actually did this, you understand—famous people, powerful people, important people. Leading “thinkers” convinced everyone else that this was reasonable and appropriate. And most people went right along with it. I bring all this up because prostration is being demanded of us, right now. And, as in the late 3rd century, leading voices are telling us that it’s good and necessary. Don’t you fall for it. Physical prostration is not the primary emphasis of this article, but please understand that it is part of the mix. (See this and this and this.) And yes, people are defending it. The Snowden Fallout After all the revelations, what has changed? On the government side, the answer is “nothing.” The NSA is still thieving on a massive scale and violating the Fourth Amendment 24/7. Politicians are still defending this theft and violation. Of course, the televised suits and uniforms assure us that it’s all necessary and righteous, because otherwise, bad, scary people would surely kill us all. In other words, a surveillance state far beyond the dreams of Stalin, Hitler, or Mao continues apace, accompanied by a chorus of supporters. One thing, however, has changed: a few private companies have been shamed into going against the NSA. A few weeks ago, Apple and Android (Google) announced that they would make encryption the default on their new operating systems (iOS and Android OS). Apple went further and said that for iOS, they would remove the government’s back-door access. It’s not often that I praise Apple or—especially—Google. But, credit where due: they both did the right thing this time. Did These People Solve Any Crimes Before 9/11? A policeman’s job is only easy in a police state.—A Touch of Evil, 1958 Faced with losing their ability to steal everyone’s data, government agents pulled out the usual boogeymen. Eric Holder complained that this would “allow people to place themselves beyond the law,” a chief of detectives was put forward to say that this would make Apple “the phone of choice for the pedophile,” and the FBI director of cybercrime chimed in with more of the same. Law enforcement agencies—and there are hundreds in the US on just the national level—are feasting on the fear of the American public. If they can imagine a scary scenario (and those are infinite), we’re all supposed to give them whatever power might be needed. It’s possible, after all! Any discussion of too much power for the enforcer is reflexively excluded. Enforcers are presumed to be worthy of their ever-increasing power. (They’re trained, mind you!) Anyone who suggests otherwise takes risks with his or her reputation amongst right-thinking people. Crypto War I The awesome thing about the first Crypto War is that Big Brother lost. Before the personal computer, encryption was treated like a weapon, and any sale or export to a foreign country was strongly criminalized. That’s a rather strange thing to do something that is essentially math, but since almost no one was using computers, almost no one noticed. Once the PC hit and once people began connecting them together, however, issues arose. In 1991, a young cryptographer named Phil Zimmermann wrote a simple encryption program called “Pretty Good Privacy,” or PGP. But even though he wanted to share the program with his friends, publishing it to the Internet would have been a very serious crime. So some of his hacker friends took care of the problem for him: They put Zimmermann’s program into a book (which was protected as free speech) and mailed it overseas, where other hackers—some of them teenagers—turned it back into a program and started protecting their messages. The Feds went after Zimmermann, of course, and nearly had him jailed for violating the Arms Export Control Act. By 1996, however, the feds dropped their case and reclassified encryption from a munition to a technology. The feds didn’t actually stop fighting encryption in the hands of the plebs at that point, but it was a major defeat. Crypto War II Now a new crypto war has kicked off. Less than two months ago, news of the US government’s displeasure at encryption and anonymization started appearing; US law enforcement agents started complaining at cyberwar conferences. Then they started going after individual companies. In particular, they fined a company called Wind River $750,000 for exporting encryption to China, Hong Kong, Russia, Israel, South Africa, and South Korea. This is the first time this law has been enforced except against importers to an embargoed country, like Iran. On the heels of this wild fine came Apple and Google’s smartphone encryption, followed by a swift, coordinated response. At this point, the most serious observers are concluding that a new crypto war has begun. (See here and here.) The feds want all of your data, they don’t care if that leaves you vulnerable to other attacks, and they expect you to submit. Period. Big Brother must win, and you must lose. The Phrase That Enslaves The great bamboozle phrase of our era is one that you’ve heard a dozen times: If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear. This is Diocletian, telling you to prostrate yourself… and to stay there. The originator of this phrase has his gun pointed at your chest before he opens his mouth. Then he says, “As long as you keep my rules, I won’t shoot.” He’s holding you in a state of prostration. Stay down and you won’t get hurt. You should never accept a predator’s right to say this to you. Whether he has enough armed, obedient men to hurt you is a second issue—Big Brother has no right to make you prostrate yourself, and he’s a monster for trying. What Do We Do? There are lots of things to do, some of which I have mentioned before. (See the last two sections of this article.) But if you want to do something to stop this evil altogether, do this: Start telling people (friends, coworkers, everyone) that this is prostration. And don’t stop. Speak out, persist, and endure. Let them say bad things about you. Do not, however, fight about this with anyone. People need time to abandon their defenses, not arguments. Just make your point and move along. Then come back and make your point again. And again. Big Brother cannot survive the light of day; he cannot stand up to honest, intelligent examination. In order for him to exist, the rest of us must remain intimidated, confused, and passive. Those are the things we must defeat. A Free-Man’s Take is written by adventure capitalist, author, and freedom advocate Paul Rosenberg. You can get much more from Paul in his unique monthly newsletter, Free-Man’s Perspective.last_img read more

