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The microfinance lender can’t offer high-interest rates. RBI

The microfinance lender can’t offer high-interest rates. RBI

The lenders of microfinance won’t be able to charge excessive rates of interest for Borrowers who are borrowers, Reserve Bank said on Monday

Microfinance companies are not permitted to charge high rates of interest to their clients, as the instructions from the Reserve Bank said on Monday and requested the setting of a limit that is higher than the cost of loans as well as the fees associated with them.

The term “microfinance” refers to credit that can be described as one secured by collateral and is granted to a family with an income per year of no less than 3 lakh dollars.

The announcement was made of the ‘Master Direction of Reserve Bank of India (Regulatory Framework for Microfinance Loans) Instructions 2022’. RBI stated that all institutions which are subject to the regulation (REs) must implement an approved policy that was set by the board concerning the costs of microfinance loans with a maximum interest rate as well as other fees that apply to loans made by microfinance.

“Interest rate and any other fees on microfinance loans shouldn’t be excessively expensive. These will be subject to scrutiny by the supervisory department of the Reserve Bank,” the guidelines say.

In addition, every RE must give price information to potential borrowers via a simple information sheet.

“Any charges to be imposed to the microfinance borrower from the RE its agent or partner must be disclosed within the document. The borrower is not paid any amount that is not specifically mentioned in the factsheet.” The document says.

Additionally, according to PaydayNow, it is recommended that there be no penalty for the early payment for Microfinance credit.

“Penalty, if any, for delayed payment shall be applied on the overdue amount and not on the entire loan amount,” the RBI announced.

Regarding the amount that can be used to repay loans made by household members, this report recommended that every RE must be directed by a rule approved by the board about the amount of cash flow as payments to meet the monthly loans of the household and that it should be proportional to the household’s earnings.

“This shall be subject to a limit of a maximum of 50 percent of the monthly household income,” it reads.

It is recommended that you draft a standard credit contract for microfinance loans using the language of your choice and comprehended by the lender.

In line with the guidelines in effect under earlier guidelines, were in place, an NBFC which isn’t able to qualify as a Non-Banking Financial Company – Microfinance Institution (NBFC-MFI) isn’t permitted to offer microfinance credit that is greater than 10% of the amount in assets.

The amount of microfinance loans available in these kinds of non-bank financial institutions (NBFCs not MFIs that are NBFCs) has been raised to 25 % of assets.

Sefton Coast Column: Critical winter work underway to improve habitat for rarer species


CONTROLLED BURN: Image shows difference after brush clearing work at Upton Avenue

Submitted by John Dempsey

To understand all the benefits of Green Sefton’s winter works program – and the able help of so many volunteers along the coast, sometimes requires a good imagination.

On November days, when darkness descends and the light begins to dim at lunchtime, it’s hard to see this spectacular habitat as a refuge for some of the country’s rarest “heat-loving” species. . But that’s exactly what it’s all about – just ask any sand lizard, dune tiger beetle or natterjack toad next spring.

Northern dune tiger beetles, one of the thermophilic species that will benefit from the work
Sand Lizards will also benefit from ongoing work

And winter is the best time to try to improve the habitat of these species that sleep in hibernation under the sands. Conservation grazing also plays a vital role in the winter strategy along the coast, with cows and sheep grazing and clearing vegetation abandoned by the changing seasons.


This year the team, volunteers and ranchers got off to a quick start with clearing work underway along Upton Avenue in Ainsdale and the completion of a brand new cattle pen in the local nature reserve near Birkdale.

Work on Upton Avenue removed large amounts of sea buckthorn alongside other invasive species and burned them on site. Staging controlled burns is an activity performed only by trained personnel under appropriate weather conditions and with the support of firefighters.

The Upton Avenue area is just one of many sites that will be targeted for work this winter. The work is made possible through core funding and partial funding from the Rural Payments Agency’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

Once the sites are cleared, they will be much more attractive to lizards and heat-loving tiger beetles when they emerge next spring. Left unchecked, creeping vegetation shades areas, lowers soil temperatures, and enriches sand so that they become unsuitable for the specialized creatures that inhabit the dunes.

BEFORE: Photo of Upton Avenue before the controlled burns

Gordon White, campaign officer for Green Sefton, explained: ‘These works are part of the habitat improvement works, primarily benefiting sand lizard habitat, with the removal of invasive non-native sea buckthorn , reduction in biomass loading, and reduction in ground shading of known suitable sand lizard habitat. . Approximately 0.5 ha or 500 square meters of dune habitat near Upton Avenue has been improved.

Meanwhile, a new handling pen for cattle on winter pasture has been installed in Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve as the old one was regularly flooded in winter. The handling pen is necessary to round up the animals before they leave the site and to isolate them in case they need veterinary care.

The new cattle pen at Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve

Green Sefton are very attentive to animal welfare needs and check farm animals daily that they are on site throughout the winter to ensure their health and welfare. are at the highest level.

Please keep your dogs under close control, preferably on a leash while in the grazing paddocks when animals are present.

Next week we’ll be looking at some of the great habitat work done by volunteers along the coast that complements grassroots work programs to improve the condition of this spectacular landscape.

John works for Green Sefton, the service of Sefton Council which brings together the Coast & Countryside, Parks & Greenspaces, Flooding & Coastal Erosion, Risk Management and Grounds Maintenance teams for a joint approach to vital conservation management, development and monitoring. beautiful town of Sefton. coastline, parks and green spaces.

Get all the latest news, updates, things to do and more from Southport, Merseyside Dedicated InYourArea Feed.

Human Resources Manager (National) – Syrian Arab Republic


General objective of the work

The HR Manager will provide HR management support to the Country Leadership Team to ensure a strategic approach to HR issues, promote good management practices and build resource capacity people throughout the program. compliance and best practices within the country programme.

He/she will also develop management capacity and understanding of human resource and people management issues to ensure sustainable HR frameworks, improve employee relations and improve work performance and productivity. .

Detailed responsibilities

Statutory compliance and HR

  • Develop, implement and monitor effective HR strategies in line with MAG National Staff HR Framework and Compliance Framework.
  • Ensure that HR manuals and contractual documentation are compliant and implemented in accordance with legal requirements.
  • Design, develop and review compensation policies for national staff to ensure compliant, competitive and cost effective salaries and benefits are in place.
  • Monitor statutory and legal requirements for Syria and ensure MAG status in the country remains compliant.
  • Engage with NGO working groups on HR issues to ensure awareness and adherence to current issues and common practices in the sector and, where applicable, statutory and statutory requirements.

operational HR

  • Provide general HR management support to the country SMT to address a wide range of country issues.
  • Oversee the advice given to managers on the implementation of MAG’s terms of employment and HR and SOP policies.
  • Lead all recruitment and selection plans and ensure a transparent and legally compliant full-cycle recruitment process is in place.
  • Provide advice to managers on complex personnel management issues, including discipline and grievance procedures, staff absence, performance management. Adopt a fair and legally considered process if the termination decision is made
  • Provide management with guidance on how to manage the redundancy process, develop guidelines and scripts to support it. Ensure that all active redundancy processes remain compliant with local laws and best practices.
  • Track the contract status of all local staff and ensure appropriate and timely actions for new and renewal contracts, promotions and increments within the class.
  • Manage and review the monthly leave tracking and payroll reporting cycle for national staff to ensure any issues are reported and tracked in a timely manner and that payroll deadlines are met.
  • In conjunction with the HRC and HRO, manage the process of reviewing the staff roll and database to ensure any changes are updated in a timely manner.
  • Ensure monthly reporting mechanisms for national staff human resources and disseminated as required, including gaps in recruitment, leave and operational staffing.
  • Work with HR colleagues in the UK to ensure HR support to the program is coordinated.
  • Work with HQ HR team to ensure MAG safeguard framework and associated initiatives are implemented and ensure safeguard standards are integrated into relevant HR processes.

Function development and capacity building

  • Work with the SMT to design and roll out the expansion of the HR function, including identifying gaps and developing a plan for roles and responsibilities across all operational bases.
  • Feed the development of HR database systems, in collaboration with SMT and in coordination with the MAG Syria program to ensure standardization.
  • Manage and support the performance and development of national HR staff to build capacity and ensure the delivery of an effective and efficient HR function within the program
  • Ensure HR information systems, processes and administrative procedures are developed and maintained
  • Through the provision of advice, guidance and coaching, develop management skills to ensure line managers are able to manage all aspects of people management, including performance management, discipline and grievances, legal compliance and implementation of policies and procedures.
  • Create and deploy an onboarding program that provides new staff with a positive, focused and enjoyable experience
  • Ensure that HR considerations (including legal, contractual and resource) are integrated into business development planning processes.
  • Work closely with the HQ HR team to contribute to strategy, policy and projects.

Well-being, program culture and values

  • Ensure that all HR frameworks, processes and plans reflect MAG’s core values ​​DETERMINED – EXPERT – INTEGRITY – COMPASSION – INCLUSIVE
  • Improve the well-being of national program staff, reducing the risk of burnout and ensuring that MAG meets its duty of care, including mental and physical health.
  • Support the development of a healthy program culture, through the principles of trust, respectful communication and psychological safety, in line with MAG’s Safeguarding Framework


  • Provide support to the backup team as needed, including the development and ongoing motivation of focal points.
  • Share HR cases related to backup issues with the country backup team to coordinate approach and response.
  • Perform regular shared analysis of backup issues in the program (minimum once a year) with the backup team to identify any HR-related improvements to be implemented.
  • Work closely with the UK HR team in the event of backup issues.


  • Provide leadership and oversight to the HR and administration team to ensure the department achieves its key result areas.
  • Support service staff to grow in their role and work towards continuous improvement.
  • Liaise with MAG head office to ensure all insurance cases are handled efficiently

General responsibilities

  • Work towards the achievement of program and/or departmental business plan objectives
  • Understand and adhere to the standards outlined in the MAG safeguard framework; act with due care and attention to protect the well-being of anyone who comes into contact with MAG’s work and report concerns if they arise
  • Ensure knowledge of and compliance with all MAG policies and procedures and stay informed of MAG activities
  • Undertake and apply learning from appropriate training and development programs.
  • Undertake the role in a manner appropriate to the cultural context and within the local legal framework.
  • Other duties as directed in accordance with MAG Syria program requirements.


Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or equivalent with a minimum of 6 years of experience in a similar position in international organizations.

Person Selection Criteria

The incumbent must be able to demonstrate the following attributes:

  • An understanding of NGOs and a commitment to humanitarian work.
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English.
  • Excellent command of spoken and written Arabic and Kurdish.
  • Excellent computer skills, especially Microsoft Office programs.
  • The ability to work in a team.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • High level of self-motivation.
  • Good active listening.
  • Willing to travel to different locations in the NES.

As part of MAG’s commitment to safeguarding, this position is subject to a background check before a job offer is confirmed.

MAG is committed to respecting the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion. If you think you are a good fit for one of our roles, we welcome your application regardless of your background. We strive to provide an inclusive and supportive work environment where all employees feel respected and supported in achieving their potential.

How to register

Please send your application and CV to [email protected]. Please note that this is a national position.

“Immunity debt” is a wrong and dangerous concept


The author is a scientific commentator

Respiratory syncytial virus is a little-known and hard-to-spell seasonal plague that, like the flu, hits children and the elderly the hardest. It usually triggers coughs and colds, but can cause severe breathing difficulties in a small minority of infants.

RSV is so common that more than 80% of British children are infected before their second birthday – but the number of cases has dropped during the Covid-19 pandemic. Measures such as masking, as well as the closure of schools and nurseries, intended to slow the spread of Covid, have also curbed infection rates. Now the virus is resurging, particularly in the United States, with the wave hitting earlier than expected.

This has fueled speculation that pandemic mitigations, including lockdowns, have created a harmful ‘immunity debt’, with children remaining vulnerable due to a lack of exposure to the usual cut and push. viral infections. But scientists have dismissed the concept, as applied to individual immunity, as flawed.

The swirling discussion around immunity debt shows how easy it is for a plausible theory to circulate as misinformation. In this case, misinformation risks promoting the unfounded claim that infections are clinically beneficial to children, as well as fueling the revisionist narrative that Covid measures have done more harm than good.

Professor Peter Openshaw, a respiratory physician and immunologist who studies RSV and influenza at Imperial College London, says the current “high and unseasonal” surge of RSV is believed to be the result of lockdowns causing levels of immunity in children, parents and caregivers, setting the stage for more infections.

But to frame this as an immunity debt, Openshaw warns, erroneously suggests “that immunity is something we have to invest in, and that by protecting ourselves from infection we accumulate a deficit that ultimately has to be reimbursed”. That wouldn’t be a good public health message: we’d still have open sewers and we’d be drinking cholera-contaminated water if this idea were taken to its logical conclusion. Delaying RSV infection may actually be beneficial, he adds, because the virus is deadliest for infants under six months of age. Globally in children under five, one in 50 deaths is attributable to RSV.

Deborah Dunn-Walters, professor of immunology at the University of Surrey, says it is essential to distinguish between individual immunity and population immunity (herd immunity) when considering how whose pandemic measures may have altered the spread of non-Covid diseases. A smaller pool of people infected during the pandemic may lead, after measures are lifted, to a larger pool of susceptible people. This decline in population immunity may fuel a surge simply because there are more people likely to be infected (other factors, including weather and the severity of the virus, may also affect transmission).

But there is no evidence that an individual is worse off for having avoided a previous infection. “Immune debt as an individual concept is not recognized in immunology,” says Dunn-Walters. “The immune system is not seen as a muscle that must be used all the time to stay in shape and, on the contrary, it is rather the opposite.” The constant onslaught of common pathogens such as cytomegalovirus, she adds, means the immune system begins to malfunction and slack off with age. She rejects the idea that infection is somehow good for your health, saying vaccination is a much safer way to boost population immunity.

Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds who believes pediatric pandemic vaccines have been underutilized, says we are still too complacent about childhood respiratory disease. Although there is no vaccine against RSV, acknowledges Griffin, “we box vaccinate against both flu and Covid – and yet we don’t. Changing that norm, he says, could help neutralize the worst effects of a “triple epidemic” expected this winter. The UK Health Security Agency recommends that eligible children receive the flu vaccine.

The immunity debt theory is very appealing because it can be used in so many ways. This seems to intuitively explain the current wave of respiratory diseases. It appeals to those who downplay the importance of disease in children and those who advocate infection over vaccination. It provides post-hoc justification for opposing measures such as masking, even though evidence suggests such measures have curbed Covid and all but banished the flu.

Immune debt also plays into the idea that the ebb and flow of childhood illnesses are best left to nature – until one remembers that the whole childhood immunization schedule is to keep nature’s worst from a distance.

The American healthcare system gives black people a lower quality of care


Editorials and other opinion content provide viewpoints on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

Studies show that black people may receive less effective treatment in the US healthcare system.

Studies show that black people may receive less effective treatment in the US healthcare system.

Associated press

On October 14, my youngest sister, Naomi Louissaint, should have celebrated her 46th birthday. But she died on May 30 at a local hospital.

In a world filled with so much darkness, Naomi was a shining light. She was empathetic, kind and full of life and joy. She had so much life ahead of her before that fateful day when she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and given six months to a year to live. It was painful news to absorb. Our whole world has changed.

After visiting a local oncologist for nearly a year, we began to wonder if his care was prioritized over loyalty to pharmaceutical companies who benefit our healthcare system by prolonging life through chemotherapy. and/or experimental treatments. As a family, we frequently questioned her suppliers to find out if they were fighting for my sister. I have proclaimed on more than one occasion, “I need you to fight for my sister’s life!” But her provider cryptically replied that Naomi had already lived longer than expected.

We needed more empathy, compassion, hope and humanity from Naomi’s caregivers. Despite his condition and his prognosis, we expected better.

My sister suffered under the care of her healthcare providers while she waited for a recommended experimental drug. Towards the end of her life, she was hospitalized for a month. It was during this period that we all found ourselves entangled in the American healthcare system. It’s a system that didn’t provide her with the care she deserved. My sister, an overweight black woman, had to deal with a healthcare system full of implicit biases and systemic racism.

She was in so much pain, both physically and emotionally, despite the fact that Naomi had family with her every appointment, every hospital stay, every test, every scan. Her providers did not treat her with dignity when she fell in hospital, they played around and tangled her natural hair – which fell out – and they failed to control her pain.

We can only imagine what other black and brown patients without any support system have to endure. It shouldn’t be like that in America, or anywhere else. Our healthcare system needs major surgery, starting with the replacement of its heart and its conscience.

One of the most ironic experiences of all of this was that the hospice company Naomi worked for for 10 years terminated her employment and she lost her benefits in the midst of her care. This was a business where she worked extra shifts and missed family gatherings and vacations. She was the manager everyone came to for advice.

But the hospice society rejected her during her illness. His reasoning was that Naomi’s long-term disability claim constituted a voluntary resignation. This termination also terminated his health insurance coverage. As a family, we rushed to find Naomi new health insurance, but she quickly ran out of new benefits because she had cancer, an incredibly expensive disease to treat.

The Affordable Care Act was removed, and these changes affected my sister’s insurance options and care. Finally, after two months of fighting with her former employer, my sister received COBRA insurance coverage. However, this marked the beginning of the end of his life.

When she was last in hospital, Naomi was in so much pain, I believe the hospital extended her life to make money instead of exploring options with my family that would allow Naomi to die with dignity. Sadly, I know my sister isn’t the only black person to suffer at the hands of the healthcare system. Researchers have documented that black people’s pain is less well managed than that of their white counterparts.

Why didn’t my sister get the health care she needed and deserved? Why didn’t the healthcare team communicate with Naomi and my family about all of her treatment options, including those that might have resulted in a more dignified death?

Physicians, nurses and anyone who works at a patient’s bedside should be trained in cultural competency. Every patient, every life matters. I hope that by writing this, I can contribute to the discussion of black health care disparities in America and help create change. I also hope that Naomi’s story will spark a discussion about the role of Big Pharma in cancer treatment and the moral duty of doctors to remember their Hippocratic oath when discussing the choice of treatment for cancer. died with dignity with their patients and families.

So many people loved Naomi and he misses her everyday. May the name of Naomi L. Louissaint never be forgotten, in the name of a more compassionate and empathetic health care system. Hope this doesn’t become your family’s story.

Beatrice Louissaint is President and CEO of the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council.


With Exchange, LIFTbuild Delivers First US Top-Down Project Since the 1970s | 2022-10-26


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Kaiserslautern Underground Tunnel Tour reminds participants of the city’s former grandeur


A metal structure built on top of the reconstructed ruins of Emperor Frederick I’s Imperial Palace is meant to give visitors an idea of ​​the size of the original building. (Philip Walter Wellman/Stars and Stripes)

At the Stadtmitte bus stop in downtown Kaiserslautern, you can usually see people staring at their phones, throwing cigarette butts on the sidewalk, or staring at the nearby shopping center waiting to be driven away.

Few would describe the area as scenic. But hundreds of years ago things were very different.

A river fed a tranquil pond where the mall now stands, and perched on the shore was a grand Imperial Palace, considered one of the most magnificent buildings of its kind in the Holy Roman Empire.

Today, the ruins have been partially restored to a public space next to the bus stop, hinting at the neighborhood’s former grandeur. But markers on the site are sparse, so people are unlikely to be aware of the invitation to explore among them.

An illustration of what Emperor Frederick Is Imperial Palace might have looked like is on display in downtown Kaiserslautern on Saturday November 5, 2022, next to where the palace once stood.  Today, the river and pond have been replaced by concrete streets and shops, and the palace has been partially rebuilt.

An illustration of what Emperor Frederick Is Imperial Palace might have looked like is on display in downtown Kaiserslautern on Saturday November 5, 2022, next to where the palace once stood. Today, the river and pond have been replaced by concrete streets and shops, and the palace has been partially rebuilt. (Philip Walter Wellman)

For those curious enough, however, the city offers both public and private tours that take visitors through the park and through underground tunnels, where they can observe history up close and even come face to face with an ancient skeleton.

Historians trace Kaiserslautern’s roots to around 1,300 years ago, and for much of this time two buildings bore witness to its fortunes: the palace built by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa around 1152 and the Renaissance-style Casimir Castle, built by Prince Johann Casimir, which was completed around 1578.

The history of these two structures forms the basis of the visit, but only traces of them remain. In the 1930s, the stones of the old Casimir Castle were used to build a new building, the Count Palatine Hall, which still exists and is the starting point for the visit.

Tour guide Andrea Stephany takes English-speaking visitors through the underground tunnels in central Kaiserslautern and explains the city's history on Saturday November 5, 2022.

Tour guide Andrea Stephany takes English-speaking visitors through the underground tunnels in central Kaiserslautern and explains the city’s history to them on Saturday, November 5, 2022. (Phillip Walter Wellman)

The room is adorned with a large tapestry and wooden statues made around 1600, intended to give visitors an idea of ​​life at the time the castle was built.

After an introduction on the ground floor, the excursion descends into the underground galleries via a stone spiral staircase. In total, the tunnels stretch for about 80 meters and pass through several rooms equipped with illuminated German language display panels and sound effects that illustrate the city’s history. A tour guide explains everything in English.

A tomb containing a Franconian skeleton, one of many discovered during excavation work at the site in the 1930s, is in the first underground room.

The skeletons are said to have caught the attention of Adolf Hitler, who ordered them to be transported to Mainz, some 80km away, to be studied for evidence supporting his discredited notions of Aryan supremacy.

A tour organized by the city of Kaiserslautern takes participants to several underground chambers, the first of which contains the tomb of a Franconian skeleton.

A tour organized by the city of Kaiserslautern takes participants to several underground chambers, the first of which contains the tomb of a Franconian skeleton. (Philip Walter Wellman)

However, the skeletons are believed to have been forgotten in a basement in Mainz and eventually returned to Kaiserslautern and buried in the city’s main cemetery near Kleber Kaserne, where US forces are now working.

In the second underground hall, visitors get a closer look at an original section of a stone wall that once surrounded the area, even before the construction of the Imperial Palace of Barbarossa.

Over the centuries, successive masons fortified the existing wall by leaning on it. Thus, in the middle part of it, stones older than a millennium can be seen.

The underground wall is different from the one outside, which was rebuilt with historical stones and is not original.

After passing through another room that details how successive wars have destroyed the area, the tour arrives at an escape tunnel. These tunnels were used to escape or smuggle goods into the complex without enemies noticing.

Passing through a narrow, damp escape tunnel is one of the highlights of an underground tunnel tour in central Kaiserslautern organized by the city.

Passing through a narrow, damp escape tunnel is one of the highlights of an underground tunnel tour in central Kaiserslautern organized by the city. (Philip Walter Wellman/Stars and Stripes)

The tunnel is believed to be the only one still in existence. Years of construction in the area destroyed the others.

The narrowness of the tunnel requires moving in single file. Claustrophobic visitors can skip this last part of the underground section of the tour and return to the surface world.

Back at surface level, visitors are a stone’s throw from where the Imperial Palace and Casimir Castle once stood. A metal structure built on top of the ruins of the reconstructed palace gives viewers an idea of ​​its size.

Tours last approximately one and a half hours. Participants are transported to a time when lakes and castles replaced buses and cigarette butts, and they are unlikely to see contemporary Kaiserslautern in the same way.

[email protected] Twitter: @pwwellman

The Count Palatine Hall, built in the 1930s from the stones of the old Casimir Castle, is the first stop on a tour organized by the city of Kaiserslautern which also allows participants to visit underground tunnels.

The Count Palatine Hall, built in the 1930s from the stones of the old Casimir Castle, is the first stop on a tour organized by the city of Kaiserslautern which also allows participants to visit underground tunnels. (Philip Walter Wellman)

Address: Tours begin at Fruchthallstrasse 14 in downtown Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Hours: Public tours in English take place on irregular Saturdays, usually at least once a month, and begin at 11:15 a.m. Upcoming tour dates can be found at tinyurl.com/5ac66735. Private tours can be arranged at different times.

Cost: Adult tickets for the public group tour are $5; children’s tickets are $4. Private groups of up to 25 people cost $75.

Information: Participants should pre-register for the public tour by calling +49 631 365 4019 or emailing [email protected]

Giving ponds their dew in the fight against climate change


We are using part of our Carbon Neutral Fund to create a new dew pond on the dunes.

Our Cityparks team will invest the £25,000 grant in a pilot project to create a new dew pond on the former Waterhall golf course, which is now a local nature reserve.

The pond will help increase biodiversity and be an important freshwater link in the mosaic of habitats across the council’s Downland Estate and the wider South Downs National Park.

It will also provide local children with the opportunity to learn about the wonderful wildlife that lives below the surface of the ponds and learn how nature can help heal the planet.

unsung heroes

Studies have shown that ponds are one of the unsung heroes when it comes to enhancing biodiversity and reducing the effects of climate change.

A dew pond will attract migrating birds, waterfowl, thirsty mammals and breeding frogs, toads, newts and dragonflies in the spring. They can be hotspots for many types of wildlife and plants that depend on wetlands, and they provide a stepping stone for species as they move across the landscape.

Dew pools are also remarkably effective for their size at removing C02 and greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide from the atmosphere – a process known as ‘sequestration’.

Create a freshwater survival system

Jamie Lloyd, Senior Biodiversity Advisor, said: “There has been an 84% collapse in populations of freshwater species since 1970*. This alarming statistic means we need to take action to protect and maintain wetland habitats.

“The Dew Ponds are part of the history of the South Downs and creating a new pond will have many benefits. They are the unsung heroes of the natural world and are on the front lines of climate action, supporting wildlife and capturing harmful emissions.

“Having a network of dew ponds on our doorstep will be a fantastic opportunity to engage the next generation on the positive effects of action on climate change and the protection of biodiversity. The council is proud to be part of a network of local organizations and community groups who work together to extend this support system for freshwater life in the South Downs.

*Source: World Wildlife Fund – Living Planet Index

Dew Ponds on the South Downs

Farmers originally created dew ponds as a source of water for their sheep. In an otherwise dry chalky landscape, these oases provide drinking water and are home to wildlife and plants that need this environment to survive.

It is estimated that 39% of the dew ponds in the South Downs region have disappeared and many more are no longer visible in the landscape.

We will be working on the project throughout the winter and spring so that the pond can fill with natural rainwater.

In September the council was part of a successful bid for the Heritage Lottery Fund which will help restore the pond in the village of Falmer, which has been badly affected by the hot, dry summers of recent years. The award of just over £130,000 in development funding is for wetland habitats in the South Downs National Park. Part of the money will go towards a feasibility study to restore the pond and we will work closely with the parish council and local community to bid for the next stage of the project.

Biodiversity is the life support system of the planet. Protecting and restoring nature underpins the health and well-being of people and wildlife in an age of climate change.

More information

Other dew pond projects in our area

Our partners

Wilding Waterhall also received £15,500 from the Carbon Neutral Fund in October to make accessible guided trails around the new Waterhall Local Nature Reserve. The funding will provide people with low-carbon options for getting to the site, provide a new electric vehicle and raise awareness of the positive actions we are taking to address climate change and the biodiversity emergency.

Discover Wilding powder room on our website

Learn more about dew ponds in Brighton & Hove

Capito and Manchin Announce $1.2 Million for West Virginia Community Care to Strengthen Youth Behavioral and Mental Health Services


WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.) and Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that Community Care of West Virginia will receive $1,250,000 to help strengthen behavioral and mental health services for young West Virginians in several rural counties in North Central West Virginia. The funding is made possible by a Congressional Directed Spending (CDS) request secured by Senators Capito and Manchin and is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. social services (HHS).

“By providing funds to hire staff in every area of ​​need, these funds will expand access to important mental and behavioral health services for our young people as they continue their transition to life and school after retirement. COVID-19. I have championed school health care in our state because it provides resources directly to our children, and I am happy to see this integration of behavioral health specialists with current primary care providers. Investments like this are the primary focus of the CDS process – direct funding to positively impact the people of West Virginia. I was thrilled to advocate and ultimately secure the funding necessary to increase staffing in these seven counties, continuing our efforts to reach our children where they are,” Senator Capito said.

“Community Care of West Virginia provides essential behavioral and mental health services to West Virginia youth in several rural counties, which is why I am proud got this funding to strengthen their efforts and increase their hiring capacity”, said Senator Manchin. “The funding announced today will help strengthen behavioral and mental health services for school-aged West Virginians at 54 School Wellness Centers in North Central West Virginia, and I look forward to to see the positive impacts of these programs. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to advocate for resources, including appropriations, to support our healthcare organizations as they care for West Virginians across Mountain State.

“The Congressional-directed spending award that Senators Capito and Manchin were able to secure for our organization will have a significant impact on our ability to expand and deliver desperately needed school-based behavioral and mental health services to our rural communities across the country. north-central West Virginia. We greatly appreciate their continued support and efforts that allow us to provide for the needs of our school-aged population,” said Kevin Junkins, MD, chief medical officer for Community Care of West Virginia.

Congressional Directed Spending (CDS), more commonly referred to as appropriations, allows state and local governments, nonprofits, and other public entities to request targeted funding for projects to strengthen their communities and directly support the people of West Virginia. These local communities and organizations are now beginning to receive funding for projects that the two senators Captain and manchin fought in last year’s funding bill. As members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senators Capito and Manchin ensure that taxpayers’ money is allocated to priorities that benefit all West Virginians, drive economic growth and address the needs of Mountain State communities while remaining fiscally responsible.

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Basis Technologies and Tech Mahindra Partner to Accelerate Delivery of Smart Utility Solutions in Europe and the United States


Partnership will streamline Meter-to-Cash processes, delivering operational cost savings of 30% to 50% and improving back-office efficiency and customer experience

DALLAS, November 17, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Basis Technologies, a provider of SAP change and test automation software, today announced a strategic partnership with Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation services and solutions, consulting and business re-engineering, to accelerate the delivery of smart utility solutions in Europe and the United States. Partnership will enable energy and utility companies to realize significant operational savings and improve billing accuracy using BDEx, an industry-leading SAP platform that integrates intelligent billing and management software revenues.

Under this partnership, Basis Technologies’ platform-based solution combined with Tech Mahindra’s expertise in managed process delivery will transform conventional transaction processing functions for utility companies. The strategic partnership will focus on significantly streamlining business processes and operations through its customer-centric services, dynamic work allocation, business process exception management (BPEM) closure control, and capacity of a smart office. It will proactively reduce Meter-to-Cash (M2C) errors and increase back-office efficiency by creating digital capability at a lower cost of ownership for utility companies.

Birendra Sen, Business Head – Business Process Services, Tech Mahindra, saidThe Energy and Utilities industry is now driven by digitalization and is defined by prosumers who expect an exceptional “anywhere, anytime” service experience wrapped in self-service tools and intuitive communications. To solve this problem, we believe that exception handling remains essential in the operation of utility business processes. Our partnership with Basis Technologies will enable utility customers with a smart, intelligent, platform-based back-office solution essential for successful digital transformation and gaining market share.

By building a smart, analytics-powered money-meter operation, utilities can gain a significant competitive advantage to mitigate the challenges emanating from the impending energy crisis. Together, Tech Mahindra and Basis Technologies will enable utility companies to leverage real-time critical assets, field network data, insights and customer behavior through a single 360-degree view dashboard. This will improve the customer experience and reduce annual operating costs.

David Lees, Chief Technology Officer, Basis Technologies, said“We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Tech Mahindra and look forward to collaborating to bring value to utility companies using SAP. Together, we strive to deliver true customer-centric services through a back- fast, accurate and cost-effective end process.”

Basis Technologies’ strong global experience in delivering SAP-specific technology solutions and Tech Mahindra’s existing service footprint will enable utility providers to instantly correlate related work orders, unpaid invoices and/or reported complaints. to customers. Additionally, predictive analytics will help businesses process data in a real-time environment and recommend a response to a customer query or complaint even before it occurs. This advanced approach can also enable robotic process automation (RPA) to significantly reduce costs while improving the overall customer experience.

The partnership also underscores Tech Mahindra’s focus on digital growth, as part of the NXT.NOW™ framework, which focuses on leveraging next-generation technologies to deliver disruptive solutions today, further enable the digital transformation and meet the evolving and dynamic needs of its customers.

About core technologies

At Basis Technologies, we believe that every business should have the freedom to change and unlock the full potential of SAP. Our automated SAP change delivery and regression testing software enables continuous delivery to thrive, giving businesses the agility to adapt to rapidly changing market priorities and demands. It enables leading brands around the world to make SAP changes with absolute confidence and virtually risk-free so they can accelerate time to market, simplify transformation, quickly realize value and create business results. incredible.


About Tech Mahindra

Tech Mahindra delivers innovative, customer-centric digital experiences that empower businesses, associates, and society to grow. We’re a $6 billion organization with more than 163,000 professionals in 90 countries helping 1,279 global clients, including Fortune 500 companies. We’re focused on leveraging next-generation technologies including 5G, blockchain , metaverse, quantum computing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, etc., to enable end-to-end digital transformation for global customers. Tech Mahindra is the only Indian company in the world to have been awarded the Terra Carta Seal by HRH The Prince of Wales for its commitment to creating a sustainable future. We are the fastest growing brand by “brand strength” and among the top 7 IT brands in the world. With the NXT.NOW™ framework, Tech Mahindra aims to enhance the “human-centric experience” for our ecosystem and drive collaborative disruption with synergies stemming from a strong portfolio of companies. Tech Mahindra aims to deliver tomorrow’s experiences today and believes “the future is now”.

We are part of the Mahindra Group, founded in 1945, one of the largest and most admired multinational business federations with 260,000 employees in over 100 countries. It holds a leading position in agricultural equipment, utility vehicles, information technology and financial services in India and is the world’s largest tractor company by volume. It has a strong presence in renewable energies, agriculture, logistics, hotels and real estate. The Mahindra Group has a clear focus on ESG leadership on a global scale, enabling rural prosperity and improving urban life, with the aim of bringing about positive changes in the lives of communities and stakeholders to enable them to rise .

Connect with us at www.techmahindra.com.

See the source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221116005434/en/


Core Technologies
Christie Lindstrom
Marketing Director
[email protected]

Tech Mahindra
Abhilasha Gupta
Global Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
[email protected] [email protected]

Fincantieri Delivery’s largest cruise ship built in Italy for MSC


MSC Seascape is the largest cruise ship built in Italy (Fincantieri)

Posted on November 16, 2022 at 4:16 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has completed the delivery of the largest cruise ship ever built in Italy to MSC Cruises. The 170,400 gross tons MSC Seascape is the last of four cruise ships ordered by MSC Cruises from Fincantieri with the first of the ships introduced five years ago.

These cruise ships use design concepts developed by Fincantieri that reposition the main weight of the ship, primarily the engines, forward in the midship position. Balanced weight repositioning provides greater structural and hydrodynamic efficiency. The use of a narrower superstructure both creates a large exterior promenade and allows the ship to increase the number of cabins by up to 10%.

MSC says the unique design with its curved aft superstructure and glazed elevators reflects the look of high-end Miami buildings and gives the ships a unique appearance. After completing the first two ships, MSC Seaside in 2017 and MSC sea view in 2018 the design was extended to create the larger Seaside Evo class which became the largest cruise ship built in Italy. The MSC Seascape delivered today as well as her sister ship MSC Seashore delivered last year are 1,112 feet long. The ships have a maximum capacity of 5,632 passengers and a crew of 1,648.

MSC Seascape is the second ship to enter service this year, bringing our modern fleet to 21 ships,” said Gianni Onorato, Managing Director of MSC Cruises at the handover ceremony in Monfalcone, Italy. “We are proud to welcome her to our fleet as she is the second Seaside EVO vessel and completes the innovative Seaside class.”

Built at a cost of over €1 billion, the new cruise ship is part of a more than €7 billion investment by MSC in Fincantieri. The shipyard, in addition to the four Seaside cruise ships, is also contracted to build six smaller luxury cruise ships for MSC’s new Explora Journeys brand, due to launch in 2023.

The cruise ship uses a design concept from MSC that repositions the main weight amidships (Fincantieri)

MSC also builds large cruise ships with Chantiers de l’Atlantique in France. They recently took delivery of one of the largest cruise ships in the world and the world’s largest LNG-powered cruise ship, the MSC World Europefrom the French shipbuilder.

The new ships are part of an ongoing effort by MSC to expand its cruise operations. The company pointed out that as of October 2022, it had received more than 400,000 new bookings, the highest monthly total in the company’s history. “This reflects the significant and continued investment made in our fleet, which is one of the most modern in the industry with five new state-of-the-art vessels delivered in the past three years alone,” Onorato said. The cruise line is expected to take delivery of two more French-built cruise ships in mid-2023 and 2025.

Among the unique features on board the new MSC Seascape is nearly 140,000 square feet of exterior deck space, including the 1,772-foot long promenade. The ship features 11 restaurants and 19 bars and lounges, as well as a large children’s area and the largest suite complex of any MSC cruise ship. Among the entertainment is a new ride that MSC describes as a combination of a rollercoaster ride with a personalized DJ music experience.

The design also incorporates a wide range of environmental features, including selective catalytic reduction systems on each of the four Wartsila 14V 46F engines to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and a hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system to eliminate sulfur oxide from its emissions. There are also advanced sewage treatment systems, advanced waste management systems, ballast water treatment systems and various effective energy efficiency upgrades – from heat recovery systems to capable LED lighting. to save energy. The vessel also has an underwater radiated noise management system to reduce and isolate potential effects on marine mammals.

The MSC Seascape will be christened in New York in early December as part of MSC Cruises’ efforts to expand its presence in the United States. The ship will then begin its inaugural season cruises from Miami to the Caribbean. She is expected to sail year-round from Miami through 2025.

While the MSC Seascape now holds the title of largest liner built in Italy, it will be eclipsed in just over a year by an even largest cruise ship. Fincantieri has started the construction of the new Princess of the Sun for Princess Cruises from Carnival Corporation. Due to enter service in February 2024, this new vessel will be 1,133 feet long and 175,500 gross tons. It is also the first LNG-powered cruise ship that Fincantieri is building as part of a two-ship order for Princess.

A comeback for studies abroad


According IIE Open House 2022 report released today, data collected in the 2020/2021 academic year shows, as expected, American study abroad has nearly ceased amid the pandemic to protect global health and safety. The total number of American students studying abroad for college credit has decreased by 91%.

The good news: IIE’s Spring 2022 Snapshot shows that 83% of institutions noted an increase in study abroad for 2022/23 compared to the previous year.

Reflecting this resurgence, more than 650 Wake Forest students are expected to study abroad in 27 different countries for the fall 2022 semester and spring 2023 semester combined. The University’s rebound began in 2021. From fall 2021 to summer 2022, over 900 students traveled abroad.

Wake Forest International Listing remained stable in fall 2022 with more than 800 degree-seeking international students. The countries represented have increased from 64 in the fall of 2021 to 73 this year. The University’s Center for Immigration and Support Services office works diligently to facilitate the immigration process and support services for students, faculty, and staff.

Access to study abroad for all students continues to be a top priority at Wake Forest and the rebound is supported in part by scholarships, including a 10 million dollar giveaway which enabled first-generation students to choose to study abroad by significantly reducing their debt load.

“Studying abroad is essential to the work of our institution, and Wake Forest is committed to not only quickly rebuilding the workforce and meeting demand, but also to providing more opportunities and support. This is what the University wants. This is what students want,” said Vice Provost for Global Affairs Kline Harrison. “It is equally essential that international students come to Wake Forest and that Wake Forest students and faculty have opportunities for research and collaboration abroad.”

According to a study published in the Journal of Transformative Learning, faculty reported key benefits to themselves when leading study abroad programs, including enhancing their cultural and cross-cultural learning, developing their own research interests, deepening their student knowledge and experience a sense of rejuvenation for teaching.

Communication professor Mary Dalton views studying abroad with her students as an opportunity to explore common interests and create work with new ideas. In Copenhagen, Dalton students studied film history and movements, cultural media contexts, and specific film series. The result was a series of published student essays, edited by Dalton or co-edited with advanced students in an independent course of study, who contributed to their professor’s research work.

“International experiences with students in Copenhagen, London; Vienna; Tbilisi, Georgia; Moscow; and Vietnam have each had an indelible influence on my teaching and professional activity. They have been part of my education and have enhanced my classroom work as well as my scholarly and creative work.

Pierre SiavelisPolitics professor Peter Siavelis, who launched the University’s study abroad program in Chile in 2011, also engages students in his research when they travel to Santiago. Students conduct interviews with government officials that contribute to his ongoing study of Latin American and Chilean politics. The student-teacher collaboration is a victory for Siavelis and its students.

“Research projects abroad enrich both the students’ experience and mine,” he said. They get to know the people and places they have traveled to. They learn to adapt to different cultural situations and perspectives, and when they return to campus, they bring their skills back to Wake Forest and share them both formally in project presentations and informally in conversations.

In 2009, Wake Forest launched the WISE Conference providing teachers and school administrators around the world the opportunity to come together and learn from each other. Over the years, more than 3,000 people from nearly 300 organizations have attended to share the latest research and best practices on preparing students before, during and after travel to make the most of their international experiences.

The WISE 2023 conference will be held from February 2 to 4. The program and registration are available on the conference website.

PCI Pal Approved on G-Cloud 13 Provisioning Framework


PCI Pal, the global SaaS provider of secure payment solutions, has been certified as an Approved Provider under the government’s G-Cloud 13 procurement framework.

G-Cloud 13 is the latest version of the Government’s Digital Marketplace Framework, which gives central government, local councils, NHS Trusts and other public sector bodies rapid access to approved vendors. The online platform offers public sector organizations consistency in quality standards and more competitive pricing.

PCI Pal, a G-Cloud approved provider of cloud-based services since 2018, already works with many public sector organizations to secure payment transactions for corporate communications, to meet the latest security requirements, data protection and compliance.

Darren Gill, Chief Revenue Officer for PCI PaI said,

“For any organization that handles payment card transactions, whether over the phone or through digital channels, our globally accessible cloud-based payment solutions ensure that sensitive cardholder information is handled securely. security and compliance with PCI DSS. We are therefore delighted to be re-accredited as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s G-Cloud Procurement Framework for the fourth consecutive year, to provide organizations, departments and trusts with easier access to our range of payment solutions. ”

G-Cloud 13 includes over 4,200 providers, providing access to over 31,000 services. Since its inception, there have been over £11.4 billion in sales through the framework.

PCI Pal® (LON: PCIP) is a leading provider of SaaS solutions that enable businesses to securely accept payments, adhere to strict industry governance, and shield their business from the significant risks posed by non-compliance and loss of data. Using patented technology, its mission is to preserve reputation and trust by providing customers with secure payment solutions for any business communication environment, including voice, chat, social media, email and mobile. contact center.

PCI Pal is integrated and resold by some of the world’s leading business communications providers, as well as major payment service providers. PCI Pal products can be used by organizations of all sizes around the world, and we’re proud to work with some of the world’s largest and most respected brands.

For more information on PCI Pal, see their company profile

Need for Electoral Reforms (Part I)


“We fought for social justice. We fought for economic justice… Now we must fight for electoral justice’ – Barbara Boxer

A free and fair election is the cardinal principle of the effectiveness of a democratic system. Any bottleneck or obstacle to such a concept and its actualization is not only anathema but vitiates the system and its process to make the principle of government by the people a sham or a fiasco. Election is defined as a formal group decision-making process by which people choose their representatives and which forms the edifice of a democratic configuration. The word election is derived from the Latin word ‘e’ meaning out and ‘Lectus’ meaning chosen. The election, to truly manifest or reflect the will of the people, must be free and fair and therefore this electoral dynamic has gained prominence as it has generated many scathing diatribes regarding its actual implementation. .

The reasons why electoral reforms are gaining importance is that the role and operation of electoral and behavioral dynamics (and anathema things/situations affecting and turning the electoral process into a fiasco) have shown aberrations not only smear the mud inefficiency on the functioning of democracies, but also renders outrageous and condescending the new (ideal) concept of election/democracy. The conceptual definition of democracy in Lincoln’s expression “of the people, by the people and for the people” appears as a semantic facade. Although this is a gargantuan and colossal effort to reform the process with around 27.5% of the population living in harsh conditions of poverty and impecuniosity and languishing under the spell of illiteracy, it is time to tear down and chip away at the concept of good governance. Electoral reforms generally contribute to better citizen participation in electoral practices while reducing the role of corruption and enriching and energizing the functioning of democracy (in India).

A country plagued by a plethora of diversity and its unpleasant manifestations regarding religion, caste, language, customs and beliefs, the gap between rich and poor and various cognitive perceptions, etc., becomes a Herculean task to to fix. But we have a Hobson’s choice in hand. The sooner we embrace change to transform/reform the electoral system, the better for the nation. The first and most important factor that makes the electoral process a sham is the negative role of the power of money. Not ideas, not principles, but money, which reigns supreme in politics. As described earlier, in a nation where about a third of the population lives below the poverty line (the literacy rate is also low), this money plays the obnoxious (ugly) role of exploiting the conditions of plight of the people and human weaknesses and the spirit of democracy is lost in the quagmire of monetary significance. Buying votes by taking into account the poverty of the people not only hinders the future of the nation but also stigmatizes democratic novelties and ideals. Although the Electoral Commission has set spending limits for MP and MP elections, the money’s clandestine role in buying/wooing voters belies any legal implications. Poverty stricken people sell their ballots and unscrupulous politicians wielding the power of money power rule unethically.

The other important aspect that suffers and affects the electoral process is the criminalization of politics. Although one may disagree with Plato regarding concepts such as philosopher kings, it is desirable that the ruler/representative of the people be honest, sincere and just, devoid of any criminality. The criminalization of politics has really affected the election process and the mode of governance. The criminal elements procure vote/mandate by threat/fear psychosis and the occurrence of violence makes a mockery of the system. The entry of criminal elements into parliament and state legislatures paralyzes and makes justice – social, economic and political – a distant chimera. In recent years, the influence of criminals in political affairs has increased considerably. In Anukul Chandra Pradhan v India Union 1997, the Honorable Supreme Court observed that the criminalization of politics is the scourge of society and the negation of democracy. It is subversive of a free and fair election. The criminalization of politics has other manifestations like booth capture, intimidation of voters, obtaining votes by intimidation, falsification of voter lists, large scale rigging and large scale post election violence targeting people for not voting for the criminal elements.

Other important factors affecting electoral dynamics are dividing factors such as religion, caste, language, customs and beliefs. Multifaceted diversities play an important role in an already divided society. Yet some parts of our country are dominated by the caste factor, and it plays a predominant role in deciding who would rule taking into account the herd mentality of the people. The distortion of perception affects the concept of a free and fair process making democracy a fiasco.

Other factors that affect the electoral process can be cited as a lack of moral values ​​among the candidates, a Machiavellian approach to the election to win anyway with ungodly alliances and deep-rooted conspiracies that eat away at the spirits of democracy . The other most worrying factor affecting the democratic process concerns the defection of members after the elections. To fight for a party before or during elections and to change positions and sides after obtaining the people’s mandate is not only heinous but also deplorable by any standard assessment.

(This is part one of the series on electoral reform. Opinions expressed are personal.)

The “invisible” university revives the dissident academic model



Numerous online courses and exchange projects have been set up with students and scholars in Ukraine since the start of the Russian assault in February. But the Central European University (CEU) in Vienna has set up a new type of program known as the Invisible University for Ukraine with the aim of preparing Ukrainian students for a future beyond the current war.

The project is inspired by the clandestine and exiled “invisible colleges” of the early 1990s launched by former dissident intellectuals in Budapest, Hungary and elsewhere in central Europe. These provided an alternative educational structure to university programs for students at a time when these countries were transitioning to democracy at the end of the Cold War.

The idea was to expose students to alternative visions still difficult to access in their own country and to prepare a generation – which has not experienced open or democratic societies – for a time when they would play a role in the establishment and support of new democratic institutions.

The invisible colleges disappeared in the early 2000s when Central and Eastern European countries joined the European Union and the NATO alliance.

Reclaiming a dissident tradition

” We launched [under] this name is to pay homage to this dissident tradition. We are trying to globalize it and take it back,” said Balász Trancsényi, professor of history at CEU and one of the main organizers of the Invisible University for Ukraine.

“This is an alternative education model that can solve the obvious problems that many societies face and create another level of internationalization of education that is not reserved for elites who can afford study abroad programs,” said Trancsényi.

The goal, like the Invisible Universities of the 1990s, is to use a transnational approach to broaden the horizons of students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, unable to leave Ukraine for any kind of life experience. studies abroad that might be possible in normal times.

With the exception of some institutions in Lviv, western Ukraine, and Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, access for Ukrainian students to international universities is limited. While many Western institutions offer online courses, it is usually a single subject course offered by teachers of that subject.

According to student feedback, the Invisible University has been “life changing”, Trancsényi said.

“They had this feeling of complete exhaustion, especially at the start of the war. They didn’t know why they had to stand up – especially those with shrinking education systems. Either it was non-existent or they only had a few online courses far removed from what interested them.

CEU Rector Shalini Randeria said Academia News the Invisible University for Ukraine was established within three weeks of the outbreak of war.

“The question was: how can we support the students with some sort of continuing education?” she says. “Most of them were in the middle of university classes that were interrupted. For many of them who were in the basements during the bombardment, those were the two to four hours when on their phones they were able to have some semblance of normalcy,” she noted.

Courses in co-teaching and mentoring

The Invisible University was designed as a set of courses, each co-taught by a CEU professor and a colleague from a Ukrainian university.

“We thought we could give them classes that they could earn credit for and if they choose to come to CEU at any time, we could definitely transfer [those credits]. But since all courses were co-taught with Ukrainian colleagues, course credits could also be used at Ukrainian universities once teaching resumes,” Randeria said.

Invisible University enrolled 129 students from Ukraine last semester and more than 200 students this semester. They took virtual classes in history, political science, law, and sociology for one semester, but with additional mentorship and complementary classes in English writing, curriculum development, and soft skills.