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Uber Is Building a Flying Taxi Technology Center in Paris

first_img Add to Queue Uber Is Building a Flying Taxi Technology Center in Paris Image credit: Uber It has had an adore/déteste relationship with the city of lights. –shares Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. 3 min read May 24, 2018center_img Next Article Uber Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on Engadget By Steve DentUber has wildly ambitious plans to send flying taxis soaring over cities, but building them will be orders of magnitude harder than anything it has ever done. As such, the company announced that it will open a Paris lab dedicated to its Elevate program called the Advanced Technologies Center in Paris (ATCP). Uber will spend €20 million ($23.4 million) over five years to develop the AI algorithms, air traffic control and other tech necessary for the service.Related: Uber Shows Off Its Flying Car Prototype! 3 Things to Know Today.Uber will recruit engineers, AI specialists and computer vision researchers when the center opens this fall. “Initial projects will include: machine learning-based transport demand modeling, high-density low-altitude air traffic management simulations, integration of innovative airspace transport solutions with European aviation regulators such as EASA and the development of smart grids to support future fleets of electric transport on the ground and in the air,” Uber said in a press release.Emmanuel Macron at Paris tech hub “Station F”France, under President Emmanuel Macron, is rapidly becoming a hub for machine learning research. Google recently said it that it’s building a deep learning team in the nation, and Facebook also plans to double its AI team there. The reason? France produces a lot of AI graduates at schools around the country, and plans to create a dedicate artificial intelligence program with the aim of doubling the number of students.With lots of demand for talent in France, though, Uber won’t necessarily find it easy to recruit grads or researchers. It has had a bumpy ride there, with executives still facing legal action over laws that forced it to shut down UberPop in 2015, following violent taxi strikes. As in the US, the company also has lingering reputation problems over sexual harassment and passenger safety that might figure into an AI researcher’s decision to work there.Related: Arizona Governor Suspends Uber’s Self-Driving Car TestsThe biggest problem, though, is that flying cars have never been done before, and for good reason: The technology, costs, logistics and regulations are all massively challenging. Experts are skeptical it will happen any time soon, and even Elon Musk, who likes flying things, said last year that “if somebody doesn’t maintain their flying car, it could drop a hubcap and guillotine you.” Register Now »last_img read more

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US Safety Agency Urges Galaxy Note 7 Owners to Stop Using Smartphone

first_img Autoplay: On | Off 2 Delicious Summer Entertaining Ideas North Carolina superintendent says new app can help reduce violence in schools 2 Musts for Tackling Allergy Season –shares Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Guitarist Don ‘Fingers’ Felder Releases New Album Economy adds 75K jobs in May Owners of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Galaxy Note 7 smartphones should stop using the devices and turn them off because of the threat of a battery fire, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Friday.The CPSC said in a statement it was working with Samsung to announce an official recall of the devices as soon as possible. The agency said it is working quickly to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note 7 is an acceptable remedy for Samsung or their phone carriers to provide to consumers.(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham) Saint Laurent dazzles with men’s collection on Malibu beach Samsung Galaxy Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day A Petition Is Coming ? for a ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Do-Over Cannes: ticketless festival-goers seek seats for films Southern Charm’ Star Talks New Season Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Father’s Day is such a special moment for the whole family to come together and spend quality time with one another – and those are moments dad will cherish. What better way for dad to connect with his loved ones than learning about his family’s stor Lifeminute tv Summer Beauty Survival Must-Haves 1 min read How Human Behavior is Hurting Animals and What We Can Do to Protect Them U.S. Safety Agency Urges Galaxy Note 7 Owners to Stop Using Smartphone Airbnb Wants to Take You on an All-Inclusive Adventure Albany Steps Closer to Releasing Trump’s State Tax Returns After Assembly Vote DiCaprio, Pitt want to team up again after Tarantino hit Congress Is Back as President Trump Heads to the UK A LifeMinute with Ryan Seacrest Photo of solider placing flag at Tomb of Unknown Solider goes viral Former world paragliding champion Rémy soars over Pyrenees 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. HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Phenomenon Summer is here and there are some great looks this season for women of all shapes and sizes. Check out the hottest styles for hourglass, rectangle and pear shaped women. IHOP Sees Explosive Growth in To-Go Sales A Safe Way to Get Rid Of Bugs in Your Home Swimwear Styles for All Shapes and Sizes Delicious Summer Entertaining Ideas New York takes aim at skyscrapers’ sky-high energy usage Justin Bieber Launches Plant-Based Deodorant Heat Snapshot Sophie Turner Talks Dark Phoenix, Co-Star Jessica Chastain and GoT Summer Beauty Survival Must-Haves Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records Cannes: ticketless festival-goers seek seats for films Airbnb Wants to Take You on an All-Inclusive Adventure Turning Up the Heat in the Southeast for Holiday Weekend US Navy: Russian destroyer almost collided with cruiser in the Philippine Sea 2020 Toyota Camry 2020 Ballots May Have a New Box to Check ? Vice President A LifeMinute with John Lithgow: The Actor Discusses His Latest Projects Beyond Meat Earnings Are Beyond Analyst Expectations 2 Musts for Tackling Allergy Season A Petition Is Coming ? for a ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Do-Over September 12, 2016 Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records Next Article Add to Queue The requested video is no longer available Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Consumer Product Safety Commission is working with Samsung to announce an official recall of the device. This story originally appeared on Reuters Sophie Turner Talks Dark Phoenix, Co-Star Jessica Chastain and GoT Economy adds 75K jobs in May Embed Up Next: Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Reuters Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use Sunlight Shines on Grand Canyon BACK A Safe Way to Get Rid Of Bugs in Your Home Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand IndyCar Beefing Up Business as Indy 500 Approaches Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

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At This Restaurant Human Interaction Is Discouraged

first_imgFood Businesses Stephen J. Bronner With its ‘low-interaction dining,’ food is the focus at Ichiran, a popular chain in Asia that recently expanded to Brooklyn, N.Y. 72shares Next Article When was the last time you truly focused on eating? By that I mean, you placed the food in your mouth, chewed and concentrated on the flavors as they hit your taste buds, without any distractions.I can’t recall the last time I ate without doing something else, such as talking to another person or reading something on my phone.Related: 15 Crazy Fast Food Items From Around the WorldWe all know about the dangers of multitasking, but very rarely do we make an effort to avoid it while we’re eating. Perhaps we should. There are many benefits to meditation, and tuning out our surroundings to focus on food seems like an ideal time to reflect. (Wait, would that be multitasking?)And now there’s a place in New York that aims to help its customers do just that.Image credit: Ichiran NY | FacebookIchiran, which has around 60 locations in Asia, opened a location a few weeks ago in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The chain is known for “low-interaction dining,” according to The New York Times, which, by the way, serves as its differentiating factor in a city filled with plenty of ramen spots. Patrons at the restaurant sit individually at “flavor concentration booths,” with dividers between them. Customers don’t even see the server’s face as they place their orders. (To be sure, the restaurant also features a traditional dining room.)Related: This French Foodie Sensation Is Coming to the StatesPart of me loves this no-bullshit approach to a meal. I am an animal. I need sustenance. Do not get between me and my next meal. Let me eat — and not get distracted by anything else.Image credit: Ichiran NY | FacebookAlas, Ichiran only serves pork-bone based soup with its ramen, and I try to avoid eating mammals, so I won’t get to try this isolationist eatery.Then again, maybe I can just lock myself in a closet with my salad during my next lunch break. Image credit: Ichiran At This Restaurant, Human Interaction Is Discouraged News Directorcenter_img 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. Enroll Now for $5 2 min read November 4, 2016 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Entrepreneur Staff Add to Queuelast_img read more