“The courses were very much connected to what is happening around them,” Trancsényi said. “When the issue of the arms embargo was raised or the confiscation of Russian assets, we invited someone from the European institutions who could give real-time feedback on how the European institutions view these issues. Thus, he became very connected with the life of Ukrainian students.

“It was very demanding to organize because we have to react all the time to what is happening. But I think that made this offer quite unique for students.

“Each class is a bit unpredictable. We say it’s like jazz because there’s always an element of improvisation, but it also creates a completely different educational experience for the students – they don’t get a master narrative or a pre-made idea forced upon them from from different perspectives, Western or local. What they get is this multiplicity of perspectives,” Trancsényi said.

Heritage, which is part of the national identity, is also an important aspect of the program. This involves not only history but also other disciplines, from sociology to the environment and urban planning.

“It’s absolutely a hot topic for students, partly because of the destruction of their heritage,” Trancsényi said. Migration and social transformation in the context of war was another important course, he said.

Summer schools

Some students were able to meet in summer schools organized at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, in a relatively quiet part of western Ukraine close to the Polish border, and other working groups in face to face for what Trancsényi described as more “robust”. interaction”.

Parallel online sessions were also transmitted from Budapest, where Trancsényi is still based, traveling to CEU in Vienna after the university was expelled from Hungary by Viktor Orbán’s government.

Summer schools and other on-site programs were “obviously very risky and we didn’t make it a requirement. Some of the organizers also traveled to Ukraine and met with the students in March-April so there could be more interaction,” Trancsényi said.

The goal was also to create more social opportunities for students who were in the same place or could get there. A winter school is now scheduled for January.

Students are in small groups, supervised mainly by PhD students from the CEU, but also scholars from the Ukrainian diaspora and PhDs from their home institution, as well as mentors from other Western institutions.

“In theory, we have to meet the needs of a country, but in reality, [we cater for] very different student communities and different experiences involving both institutions, but also students and teachers from the diaspora,” Trancsényi explained, as not all Ukrainian universities were affected in the same way.

Some universities in the war zone have become completely inoperative, while others have been able to maintain education online but are unable to continue classes offline. Still others in western Ukraine are functional, with normal classrooms – as long as they have electricity.

Preparation for post-war Ukraine

The Invisible University for Ukraine prepares students for “a post-war situation where there will be reconstruction and engagement that can be international, not just national,” Trancsényi said.

A key objective is to strengthen the links of Ukrainian universities and their scholars and students with transnational networks, which can also counter the effects of brain drain by offering an alternative that does not depend on the current location of students.

It will also prepare Ukrainian teachers to be more exposed to the outside world and to a kind of international experience which, according to Trancsényi, should not be limited to those who have fled the country, but include “those who remain and who might feel abandoned”.

“There are a lot of people who still manage the system on the ground in Ukraine, and for them it is also extremely important to create this type of international framework that they can rely on when they want to change something in their own system. educational and not just rely on the money paid after the war.

Trancsényi referred to the experiences of Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe in the transition to European Union membership, where the simple act of pouring in money could actually corrupt the system.

The Invisible University of Ukraine is supported by the Open Society University Network and others such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Building on its experience in Ukraine, CEU is looking to start a pilot project in the Western Balkans and is discussing an “invisible university” with an institution in Belgrade, Serbia. Talks are also underway with Turkey and Central Asia where, Trancsényi notes, narrowing academic prospects have allowed students and scholars to benefit from internationally-minded views and courses.

Chiefs super fan gets surprise from doctor | New


HANNIBAL — Tena Hall was more than ready for her annual get-together with 76,000 of her closest friends in September at Arrowhead Stadium to watch the Kansas City Chiefs’ home opener and when a health issue arose. entailed months of recovery, Hall was determined not to miss it. .

It all started when Hall began to struggle with constipation. She made an appointment with her GP on May 18, who immediately sent her to Hannibal Regional Hospital for emergency surgery to repair a perforated bowel.

WHO promotes action on urgent mental health needs of Ukrainian refugees – Ukraine


The mental health needs of refugees were highlighted at a workshop organized by WHO, where lessons were shared by refugee-hosting countries and strategies were discussed on how to manage the number growing number of refugees arriving from the war in Ukraine. Experts from host countries shared best practices for providing urgent mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to arriving refugees.

Held under the auspices of the Pan-European Mental Health Coalition and as a follow-up to the High Level Meeting on Health and Migration held in Istanbul in March 2022, participants included members of society civil society, international organizations and mental health and migration experts, members of the refugee community and representatives of refugee-hosting countries as well as WHO representatives working on the health response mental.

“The Russian aggression in Ukraine was a big shock for Poland but also for the whole region,” Polish Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska said. He noted that initially aid had focused on meeting the basic needs of refugees, but now needed to focus on mental health, especially for “young mothers and children who have to flee knowing that their husbands and fathers are still in Ukraine, struggle.”

Support mental health

War, armed conflict and other man-made or natural disasters cause profound distress and can, in some cases, inflame or worsen existing mental health issues. Most people will recover without help; however, it is estimated that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health issue within the next 10 years, and 1 in 10 will experience a serious illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis.

This makes good quality MHPSS essential for the recovery of war-affected countries. For Viktoria Mariniuk, who works for the League for Mental Health in Slovakia and herself had to leave Ukraine, a good MHPSS is nothing without the involvement of the people concerned: “Let me tell you about the good MHPSS: People want to be heard, and in most cases, no medical procedures or medications are needed.

Workshop participants agreed that refugee populations need to be better involved in future MHPSS work. In addition, it was agreed that refugee-friendly mental health support should be integrated into national emergency preparedness, response and recovery plans before an emergency occurs.

Examples of good practice include the establishment of easy-to-access MHPSS service centers in Slovakia and the relaxation of regulations allowing Ukrainians with the relevant qualifications to provide mental health support to refugees without having to obtain a new license in Poland.

Refugees in Ukraine

Millions of people have been forcibly displaced since the start of the war in Ukraine. More than 7 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries and beyond. Millions more are internally displaced. Around 4.4 million refugees registered for temporary protection or similar national protection programs in Europe (as of 25 October 2022).

WHO experts were deployed to Ukraine and neighboring countries within days of the start of the war to respond to immediate health needs and begin the process of coordinating mental health and psychosocial support. This involved informing refugees arriving with pre-existing mental health problems where to get help, whether it was psychotropic medication or counselling.

WHO makes MHPSS resources available, coordinates MHPSS and provides surge support. Supporting countries in this effort is one of the main priorities of the Pan-European Mental Health Coalition, which will hold its second meeting on 23-24 November 2022 to continue the work started at this meeting.

Flexibility of new planning framework can benefit rural Scotland, says SLE


The rural-focused provisions of the latest draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) have been greeted with caution by rural business organisation, Scottish Land & Estates (SLE).

The revised NPF4, which sets out sustainable policies against which planning applications would be assessed for the next decade, was tabled in the Scottish Parliament this week.

The approach contained in NPF4 includes:

  • A move towards more presumption in favor of rural development, in particular to support fragile communities, rural businesses and the environment
  • Greater flexibility around rural development
  • A focus on the planning system facilitating resilience and community-led wealth creation
  • Favorable planning conditions for digital infrastructure in areas with no or low connectivity capacity.

Sarah Madden, Policy Adviser (Rural Communities) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Planning policy has a significant impact on the social, economic and environmental resilience of communities and for many years we have said that reform was needed to provide greater flexibility for development in rural Scotland.

“We are pleased that the framework indicates movement in this direction, with a better understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach for all urban and rural sectors simply does not work.

“There is a move towards a greater presumption in favor of development and, if implemented, it can contribute to the growth of the rural economy in the years to come. Recognition of the role of the planning system in facilitating resilience and community-led wealth creation is also welcome. »

She added, “Creating and realizing local development visions and goals is especially important for rural communities who know what their areas need to thrive. Unlocking the planning system is one of the best ways to give people the tools they need to fulfill such aspirations.

“Similar goals around community-led resilience were also set out in the land reform consultation, but the MFN4 approach is a more sensible and cooperative path.”

Ms Madden concluded: “We are also pleased that the need for integrated land use, balancing essential development to support fragile communities and rural businesses with the need to maintain farmland, peatlands and wild lands of quality, has been recognized.

“What is crucial now is how the high-level principles outlined in the framework are interpreted and implemented in practice and that is something we will monitor as we move forward.”

Employee shareholding for a tax consulting firm


A Sheffield-based tax consultancy has become employee-owned in a deal backed by multi-million pound funding from Shawbrook.

YesTax offers specialized tax breaks, including research and development, patent box, and capital cost allowances. It is also one of the only companies in the UK to offer expert advice on video game tax relief.

Since its creation in 2019, YesTax has advised more than 1,500 companies.

The move to 100% employee ownership was supported by a seven-figure loan facility from specialist lender Shawbrook.

In addition to rewarding its employees and fostering long-term staff retention, under the YesTax model, the company will donate 2.5% of its revenue to children’s charities around the world.

John Moxon, Managing Director of TFF Tax Ltd, trading as YesTax, said: “We have always prided ourselves on being a different tax company, driven by a desire to make a difference. The new structure is built around this idea, giving all employees a stake from which they will directly benefit.

“We approached the Shawbrook team because of their previous experience working with employee share ownership trusts. The bank’s involvement has allowed us to maintain our unique culture with a structure that sets us apart from all others UK tax advisory services.”

Nick Salmons, Director of Business Loans at Shawbrook, added: “YesTax is helping hundreds of businesses with its expert advice on tax incentives, supporting innovation across the UK. We look forward to seeing the company continue to grow with its employees at its heart.

“It’s easy to see why there’s a growing trend toward the employee ownership model. It offers tremendous benefits to existing shareholders and dedicated staff, supporting the unique philosophy of companies like YesTax.”



Seoul, South Korea, November 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ALPINION Medical Systems, a leading medical equipment manufacturer, will showcase a new line of high-performance diagnostic equipment at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) radiology conference.

Medical practitioners, clinical specialists and radiology researchers attending the RSNA Science Gathering can expect demonstrations of ALPINION’s new X-CUBE series: 90 and 70 on GPX and the new cost-effective console unit : X-CUBE 60. The X-CUBE aims to offer the highest level of ultrasound performance with precise clinical imaging and operational efficiency. The X-CUBE 90 and 70 Series on GPX have undergone a comprehensive system upgrade that incorporates advanced diagnostic technologies with reduced noise and artifacts to deliver excellent contrast resolution delicately. All three models are equipped with advanced imaging acquisition technology capable of processing signals 4x more and 14x faster than the existing platform, enabling healthcare providers to make every critical decision with maximum data visualization and interpretations and to provide accurate diagnosis with confidence.

The X-CUBE 90 on GPX, which will be recently presented at this conference, will demonstrate ALPINION’s cluster image processing technology, Attenuation Imaging (ATI) to objectively detect and quantify fatty liver disease, Shearwave Elastography (SWE) to help diagnose liver cirrhosis and Brilliant Flow to display three-dimensional blood flow on the device.

The new product, X-CUBE 60, offers improved imaging performance and practical ease of use by inheriting the X+ Architecture, whose excellent performance and quality have proven themselves in the market. Features of the X-CUBE 60 include a high performance imaging platform, easy to use control panel and numeric keypad, various automatic measurement functions, X+ Assistant supporting custom workflows, system online support, a light weight of 70 kg, and a compact design.

The RSNA 2022 Annual Meeting marks a new phase in the company’s history, as ALPINION expands globally through new partnerships, new market opportunities and representation in new channels.


As a subsidiary of ILJIN Group (015860.KS), a company representing South Korea in the field of manufacturing parts and materials, ALPINION MEDICAL SYSTEMS specializes in the development and manufacture of medical ultrasound scanners. By independently developing and manufacturing high-quality transducers as well as diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound systems, it contributes to improving the quality of medical services.

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Benefits of Implementing the OKR Framework in Your Business


In an ever-changing business world, it’s challenging to meet ever-increasing customer expectations while implementing the latest technologies and growing your business at a rapid pace.

OKR (objectives and key results) is an essential internal alignment system that connects people to strategy while assuring management that everyone in the company is pulling in the same direction and that their efforts are driving the business forward .

Even some of the biggest companies like Google and Microsoft use OKR methods because they are beneficial for aligning goals, effective employee engagement, transparent communication, and tracking and improving performance.

So let’s take a look at the top three benefits of implementing the OKR framework in your business.

  • Innovation, improvement and growth

OKRs help drive business growth through innovation and improvement. This implies that the OKR is not a list of activities that you perform in your business. Normal business operations are your day-to-day work, while OKR focuses on making changes, whether in your job or in the way you do it.

When working with OKRs, teams need to think about how they can help achieve business goals. What can they improve? What can they do better? Are they doing something that brings great value, and can they make it even better?

Getting great results requires setting goals that challenge you to think outside the box. While setting the most ambitious results, you leave plenty of room for creativity to figure out how to achieve them instead of just ordering people what to do without knowing what works and what doesn’t.

  • A clear direction for the company and the teams

OKR is an intense focus method that encourages your team to focus on results. The approach is not intended for normal business operations; therefore, it is not an alternative method to organize everything you manage. The main objective is to improve your business by identifying areas of improvement during the quarter. It is possible to determine what needs to be corrected or to develop ideas to do things differently.

The first step is to set the direction for the entire organization, then ask teams to create OKRs that align with overall business goals. Having an unambiguous goal for each team in your company is beneficial. OKRs help you decide on your primary focus for the quarter and ensure teams can deliver results that benefit the business.

The most successful organizations in the world have OKRs that are set quarterly. Three months is enough to get the desired results. After that, you’ll find out what works best and adjust your focus areas for the next quarter.

By reviewing your goals and key results every three months, you’ll have four opportunities a year to react to changes in the world, rather than doing an annual review only to realize you’ve been in the wrong direction over the past year. past year.

  • Liability and Ownership

Team OKRs should align with business goals and be part of their achievement. This implies that the business has created direction through goals and that teams need to take responsibility for implementing their OKRs to help the business move forward. Assigning someone an owner mentality is impossible because it automatically comes down to teams trusting each other.

To realize their full potential, teams need to be accountable for writing their OKRs as a collaborative team and decide how they put their energy and time most effectively: for example, what can they do to improve things or change? What can they do to improve? The OKR framework helps teams think about their work and what they could do to make their contribution more effective.

If you are considering implementing the OKR framework in your business, there are many companies available in the market such as https://okrquickstart.com that offer consultation and coaching to scale your business and achieve amazing results. .


Implementing an OKR framework in your business can be useful for tracking and measuring progress and setting ambitious but achievable goals. By setting measurable goals, you can ensure your team is striving to achieve something tangible and continually improve their performance.

Additionally, the OKR framework can be used to establish hierarchies of responsibility and accountability within your business. So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your team’s efficiency and effectiveness, consider implementing an OKR framework!

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“We re-imagine, recreate and redeem cultural omissions and misrepresentations of blackness, for culture….” This post is made in Partnership with British pathe.

Four questions for the French military cyber mission chief


STUTTGART, Germany — France anticipates that its future military force will rely heavily on systems of systems, the networks of which are interconnected on the battlefield. From the Army’s Scorpion modernization program for new ground vehicles and communications systems to the Air and Space Force’s sixth-generation fighter in development with Germany, the growing capabilities connected will always require more cybersecurity.

The head of the DGA’s cyber mission, Chief Armament Engineer Bruno, shared some of the country’s top cyber priorities with Defense News.

Bruno’s surname redacted – a request from the French Ministry of the Armed Forces accepted by Defense News to publish this interview, which has been edited for length and clarity. This interview was conducted before the recent publication of France’s 2023 defense budget.

France’s defense budget for 2022 included around 231 million euros (231.5 million US dollars) for cyber systems. Where is the acquisition of these cyber systems, and what more is needed to strengthen France’s cyber capabilities?

The equipment associated with the cyber domain covers several areas:

  • Cyber ​​protection, including new encryption ranges, encryption key distribution and management systems, as well as the means necessary for access control, or the exchange of classified information on various operational systems.
  • Defensive cyber warfare, including the development and acquisition of attack detection systems capable of defending our most sensitive information systems and weapons, and defensive cyber warfare chain tools, i.e. i.e. the gradual modernization of systems under the French cyber defense command COMCYBER to identify and anticipate threats, conduct digital investigations and ensure the operational availability of units.
  • Cyberwarfare of influence: After the development in 2021 of a doctrine in this area, 2022 is a key year to equip the armies with the means to monitor, track and identify adversary maneuvers in the field of information.
  • Offensive cyber warfare: in particular with an approach of integrating offensive cyber capabilities into traditional military capabilities.

These areas of effort are implemented through a major equipment program piloted by the DGA, evolving in stages. The next tranche is expected to launch in late 2022 and includes a key milestone for the new secure mobile phone system for the benefit of the highest state authorities, as well as an order for NATO radio encryptors for our US partners.

How is France preparing for a hybrid war? What technology investments does this include? Artificial intelligence, cloud computing and big data?

France seeks to exploit the potential of technologies in the digital domain by processing very large volumes of data as well as information from artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

The Ministry for the Armed Forces has set up a project to bring together all the ministerial lines of action on artificial intelligence, resulting in the creation in 2019 of a unit dedicated to AI within the Agency for defense innovation. Artemis.IA, piloted by the Digital Defense Agency, aims to provide the Ministry with a secure and sovereign technical base for the massive processing of data from AI and algorithms adapted to defense needs.

Other programs integrating or expected to integrate AI include the Rafale fighter jet for automatic target detection and recognition, and the Contact radio program, which aims to improve voice quality and halve the bit rate needed to transmit an audio stream.

In terms of cloud computing, the objective is to provide our forces with the ability to transport, share, exploit in real time, store, administer and secure data in “plug and fight” mode with our allies and partners during a major operation, in the vein of the American concept of joint command and control for all domains. This is largely driven by the SIA program, intended to provide common C2 capabilities based on the integration and sharing of data between different domains – land, air, maritime and space – and different domains – digital, electromagnetic and cyber.

How will cyber systems figure into the Army’s Scorpion and Main Ground Combat System programs, and the Air Force’s Future Combat Air System program, as the government develops and integrates more autonomous and interconnected systems ?

An in-depth analysis of cybersecurity issues was conducted from the early design phases of Scorpion in order to minimize the attack surface of the system of systems. This incorporates protection measures at each architectural level — network segregation, securing external interfaces, authentication mechanisms, encryption, etc.

Both the FCAS and MGCS systems are currently in very preliminary stages. Typically, the work carried out at this stage includes the study of the threat and the formalization of the security objectives.

The common trend between these two systems is an increase in the interconnectivity of the platforms, with the aim of developing collaborative combat, which increases the attack surface. If tomorrow’s operational superiority depends on the digitization of our armed systems, our adversaries have understood the advantage they can obtain by exploiting this digitization. Anticipating and controlling this risk are two key parameters in the fight to preserve our operational superiority in the conflicts in which the armed forces are engaged.

These issues have been taken into account for the MGCS and the SCAF from the architectural studies, and will be further developed during the technological demonstration phases. The FCAS program, for example, aims to develop a discreet and resilient cross-platform link, which would serve as the first level of response to the cyber threat.

What is the DGA doing to get closer to French and European manufacturers in the field of cyber defense and warfare?

The DGA is the technical expert of the Ministry of the Armed Forces in the cyber domain. It strongly contributes to the development of the French cyber sector through its contribution to the national cyber acceleration strategy, and specific actions aimed at developing a network of sovereign industrial players — relying on multiple partnerships, for example with investment funds or with public and private actors. actors involved in the cyber campus located in the La Défense business district in Paris, where the DGA set up a team in the spring of 2022.

At European level, the nature of cyber defense projects and their particular sensitivity have so far limited the possibilities for cooperation. That said, France is investing in two European projects — Cyber ​​​​Rapid Response Toolbox for Defense Use and European Cyber ​​Situational Awareness Platform — in the field of defensive cyber warfare, which is the subject of a broad consensus at European level. .

This cooperation, based on national technical maturity, provides visibility on our capabilities and our doctrines, places our industry in an advantageous position at European level and contributes to European interoperability.

Vivienne Machi is a journalist based in Stuttgart, Germany, who contributes to Defense News’ European coverage. She previously worked for National Defense Magazine, Defense Daily, Via Satellite, Foreign Policy and the Dayton Daily News. She was named the Defense Media Awards’ Best Young Defense Journalist in 2020.

Every report to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme helps improve the safety of medicines and medical devices for all


Launched today by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the seventh annual report #MedSafetyWeek runs until November 13 to encourage broad public engagement and improve patient safety by reporting suspected drug-associated side effects and adverse incidents involving medical devices.

This year’s campaign is a truly global effort and involves healthcare product regulators from no less than 82 countries. It focuses on the vital role played by every healthcare professional, patient and caregiver in reporting a suspected side effect or adverse incident, which in turn supports the safe use of medicines and medical devices.

All medicines can cause side effects and adverse events can occur when using medical devices. It is therefore important to have strong measures in place to continuously monitor their safety after clinical use. The purpose of safety monitoring is to obtain more information about known side effects and adverse events, to discover new ones and, above all, to make the use of medicines and medical devices as safe as possible. possible. Regulators operate systems to detect and analyze these adverse side effects and incidents and prevent harm to future patients.

It is important for everyone to report as soon as they suspect side effects and adverse events. This ensures that regulatory assessments are truly representative and can improve safety for as many people as possible.

The Yellow card scheme is the MHRA’s unique system for collecting suspected drug side effects and adverse incidents involving medical devices. These side effects and adverse events are then collated and quickly investigated by the MHRA. Since its inception in 1964, the program has identified many safety issues to the benefit of many, through individual reports from drug users across the country.

Anyone who reports suspected side effects and adverse events to Yellow card system website or appactively participates in identifying emerging national security issues, so that the MHRA can act where necessary and protect against harm.

Phil Tregunno, MHRA Deputy Director of Patient Safety Oversight, said:

Each report made by a patient, healthcare professional or carer plays a key role in understanding the risks of medicines and medical devices for clinical use and allowing rapid and targeted action to be taken to minimize harm and ensure that the benefit – the risk remains favourable.

Reporting suspected side effects and adverse incidents on the Yellow Card website is not just about the individual concerned, it helps to improve the safety of medicines and medical devices for all patients. By reporting, you are part of the solution – and you may be helping to protect the most vulnerable and at-risk groups from potential harm.

If you, your child or a patient in your care experience a suspected side effect or adverse incident related to a medicine or medical device, it is essential that you report it to us quickly. The sooner you report, the more likely we can step in and prevent others from having unfortunate, serious, upsetting, and sometimes fatal issues.

Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care, Will Quince, said:

Patient safety is at the heart of delivering the best care, and this government takes it extremely seriously. I am happy to support this campaign which will help to further improve the safety of medicines in the UK.

I urge everyone, from healthcare professionals to patients, to continue to report any adverse reactions involving drugs or medical devices through the yellow card system, so that potential incidents can be investigated. fast.

Anyone can report suspected side effects and adverse events to the Yellow Card program. Reports can be submitted in several ways:

Healthcare professionals and providers can also use local clinical systems to report, such as MiDatabank, SystmOne or VISION.

Reports related specifically to COVID-19, including suspected side effects caused by drugs, vaccines and medical devices and incidents while using coronavirus test kits should be made to coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

  • National medicines regulators from 82 countries around the world and their stakeholders will take part in this international campaign led by the Uppsala Monitoring Center (UMC) – the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for international drug monitoring. The campaign is supported by members of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA). The #MedSafetyWeek 2022 project team is made up of representatives from the following organizations working in collaboration: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (UK) as co-lead, Medicines Regulatory Authority (Ireland), the Egyptian Section of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP), and the Colombian Pharmacovigilance Association.
  • The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK. The MHRA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.
  • Patients using the yellow card site should enter the relevant medicine, vaccine or medical device in the search bar and select “Start report” on the right side of the bar. The search bar also offers a drop-down menu to flag medicines, vaccines, medical devices, blood factors and immunoglobulin products, e-cigarettes, and herbal or homeopathic medicines that are not on the list from the MHRA, as well as the ability to send additional details of the suspected material(s) if the product type is unknown, so that the final report is accurate.
  • For adverse incidents associated with a medical device, healthcare professionals should report through the yellow card system or their local clinic reporting systems. Healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be required to report adverse incidents involving medical devices through the Northern Ireland Adverse Incident Center (NIAIC) Where National Services Scotland.
  • Patients are advised to contact a healthcare professional if they have concerns about their health or the safety of any health product they receive.

Big changes to Twitter…and more tech news for small businesses this week


Here are five tech events that happened in the past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Twitter is planning big changes.

Although unconfirmed, Twitter plans to start charging users $8 per month for paid verification. The goal of the change is to turn Twitter’s optional $4.99 monthly subscription into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users. These are just a few of the many changes now owner Elon Musk is planning in the coming months, including improved content moderation and a shift to a more subscription-based model for all users. (Source: BBC News)

Why it matters to your business:

Millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners use Twitter around the world, and many of us have been following recent events closely since Elon Musk took ownership. Musk cleaned up and worked on new content moderation and revenue stream policies. Clearly its shift to a more subscription-based model and away from advertisers who might become nervous about “freedom of speech” changes is necessary to increase the company’s revenue streams while allowing its community to have a say. There are also rumors that it will turn the platform into a “super app” like China’s WeChat that can support mobile payments, banking and communications. If your business uses Twitter, expect to see a decline in followers as bots are removed. Also expect to pay to play. But if Musk succeeds in turning the platform into a better place for conversations and news, those changes could boost credibility and make Twitter a better place for free speech and free markets.

2 – Shopify acquired Remix to strengthen its storefront design tools.

Shopify recently acquired developer tools platform Remix in an effort to improve its storefront design tools. Remix is ​​a comprehensive web framework aimed at taking advantage of native browser functionality and distributed systems. Remix is ​​compatible with several public cloud services such as Cloudflare Workers, Vercel, Netlify, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services. Shopify plans to use Remix on several projects. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why it matters to your business:

This is exciting news for Shopify storefront developers who want more open source tools for their projects. According to TechCrunch, “one of Remix’s key features is prefetching – the framework can prefetch elements of a web page in parallel, including buttons and forms, before a user clicks on a link to minimize loading the page”. Shopify believes Remix will make it “more easy for developers to deliver lightning-fast, resilient experiences on the web.”

3 – JPMorgan Chase wants to disrupt rent control with its payment platform for landlords and tenants.

JPMorgan Chase is rolling out a pilot platform to help digitize rent payments for property managers and landlords. The new payment platform will automate the invoicing and collection of all rents paid online. Although digital payments have increased in recent years, approximately 78% of rent payments are still made by paper checks. (Source: CNBC)

Why it matters to your business:

I always believed that over time banks would take over the accounting space and replace many of the current players with their own apps. This story is a good example. The property management industry is still stuck in the 70s when it comes to technology. 78% of payments are still made with paper checks? What? Cloud accounting apps struggled to move customers forward, but failed. JPMorgan Chase’s platform could be an answer. And if the bank succeeds in expanding these tools for this industry, there are other service-based industries that could also benefit from an upgrade.

4— This Walmart-backed fintech plans to test banking services in the coming weeks according to sources.

Fintech company One – which is backed by Walmart – plans to roll out checking accounts for beta testing to a small percentage of Walmart’s online customers and thousands of its employees. One of the goals is to provide these accounts to Walmart’s 1.6 million employees in the first year after rollout before introducing broader services. The fintech also plans to expand its investment and lending offerings. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Why it matters to your business:

Another reason I think banks will eventually get into the accountancy business is that other businesses — like big-box retailers — are slowly eating away at their consumer banking. If Walmart is successful with this fintech project, I would expect similar offerings to be made available to its vendors and partners in the future.

5 – HR employee benefits platform Fringe recently raised $17 million to offer customizable perks.

HR tech startup Fringe raised $17 million in a recent funding round. The company enables its corporate customers to offer customizable employee benefits, giving staff the flexibility to choose the plans and benefits that best suit their life stage and needs. Fringe plans to use the funding to grow its team from 72 to more than 100 employees by the end of next month. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why it matters to your business:

Fringe is a very popular platform with many of my clients because it provides a flexible way to provide employee benefits, from Uber rides to mental health services. Workers love it because they can choose the benefits they want. My clients love it because Fringe makes it easier for them to offer many different benefits from a single resource, reducing administration and monitoring.

Project Cedar: Improving Cross-Border Payments with Blockchain Technology


Project Cedar is the inaugural project of the New York Innovation Center (NYIC). This is a multi-phase research effort to develop a technical framework for a theoretical wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) in the context of the Federal Reserve.

During Phase I of the Cedar Project, a prototype wholesale central bank digital currency was developed to demonstrate the potential of blockchain to improve speed, cost and access to a critical component of the cross-border payments market. wholesale – a foreign exchange ( FX) cash transaction.

Problem space

Wholesale cross-border payments are financial transactions between central banks, private sector banks, corporations and other institutions based in separate jurisdictions. Spot foreign exchange transactions are among the most common wholesale cross-border payments, as they are often needed to support broader transactions, such as international trade or investment in foreign assets.

Although cross-border payments are working well, there are opportunities for improvement. Typically, it takes about two days for a spot FX transaction to settle. During these two days, counterparties are exposed to settlement, counterparty and credit risk which, among other things, can impede an institution’s ability to access liquidity.

Solution concept

As part of a simulation of a wholesale cash FX transaction, Project Cedar developed a prototype wholesale central bank digital currency to test whether blockchain technology can provide fast and secure payments. The core of Project Cedar’s solution concept was the Distributed Ledger Infrastructure, a multi-ledger construct in which each currency was kept on a separate ledger, managed by its respective simulated central bank.

The Phase I prototype included design choices such as a permissioned blockchain network, using an unspent transaction output data model (UTXO), and Rust as the primary programming language.


The Cedar project has shown that blockchain-enabled cross-border payments can be faster, simultaneous, and more secure:

  • Faster payments: In the test environment, transactions on the blockchain-enabled distributed ledger system settled in less than 15 seconds on average.
  • Atomic regulation: The simulated ledger network enabled atomic settlement, meaning that both sides of the simulated transactions settled simultaneously or not at all, and reduced the risks currently borne by counterparties.
  • Safer and more accessible transactions: The design of the distributed ledger system enabled 24/7/365 payments and supported interoperability-related goals by enabling transactions across separate and homogeneous ledger networks representing a variety of financial institutions, including central banks and the private sector.

Next steps

Phase I of the Cedar project revealed key questions and highlighted areas for additional research, particularly around ledger platform design, interoperability and security. As part of its ongoing research into wCBDC, the NYIC will explore issues related to ledger interoperability and design, including how to achieve concurrency and best enforce atomic transactions across different blockchain-based payments.

Download the Phase I report

Youth Services System Hosts 12th Annual Wheeling SleepOut


WHEELING, WV (WTRF) – Friday’s weather came at a perfect time for the 12th annual Youth Services System Wheeling SleepOut.

The goal of YSS’s Transitional Living Program is to provide housing, life skills, and employment support to young adults ages 17-21. Many of these young people are homeless, have aged out of the system, or for various reasons have found themselves without any place to stay, or a stable support system in their lives.

The proceeds raised tonight will allow YSS to continue to run its program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. YSS officials tell us they need the public’s help now, more than ever.

“It really started during COVID. You see more people who need help, more people who need shelter, housing. You know we have hygiene supplies that we give out daily, we have our Sophie Moses Free Store where anyone in the community can pick up clothes if they need them, get furniture, dishes, toys for their children, and we’ve seen a slight increase. So that makes events like this all the more important.

TUCKER RIGGLEMAN, Digital Media and Communications Coordinator at Youth Services System

This year’s theme is ‘Once Upon a Time’ and participants use cardboard to create their favorite fairy tale structures to spend the night in.

November is also National Runaway Prevention Month, and YSS says it’s the perfect time to shine a light on the issue of youth homelessness.

Excerpt from reviews: JBC


A new player involved in the response to kidney damage. The role of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in kinase pathway activation. Understand what a linker does in heme extraction. Check out these articles recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

A new player involved in the response to kidney damage

Fibrosis involves the excessive buildup of extracellular matrix, which can lead to loss of function when normal tissue is replaced by scar tissue, such as after injury. In the case of kidney disease in particular, fibrosis is the final stage of chronic disease characterized by the accumulation of interstitial fibroblasts and myofibroblasts in addition to the accumulation of ECM.

Carl Zeiss Microscopy

Microscopy image of a mouse kidney section.

Follistatin-like 1 is a secreted protein. While the role FSTL1 plays in heart and lung injury and the development of fibrosis has been widely studied, the role this protein plays in kidney injury and progression to chronic disease remains to be determined.

In a recent article in the Journal of Biological ChemistryYu Zhang and colleagues from the School of Biomedical Sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Center of Nephrology and Urology at Sun Yat-sen University in China report that FSTL1 plays a profibrotic role in the kidney.

The team used several molecular biology and imaging techniques – including single-cell RNA-Seq analysis and immunofluorescence – to show that Fstl1 was enriched in stromal cells in obstructed mouse kidneys and that the FSTL1 expression was induced in fibroblasts during renal fibrogenesis in mice and humans. the patients.

Furthermore, the authors showed that overexpression of FSTL1 increased renal fibrosis and activated the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, while inhibition of FSTL1 decreased Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

Role of a viral oncoprotein in the activation of the kinase pathway

Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus is the main etiological agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma, which manifests as patchy cancerous tumors on the skin and mucous membranes. It most often affects people with immune deficiencies, such as those with HIV/AIDS.

The virus – known as KSHV and human herpesvirus 8 – belongs to the same family as the Epstein-Barr virus, which is responsible for infectious mononucleosis and several types of cancer and has recently been implicated in the development of sclerosis in plates.

The virally encoded oncoprotein vFLIP is known to upregulate inhibitor kappa B kinase, or IKK complex, activating the canonical nuclear factor κB signaling pathway, a major factor in the pathogenesis of KSHV.

The physical interaction of vFLIP and the regulatory component of IKK kinase, IKK gamma, is essential for persistent activation and has been extensively studied; however, how the kinase subunits are mechanically active remains to be determined.

In a recent Journal of Biological Chemistry article, Claire Baggris, Swathi L. Senthil Kumar and collaborators from the Institute of Structural Molecular Biology in London report that vFLIP alone is sufficient to activate the IKK kinase complex. The researchers used a combination of cell-based assays and biophysical and structural biology techniques.

The authors also found weakly stabilized and high molecular weight vFLIP-IKKγ assemblies relevant to the activation process.

Ultimately, this new study determined that vFLIP-induced NF-κB activation relies on structurally specific vFLIP–IKKγ multimers that are essential for activating kinase subunits through autophosphorylation.

The proof is in the linker

Iron acts as an electron carrier and cofactor in many proteins; this makes it an essential nutrient for living organisms, including pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for fatal nosocomial infections.

The iron-regulated surface determinant system is a family of proteins that sequesters iron from the host to support bacterial growth and is therefore a potential therapeutic target. The IsdH surface protein consists of three iron-like transporter domains, or NEATs, linked by linkers, and is responsible for hemoglobin uptake.

In a recent Journal of Biological Chemistry articleSandra Valenciano-Bellido and her colleagues at the University of Tokyo characterized the binding region between the NEAT2 and NEAT3 domains using several biophysical techniques to better understand the role it plays in heme extraction.

The researchers showed that the binding region contributes to the stability of the bound protein and this, in turn, influences the flexibility and orientation of the NEAT3 domain in its interaction with hemoglobin.

The authors suggest that this model explains how the binding region facilitates the positioning of NEAT3 to sequester heme, and they argue that the study adds to researchers’ understanding of the mechanism of heme extraction from human hemoglobin. by IsdH.

Pakihi Māori Summit returns to support Whanganui business growth

DJ Sir-Vere (right) speaks to MC Taiaroa Neho during last year's Whanganui Pakihi Māori Summit.

Moana Ellis

DJ Sir-Vere (right) speaks to MC Taiaroa Neho during last year’s Whanganui Pakihi Māori Summit.

A business summit in Whanganui on Saturday aims to boost support for Maori Pakihi.

The four-hour event is a collaboration between Whanganui Pakihi Māori and economic development agency Whanganui & Partners.

Whanganui Pakihi Māori leader Seletar Taputoro said the summit was a chance for Māori businesses to share and find information and strengthen their networks.

“Our Pakihi Māori Summit provides a connection for our local Pakihi Māori, from start-ups to side businesses and everything just to connect to the services available to them. This is to enable them to get the support and information they need to enable them to develop their pakihi and move on to the next phases.

* The PGF-funded marae upgrade project is coming to an end
* Whanganui River Tribes Bring Global Attention to Indigenous Knowledge
* Trifecta of Barriers to the Maori Economy: Home Ownership, Skills Inequality and the Funding Gap

Taputoro said the summit would allow networking with Maori stakeholders and suppliers, as well as other Pakihi they could collaborate with as their business grows.

The summit was first held last year after Pakihi Māori identified the need for more information to help start-up businesses, including how to price and cost products and services, how to manage compliance, insurance, IRD registration, opening bank accounts and other specific business information needed to run businesses effectively and efficiently.

Taputoro said Whanganui Pakihi Māori hopes to establish a framework for the development of Māori businesses, ensuring that there is a healthy business ecosystem to support the prosperity of Māori businesses and whānau.

“The idea of ​​creating this Maori business ecosystem and coming from the awa is a great model that we are really working on so that any of our whānau that comes in or has an idea can be a part of it and can to contribute to the growth and bring the pakihi to where they need to be.

“Just the simple things like a logo or pitching your elevator pitch, all the way to the more complex mahi you need to do in terms of accounting or marketing. We want to be able to provide a full range where anyone, in any position in their company, can come to learn and grow.

“It’s about coming together as a community and inspiring and supporting each other,” Taputoro said. “We want people to have the confidence to convert their early business ideas and concepts into successful businesses.”

The summit will bring together Whanganui & Partners, Te Manū Atatu, Te Puni Kōkiri, Inland Revenue Te Tari Taake, ANZ, Department of Social Development, Statistics NZ, The Generator and Thrive, and 18 pakihi will have booths, creating an interactive space where people can browse and learn.

Whanganui & Partners – Business Strategy Manager Suz Hepi said there is a big advantage for companies to be able to meet and talk to support services in one place and get an idea of ​​the extent of assistance available.

“Kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) interaction makes all the difference in people feeling supported and valued,” Hepi said.

The Pakihi Māori Summit, hosted by MC Taiaroa Neho, is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Frank Bar + Eatery on Saturdays. Speakers include musician DJ Sir-vere, Ash Patea from Kii Tai Culture & Education, costume designer Lee Williams from Paetuia and Richie and Casey Graham from Grahams Civil Contractors.

ReShape Lifesciences™ presents data on its proprietary Bloc-Stim neuromodulation device for diabetes at ObesityWeek®


ReShape Life Sciences Inc.

Stimulation of celiac vagal fibers with simultaneous high-frequency alternating current block of liver fibers decreases glucose variability in a porcine model of type 2 diabetes

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Nov. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reshaping life sciences™ (Nasdaq: RSLS), the leading physician-led weight loss and metabolic health solutions company, today announced the presentation of data on its proprietary Diabetes Bloc-Stim Neuromodulation™ (DBSN™) device in an abstract at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society, during ObesityWeek® conference to be held in San Diego, California, November 1-4, 2022, with continued virtual access through December 31, 2022.

“Despite medications, surgery and diet, type 2 diabetes remains difficult to treat effectively,” said Jonathan Waataja, director of research at ReShape Lifesciences. “Encouragingly, the company’s technology has demonstrated both safety and efficacy in a porcine model of type 2 diabetes, showing that bioelectronic modulation of nerves innervating organs that regulate plasma glucose (PG) , using our proprietary DBSN™ device, may be a new treatment option. for type 2 diabetes.

The reported summary is as follows:

Metabolic effects of dual vagus nerve neuromodulation in a model of type 2 diabetes
ID: Poster-297
Session title: Neuroscience
Track 2:
Authors: Raj Nihalani, MD, Jonathan Waataja, Ph.D., Charles Billington, MD

Autonomic vagus nerve stimulation, or vagotomy treatments, have mixed or undesirable results. Neuromodulation consisting of stimulation of celiac fibers innervating the pancreas with simultaneous reversible electrical blockade of neuronal hepatic fibers innervating the liver is a new therapeutic concept that has been successfully tested in animal models of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Previously, the area under the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) curve was calculated to quantify glycemic control. However, blood glucose fluctuations during OGTT were not consulted. These fluctuations may be of importance in the treatment of T2DM, as large fluctuations in PG have been shown to increase oxidative stress and lead to comorbidities in T2DM. As part of this study, these fluctuations were investigated during OGTTs in diabetic pigs. Celiac fibers were stimulated at a frequency of 1 Hz with the simultaneous application of a high frequency (5000 Hz) alternating current blockade to the liver fibers. Standard deviation (SD) and percent coefficient of variation (%CV) were used to quantify glycose variability during OGTT in an alloxan-treated porcine model of type 2 diabetes (n = 3 w/ 3 OGTT). DBSN™ was found to significantly decrease SD and %CV compared to placebo.

“The opportunity to present such compelling data on our proprietary DBSN™ device at this industry conference speaks to the commercial potential of the technology to treat type 2 diabetes,” said Paul F. Hickey, President and CEO from the management of ReShape Lifesciences. “Backed by a strong intellectual property portfolio, the DBSN™ device has the potential to provide truly personalized therapy by being able to adjust insulin production, as needed, for any individual. As previously reported, we are using our second NIH SBIR grant to focus on developing technology to treat the metabolic disorder, hypoglycemia. We believe we are on track to continue evaluating the DBSN™ device to address the large global diabetes market, reducing patient dependency on medication. As previously indicated, we continue to fund the development of DBSN™ through a non-dilutive funding strategy and potential strategic alliances.

About the Diabetes Bloc-Stim Neuromodulation™ Device
The Diabetes Bloc-Stim Neuromodulation™ (DBSN™) System is a novel therapeutic concept that is implanted in a minimally invasive manner and provides bioelectronic neuromodulation of the branches of the vagus nerve which are innervating organs that regulate plasma glucose. The DBSN™ System stimulates celiac vagal fibers in the pancreas to release insulin during stimulation, while blocking the hepatic vagal branch, innervating the liver, to decrease glucose release and decrease insulin resistance after ligation . The DBSN™ system uses a proprietary, reversible and adjustable electrical lockout considered key to the future of personalized medicine. The DBSN™ System is superior to both autonomic vagus nerve stimulation which has shown mixed results and vagus nerve ligation which has adverse effects.

About ReShape Lifesciences™
ReShape Lifesciences™ is America’s leading weight loss and metabolic health solutions company, offering an integrated portfolio of proven products and services that manage and treat obesity and metabolic disease. The FDA-approved Lap-Band® program provides a long-term, minimally invasive treatment for obesity and is an alternative to more invasive surgical stapling procedures such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. remodelcare™ is a virtual weight management program that supports lifestyle changes for all weight loss patients, led by board-certified health coaches to help them maintain weight over time. time. The recently launched ReShape Marketplace™ is an online collection of quality wellness products for all consumers to help them achieve their health goals. The investigational Diabetes Bloc-Stim Neuromodulation™ (DBSN™) system uses a proprietary vagus nerve blocking and stimulation technology platform for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and metabolic disorders. The Obalon® Balloon Technology is a non-surgical, swallowable, gas-filled intragastric balloon designed to provide sustained weight loss. The ReShape Vest™ System is an investigational, minimally invasive, laparoscopically implanted medical device that wraps around the stomach, mimicking the gastric volume reduction effect of conventional weight loss surgery. It helps to enable rapid weight loss in obese people without permanently altering the patient’s anatomy. For more information, please visit www.reshapelifesciences.com.

Safe Harbor Forward-Looking Statement
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from those discussed due to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of words such as “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “could”, “could”, “intend”, “will”, “continue”, “future”, other words of similar meaning and the use of future dates. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about our expectation that the marketing campaign will continue to promote increased demand for Lap Band® procedures and, therefore, potentially a significant increase in revenue for ReShape. These and other risks and uncertainties are described in more detail in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including factors identified as “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10. -K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. . We provide this information as of the date of this press release and undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. .

ReShape Lifesciences Investor Contact:
Thomas Stankovitch
Financial director
[email protected]

Contact with Investor Relations:
Rx Communications Group
Michael Miller
[email protected]

How families can support loved ones in crisis


Opioid prevalence continues to reach into family homes, disrupting dynamics and causing what may seem like irreparable harm. More recently you may have heard reports retailers using vibrant colors, sweet fruity tastes and visually pleasing packaging that strategically manipulates the emotions of the target audience, creating an experience equivalent to discovering a sweet surprise. Although attractive colors for illicit substances are nothing newThe current cultural panic over “rainbow fentanyl” is drawing renewed attention to the real dangers and effects of opioid addiction.

When running a drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation center, it is sad to come across so many people suffering from fentanyl addiction. As they face severe detoxes, it takes a certain drug regimen to give them the safest and most comfortable detox. However, the pull of the drug is usually much stronger once they start to feel better, which can cause them to drop out of treatment and relapse. If you’re supporting a loved one struggling with fentanyl addiction, it’s important that you enforce strict boundaries, find access to resources, educate yourself about the drug, and provide personal safeguards.

Given the stages of change, it is essential that an addict accepts having an addiction, then realizes that he needs help and uses that help to really improve his life. Each step of the process is essential to their recovery and it is important to meet this person where they are in order to treat them effectively. The majority of recent fentanyl users – young adults – that my team has come into contact with are in the early stages of their recovery. They know they have a problem but aren’t quite ready to make a change for themselves yet. This is why it is essential that all the supporting elements are present to treat the individual.

The most important part of recovery is family and the support system. The support system should be aware and educated that when their loved one calls to leave treatment, they have a safety plan in place to prevent a relapse.

When looking for a program to send your loved one to, make sure the doctor is knowledgeable about fentanyl detox and will provide medically assisted therapy (MAT) – also that the program is enriched with little downtime, so the individual has little time to think about cravings. The first 7-10 days treatment are the most critical with many crisis interventions and additional support needed from the clinical team to ensure client safety.

When all the pieces come together cohesively, we can truly bring about remarkable change for these people. It may take a few repetitions to get through treatment, but with determination and the right approach, we can successfully change the lives of fentanyl users. We have seen people recover from this illness and are proud to have saved the lives of many customers. It’s up to us to come together and educate ourselves on the threats facing our society to help prevent further losses of this medicine.

The information provided here is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a qualified health care provider for advice regarding your specific situation.

Six weeks after Fiona, the recovery is gaining ground in Puerto Rico


By Lara Cooper

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 18 as a Category 1 hurricane, causing an island-wide power outage and causing extensive damage to many areas, especially the southern part -western Puerto Rico. In the six weeks since the impact of the storm, Direct Relief has responded with continued shipments of medical support.

Since the hurricane hit Puerto Rico, Direct Relief has shipped more than $484,000 in medical aid to the island to 23 beneficiaries. More than 194,000 defined daily doses of medicine have been included in the 90 shipments that have since departed, and a significant part of the response came from medical supplies organized in Puerto Rico as part of its strategic role as a regional hub for the response. disasters in the Caribbean. and beyond.

Before the storm

Prior to the start of the 2022 hurricane season, 28 tons of emergency response supplies and equipment, including 11 hurricane preparedness modules containing commonly requested medicine and supplies for post-storm care, kits field medical supplies for triage care, personal care items, oxygen concentrators, tents, PPE, solar chargers and other emergency response essentials have been pre-positioned in the Direct Relief warehouse in Porto Rico.

Because of this emergency preparedness and the establishment of medical support at Direct Relief’s Puerto Rico center, after Hurricane Fiona directly hit the south-southwest portion of Puerto Rico on September 18, Direct Relief staff in Puerto Rico were able to mobilize immediately. and distribute medical support to community health centers and other medical organizations in affected areas.

This rapid response enabled Direct Relief and many local health partners to launch community outreach activities and have a very effective impact on the highly vulnerable communities devastated by Hurricane Fiona, not only in Puerto Rico but also in the Dominican Republic.

A hub for regional response

After Hurricane Fiona had a direct impact on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, Direct Relief was able to ship 36 field medical kits from the Puerto Rico warehouse to the Pan American Health Organization, further mobilizing the hub of Puerto Rico as an effective emergency response. option for disasters in the Caribbean region.

The emergency response expansion from the Puerto Rico hub, a shipment including a hurricane preparedness module and 36 field medical kits, is being packed and expected to be shipped this week to Honduras in response to the most recent rainfall and flooding following Hurricane Julia.

Answer after Fiona

In the days following Hurricane Fiona, the Direct Relief Team was able to coordinate and distribute from the Puerto Rico hub a total of 14 deliveries, which included seven hurricane preparedness modules (including one that is being shipped to Honduras for the Hurricane Julia response), 126 field medic packs (including the 30 shipped to the Dominican Republic and the 36 shipped to Honduras for the Hurricane Julia response), 40 personal care kits , eight oxygen concentrators, 167 solar chargers, five cases of water purification tablets and a case of face masks, all of which had already been prepositioned at the warehouse in Puerto Rico.

Medical shipments were delivered to health centers and clinics across the island, including Med Centro, Ponce Medical School Foundation, COSSMA, Centro de Servicios Primarios de Salud de Patillas, Hospital Dr. Ramon Ruiz Arnau-PRDOH, Salud Integral en la Montana, Inc. (SIM), Migrant Health Center, CSM Hatillo and Neomed Center. Many of these health centers have used medical supplies from their Direct Relief-funded mobile health units to create health outposts in the most affected communities, bringing care outside of clinic walls.

Direct Relief will continue to respond as the recovery progresses in Puerto Rico.