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Bizzabo Study 84 of B2B Tech Leaders Say Event Marketing is Critical

first_img B2B tech organizationsBizzaboEvent Marketing Trends reportEvent Success Platform Previous ArticleBelgian Telecom Provider Speeds Delivery of Customer Services with OracleNext ArticleHCL Technologies Announces Close of Acquisition of Select IBM Products Bizzabo Study: 84% of B2B Tech Leaders Say Event Marketing is Critical to Success MTS Staff WriterJuly 2, 2019, 4:23 pmJuly 2, 2019 Bizzabo’s Study Also Finds 69 Percent of B2B Tech Organizations Plan on Investing More in Events Than They Did in 2018Bizzabo, the world’s leading end-to-end Event Success Platform, released its 2019 B2B Tech Event Marketing Trends report. The company analyzed responses from +1,000 senior-level marketers on how they think about events, discovering everything from how to use events to accelerate sales and lead generation, to how marketers believe in-person events compared to traditional marketing channels and more.More than any other group, B2B tech marketers see real value in events. According to Bizzabo’s study, B2B tech marketers are 18 percent more likely to allocate over 21 percent of their marketing budgets to in-person events, when compared to the cross-sector average.In addition, the study found that in 2019, 69 percent of B2B tech organizations plan on investing more in events than they did in 2018.Marketing Technology News: Broadvoice Welcomes Kim McLachlan as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing“B2B tech marketers believe that in-person events comprise the most valuable channel for achieving their business goals,” said Eran Ben-Shushan, Co-Founder and CEO of Bizzabo. “We’ve discovered that, on average, these organizations invest more in events than companies from other sectors.”Bizzabo’s study also saw that in comparison to organizations in other sectors, B2B tech organizations are 3.3x more likely to spend nearly one-quarter of their total events budget on hosting or sponsoring events rather than attending them.Marketing Technology News: Connected TV is Transforming the Digital Advertising Ecosystem: ExtremLatest Video Benchmarks Report Shows 49% of Video Ad Impressions Going to CTV84% of leadership (VPs & C-Suite) believe in-person events are critical. It was also discovered via Bizzabo’s analysis that the majority (84%) of leadership (VPs and C-Suite) believe in-person events are a critical component of their company’s success. In fact, B2B leadership in tech, specifically, spend 2x as much on events than B2B marketers overall.In addition, it was established that organizers who use event software to demonstrate ROI are 10x more likely to receive leadership support for their events.“We’ve seen leadership in the B2B tech sector backing in-person events when the events team is able to prove event ROI,” said Ben-Shushan. “In fact, tech leadership spends twice as much on events then B2B marketers overall.”Marketing Technology News: New Competitive Report by BIA Advisory Services Shows Similarities and Differences Among Leading Call Tracking Platformslast_img read more

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Ryans Medicaid Proposals Emerge As Campaign Issue

first_imgNews 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.last_img read more

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Prion strain diversity may be greater than previously thought

first_imgCredit: 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.”center_img 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.last_img read more

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Plant foods may transmit antibioticresistant superbugs to humans

first_imgBy 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.center_img 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.”last_img read more

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Nintendo says working with Tencent to release Switch in China

first_img 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.center_img 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.last_img read more

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Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war

first_imgChina 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.last_img read more

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Delhi power tussle A timeline

first_imgRELATED 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 center_img 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 COMMENTSlast_img read more

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