AFRY: signs a broader and sought-after framework agreement with the city of Gothenburg


AFRY has signed a framework agreement with the City of Gothenburg to secure the needs of municipal authorities in IT services! The agreement lasts for more than four years and will start on December 1 this year. It’s AFRY’s digital business area AFRY X, partnered with wholly-owned design agency inUse, which together purchased three sub-areas that cover the city’s needs for design, development and of digital architecture.

At AFRY X and inUse, we are very happy that the City has trusted us to become one of their partners in the areas mentioned. We are confident that with our joint skills, where inUse represents one of Sweden’s strongest brands in digital design and service design, and AFRY X’s deep and extensive knowledge of digitalization, we are a long-term partner in the city’s digital journey. says Andreas Wikberger, Business Segment Manager at AFRY X and Johanna Burström, Business Manager at inUse.

The framework agreement includes more than 30 different roles in systems development, web development and architecture. This means that we become a current partner of the city in all areas, from operational architecture and usability to solution architecture, from the specialist accessibility exam to the Java specialist, from graphic design to web developers. . That is, everything necessary to successfully digitize municipal services to its citizens.


Afry AB published this content on November 01, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on November 01, 2022 13:29:06 UTC.

Self-healing and management of musculoskeletal pain



According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.7 billion people suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSK).1.2 Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading causes of disability worldwide, with low back pain and osteoarthritis being the leading causes of physical disability worldwide, with a prevalence of 700 million and 500 million people, respectively.3.4 Aging, changing demographics and a steady increase in the world’s population mean that the number of people with musculoskeletal disorders is increasing rapidly and disability associated with musculoskeletal disorders is expected to continue to increase over the coming decades. This highlights the need to prioritize musculoskeletal disorders and increase the basic skills of medical practitioners to develop better tools to help and reassure their patients, with an increasing number of cases.5–8

Musculoskeletal conditions are typically characterized by pain, often chronic and persistent, with limitations in mobility, dexterity and general level of functioning, reducing quality of life and work capacity.1 Traditionally, the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and its clinical management have focused on the use of conventional pharmaceuticals to relieve symptoms. However, many of the analgesics currently available have significant side effects and adverse effects on the cardiovascular, renal, and gastrointestinal systems.9–12 The opioid epidemic has also highlighted the unmet medical need for pain management; highlighting opportunities for developing, testing and implementing multimodal pain management solutions.13–15

A recent review article by McSwan, Gudin and their co-authors introduced the concept of “self-healing” to musculoskeletal pain management.16 In this article, the authors discuss the role of multidisciplinary, multimodal and integrative approaches in the management of musculoskeletal pain.16 They highlight the increased use of alternative and complementary treatments by patients and the need to incorporate natural remedies into clinical management and treatment guidelines. In addition to highlighting the role of alternative and complementary treatments, they offer the new and plausible concept that the human body has an innate ability to “heal itself” and that this ability can be optimized through the use of medical strategies. integrative (Figure 1). The factors that trigger acute or recurrent musculoskeletal pain are diverse and can range from physical stress to psychological stress, which applies to many age groups, including adolescents.17 The mechanisms used by the body to respond to these pain triggers and “self-heal” are thought to work through five bodily networks. The nervous system can promote the restoration and healing of the body through the relaxation response. Psychology and the reduction of mental stress can help reduce muscle activity and therefore pain. Modulation of the immune system by acute inflammation may play a critical role in muscle regeneration. An increase in microcirculation can promote healing and reduce pain. Muscle relaxation/contraction increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients and relaxes the muscle. These restorative processes can be enhanced through the application of multimodal and integrative approaches, thereby promoting the idea of ​​“self-healing” despite unfamiliar processes and complexities.18.19

Figure 1 Self-healing and multimodal integrative medicine.

“Self Healing” is a new way of thinking for musculoskeletal pain management and reinforces the potential for integrating multimodal medicine through new research and the implementation of multimodal approaches through a open dialogue between patients and healthcare providers.20 The effectiveness of pain management solutions should be specific depending on the diagnosis, but may encompass lifestyle modification including nutrition, assessment of food intake, posture, physical activity and exercise,21 cognitive-behavioral therapy and body/mind techniques,22 many of which are beginning to appear in treatment guidelines.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has set us back in all previously established initiatives to improve musculoskeletal health, highlighting the need for pragmatic approaches to pain management in the post-COVID-19 era.23 Describing key priorities for establishing the concept of “self-healing” in a primary health care setting is clearly beyond the scope of this editorial and the efforts of a single author. Further work by academia, industry, health authorities and regulatory bodies is needed to establish the concept of “self-healing” as a priority area in pain management.

In summary, “self-healing” aims to harness the innate ability of the body and mind to promote mechanisms to restore physiological set points and restore balance to the MSK system, reducing pain and disability. in a natural and holistic way.24 The body has an innate ability to “heal itself,” but this ability is compromised in older people, especially those with chronic comorbidities. However, the inclusion of “self-healing” in integrative medicine has the ability to optimize the body’s endogenous repair processes and restore homeostasis.


Minor editing and formatting for review requirements was undertaken by Ella Palmer, PhD, CMPP of inScience Communications, Springer Healthcare Ltd, UK, and was funded by Sanofi.

Author’s contributions

AM contributed exclusively to the preparation of this commentary.


No specific funding has been sought or obtained in connection with this editorial.


AM is president of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI). He has no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this editorial.


1. March L, Smith EU, Hoy DG, et al. Disability burden due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSK). Best Practice Res Clin Rheumatol. 2014;28(3):353–366. doi:10.1016/j.berh.2014.08.002

2. Guillemin F, Carruthers E, Li LC. Determinants of musculoskeletal health and disability – social determinants of inequalities in musculoskeletal health. Best Practice Res Clin Rheumatol. 2014;28(3):411–433. doi:10.1016/j.berh.2014.08.001

3. Hoy DG, Smith E, Cross M, et al. The global burden of musculoskeletal conditions for 2010: an overview of methods. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014;73(6):982–989. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204344

4. George SZ, Fritz JM, Silfies SP, et al. Interventions for the management of acute and chronic low back pain: 2021 revision. Sports Physics J Orthop. 2021;51(11):Cpg1–cpg60. doi:10.2519/jospt.2021.0304

5. Locke R, Wilkinson E, Collier R, Harden B. Musculoskeletal (MSK) practitioners in primary care: an assessment of an MSK core capability framework and review process. Educ Prim care. 2020;31(1):32–35. doi:10.1080/14739879.2019.1687016

6. Cheung L, Soundy A. The impact of reassurance on musculoskeletal pain (MSK): a qualitative review. Behav Sci. 2021;11(11):150. doi:10.3390/bs11110150

7. Cummings DL, Smith M, Merrigan B, Leggit J. MSK30: a validated tool for assessing clinical musculoskeletal knowledge. SEM open BMJ. 2019;5(1):e000495. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000495

8. Scott DIC, McCray DG, Lancaster PG, Foster PNE, Hill DJC. Validation of the Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ) in primary care patients with musculoskeletal pain. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2020;50(5):813–820. doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2020.06.022

9. Harirforoosh S, Asghar W, Jamali F. Adverse effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: update of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and renal complications. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2013;16(5):821–847. doi:10.18433/J3VW2F

10. Kean WF, Rainsford KD, Kean IR. Management of chronic musculoskeletal pain in the elderly: advice on the use of oral medications. Inflammopharmacology. 2008;16(2):53–75. doi:10.1007/s10787-008-1623-7

11. Labianca R, Sarzi-Puttini P, Zuccaro SM, Cherubino P, Vellucci R, Fornasari D. Adverse effects associated with non-opioid and opioid therapy in patients with chronic pain. Clin Drug Investig. 2012;32(1):53–63. doi:10.2165/11630080-000000000-00000

12. McCrae JC, Morrison EE, MacIntyre IM, Dear JW, Webb DJ. Long-term adverse effects of paracetamol – a review. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2018;84(10):2218–2230. doi:10.1111/bcp.13656

13. Wardhan R, Chelly J. Recent advances in acute pain management: understanding the mechanisms of acute pain, opioid prescription, and the role of multimodal pain therapy. F1000Research. 2017;6:2065. doi:10.12688/f1000research.12286.1

14. Delle JM, Gazley C. Advocating for multimodal pain management and reducing the need for opioids in acute and chronic pain. Nurs Clin North Am. 2021;56(3):357–367. doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2021.04.003

15. Kelly MA. Addressing the Opioid Epidemic with Multimodal Pain Management. Am J Orthop. 2016;45(7):S6–S8.

16. McSwan J, Gudin J, Song XJ, et al. Self-healing: a concept for the management of musculoskeletal body pain – scientific evidence and mode of action. J Pain Res. 2021;14:2943–2958. doi:10.2147/JPR.S321037

17. Kamper SJ, Henschke N, Hestbaek L, Dunn KM, Williams CM. Musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents. Braz J Phys Ther. 2016;20(3):275–284. doi:10.1590/bjpt-rbf.2014.0149

18. Lee C, Crawford C, Swann S. Multimodal and integrative therapies for self-management of chronic pain symptoms. Medical Pain. 2014; 15 add. 1: S76–S85. doi:10.1111/sme.12408

19. Crawford C, Lee C, Freilich D. Effectiveness of active self-care complementary and integrative medicine therapies: options for chronic pain symptom management. Medical Pain. 2014;15 Supplement 1: S86–S95. doi:10.1111/sme.12407

20. Wanless B, Berry A, Noblet T. Self-management of musculoskeletal disorders (MSK): what is most helpful to patients? Protocol for a systematic review of mixed methods. Musculoskeletal care. 2021;20:271–278.

21. Geneen LJ, Moore RA, Clarke C, Martin D, Colvin LA, Smith BH. Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: an overview of the Cochrane reviews. Cochrane Database System Rev. 2017;4(4):Cd011279. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011279.pub3

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aiBANK launches campaign to advertise financing programs for small and medium-sized businesses

  • This campaign is aligned with the guidelines of the Egyptian government and the Central Bank of Egypt focused on supporting small and medium enterprises. The campaign also builds on the Bank’s strategy and expansion plan aimed at introducing innovative solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of this promising sector.

Cairo: aiBANK, a leading commercial bank specializing in providing a variety of personal and corporate banking services, as well as financing major development projects, today announced the launch of a campaign entitled “Finance that takes you 100 steps forward” to raise awareness of its latest financing product. The Bank’s new product aims to provide SMEs with financing facilities of up to EGP 10 million, with repayment periods of up to 5 years, while quickly receiving the necessary approvals in just four days.

This campaign is in line with Egyptian government and Central Bank of Egypt guidelines focused on supporting SMEs and builds on the Bank’s strategy and expansion plan to introduce innovative financial solutions that contribute to sustainable development. of this promising sector. This campaign also aims to publicize the competitive advantages offered by the Bank through this product, which aims to fill the financing gap and attract small businesses as new customers. By financing these small businesses, the bank will support job creation and stimulate economic growth, which will enable it to achieve its objectives of providing sustainable financing solutions.

In this regard, Iman Badr, Senior Director of Personal and Commercial Banking at aiBANK, said: “I am proud to present this new product aimed at supporting small businesses, as this sector represents one of the most promising areas in which the Bank’s activities are focused. We have set up a specialized “Business Banking” department solely focused on providing banking services to small businesses with annual sales between one million and fifty million Egyptian pounds. »

Sherif Nada, Director of Retail, Branch Network and Corporate Banking at aiBANK, also added“It should be noted that product development is an integral part of the Bank’s strategy as it continues to launch new funding programs to keep pace with trends and developments in the Egyptian banking sector serving the needs of multiple target business segments. This will include financing working capital requirements, expanding fixed assets and purchasing machinery and equipment. The Bank will also provide a variety of new financial and non-financial products aimed at supporting the sustainable growth of these companies.

Sherif El-Leithy, head of corporate banking at aiBANK, said, “The Bank has been successful in accelerating the pace of loans and credit facilities provided to clients in this vital sector. The percentage of facilities granted to small businesses increasing to 9.1% in September 2022, which is in line with central bank guidelines which require all banks to devote at least 10% of their net loan portfolios to financing small businesses. businesses, based on the bank’s financial position as of December 2020.


About aiBANK

aiBANK was established in 1974 as an investment and merchant bank under the supervision of the Central Bank of Egypt. Its activities started in 1978 with a base capital of USD 40 million, which was later increased to EGP 1,987 million in 2020. Moreover, in accordance with the decisions of the general meeting held on October 10, 2021, and after the completion of the As part of the Bank Acquisition Agreement, the Bank has received approval to increase its paid-in capital to EGP 5,000,000,003 and has adjusted its ownership structure accordingly to accommodate new investors and existing, as follows:

EFG Hermes Holding SAE – (51%)

Egyptian Financial Services and Digital Transformation Subfund – (25%)

National Investment Bank – (24%)

The Bank offers the full range of retail, investment and treasury banking services. The Bank also offers Islamic banking services, overseen by a Sharia-compliant body that ensures that the Bank remains compliant with all Islamic banking criteria. In addition, the Bank provides loan syndication services to companies and institutions seeking to finance large national projects that support the economy and the Bank. These national projects are linked to the growth of small and medium enterprises, which play a crucial role in Egypt’s overall economic and social development.

The Bank offers its services to its customers through its 30 branches across the country. The bank is constantly working to expand its geographical presence by opening new branches and ATMs to ensure that it covers all key locations. The Bank is also committed to satisfying its customers by providing unique and competitive services and by investing in its technological systems and human capital to improve the overall level of its banking services.

About EFG Hermes Holding

With a current footprint spanning 14 countries on four continents, EFG Hermes Holding (EGX: HRHO.CA – LSE: EFGD) has grown over 38 successful years from a pure-play investment bank in the MENA region to a universal bank in Egypt with the leading investment banking franchise in frontier emerging markets (FEM). With our proven track record and a diverse team of talented employees, we provide a wide range of financial services that include advisory, asset management, securities brokerage, research and private equity in the entire GEF region. In our home country, we have the fastest growing Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFI) platform, with operations spanning Microfinance, Leasing, Factoring, Buy-Now Pay- Later (BNPL), digital payment solutions, mortgage financing and insurance.

Through its three verticals, Investment Banking, Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and Commercial Banking, the group is uniquely positioned to consistently bring disruptive financial products and services to market, delivering a holistic portfolio that serves at best its growing base. individual customers and businesses of all sizes.

Proudly present in: Egypt | United Arab Emirates | Saudi Arabia | Kuwait | Omani | Jordan | pakistan | United Kingdom | Kenya | United States | Bangladesh | Vietnam | Nigeria | Singapore

For more information, please contact:

The EFG Hermes Holding Public Relations Team
[email protected]

May El Gammal
Group Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of EFG Hermes Holding
[email protected]

Note on forward-looking statements

In this press release, EFG Hermes Holding may make forward-looking statements, including, for example, statements about management’s expectations, strategic objectives, growth opportunities and business prospects. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but represent only EFG Hermes Holding’s beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond management’s control and include, among other things, volatility. financial markets; actions and initiatives taken by current and potential competitors; general economic conditions and the effect of current, pending and future laws, regulations and regulatory actions. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made.

Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology’s NextStep® Weight Loss Program Delivers Lasting Results and Includes a Free 24/7 Support System


Weight loss diets can be intimidating, and misinformation about diets often leads to poor results and frustration. For those looking for a lasting lifestyle change, the NextStep® Weight Loss Program at Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology helps dieters achieve their goals alongside passionate coaches who focus on support and education.

At the start of the program, dieters establish criteria for success and discuss current obstacles in their daily lives that have prevented them from achieving their goals in the past. NextStep® Health and Wellness Coaches like Heather Andrews are committed to understanding how the program works with each person’s individual needs.

“[Dieters’] the goal is just to have a better quality of life, and we can help identify what that looks like,” Andrews said. “It can be anything from ‘I want to be able to have an activity with my grandchildren’… to someone who wants to fit into a certain dress size. Some want to prepare for an upcoming surgery. Some just want to have reduced medication.

Open to all people, regardless of existing health complications, the three-phase plan was designed to not only help people feel better, but also to maintain their goal weight once the process is complete through a continuous learning and encouragement.

First phase: the weight loss phase

During the initial phase, dieters incorporate three NextStep® products into their daily lives, in addition to lean protein and vegetables. Instead of eliminating carbohydrates, the daily carbohydrate intake of dieters is controlled by these special products.

“Our vision with this is that we want to make sure they lose weight by burning body fat and don’t lose weight by sacrificing muscle mass,” Andrews said. “We’ve learned that over time, when someone loses weight by sacrificing muscle, they don’t keep that weight off.”

Texas Diabetes works directly with the manufacturer of their products, making them available exclusively to NextStepMD patients. Protein shakes, drink mixes, soups, chilis, oatmeal, granola, chips, and sweet protein bars are just a few of the tasty options. With 15 grams of protein per serving, the daily average for dieters is 35 net carbs.

“I’ve been a trainer for seven years now… Every person who follows the system is going to lose weight by burning body fat,” Andrews said. “I have worked with hundreds of people, and if they follow the program, they will lose weight by burning body fat.”

During all three phases, the Dieter Health and Wellness Coach is available weekdays and weekends to help plan meals, provide encouragement, and offer travel and event advice.

“What sets us apart from other diets is our level of support,” Andrews said.

Another key aspect of success during this phase is supplementation. Dieters will take three supplements: a multivitamin, an omega combination of essential fatty acids, and a calcium, magnesium, and potassium supplement called essential minerals.

“[Supplements] are designed to give the dieter what they are not getting from our food, and so this is very important for their overall feeling while they are in phase one as well as how their body processes the diet himself,” Andrews said.

Phase 2: eliminate a product to incorporate more protein

Once the dieters personal goal is achieved, phase two begins. During this short phase, participants begin to prepare for life after the diet by eliminating one of three daily products to incorporate more lean protein. Andrews said the most exciting part of coaching dieters is their newfound enthusiasm for their improved quality of life.

“If someone follows the program, they have reduced their carbohydrates considerably. If they have an indulgence, that’s when they stop and acknowledge, “Oh, my stomach didn’t feel so good.” I felt a little slower. I wanted to go to sleep earlier,” Andrews said. “Most of them don’t realize it until they clean up their diets.”

Phase 3: Custom Adjustments, Ongoing Responsibility, and Maintenance

While phase one and phase two are almost identical for each dieter, phase three is extremely personalized. With the help of NextStepMD health and wellness coaches, adjustments are made based on factors such as activity level and health risks.

“We work with them every week to develop this plan, see how their body responds, and then make any necessary adjustments. Once we see we’ve found the perfect formula for them, they continue to demand accountability,” Andrews said.

Education is essential throughout each phase, but during phase three, coaches stress the importance of learning about nutrition to ensure long-term results.

“We are very proud of [Phase Three] because we really educate [dieters] about macronutrients and the importance of meal planning and incorporating whole, fresh foods,” Andrews said.

After discovering the perfect diet formula, they attend regular follow-ups for approximately 12 months, but can return to Texas Diabetes for accountability meetings at any time for the rest of their lives. If someone completes all phases and falls back to their old eating habits for any reason, they can start over with phase one at no additional cost.

“The good thing is that when they’re on our program, they only pay for their food and supplements as they need them. They don’t pay for our coaching, which I think is invaluable,” Andrews said.

The personalized treatment plans and level of camaraderie instilled in the NextStep® Weight Loss Program are the foundation of all Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology services. Experts in diabetes, thyroid, osteoporosis, weight loss and hormonal conditions, their main focus is personalized therapies and unwavering support.

Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology has three locations in Central Austin, Round Rock and South Austin. As one of the few endocrinology centers in the region, new patient slots are reserved to ensure that no patient is ever turned away. Learn more about Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology at texasdiabetes.com.

The story above was produced by the Community Impact storytelling team with information provided solely by the local business as part of their purchase of “sponsored content” through our advertising team. Our promise of integrity to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so that they are separated from the content decided, researched and written by our journalism department.

Core Utilities Stock: Add Additional Weakness (NYSE:WTRG)


f11photo/iStock via Getty Images

Pennsylvania-based Essential Utilities (New York stock market :WTRG), formerly trading as Aqua America, is the second most profitable and publicly traded U.S. water utility, now also offering diversification in the form of a growing natural gas business acquired in 2020. Aqua, sound water division, serves more than three million people in eight states (IL, IN, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TX, VA) and Peoples, its gas arm, serves more than two million people in three states of Rust Belt (PA, WV, KY).

(Always) a safe haven in uncertain times

While the Utilities sector has taken a hit and become quite volatile lately due to rapidly rising interest rates and changing Fed projections, I think it’s important to zoom out and to take stock of the underlying fundamentals and long-term stability of companies like Essential Utilities in order to view this moment as an opportunity to add to your defensive holdings at a historic discount.

Similar to some of my other favorite utilities like Casella Waste Systems (CWST) and American Water Works (AWK), Essential Utilities employs a slow-growth-by-acquisition business model, having gradually expanded west and south of its main metropolitan Philadelphia market over the decades by acquiring hundreds of smaller local utilities.

Its recent $4.3 billion acquisition of Peoples Natural Gas – Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas distribution company – also brought it to Pittsburgh, but most of the company’s growing geographic footprint spans smaller suburban and rural areas with favorable regulatory environments and FMV (Fair Market Value) legislation, which allows municipalities to sell water and wastewater systems to larger utility operators like Essential at lower prices lower.

Notably, three other states that have enacted GMF legislation (IA, MO, TN) border Essential’s current footprint and could allow them to expand further west and south in the coming years. Nonetheless, investors should be aware that they are primarily buying a Pennsylvania utility, with over 75% of WTRG’s rate base located in the state.

Water with kicker gas and risk

Perhaps one of the most attractive features of WTRG is that, unlike other water utilities, it has taken a prescient step into delivering natural gas at a natural gas price at its lowest since almost 20 years. In retrospect, the timing of the Peoples deal couldn’t have been better, and it marked a new era for the company, with natural gas now accounting for more than 30% of the revenue and infrastructure investment mix. of the company.

September 2022 Investor Presentation Slide

Overview of essential public services activity (September 2022 investor pitch slide)

As the world now competes for natural gas resources and domestic investment and political support for natural gas infrastructure grows, I believe management can achieve its goal of a higher annual growth rate of 8-10% for its natural gas segment through 2024 compared to its 6-7% CAGR target for its water business. Given Essential’s forecast EPS growth of 5-7%, higher gas growth should allow the company to maintain its 7% dividend growth rate while remaining below its payout rate cap maximum of 65% (currently at 63%), especially since their efforts to expand sewage in the PA have suffered some setbacks in recent years.

That brings us to the main investment risk, which I believe is the difficulty Essential had in closing two major wastewater acquisitions in the counties around Philadelphia, particularly because wastewater in particular is the company’s main growth objective. While 2021 marked a below-average year of new water customer additions at just 7.7k (note that “customers” refers to households, not people), Essential has already added over 20k new customers in 2022 and has signed agreements for nearly 200k more, the vast majority of which is expected to come from the DELCORA plant, which provides wastewater treatment for Delaware Country, PA. The problem is that the conclusion of the DELCORA deal, originally signed in 2019, is by no means a certainty and looks murkier by the day.

Essential public services awaiting acquisitions

Pending Aqua Acquisitions (September 2022 investor pitch slide)

County-level policy in Pennsylvania is convoluted to say the least, but the deal remains in limbo between the local county council, which voted to close the plant completely, and Aqua, which has a binding purchase agreement. Without going too far into the weeds, I personally believe that a financial settlement in favor of Essential is the most likely, with a lower chance of the original deal being honored. Either way, I think investors would be wise to keep the 200,000 DELCORA customers out of Essential’s projections to avoid disappointment if the deal falls through, although they may see money in the event of regulation.

At $276.5 million, the DELCORA deal won’t make or break the company’s fortunes, but it does raise questions about its ability to expand further in the greater Philadelphia area. This echoes Aqua’s last failed bid of $1.1 billion for sewage treatment assets in neighboring Bucks County, which was ultimately rejected largely due to local voter animosity. in the face of what they saw as exorbitant sewage rate increases awarded to Aqua by the AP’s Public Utilities Commission. Fortunately, Bucks County customers were never included in Essential’s projections, so it didn’t lead to any revisions to their outlook as a negative outcome would for DELCORA’s assets.

Look back, look forward

Although not indicative of future performance, the historical chart of the WTRG is extremely impressive. Founded in 1886, it has paid an increasing dividend since 1981, making it a dividend aristocrat and quite possibly a future dividend king. Since 1988, WTRG has generated a total return CAGR of 12.85% versus 10.25% for the S&P 500, which has more than doubled the total return of the S&P over the past 35 years with significantly less volatility and a rock-solid dividend growth.

Data by Y-Charts

Similarly, WTRG’s historic return chart may look ominous at first in a rising rate environment since the stock has fallen as much as 8% in the past, but a bit like my recent analysis of AWK we can see that the reason for its steadily declining yield is the strong appreciation in the share price which has almost doubled the CAGR of its dividend – in other words, it’s a problem we want to have .

As the chart in this article shows, WTRG is still trading at a significant discount to its 5-year average PE ratio (25.9x vs. 35.1x) while offering the highest yield among utilities. water. Additionally, WTRG boasts one of the highest dividend CAGRs in the sub-industry at 7% over the past 5 years. If the company can maintain this rate, investing at the current yield of 2.64% would yield a cost return of 5.19% over 10 years. This is in line with the current projected federal funds rate and should protect the stock from further rate-driven declines if these projections hold.


To me, this shows that the company has done an excellent job of maintaining both overall growth and dividend growth in a variety of challenging market conditions such as those we are currently facing. The higher expected growth of its new gas distribution business should help it meet its revenue, EPS and dividend growth targets over the next few years, even if its planned acquisition of DELCORA fails or results in a settlement. financial, and management is pursuing numerous other transactions that should help maintain their customer growth target of 2-3% per year despite recent setbacks in sewage expansion.

Without minimizing these risks, in terms of SWAN defensive stocks, I’d say Essential belongs to the top blue chip names like McDonald’s (MCD) and PepsiCo (DYNAMISM) in any DGI wallet. While it may be prudent for cautious investors to wait for the DELCORA sale to be resolved, I believe the company’s current valuation is compelling enough to recommend a cost average at these prices and add any other weakness.

Sasha Borissenko: Will the victory of the New Zealand Uber Drivers Labor Court lead to wider change?


In a landmark ruling last week, the labor court ruled that a group of four Uber drivers were employees, not contractors.

This means that drivers could be entitled to employment protections – namely

UNB researchers reach new heights with NASA observation mission


“A once-in-a-decade event” is how Jeffery Langille describes the University of New Brunswick’s lead role in a NASA mission.

Langille is the principal instrument scientist for space-based heterodyne observations of water, also known as the SHOW instrument. It is one of three specialized instruments that are part of the High Altitude Aerosol, Water Vapor, and Cloud Instrumentation, or HAWC.

HAWC will be deployed as part of NASA’s Atmosphere Observing System mission.

The Canadian government announced this month that it would commit more than $200 million to the HAWC instrument, a project involving researchers from 13 Canadian universities.

Langille said HAWC will measure the effects of climate change and then use that data to build better models to predict future changes and extreme weather events.

He said it was “absolutely awesome” to be involved with the project.

“Being able to see something that I’ve been working on with my own hands, you know, becoming something that’s launched into space is a really rewarding experience,” Langille said.

SHOW chief instrument scientist Jeffery Langille said it was “absolutely brilliant” to be involved in the project. (Submitted by Jeremy Elder-Jubelin)

The SHOW instrumentation, which Langille is working on, will help researchers understand the interplay between water vapor, clouds and aerosols, he said.

Langille said the challenge is that this interaction is not properly captured by current sensors.

The SHOW instrument will observe water vapor emissions, while the other two instruments that are part of HAWC will observe aerosol and cloud processes.

An opportunity for future space missions for UNB

Since the project is not expected to launch until 2031, Langille said there is a development schedule they will follow over the next few years where they can develop instruments and laboratory facilities as well as train students, post-docs and scientists at UNB.

Langille said this particular project started as a concept in a lab at York University 20 years ago.

William Ward, co-principal investigator of SHOW and a professor in UNB’s physics department, said the SHOW observations will be the highest resolution satellite observations ever obtained for this process.

Ward said Langille was one of his graduate students whom he recommended to do a post-doctorate at the University of Saskatchewan, one of the co-leads of HAWC. So when Ward was approached to be part of the university consortium and Langille returned to UNB, Ward said it was a natural position for him.

William Ward, co-principal investigator of SHOW and a professor in UNB’s physics department, said the SHOW observations will be the highest resolution satellite observations ever obtained for this process. (Submitted by Jeremy Elder-Jubelin)

“Earth observation” is a specific term for observations of the atmosphere at the surface, Ward said, and this is the first time that UNB has taken a lead role in an observation mission. of the earth.

Ward said this opens up the possibility for UNB to participate in more space missions in the future. He said it also allows people at UNB to begin to learn about the process of sending instruments into space.

“I think in the near future, access to space will become more available,” Ward said. “And if we have the tools to be involved in that at UNB, I think it’s a great opportunity to develop that and then potentially for industry partners in the province to get involved as well.”

Golden Knights film study: Why there should be optimism with a new power play look


A lot has gone well for the Golden Knights during their 6-2-0 start to the season. If you’re looking for a weak point, it’s the same area that has plagued them for more than two seasons: the power play.

Vegas ranks 20th in the NHL with a male advantage, converting at just 18.5%. That’s nearly identical to the Golden Knights’ rate last season, when they finished 25th in the league at 18.4%.

Losing the special teams battle has already cost Vegas twice this season against their toughest competition. The Golden Knights are 6-0-0 when scoring at least as many power-play goals as the opposition. They are 0-2-0 in the two games they lost that battle, against Colorado and Calgary.

Unlike last season, when Vegas positioning and strategy seemed to remain largely the same, new coach Bruce Cassidy is mixing things up early in search of a combination that works. After Cassidy’s most recent change, the Vegas power play is starting to show signs of life. They haven’t produced any goals yet, at least not often enough, but they are doing great things on the ice and the numbers show it.

The biggest change is Mark Stone’s stance. We’ll dive into his new role and how it will impact the entire power game.

Cassidy started the season conservatively, placing players in positions and roles they are comfortable with or have played most of their careers. This included Jack Eichel on his off-wing half-wall and Stone on the side of the net below the goal line. The result was a power play that seemed stagnant at times, with the puck not moving as quickly as Cassidy would like. While running a solid power play in Boston for several years, one of Cassidy’s biggest accents was quick puck movement.

After four games, Cassidy decided to reconfigure the power play. He’s placed players in places they may not be as comfortable with, but which he thinks will eventually be more effective once they learn them.

“It’s something I thought about over the summer, but didn’t go,” Cassidy said. “I wanted to let the guys play what they did and see if it worked. We will keep trying until we succeed, until our power play is a weapon. Right now they need more reps, and we’ll see how it goes.

The first aspect was to swap Eichel with his strong side. While one of Eichel’s greatest strengths is his ability to hold pucks long enough to pick the right pass, Cassidy would prefer his off-wing player to shoot at the net or move the puck quickly, so he traded Eichel for Jonathan. Marchesault.

“Marchessault likes to shoot the puck, so he’s on his elbow now,” Cassidy said. “When he spins towards him, I hope he just thinks about hitting him on the net. Whether in the bumper for the tip, the back post or in the net, he has all three options.

The most impactful move, at least in my eyes, was getting Stone into the “bumper” area in the middle of the ice. This is one of the most difficult roles to play. Constantly surrounded by opposing penalty killers, playing the bumper requires quick decisions and big vision – two things Stone excels at.

“I think he’ll do really well there because it’s a position that takes a lot of hockey IQ and intelligence, and he’s got that,” Cassidy said of Stone. “He can often face the puck. It has a quick release, and that’s what you need if you want to score.

In Stone’s first game in that role, Oct. 20 against Winnipeg, he’s already shown a new wrinkle to the Vegas power play.

In the video above, Stone uses his instincts to open passing lanes in the middle of the ice. On this play, Marchessault finds it with a cross pass that Stone quickly moves to the net. It’s not a hard blow, but it surprises the goalkeeper and generates a scramble in front of the net.

The lack of speed on that high toe kick may actually work in Vegas’ favor. This makes the shot incredibly difficult for the goalie to direct out of harm’s way. Rather than just kicking him in the corner, the puck hits the goaltender and dies in front of the crease, ripe for rebound chances. That’s exactly what happened in the next game against Colorado.

Once again Marchessault feeds Stone for a quick redirect on goal, but this time Chandler Stephenson is there for a quick follow-up chance. Colorado keeper Alexandar Gerogiev spreads out to give Stephenson a chance, then Stone rushes in for a third look that would have scored in the gaping net if not for some great play from defender Bowen Byram to get his skate on the shot.

“I thought we had some good looks from Stone’s slot,” Cassidy said after that game. “A few tips, and I think he worshiped a puck and Byram got a big block. These are the games we are looking for, closer to the net.

Creating those scrambles up front is one of the best ways to score power-play goals. It breaks down the penalty structure and allows the team with the man advantage to outnumber the opposition in front. Vegas has already scored a goal directly from the point play this season, when William Karlsson deflected Alex Pietrangelo’s shot pass against Los Angeles.

High point has become a popular game as it is a way to get around shot blockers.

“I think we’re just trying to get the pucks to the net, and a lot of teams are so focused on blocking shots,” defenseman Shea Theodore said. “If they’re in the shooting lane and you put it one foot to their left down the ice, but we have a stick, that’s just as helpful. It’s basically getting it across.

Stone’s quick thinking makes him ideal for the bumper position because the puck is rarely on his stick for long. One of the best examples of that in the last four games came against Colorado on Saturday. The game didn’t go exactly as the Golden Knights planned, but when Eichel’s cross pass intended for Marchessault bounced through the air, Stone’s instincts kicked in.

Stone sees the puck in the air, pulls defenseman Erik Johnson away from him to establish his position and catches it with his glove. When Stone puts the puck down, Johnson expects him to spin and shoot, positioning his stick to the left of Stone, hoping to deflect that shot in the air. This leaves the passing lane to Marchessault wide open. Without even a glance from this side of the ice, Stone quickly returned the puck to Marchessault for a one-timer.

“I think the middle guy, if you’re proud to do it, you can get some real quality chances,” Stone said. “You can get loose pucks. I certainly had a lot. I think we have guys in places that are proud of this place. This is ultimately when your power play will be successful. If you have a guy who doesn’t want to be there, it’s going to be tough. Guys should be prepared to learn these spots. If we can get the guys to buy into this, we’ll have tons of success in the future.

Even with those changes, the Golden Knights’ power play hasn’t been the weapon they hoped it will end up being. Once they settled into the area they looked dangerous, but getting to this point was always a struggle.

“Our starters have been very average,” Cassidy said Thursday. “I don’t think we sometimes finish our routes and support the final touch to get the separation. Sometimes it’s execution, sometimes it’s puck support.

The power play has certainly looked better over the past four games, and the stats show a marked improvement as well.

Golden Knights power play every 60 minutes

Shooting attempts Blows xObjectives High chance of danger

first 4 matches




9:30 a.m.

last 4 games





Vegas has gone from being ranked between No. 27 to No. 31 in most of these stats, to being ranked between No. 11 to No. 22. The power play is far from set, but it has shown some major signs of improvement under its new configuration.

“There’s some newness there, but I like what I’m seeing in terms of airtime,” Cassidy said. “Their mentality of guys who end up in good places and in terms of how they can produce. Now it’s just a matter of clicking and finding the games that are automatic to them. Some of that is just going to take time.

(Photo by Mark Stone: D. Ross Cameron/USA Today)

More colored officers, local focus. Idaho City Police want to build ‘badge trust’


Oscar Martinez grew up in Santa Ana, a gentrified city in Southern California, near Anaheim, where his single mother cared for three children.

Martinez lived in poverty and was surrounded by violence and drugs, he said. He and his two sisters often spent nights in their car to take shelter from the violence his stepfather inflicted on his mother.

It was his dream to become a policeman, he said, but he never saw it come true. His family has had negative experiences with police officers, as many Latinos do. But eventually, Martinez decided he wanted to be a support system for people, like his family, who don’t trust the police.

“That’s why I’m here, because I want to help, I want to make a difference,” Martinez said in an interview with the Idaho Statesman. “I want to be a support system for people who are not being heard.”

Martinez is one of nine Latino officers with the Caldwell Police Department, who patrol a town that is 36% Latino. But the Caldwell, Idaho police force is only 14% Latino, according to department data.

Police Chief Rex Ingram, who joined the department in July, told the Statesman he was trying to “bridge the gap” between the Latino community and the predominantly white force.

Ingram, who is part-Hispanic, said in an interview in August that the department was working to hire more officers of color and speaking Spanish. But Ingram said the community must first trust the department.

“You have to hire from the community and you have to bring in people from your community who look like you and you look like them,” Ingram said.

Caldwell Police spokesman Char Jackson said by email that Caldwell had 12 vacancies, including 11 for officers.

Last week, the Caldwell Police Department formally sworn in four new officers – all of whom are people of color.

Many Latinos are slow to trust law enforcement

Nationwide, many Latinos trust the police less than non-Latinos. According to a survey by the Cato Institute78% of non-Hispanics say they would definitely report a crime, compared to 57% of Hispanics.

Margie Gonzalez, executive director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, said many Latinos across the state struggle to manage their relationships with police. There is a language barrier between people who only speak Spanish or prefer to communicate in Spanish, while most agents in Idaho do not speak Spanish.

Many Latino immigrants without permanent legal status also worry about how local police work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and harassment from officers, Gonzalez said.

Martinez and his family felt the same way about the growing police, he said. One day while living in Santa Ana, Martinez said his mother called the police because people were smoking marijuana outside their house. He said police responded two hours later, long after the smokers had left the area.

“She has a bad taste for the police,” Martinez said. “It was a bit of a tradition: people don’t call the cops because they’re always late for everything.”

Ingram said he saw a “racial disconnect” between white officers and Latino residents.

“How many victims don’t report crimes because they just don’t trust the badge?” Ingram said.

Martinez said many Latinos are concerned that local police will hand over undocumented people to federal immigration police for deportation.

This belief is not unfounded. In 2019, a Idaho Press Report found that Canyon County Jail staff members worked closely with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they believed they had booked someone undocumented.

Caldwell officers will not report undocumented immigrants to ICE unless there is a criminal charge against them, Ingram told the Statesman. This is not a change in policy, he said, but an approach to dealing with past mistreatment of immigrants.

While immigration law is a federal responsibility, ICE fugitive operations officers rely heavily on local law enforcement agencies to illegally return to the United States people ICE has identified as wanted.

An undocumented Caldwell resident can call the police to report a crime without fear of deportation, he said.

“What I want the community to know is that they don’t have to worry about calling the police to report something and the officers asking them, ‘Hey, do you have your papers?’ “, Ingram said, referring to legal residency. documents.

Ingram said that in Los Angeles, the LAPD — where Ingram previously worked — and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department also don’t work with US immigration authorities.

“It’s the environment I come from,” Ingram said. “You do your thing, but we’re not going to help you.”

How Other Canyon County Agencies Compare

None of the law enforcement agencies in Canyon County have an ethnic makeup that fully reflects the Latino communities they serve, according to data provided to the Statesman.

The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office staff is approximately 14% Latino, although Latinos make up 26% of Canyon County’s population.

In Nampa, the police department does not track racial or ethnic data, spokeswoman Carmen Boeger said. She estimated that of the department’s 207 employees, about 20 to 25 are Latinos. Nampa is nearly 25% Latino, according to census data.

It is not uncommon for data to be incomplete. In Idaho, it’s up to individual agencies to collect their own data on the number of Latinos working in their departments, because no state agency collects the data, according to a report generated by the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

‘You just see the wall breaking’

Boise Police Department Hispanic Community Liaison and Officer Ed Moreno has spent seven years working with the Latino community. After years of speaking Spanish to Latinos who interact with police and interacting with them at events other than police incidents, Moreno said he’s finally starting to see a difference.

“When you start interacting with them in their language, you just see the wall come down,” Moreno said over the phone. “Then when you start educating them about our justice system and the services available to them in the department, you start building trust within the community.”

Latinos are also underrepresented in the Boise Department. The department is 3% Latino, while the city is 9%, according to data from the department and the Census Bureau.

When Moreno started as a liaison, he said he didn’t receive support from department partners in Canyon County.

“I haven’t really gotten much help from our partners in Nampa or Caldwell,” Moreno said. “I’m like, ‘You’re at the epicenter.’ There’s a high concentration of Latinos there with agriculture, that’s where they’re at.

Today, approximately 12 Caldwell Police Department officers speak Spanish.

Ingram, who speaks Spanish, has done interviews on LaGranD, a Spanish radio station in Treasure Valley.

“I talked about not only getting more Hispanic officers, but really solidifying the relationship that my community needs to have as a police department and being able to trust us,” Ingram said.

Gonzalez, whose state agency hosted the first cultural competency training for Law Enforcement in 2020, said she hopes Ingram makes changes to Caldwell. But she said she had been let down for years by Canyon County law enforcement when it came to pursuing outreach to the Latino community. She said she would believe the push when she sees results.

“I’m more than willing to help them out if there’s really genuine interest,” Gonzalez said. “The need is there, but is there a real interest?

When Martinez started working at the Caldwell Police Department nearly five years ago, he fought as one of the few Latino officers who spoke Spanish.

“When I started, and throughout my career, I was forced to try to help everyone,” Martinez said.

The department received a few applications from people who heard him on LaGranD, Martinez said.

Martinez said he sees the number of Latino officers improving under Ingram.

“I think it will not only benefit (the department) but also the community,” he said. “So maybe we can start building that trust again. We need to reflect the population of the community.

Caldwell Police fill four vacancies

Since the statesman interviewed Ingram in late August, the Caldwell Police Department has hired four people of color, including Deputy Chief Shawn Sopoaga.

Sopoaga, who is Polynesian, joined the Boise Police Department where he was a lieutenant and worked as a recruiting coordinator and shift commander, according to a press release from Caldwell.

“I knew this guy was something special,” Ingram said Thursday, Oct. 20, at a meeting of Caldwell City Council.

Ingram sworn in as Caldwell Police Chief in June.

The other new officers are Moises Montes, Nilton Melara and Dwight Penkey.

Penkey, who is African American, previously worked for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office as a jail deputy.

Montes and Melara are Latinos and Spanish speakers. Their hiring increased the Latino composition of the department from around 10% to 14%

Montes previously worked as a deputy in the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office. Melara worked with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and then as a corrections officer with the Idaho Department of Correction.

“As you can see, we have a very diverse group of men here,” Ingram said during the council meeting. “It should be an example (of) my commitment to my community on diversity that this police service will become in the near future.”

Ex-Caldwell cop found guilty of destroying evidence and tampering with witnesses

Are you struggling to pay for rising product prices? This group says immigration reform will help

Sesame Workshop and Quest Diagnostics Partner to Address Inequalities in Health and Wellbeing with Resources Connecting Parents and Healthcare Providers


Sesame Workshop and Quest Diagnostics Partner to Address Inequalities in Health and Wellbeing with Resources Connecting Parents and Healthcare Providers

NEW YORK, October 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind sesame street which affects 156 million children in more than 150 countries, and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced a new national program to address inequalities in health and well-being among young children, especially in low-income, rural and marginalized communities.

The pandemic has had widespread and lingering effects on children’s health, with many routine and preventive medical check-ups missed. Preventive health care for children is essential to address physical, mental and emotional conditions and essential to provide routine immunizations, track developmental milestones, address identified health issues and provide support to families. According to a recent public health report, missed visits among children under age 5 were more common among low-income, black, and Latino households than among high-income, white households. The program’s English and Spanish resources are designed to connect and support parents and healthcare providers as partners in caring for children.

New research from Sesame Workshop points to a need for active and supportive “healthy teams” to promote the well-being of young children – a circle of care that includes parents, culturally competent healthcare providers and others caring adults. The initiative aims to reduce disparities by highlighting the unique strengths of each family and community; develop a common language around health and well-being and provide easy-to-understand resources; and fostering strong partnerships between families, health care providers, and other trusted people so they can work together to make informed health decisions for every child.

“Sesame Workshop and Quest can promote positive outcomes for children and affirm the health and well-being of families by supporting equitable and culturally appropriate practices,” said Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of US social impact at Sesame Workshop. “Together, we are creating strategies and messaging around preventative and daily healthy practices, building health literacy, and addressing growing child food insecurity to reduce health inequities by empowering parents, caregivers and the providers who serve them.”

Quest partners with Sesame Workshop through Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE), a multi-year program focused on providing a combination of donated screening services, education programs and funding to support initiatives aimed at closing the gap in health care disparities in underserved communities across the United States

“We are delighted to support the launch of this important program to help reduce health inequalities,” said Ruth Clements, vice president and general manager of infectious diseases and immunology at Quest Diagnostics and head of Quest for Health Equity. “This collaboration with Sesame Workshop will create a strong network dedicated to supporting and improving the health and well-being of children in disadvantaged communities and empowering parents to become strong advocates for their families.”

The program’s bilingual resources are designed to connect and support parents and health care providers as partners in children’s health care by:

  • Promote the overall well-being of the child
    • Introduce daily family routines as building blocks for learning healthy habits and achieving developmental milestones of both body and mind
    • Provide families and children, especially the most marginalized, with ways to support the well-being of their children by understanding their growing needs in areas such as nutrition, physical milestones, preventive care and social well-being -emotional
  • Focus on building a healthy team
    • Include the child’s broader circle of care, using resources that support and empower parents in their communication with a wide range of providers, including non-traditional providers and influential community leaders
    • Help families proactively use healthcare systems and communicate more effectively with their healthcare teams
    • Work with our partners to integrate and distribute these resources to providers in these key communities so that families have access to the information they need to improve the well-being of their children
  • Building on family strengths
    • Help providers explore the idea that the unique strengths of families, including those related to their race, ethnicity and culture, are assets in coping with challenges
    • Foster equitable and culturally competent partnerships and build trust between parents and guardians, children and their healthcare providers

The new resources will be available on sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/health/and will also be implemented with key national partners to reach families and children, especially those in marginalized communities, and distributed by Sesame Street in Communitiesa program to support community providers in their work to help children overcome challenges big and small. Sesame Street in Communities combines Sesame Workshop’s proven and trusted expertise in early childhood education with an incredible network of educators, social workers, healthcare providers, and community organizations across the country.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help children around the world to become smarter, stronger and kinder. . We are present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and to the cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical laboratory results, Quest’s diagnostic insights reveal new pathways to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve healthcare management. Quest Diagnostics serves one in three American adults and half of the doctors and hospitals in the United Statesand our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and in the right context, our diagnostic information can inspire life-changing action. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

About Quest for Health Equity
Quest for health equity is an initiative of Quest Diagnostics and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation focused on providing resources, funding, testing services and education to address health disparities in underserved communities across the United States

SOURCE Quest Diagnosis

For further information: Beatrice Chow, Atelier Sesame, [email protected]

Budget to support growing visitor economy, says ATIC – Travel Weekly


The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) voiced support for Tuesday’s federal budget announcement and said it would provide crucial support to Australia’s tourism economy by developing products, attracting workers and upgrading infrastructure.

The federal budgetthe first from Labor since being elected in May, includes $48 million in support for the visitor economy over four years, made up of five sub-measures for the tourism and travel industry.

These measures include attracting workers to the Australian tourism industry, expanding the Hub, upgrading Australian caravan park infrastructure and improving the tourism quality framework.

ATIC Vice President Shaun de Bruyn said Quality Tourism Framework funding will provide mentorship, support and programs to develop new tourism products and access new markets for existing products. , as well as micro-accreditations to develop staff and business owners.

The Quality Tourism Framework (QTF) is an online program available to all businesses engaged in the visitor economy, which stimulates business development, enhances and diversifies Australia’s tourism product, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.

“ATIC commends the Labor Government for supporting small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism sector through the Tourism Quality Framework. This will help our tourism economy stay competitive and support a sustainable tourism sector,” said de Bruyn.

Over 10,000 tourism businesses across Australia already participate in the Quality Tourism Framework, which offers training, accreditation and awards programs. This enables small tourism businesses to develop high quality, sustainable, environmentally friendly, accessible and internationally oriented tourism products.

Other measures released in the federal budget that will support the visitor economy included free TAFE and vocational education in industries facing skills shortages, including tourism and hospitality, a promotional campaign to attract workers, the creation of a national electric vehicle charging network that will support car and RV travel and continue to support sustainable tourism access to our World Heritage sites.

Read our budget breakdown HERE.

Damaged heritage building, business gone in the blink of an eye

The historic The Store at Center Bush was emptied after it was hit by a truck last week.  Owner Mike Sheppard, who is a vet by day, says he will have to get through calving season before he can step back and make a decision on the future of the business.

Robyn Edie / Stuff

The historic The Store at Center Bush was emptied after it was hit by a truck last week. Owner Mike Sheppard, who is a vet by day, says he will have to get through calving season before he can step back and make a decision on the future of the business.

Hundreds of hours of work crumbled for Mike Sheppard, after a truck smashed through his Center Bush storefront, destroying a category two historic site in the process.

The Southland businessman says he’s not sure he has the energy to rebuild his general store and takeaway after a small truck ripped through the facade of a century-old building the last week.

Sheppard has run The Store at Center Bush, near Winton, for around five years – but the damage from the crash is so extensive it has had to close indefinitely and let its five staff go.

“It’s frustrating. We’re going to have to think very carefully about what we’re going to do,” he said.

* Covid-19: business owner devastated after becoming a close contact
* Visiting school children attempted to rob Invercargill vape shop
* Government is exploring options for a faster phase-out of Mataura Ouvea premix
* Considerable history in the Center Bush grocery store

Damage to the Center Bush store after a truck crashed in front of the store.

Robyn Edie / Stuff

Damage to the Center Bush store after a truck crashed in front of the store.

The accident happened last Wednesday after a car turned around on a “rather wet” evening, causing a medium-sized truck – traveling at around 70 km/h – to swerve towards the showcase, Sheppard said.

A police spokesman said one person was taken to Southland Hospital with moderate injuries.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident, a spokesperson said.

The duty manager “was not far from the gate when the truck arrived,” Sheppard said.

“It hit fast and it hit hard. It was the right angle at the right time. Half of the posts that hold the veranda are gone.

It’s a blow to Sheppard, who was close to selling The Store as a sustainable business – the only one of its kind in the rural community.

He had bought the building in 2010 to use as a branch for his dairy vet practice, but when he closed the branch to bring staff back to Invercargill, he thought, “I own the building, as much do something. ”

Originally built in 1920, the structure was best known as the Stewart General Store.

It has served many purposes over the years, including as a training center for migrant dairy workers.

Sheppard said he wanted to “make it work as something for the community”, so aside from the grocery store, he invested in a new kitchen to provide food for local residents and travelers passing through SH6.

The business grew steadily until the Covid-19 pandemic brought tourists to a halt, he said, but residents supported The Store by ordering groceries from them during the closures.

The Center Bush store has been a landmark on the Dipton-Winton Highway for nearly a century.  It has been classified as a category two historic site.

Robyn Edie / Stuff

The Center Bush store has been a landmark on the Dipton-Winton Highway for nearly a century. It has been classified as a category two historic site.

And they had provided huge support since Sheppard announced the closure on Facebook, joking that the store had become “a drive-thru,” he said.

He thought the building was salvageable, but didn’t know if he had the money or the energy to do it himself.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga spokeswoman Adrienne Hannan said the southern team would contact Sheppard to offer advice in what must be a “devastating time”.

The private space industry has a major sexism problem that is ‘too toxic’ to solve


It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the space industry. What is less well known are the challenges faced by many women working in the industry. Like so many other male-dominated professions, women in the space sector often face a culture of sexual harassment and misogyny which can be difficult to escape.

“I think space travel is about adventure and the possibility and the daring to go where no one has gone before,” said Mindy Howard, astronaut trainer and founding director of ‘Inner Space Training. Newsweek. “Nature and nurture work against women to go out and be explorers like that.”

Today, only one in five aerospace workers is a woman, a figure that hasn’t changed much in three decades. And while organizations like Nasa recognized and acted on the need for more female representationprogress in most of the industry has been slow.

Image of a female astronaut. The space industry is still largely dominated by men.
Evgeniy Shkolenko/Getty

“Visible diversity really helps…some people just want permission to dream,” Howard said. “More and more women are gradually reaching higher positions [in the space industry]but once they are there, they still have to deal with this harassment, this bullying and not feeling that they can give their all to the job.

“It’s like there are hurdles along the way: you have hurdles as kids to get there, and then once you’re an adult, you often face these kinds of things as well. “

In 2021, employees of two of the largest aerospace companies, Blue Origin and SpaceX, have come forward to share their experiences of sexual harassment and misconduct within these organizations. But very little has been done since these allegations came to light.

“We were all sick of seeing our friends being harassed,” said Caleigh MacPherson, co-founder of Astro Advocates and Allies. Newsweek. In 2021, she and two colleagues, Heather Morehouse and Victoria Varone, created a Facebook group to support victims of sexual harassment and bullying within the space industry and provide resources to help people combat these issues in the workplace.

“A big part of the group is made up of people who see this happening and want to be informed so that if they recognize something is happening, they can intervene,” MacPherson said.

Sexual harassment is everywhere in all industries, she said. Aerospace is no exception.

“We’ve seen it in small private companies, we’ve seen it in big monster companies like SpaceX, and we’ve seen it in places like NASA itself… We’ve had people in the group who no longer work in the space industry who left because it was too toxic for them.”

Heather Morehouse, another of the band’s co-founders, explained why it’s so devastating. “Think of the time, money, education and energy these people have put into pursuing, often multiple degrees, internships, making connections, to get to a point where they have to throw it all away” , she said. Newsweek.

“Many choose to push [the incident] aside and stay at their jobs, but often quit within a year of being reported due to overwhelming anxiety, stress and continued harassment…Often the victim ends up leaving because the information has been “ leak’…Many of these women do not report it because they are afraid of retaliation.”

creepy coworker puts hand on shoulder
Image of a man putting his hand on a co-worker. The space industry is not immune to sexual harassment.
Stock Photos and Footage/Getty

By working with victims of harassment and misconduct, the group has been able to provide support and a solution to many of its members. “Over 250 people have asked for help, to tell their stories or to help rewrite policies and expectations,” MacPherson said. “We’re 16 months into this whole endeavor – in that time, 16 cases have been fully resolved, 6 set in motion and 12 are being reconsidered after being completely ignored for years.

“We are not licensed therapists, but we are women and we are friends and we have all been victims of harassment in one form or another.

“There are different levels of closure. For the majority of people who came forward, it was more of a mental closure…but in a few cases they went to court and won.”

This type of legal closure is a great achievement, Morehouse said. “The average time from when an incident is reported to when the incident is considered closed is over three years,” she said. “And most reported incidents never go beyond the initial report.”

In addition to supporting victims, the group actively encourages industry leaders to put in place and implement clear sexual harassment policies to make it easier for future victims to report and resolve concerns they may have. could be faced.

“We’ve had more success with smaller companies because they’re not so rigid,” MacPherson said. “They can be flexible enough to change their policies. With big companies, introducing new policies is more difficult. There’s so much bureaucracy and you have to go through all the paperwork. You can’t just say ‘hey, this policy really bothers me, can we change it?’”

“We’re seeing small positive things that are great motivation to keep going, but it’s going to be a while before we see a big positive change,” MacPherson said.

blue origin rocket
Archive image of the New Shephard Blue Origin launch. Some said Bezos’ rocket looked like a symbol of “manly power”.
Joe Raedle/Staff/Getty

Morehouse said even companies with established sexual harassment policies are often reluctant to implement them. “These companies look pretty, with their policies and procedures in place, but they fall short when it comes to execution and meaningful results,” she said.

From industry brief #Me too moment in 2021, there is more awareness around the issue. But has anything really changed? “Things haven’t improved,” MacPherson said. “They did it on a small scale, but it’s not much different… It’s partly bureaucracy, partly people standing in the way. If you look at the metrics of the turnover of women in the manpower in the space industry, it’s still a lot faster than humans.”

To see real positive change, Morehouse believes these policies will need to be consistent across all organizations. “We have found the solution to have an overarching group, an industry watchdog here in the United States…that specifically monitors and deals with aerospace, as a whole, that will not be biased.. .and who can handle these cases in a discrete and timely manner,” she said,

“It’s a huge task to take on, but we’re starting…it’s about finding the right people and people who are willing to take the risk.”

MacPherson said she doesn’t want to discourage potential female space workers by sharing these stories. On the contrary, she wants to see these support systems put in place to empower women workers in the industry.

“You have the power to change things,” she said. “If you see something you don’t like, you can change it. The most important thing is to have a support system.”

“An essential objective: a unified Libyan government”


Mister President,

I thank the Special Representative for his briefing.

I would like to reaffirm from the outset an essential objective: that of a unified Libyan government, capable of governing everywhere and representing all Libyans. The status quo makes Libya vulnerable to foreign interference and destabilization attempts, as well as division.

The achievements of the ceasefire agreement must be preserved and its implementation must be complete. The implementation of Libya’s plan for the withdrawal of foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries and a process of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of militias is a priority. The summer violence in Tripolitania reminded us of this. The reunification of the Libyan armed forces is the best way to achieve a sovereign and peaceful Libya. France will continue to support dialogue between security actors in the East and West, supported in particular by the 5+5 mixed military committee, in order to preserve the country’s unity.

The arms embargo must be fully respected. France will continue to act in this direction in support of Operation IRINI. It calls on all countries operating in the Mediterranean to cooperate in this operation.

It calls on all Libyan and regional actors to respect the sovereign rights of European Union Member States. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between Turkey and the Libyan Government of National Accord in 2019 and any other agreements arising from it do not comply with the international law of the sea and cannot have legal consequences for third States.

Only the free expression of the will of the people can restore indisputable legitimacy in Libya. In the face of growing divisions, fueled by foreign interference, it is essential to work on a new political roadmap. There is therefore an urgent need to put Libya back on track for simultaneous presidential and legislative elections in Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. Only a genuine dialogue among all Libyans will make this possible. This must lead to a constitutional basis, but also to real commitments between the actors for safe, transparent and credible elections.

On the economic level, France calls on the Libyans to put in place a mechanism for the fair and transparent redistribution of income for the benefit of the entire population. It is essential to put an end to the embezzlement of public funds, which benefits the militias in particular and fuels tensions on the ground.

Human rights violations are deeply worrying, particularly sexual and gender-based violence, as well as violations against migrants and refugees. France demands that those responsible be brought to justice. He recalls the primary responsibility of the Libyan authorities and encourages them to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court.

Mister President,

It is more important than ever that this Council and the United Nations help Libya and its people to meet the challenges that threaten their sovereignty, security and unity. This is why France fully supports the mediation of Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily and the renewal for one year of UNMIL’s mandate.


Vacancy: Water Policy Advisor | Information


News article | 24-10-2022 | 10:47

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Jordan is looking to recruit a Water Policy Advisor.

  • Deadline: Monday, November 7, before 5 p.m.
  • Please send your CV and cover letter to [email protected]
  • More information about the job duties and requirements are mentioned below.


Jordan is the second most water-scarce country in the world. Tackling water scarcity in Jordan is a high priority in the Netherlands’ multi-year cooperation strategy in Jordan. The Netherlands is helping Jordan to ensure that enough water remains available to meet the needs of its population, including refugees and vulnerable host communities. The Netherlands aims to contribute to a sustainable supply, efficient use and management of water. Climate change is having a profound negative impact on water availability in Jordan; the Netherlands is therefore also working on the water-energy-food nexus to support climate change mitigation as well as adaptation. The Water Policy Advisor will play a key role in advancing and coordinating the Netherlands’ water agenda.

Tasks and Result Areas


1. Liaise with the Jordanian government and partner organizations

  • Maintain a strong functional network and actively liaise with contacts within relevant government authorities, at political, administrative and operational levels with the aim of promoting and facilitating NL-JOR dialogue on policies, strategies and plans to coping with water scarcity and to monitor and follow up on program implementation and evaluation.
  • Build, expand and maintain a functional network of contacts with other national organizations, including civil society, the private sector, knowledge institutes as well as with societal structures such as tribes and international development partners and (I)NGO.
  • Organize and actively participate in meetings with GoJ departments/institutions, NGOs, UN organizations, international banks and other dialogue platforms, e.g. donor coordination meetings, etc. on water issues.

2. Political advice

  • Monitor and advise on the status and trends of the legal, policy and institutional framework in relation to water and climate change and advise on the importance and possible implications for EKN’s multi-year strategic planning and for activities related to water.
  • Provide advice and actively contribute to the drafting of Netherlands (NL)/EKN policy documents and strategies such as the multi-annual plan, policy briefs, opinions and reviews.
  • Contribute to the development of national policy in the water sector through interaction with various interlocutors, based on our interventions in the water sector in cooperation with knowledge institutes and Dutch expertise.

3. Program development and implementation

  • Implementation of activities in the water sector, in order to achieve the strategic objectives as formulated in the Jordan Multi-Year Strategic Plan for 2023-2026.
  • Identify business opportunities in the water sector in close collaboration with the commercial officer of the Embassy.
  • Actively participate in project monitoring and, if necessary, advise and / or help to respond to specific opportunities and / or constraints in the implementation of the program.
  • Identify and/or advise on opportunities for new activities that are in line with the priorities of the Jordanian government and the political priorities of the Netherlands.
  • When requested/required/relevant, contribute/participate in the formulation, evaluation and monitoring of projects/programmes in other relevant sectors.

4. Project/activity management and administration

  • Management and administration (of the project cycle) of selected projects, programs and activities.
  • Contribute and/or advise on the monitoring of activities, the organization and scope of reviews, field visits as well as the evaluation and monitoring of progress reports, annual and multi-annual plans and budgets.
  • Provide and/or assist in obtaining key data from sector partners, programs and projects required for the preparation of briefs, reports, tracking/results tracking sheets, etc.

5. Others

  • Develop and strengthen individual/own capacities through trainings and/or study visits at national and international level for the proper execution of the above tasks and responsibilities.
  • Participate in all EKN meetings relevant to the position.
  • Other tasks may be assigned on the basis of professional capacities and abilities deemed necessary within the framework of EKN activities, such as the preparation of incoming or outgoing missions.

Result areas

1. Adequate network with the Jordanian government and partner organizations

  • A relevant network of contacts with relevant GOJ authorities, civil society, private sector, knowledge institutes and development partners, and (I)NGOs.
  • Liaison/communication functioning optimally with relevant partners, including Embassy representation at relevant meetings.

2. Political advice

  • Contribution to policy briefs, briefs, studies, strategies and, if necessary, concrete advice on the legal, political and institutional framework for Dutch water-related activities in Jordan.
  • Opportunities for business-to-business cooperation between the Netherlands and JOR identified; advice provided to individual companies in collaboration with the Trade Officer of the Embassy.

3. Program development and implementation

  • Support and facilitate a Dutch role in the water sector through advocacy, supporting donor coordination and translating Dutch international leadership in water management into the Jordanian context;
  • Suggestions and advice on new programs, activities and partners in the water sector.
  • Actively facilitate the timely preparation and approval of relevant documents for NL/EKN funded water related activities.
  • Briefings, advice on opportunities and/or constraints in program implementation.

4. Project/activity management and administration

  • Well-managed portfolio of activities in the field of water: activities designed, identified, appraised, registered, monitored and closed in accordance with established rules and regulations.
  • Contributions to the development and monitoring of annual and multi-annual plans, budgets and progress reports.
  • Key data from sector partners, programs and projects available for notes, reports, scorecards/tracking results, etc.

5. Others

  • Individual/own capacity developed
  • Participation in all EKN meetings relevant to the position
  • Performing other assigned duties deemed necessary within the scope of Embassy activities.

Job requirements

Knowledge, education and skills


  • General knowledge and understanding of the water situation and sector in Jordan and its link to agriculture and climate change;
  • An appropriate network of contacts in relevant Jordanian government institutions, the private sector and civil society (NGOs, CBOs);
  • Knowledge of methods and techniques for developing project plans and conducting evaluations, and skills and experience in their use;
  • Knowledge of Jordanian culture, tribes and customs.

Level of education

  • University degree, preferably in hydroscience/engineering;
  • Level of experience: a minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience is required.


  • Good communication skills;
  • Arabic mother tongue, fluent English (written and oral) required;
  • Excellent political antenna
  • Ability to translate ideas and information into advice, plans and reports and to assess their political and financial implications;
  • Networking skills and ability to establish and maintain diplomatic and other contacts at a senior level;
  • A proactive approach and an ability to work independently;
  • Dedicated team member who enjoys working closely with others;
  • Good computer skills.


  • Ability to work with others
  • Ability to work independently
  • Focused on goals
  • Integrity
  • Organizational Sensitivity
  • Initiative
  • Environmental awareness
  • Networking skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • Flexibility
  • eager to learn

Working environment

  • The water mission officer is part of the development cooperation team of the embassy in Amman led by the deputy head of mission.
  • The Dutch Embassy is located in Abdoun Al Shamali. The Embassy team consists of 40 staff members, including attachés, (regional) political officers and support staff. The atmosphere at the Embassy is informal and very team-oriented, with an “I can do” mentality. The mission of the Embassy in the various political fields is considered as a joint responsibility of all. The working languages ​​are English, Dutch and Arabic.
  • The water policy officer will work closely with the Dutch regional envoy for water, energy and food, who is also part of the embassy team in Amman.


The water policy advisor will be called upon to make regular contact with:

  • With the Netherlands Business Agency (RVO.nl) in The Hague and other water policy advisors in the region;
  • With relevant ministries and authorities in Jordan and the Netherlands;
  • With water knowledge institutes in the Netherlands and Jordan;
  • With development agencies, other embassies and the business community;
  • With other members of the Dutch Embassy and in particular with members of the team of the economic team;
  • With other Embassy staff on procedures, working methods and program progress, as well as on explaining and interpreting legislation;
  • With the Netherlands Business Agency (RVO.nl) in The Hague and other water policy advisors in the region;
  • With independent civil society organizations, such as community organizations and NGOs.

How to register

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send your cover letter and CV to [email protected]

Deadline: Monday, November 7, 2022, before 5 p.m.

Video: Electric Ford Mustang Mach-E Gets V8 Sound


An American firm has developed a V8 roar for Ford’s quiet electric SUV.

Owners of Ford Mustang Mach-E Electric SUVs in the US that lack the sound of old-school muscle cars will soon have the option of an external speaker that emits the roar of a V8 exhaust.

In a 14-second video posted on YoutubeAmerican tuning company and exhaust specialist Borla has introduced its “Active Performance Sound System” – a speaker hidden under the car’s rear bumper that can deliver the booming V8 exhaust sounds of Ford’s iconic Mustang muscle car.

The American firm says its audio system is fed in real time by the Mustang Mach-E electric car’s on-board computer, allowing the speaker to accurately represent the exhaust noises of a muscle car idling, when accelerating, cruising or slowing down.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E presented in the Youtube video featured exhaust noises emitted by the Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8.

“Sound, vision and touch are the three senses we use for sport driving, and without the real-time feedback of engine and vehicle dynamics through sound waves and vibrations, much of that experience is missing,” said Borla’s vice president of sales and marketing. , David Borla, said in a press release.

“After all, who wants to watch Fast n’ Furious movies or play Forza (video games) without sound? They go to great lengths to make sure the sound is prevalent in these mids for a reason.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E has been fitted with a speaker under the rear bumper that generates sounds from the V8-powered Mustang muscle car

Borla is not the first tuning company or speed shop to develop an “exhaust” for an electric car.

In 2020, British company Milltek developed a muffler with built-in speaker for Tesla’s electric cars – controlled via a smartphone app with the choice of exhaust noises from V8, V10 or V12 engines.

In Australia, performance outlets sell the Milltek system for around $3825.

Earlier this year, Dodge unveiled its Charger Daytona SRT electric concept car, equipped with what the American automaker calls a “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust”.

Dodge claims the fake exhaust is as loud as a supercharged V8-powered Charger Hellcat, capable of generating up to 126 dB through an amplifier and “tuning” chamber in the rear of the car.

Borla has yet to announce pricing for its electric “exhaust system,” and more details will be announced at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas next month.

The Mustang Mach-E first drew criticism when it launched in 2019, with avid Ford fans believing the automaker was tarnishing Mustang muscle car heritage by using its name on an electric SUV.

Despite this, the Ford Mustang Mach-E has outsold the two-door Mustang muscle car in the United States for some months this year, with order books recently reopened after being closed due to overwhelming demand for the electric SUV.

As previously reported, well-placed dealer sources have said Conduct the Ford Mustang Mach-E is a certainty for Australia, although the local arm of the US auto giants remains mum on whether the electric car will make it to showrooms.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach was born in Canberra/Ngunnawal and currently resides in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-proclaimed iRacing junkie and can be found on weekends driving his Octavia RS or swearing on his ZH Fairlane.

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The Kardashians Season 2 Ep 5 Highlights: Kylie opens up about postpartum struggles; Kim and Khloé land in Miami


So far, The Kardashians season 2 has been going well, following the same structure as the first, as we get a glimpse of the Kardashian-Jenner members and their drama-filled lives. Following last week’s NSFW reveal by Kim Kardashian about her and Pete Davidson, this week the SKIMS founder was seen heading to Miami with her sister Khloe Kardashian.

The new episode also featured Kylie Jenner who had disappeared from the season so far after being seen welcoming her second child with Travis Scott on the same. In the fifth episode, we see Jenner open up to her sister Kendall Jenner about postpartum struggles. The episode also features Khloe admitting to a bizarre clause she added to her will. Check out the biggest highlights from the new episode below.

Khloe Kardashian’s shocking clause in her will

In the fifth episode of The Kardashians, we Khloe, Kris Jenner and Kylie Jenner had a rather odd conversation as they discussed details of their funeral and also revealed details about how their wills were made. While the conversation certainly left viewers spooked, Khloe in her confessional announced, “My family and I talk about wills, about death, about what our wishes would be if something terrible were to happen.” She added, “If I’m in a coma, I still get my nails done once a week. And it’s in my will because people are going to visit me.” Although the discussion didn’t end there, Kris Jenner revealed that Kim asked the doctor to save Jenner’s bones so she could make jewelry out of them. Khloe also reminded her mother that she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes “made into necklaces for us.”

Kylie Jenner’s postpartum journey

Kylie Jenner is a mother of two and the beauty mogul opened up about her postpartum struggles after welcoming a second baby earlier this year in the new episode of the series. In a chat with her sister, Kendall Jenner, Kylie revealed, “I cried nonstop all day for the first three weeks.” While assuring Kendall she’s better now, she added, “After about six weeks I started to feel better, but I definitely got the blues,” she said, adding that she hadn’t “cried every day, so that’s great.” Kylie later in her confessional detailed that she discovered on Google that she had a case of baby blues.

Kim and Khloe take on Miami

After Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian filmed a special called Kim and Kourtney Take Miami in 2009, in 20222 it was Kim and Khloe Take Miami as the sisters headed out on a tour with their daughters while Kim rode there Also going for a work trip. While initially hesitant to go on the trip fearing the scrutiny that will follow her paparazzi photos, Khloe ultimately decides to give it a shot. The sisters, who flew to Florida with their friends, also faced a rather chilling incident, as when their car drove towards the hotel, a group of rowdies suddenly started banging on the car’s window. their car. Kim admitted she was trying to stay calm for Khloe who worries among large crowds.

Kim Kardashian’s obsession with photo editing

During her trip to Miami with Khloe, while partying in a hotel suite after dinner, Khloe and the sister’s group of friends were seen toasting their girls’ night out while Kim sat on a sofa in the background, preoccupied with something else. After Khloe approached her to find out what she was up to, the SKIMS mogul informed her younger sister that she “approved” of the footage. Kim later in her confessional said, “These are the pictures from the dinner party. You have the approval of all the pictures inside our Skims pop-up. I don’t trust anyone else to tell me when I look good.” While Khloe seemed upset that Kim was a depresser at the party, Kim in another confessional mentioned, “B***h, you’ll thank me later… Because I edit all of our f**** pics *g to remove all bad ones, and they should be printed tonight.”

Scott Disick and Brody Jenner support Kendall

Kendall Jenner was seen heading to Las Vegas for an event for her liquor brand. While Kylie was originally scheduled to join her with their friends, the mum-of-two had to pull out at the last minute. Kendall was seen accompanied by her close friend Hailey Bieber at the event. She was also supported by Scott Disick and his half-brother, Brody Jenner. During the event, Kendall was seen bonding with Brody and later had a chat with Scott about Kylie missing the event and Kendall wanting to hang out with her sister.

What do you think of The Kardashians season 2 so far? Tell us in the comments below.

READ ALSO : The Kardashians Season 2 Ep 4 Highlights: Kim Addresses Work Advice Backlash; Scott Disick returns

West Coast Fever, Netball Australia, collateral damage, sartorial debacle, Hancock Prospecting, sponsor, withdrawn, $15m, Donnell Wallam, Gina Rinehart, Kelly Ryan


West Coast fever has become ‘collateral damage’ in Hancock Prospecting’s $15million sponsorship debacle as a ‘disappointed’ Australian Netball was left reeling from Saturday’s announcement.

Hancock Prospecting, owned by Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, confirmed that he would not go ahead with their lucrative sponsorship for Australian netball and diamonds. The company also announced the withdrawal of Roy Hill’s support of Netball WA and its Super Netball team, the West Coast Fever.

Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan said she was “disappointed” the saga had come to this outcome.

Watch Netball’s oldest rivalry as Origin Australian Diamonds take on New Zealand in the Constellation Cup AEDT Live & Free on Kayo Freebies. Join now and start streaming instantly >

“We recognize the difficulties and the impact of recent discussions and are disappointed to see them withdraw the partnership,” she said.

“It is a loss for all of our sport, from grassroots football to the elite programme. Sadly, this is evident today with the decision to also withdraw financial support for Netball WA and West Coast Fever.

Ryan promised NA would continue to “work around the clock” to secure the future of the sport. She also pledged to “explore all available opportunities” in the wake of Hancock’s decision.

Netball Aus bunker broken down after unrest | 02:22

The sponsorship had become a point of view between the players and NA after a lack of consultation prior to the announcement.

Indigenous player Donnell Wallam had raised concerns about wearing Hancock Prospecting on Australian dress due to historical comments made by the company’s late founder Lang Hancock in the 1980s.

Wallam, who is set to make her debut for Australia in next week’s series against England, had the backing of her Diamonds teammates.

Fever CEO Simone Hansen said her club were “bitterly disappointed” to lose their partnership with Roy Hill – who was the club’s main sponsor – following the issues at Netball Australia.


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“We are the only SSN club directly impacted by this decision. We are collateral damage to the national situation and we are frustrated that all netball stakeholders could not come to a united position and this was reflected in the media,” she said.

“We were committed to the partnership and disappointed external factors beyond our control led to the withdrawal of the partnership.

“Our players understand and recognize the value and necessity of trade finance.

“Each of our players have supported our partnership with Roy Hill and unfortunately they will be most affected by this decision.

“Western Australia’s club and netball have a long association with the mining sector and are extremely grateful for their continued support. The mining sector and its related activities are essential to the livelihoods of many Western Australians, including netball families.

Diamonds bring the Constellation Cup to life | 01:22

NA remains struggling financially, having lost more than $7 million in two seasons and trying to extend $4.2 on loans through 2025.

NA President Wendy Archer, who only took office this week after Marina Go left, said there were ‘regrets’ in the way the Hancock Prospecting ordeal went .

“We are grateful to Hancock Prospecting for continuing to support our sport through the recent turmoil and regret the impact this has had on the business,” Ms Archer said.

“This has been a difficult time for all parties involved and while all parties have made every effort to resolve issues relating to partnership sensitivities, unfortunately we have not been able to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome. ”

Hancock Prospecting has pledged to provide sponsorship support to NA for the next four months as it seeks to find a new partner, should “they and their players wish to accept it”.

Kentucky School Counselors Receive Updates on Time Use Survey and Counselor Framework – Kentucky Teacher


The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) School Counselor Advisory Council (SCAC) received updates on the Kentucky Time Use Survey and Best Practices Framework for School Counselors during its October 20 meeting.

Heather Bushelman, Comprehensive School Counseling Program Coordinator and member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) team at KDE’s Office of Teaching and Learning, has shared updates on the changes to Senate Bill (SB) 102, related to survey time use and school mental health service providers.

Passed at the 2022 regular session, SB 102 requires superintendents to report annually to KDE by November 1 on a number of items related to mental health service providers, including:

  1. The number of school mental health service providers in a district;
  2. The position occupied;
  3. Placement of school mental health service providers in a district;
  4. The certification or license held;
  5. Source of funding for each position;
  6. A summary of the duties of each school mental health service provider; and
  7. The percentage of time spent on each task during the year.

“These school mental health positions are mentioned in this bill to start collecting data and information about what these workers are doing in our schools,” Bushelman said.

She also said that KDE will use the results of the time use survey to assess what supports can be offered to help schools ensure that more of a counsellor’s time is used for appropriate activities, because it is “ultimately what is best for the children”.

In addition to this data collection, statewide trainings are held for superintendents and various administrators to educate them on the legislation and the purpose of using temporal data collection.

Kentucky Best Practices Framework for School Counselors

The recently released American School Counselor Association (ASCA) ethical standards will be added to the Kentucky Framework of Best Practices for School Counselors, along with a sample comprehensive school counseling model in December. Bushelman also said KDE would like input from the board on creating statewide mission and vision statements that will be added to the framework. Advisory board members will email Bushelman with suggestions.

Working with the KDE Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) team and 4 MTSS school counselors, Bushelman said work has begun to create a Kentucky version of the MTSS triangle, aligned with the ASCA model. This model of tiered support systems will guide school counselors on how best to serve students. She said the new model will be released in February.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Updates

The board received updates from KDE’s DEIB Director, Damien Sweeney, and Nicole Fields, KDE’s Director of Community Engagement.

Sweeney said the DEIB team is working with the Kentucky Education Development Corporation and the University of Louisville to create six professional learning modules for educators around DEIB. Two modules will focus on developing a comprehensive curriculum and school guidance framework. Micro credentials will be offered for completion of the modules. KDE is also partnering with Kentucky Educational Television to create a professional learning module with a micro-certificate on safe spaces.

The DEIB team is working on A4 modules for districts not participating in the Equity Playbook, which will help introduce the idea of ​​DEIB. The modules are meant to be reflective to help educators think about how they can support all students.

Fields shared that DEIB’s podcast, “Lifting Kentucky’s Voices,” will be available soon.

“Our vision is for every educator and student to have a sense of belonging, so we want to let Kentucky know what we do as educators to create that sense of belonging,” Fields said.

In other cases counsel:

  • Discussed self-care practices and what self-care looks like for counselors, teachers, and students.
  • Heard about the 2022 Calming Space grant winners, which include: Beechwood Elementary (Beechwood Independent); Crosby Middle School (Jefferson County); East Perry Elementary School (Perry County); Nelson County Early Learning Center; Painted Stone Elementary (Shelby County); Ponderosa Elementary, Cannonsburg Elementary, Catlettsburg Elementary, and Summit Elementary (all in Boyd County); Red Cross Elementary School (Barren County); Sublimity Elementary (Laurel County); and Webster County High School. Candidates had the choice of applying as a school or a district. These schools/districts will receive $10,000 each to begin implementing and building their Calming Space initiative, which includes options for all students in the school, as well as family engagement.

Foxconn unveils prototype electric crossovers and pickup trucks; MODEL C EV will be delivered to Taiwan next year


Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn), the world’s largest technology manufacturer and service provider, announced two prototype self-developed electric vehicles at its third annual Hon Hai Tech Day (HHTD): the Model B crossover hatchback and the all-terrain V model, electric pickup.

At the same time, Hon Hai introduced the MODEL C production vehicle, which will be delivered to Taiwan next year, while showcasing key components of the electric vehicle supply chain, such as the electric power steering system. (EPS), solid-state battery, silicon carbide power module and semiconductor. In addition, this year’s HHTD promoted the contract design and manufacturing service (CDMS) business model in the field of electric vehicles in the next decade.

Hon Hai’s rapid development in the field of electric vehicles is a continuation of the Group’s growth and innovation. In the past, we have helped global brand customers transform the consumer electronics industry chain step by step by providing consumers with extraordinary and affordable technology products. In the future, Hon Hai will definitely redefine the electric vehicle industry and provide drivers with a safe and comfortable user experience in transportation.

—Hon Hai, Chairman and CEO, Young Liu, and Founder, Terry Gou

Hon Hai’s vision has always been to produce comprehensive solutions for flagship customers and provide comprehensive smart lifestyles. We made PCs and cell phones. From now and in the future, we will create electric vehicles.

For more than 40 years, the greatest value we bring to global top brand customers is that Hon Hai is your most trusted and reliable partner. In the electric vehicle industry, we are adamant about CDMS: it means contract design and manufacturing service. This commitment will not change. In the next 10 years, Hon Hai in the electric vehicle industry will redefine CDMS in the automotive field and continue to promote vertically integrated technology services. Our goal is to provide the range of high-tech services and capabilities automakers need to propel them to become more competitive.

—Hon Hai, Chairman and CEO, Young Liu


The all-new MODEL B prototype concept crossover is based on the MODEL C platform, but with platform size changes and a new body design. Its S-duct design, streamlined roof and air curtain on the D-pillar significantly reduce air turbulence. This allows MODEL B to achieve an excellent drag coefficient of 0.26. As a custom city car, the compact 4.3 meter MODEL B has a range of 450 kilometers and uses a 2.8 meter wheelbase to create a comfortable and spacious cockpit.



MODEL C, as the first electric vehicle built on the MIH open platform, has gone straight from last year’s concept prototype to this year’s production vehicle, fully demonstrating Hon Hai’s automotive manufacturing capabilities. With a drag coefficient of 0.28, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and a range of nearly 700 kilometres, this electric, economical and multifunctional model meets the expectations of motorists. The production version of the MODEL C is expected to hit the road in Taiwan in the second half of 2023.



With the landmark debut of Taiwan’s first electric pickup MODEL V, Hon Hai completes its lineup of passenger cars and large commercial vehicles. The MODEL V is the result of the vertical integration of alliance partners Hon Hai and MIH. It is the first electric pickup designed and developed in Taiwan. It has a payload capacity of up to 1 ton and a towing capacity of 3 tons.

The electric pickup adopts a double-cab and 5-seater configuration. Sensors surrounding the body are combined with electronic mirrors and a display screen to integrate the dashboard.

HHEV.OS architecture. To lower the threshold for entering the electric vehicle industry, Hon Hai has simplified the complexity of software development and greatly shortened the development time with HHEV.OS. This EV software platform has excellent scalability, complies with vehicle regulations and safety, and guarantees instant and reliable transmission.

With the HHEV.OS software platform, EV designers can focus on the most valuable development work and achieve the goal of rapid product launch. At the same time, Hon Hai will also request MIH to make HHEV.OS the standard for MIH’s open software platform.

At the first annual HHTD in 2020, Hon Hai announced the MIH Open Platform, promoting standardization, modularization, and platform approach to technologies. Through sharing and division of labor, Hon Hai changes the traditional system of the auto industry and establishes an open technical standard and supply chain.

In the second HHTD in 2021, Hon Hai launched three electric vehicles, MODEL C, MODEL E and MODEL T. With a diversified product line in electric vehicles, Hon Hai demonstrates strong R&D and agile manufacturing of electric vehicles. At the third HHTD 2022, Hon Hai not only expands the scope of its electric vehicle offerings, but also redefines the CDMS to promote vertical integration services.

Tom Karwin, on gardening | Seasonal Projects – Monterey Herald


Take care of your garden

Just when we see our gardens moving into dormancy, a quick survey reveals a wealth of timely tasks. These are small-scale projects that might be overlooked, but nature demands to be done for good looks now and preparations for the coming season.

A complete list of seasonal tasks for all gardens could not be included here, but we urge all gardeners to prioritize ways to care for their gardens at this time of year. You could distribute the workload over the next several weeks, keeping in mind the annual cycles of the factories.

Today’s column features some (not all) of the stains found in my garden.

Grow Crinums

My garden bed of South African perennials includes a group of crinums. The genus includes 180 species called crinum lilies, cape lilies, spider lilies, or marsh lilies. Despite references to lilies, crinums are members of the amaryllis plant family, not the lily plant family.

Most crinum varieties bloom best in full sun and moist or even soggy soil (hence the name “swamp lily”), but species vary. My plants (crinum moorei), originally from South Africa, prefer partial shade and grow and flower well with minimal irrigation.

Crinums are related to the familiar “Naked Lady” plants (amaryllis belladonna), which are hysserant plants, i.e. leafless autumn-flowering geophytes, as we saw in the chronicle of the last week. In comparison, crinums are synanthe plants, meaning they have flowers and leaves at the same time.

Crinums are majestic plants. The bulbs (up to 8 inches in diameter) sit just below the soil surface, with a neck that rises 8 to 12 inches above the ground. Long, flat, dark green leaves (up to 36 inches long and 8 inches wide) emerge in a neck rosette, which in summer also produces a 4.5-foot-tall flower spike with a cluster of five to 10 large white to pale pink lily-like flowers, pleasantly scented.

In colder climates, these plants die to the ground in winter and sprout in spring like daffodils and tulips. At this time of year in the Monterey Bay area, the Crinums have finished blooming, and their leaves and stems have settled. In my garden, they now have to be pruned.

Mature bulbs will produce new stems as well as suckers. Now would be a good time to lift and divide the bulbs, replant them, or share them with other gardeners. Either way, they should be planted 4-6 feet apart to allow room for the bulbs to spread.

Growing Sweet Peas From Seed

Now is the time to plant sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), which are native to Sicily, southern Italy and the Aegean islands. Hybrid varieties offer flowers in a wide range of colors and color combinations. They do not have yellow flowers, despite hybridizers’ efforts to produce this flower color. (Blue roses and true red irises are equally elusive.) Sweet peas are prized as garden enhancements, cut flowers, and sources of attractive fragrance.

I grow the old variety, Lathyrus odoratus ‘Cupani’s Original’, which dates from the late 17th century. In addition to having a long heritage, this variety has a reliable growth and a particularly pleasant fragrance. I save the seeds every year and plant them where they can climb.

In the Monterey Bay area, sweet peas are fairly easy to grow from seed planted until November, to give them time to develop roots. They can also be planted in April or May.

These plants grow best with their buds in the sun and their roots deep in cool, moist soil. For the best display, dig a trench and fill it with well-rotted manure or compost six weeks before sowing the seeds. Sweet peas are greedy plants and need a healthy dose of nutrient-rich material to thrive. They have tendrils that wrap around a supporting structure, such as a trellis, netting, or other plant. They will bloom from late spring to early summer and appreciate protection from the summer heat.

For detailed advice on starting sweet peas indoors, visit the Renee’s Garden website (www.reneesgarden.com/blogs/gardening-resources/, click on “Growing From Seed” and scroll down to “Growing Sweet Peas” This page also includes a link to 28 varieties available from Renee’s Garden.

Propagating Agave From Bulbils

Two months ago, this section presented the flower stem of a variegated smooth agave (A. desmetiana ‘Variegata’). Its flowers have since faded and it has produced a fine crop of bulbils, which are miniature plants that grow along the flower stalk and eventually drop and root. When left to their own devices, the bulbils sprout easily if the young plants survive herbaceous predators.

This agave grows to a moderate size, about 3 x 3 feet, with attractive variegated leaves. I have neither the desire nor the space for a new colony of this plant, but by propagating the bulbils I could add some plants to my garden and offer some to other gardeners.

This plant is offered for sale online in a 4.5 inch container for $23, plus tax and shipping, so free plants would be an amazing bargain.

Improve your gardening knowledge

Plant and landscape photography is a popular practice for many gardeners. They use photos to document selected plants or garden areas as they develop, share horticultural successes with friends, or even progress into commercial photography.

With digital cameras, garden photography is practical and technically simple, but still aesthetically challenging. Experienced backyard photographers can provide tips, insights, techniques, and tips that could help you move from casual snaps to satisfying photographic art.

Last week’s column listed a webinar in which photographer Irwin Lightstone discussed “Capturing Plant Character in Your Photography”. The recorded webinar is available online at www.facebook.com/CactusAndSucculentSocietyOfAmerica/.

A particularly successful and prolific garden photographer, Saxon Holt, has an award-winning e-book, “Good Garden Photography”, which can be downloaded from his website, saxonholt.com. For more examples of his photography and “living books”, visit photobotanic.com/.

Youtube.com offers a wealth of information on garden photography. Search “iphone photography flowers” for links to many short presentations on this topic, by several different photographers.

To broaden your photographic skills, some sites, for example iphonephotographyschool.com, presented by Emil Pakarklis and Clifford Pickett, invite you to enroll in an online course in photography, covering a range of subjects and topics, going beyond plants and landscapes.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is Past President of Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, Life Member of the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and UC Life Master Gardener (certified 1999-2009). He is now a board member of the Santa Cruz Hostel Society and active with the Pacific Horticultural Society. To see daily photos of her garden, https://www.facebook.com/ongardingcom-566511763375123/. For information on gardening coaching and an archive of previous On Gardening columns, visit http://ongarding.com.

Vari-Lite launches X-Series console designed for theater and concert lighting


Vari-Lite launches X-Series console designed for theater and concert lighting

Vari-Lite, industry pioneers in moving head lighting control and entertainment lighting brand Signify, announced the Neo X15 and Neo X5, a family of high performance lighting consoles designed for mixed-use facilities such as performing arts centers, stadiums and arenas, houses of worship, studios, schools and more.

“Large-format entertainment lighting consoles are typically focused on either theater lighting or live event lighting, but traditionally not both,” says Jon Hole, Global Product Manager, Vari-Lite Controls at Signify. “However, many installations are multi-functional and need the capabilities of a high-end console that works for all the different types of events and levels of user experience in the space. Series X consoles offer a platform – Feature-rich, customizable shape perfect for theater and live event lighting, at a price that won’t take up the whole upgrade budget.

The new X15 is Vari-Lite’s flagship high-performance lighting console, offering 15 multi-functional motorized readouts and backlit encoders, and can output over 50,000 ready-to-use channels. The intuitive hardware layout includes two integrated monitors, a touchscreen control panel, and integrated audio I/O connectivity that makes it easy to integrate lighting cues with sound effects, video, and more. A smaller, five-fader X5 console is due out early next year, with the same processor, build quality and 100 universes of DMX as the X15.

“Designers want consoles that are built to last, with stable, mature software and a tough, resilient build design,” adds Hole. “Even if the consoles are not in use during a touring production, they are still often moved around the facility, being installed in a different location when the show is scheduled than when the show is operating. The X15 uses the mature Neo platform and features premium materials and an all-in-one design, ensuring it will perform for years.

The all-new X-Series Neo 4.0 software helps designers find the perfect look in less time by including an advanced effects engine that supports pixel mapping, media playback, timelines and more. “The new Neo 4.0 software touchscreen interface is more console-like than ever, providing quick access to palettes, groups, macros and effects,” says Hole. “This makes the console quick and easy to use, and thanks to a robust training and support system, with built-in training videos, global technical support, online forums and groups, and an interactive manual, customers can be up and running quickly, adapting the interface to suit their needs and getting the look they want in less time.

October 20, 2022

As budget season draws to a close, heating tax suspension fails to garner support


TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY—Tuesday’s meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature was a relatively brief affair compared to some recent meetings, as budget season draws to a close and other business gradually returns to the foreground.

The second meeting in October consisted of a vote on budget amendments, further progress on the merger of public health and mental health services, and an interesting conversation on the suspension of the sales tax on heating in the county of Tomkins.

You can follow with meeting agenda hereor you can watch the full meeting here.

Budget amendments

The budget amendments were briefly discussed, though Tompkins County Legislator and Budget Committee Chair Deborah Dawson notably said she didn’t believe she could support them. His objection rested on the fact that the budget would leave the county in an operating deficit (although it is covered), calling it “fiscally irresponsible and unsustainable” and apparently extending that description to the multitude of amendments.

She based this assessment on the fact that the operating budget technically leaves the county in a multi-million dollar hole, which would be covered by additional funding as a one-time expense to ensure that the tax levy (the amount of money asked of taxpayers) remains unchanged in 2023. She thought it was a bad idea, and although other lawmakers said they understood it was a gamble, they supported the amendments. The full budget will be voted on next month, after a public hearing.

“If we’re wrong, if we’ve made any assumptions here and bets that turn out to be poor judgment or just turn out to be incorrect, we can correct them next year, just like anyone can in any world. any budget, either by cutting spending or finding more revenue,” said lawmaker Dan Klein. “I don’t think that dooms us to anything. If the worst-case scenario happens, we can correct it next year, and if not, we have done a very good thing by providing many services and keeping the tax levy unchanged.

“If it goes south, we’re going to have to make some tough choices,” lawmaker Mike Sigler followed, also adding that the budget adds jobs to the county. “But that doesn’t mean, to me, that we’re withholding money that was kind of overpaid to us. People are suffering, just as the government may suffer later.

The amendments passed 12-1.

Suspension of the heat tax

A resolution tabled by Sigler members generated the most conversation of the night. Citing escalating oil and gas prices, and with higher prices rumored, Sigler proposed that Tompkins County suspend its four percent tax on fuel oil, natural gas, wood products and electricity. Although he initially called for the change to be made only during the cold season over the next six months, ending May 1, 2023, he decided to propose a permanent end to the tax at the last minute.

The resolution was not supported by the Budget Committee, leading Sigler to present it to the full legislature. He presented similar proposals several times over the years, although they were never approved.

The county earns about $2.6 million a year from the tax (apparently when electricity is included, though that’s unclear), according to Sigler’s comments. His resolution pointed out that there is no sales tax on food, which is essential for survival, so why should there be a tax on heat, which is just as essential?

“The fundamental issue is taxing the things that people need to live, I don’t think we should,” Sigler said. Sigler said removing the tax wouldn’t mean the county would simply lose that $2.6 million, but acknowledged it would likely be replaced by property tax increases to make up the shortfall. These, however, are inherently means-tested, as the larger a property, the more likely owners are to pay property taxes.

“That’s why I’m presenting this,” Sigler said. “I don’t know if it will pass or not, but I felt that I had to move on. Frankly, I got more responses to this than anything I presented last year.

Legislator Amanda Champion agreed with the general intent, but felt more information was needed, such as total cost, income replacement, etc. In a somewhat similar fashion, lawmaker Greg Mezey said he would be more willing to support the legislation if it was fleshed out a bit. more – Sigler’s proposal was either succinct and direct or brief and sterile, depending on your preference.

“Think for a second about the Tompkins County property taxpayers and the extra burden they carry in Tompkins County because of all of our tax-exempt properties,” said lawmaker Mike Lane. “One of the ways they get some relief is through sales tax.”

Lane said he understood that “Sigler’s heart is in the right place,” but was unwilling to support him for the reasons given. Dawson also said she couldn’t support it, but also argued that the “heavy economy is as hard on us as it is on our taxpayers,” and said the county needs to be able to provide the services it needs. people are used to it.

Lawmakers Anne Koreman and Veronica Pillar also declined to support. Pillar made a point of saying that she disagrees with some tax practices overall, but that implementing legislation that would take more than $2 million from the budget was not feasible. . She expressed interest in working on something similar in the future, as did lawmaker Lee Shurtleff.

The budget measure ultimately failed.

Other news and notes

  • Near the start of the meeting, lawmaker Henry Granison announced that he would be leaving the legislature to devote himself full-time to medical treatment as he faces a persistent health situation.
  • The Legislature voted to approve the refund of a small amount of the mortgage registration tax paid by the Asteri Ithaca project in downtown Ithaca. The return is the result of an error on the part of the developers of the project, who were not aware that they did not have to pay the mortgage registration tax under their tax relief program. The city of Ithaca returned all the money once the developers realized their mistake, according to Dawson, but the county will only return 15% of the payment since 85% of that payment ($105,124) has already been paid to the funding for the TCAT, as required by law.
  • The long-awaited merger between public health services and mental health services has moved forward again, with a public hearing scheduled for next month.
  • The county approved more spending for its consultant who administers the Tompkins County Recovery Fund grant program. Demand has been far higher than the county had anticipated: Legislator Dan Klein said there have been 154 submissions so far, 49% from nonprofits and 34% from small businesses.

National Women in Business Week Recognizes the Nation’s Fastest Growing Entrepreneurial Demographics


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC attorneys support women leaders with strategic resources

Small business owner

Women-owned business

Lansing, Michigan, Oct. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The 23 female attorneys at Foster Swift encourage everyone to celebrate National Women in Business Week and recognize the great works of working women in this country. Today, there are 7.2 million majority-owned, private, and women-owned businesses in the United States. These organizations employ 7.3 million people and generate $1.1 trillion in sales (Business and Professional Women’s Foundation).

National Business Women’s Week® is an opportunity to engage our female leaders and provide valuable information and resources to women who want to become leaders in their respective industries.

To add tools to the toolkit for success, Foster Swift lawyers share highlights all week from their “Legal Strategies for Women Leaders” series, which aims to provide the legal framework necessary for leaders to innovate, grow and excel both personally and professionally. See full recordings of every session that has ever aired:

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women’s Business Centers are another great resource for women starting their own businesses. Michigan is blessed with three locations which are listed below:


Since 1902, Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC has provided comprehensive legal services to businesses, municipalities and individuals. The firm employs nearly 100 attorneys and more than 100 support staff at six locations; Lansing, Detroit, Southfield, Grand Rapids, Holland and St. Joseph. For more information about the firm, its lawyers and to access recent publications, visit www.fosterswift.com.


CONTACT: Kimberly P. Hafley Foster Swift Collins & Smith 517-371-8112 [email protected]

New Guilford County Superintendent is coming full circle by leading the school system back to where it all started for her


GUILFORD COUNTY, NC (WGHP) — She was a paleontologist in a dinosaur play.

“We were on this very stage, in this very place,” Dr. Whitney Oakley told me as we walked near the front of the cafeteria/assembly hall at Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Greensboro.

The performance she remembers happened many years ago. But it’s one of the earliest memories she has of the Guilford County school system, the third largest school system in North Carolina and the one of which she is now the top administrator.

Today, the Doris Henderson Newcomers School welcomes newly arrived immigrant and refugee children in grades 3-12. It is named after the person who was headmistress when the school was known as Guilford Primary School.

“My mother worked with Dr. Henderson. And she sewed the curtains (now removed) for that scene,” Oakley said. “And we lived here day and night until we knew all the words. And since then, I’ve been a big fan of paleontology. But this space, in particular, will always have very, very clear memories of what elementary school was like.

In late August, Dr. Oakley and Dr. Henderson (now retired) gathered outside the newcomer school on the first day of classes for the school system. Oakley would officially become the system’s new superintendent two days later.

“She never asked anyone who worked for her to do anything she wouldn’t do,” Oakley said of her elementary school principal and mentor. She plans to replicate that quality in her new job.

But that replication will happen in a much different environment, especially coming out of an unprecedented pandemic.

Addressing learning loss is one of Oakley’s top three priorities. The other two are mental health and school safety.

“In terms of math education, it’s like we’re back to 1999 for 9-year-olds and 2004 for reading in terms of where we were as a country,” he told me. she says. “It looks the same here (in County Guilford).”

Extended learning time, intensive tutoring, and before/after school learning centers for high school students are among the things Guilford County Schools have implemented in the wake of COVID.

Mental health is another challenge the system encounters with counseling and other resources.

“175,000 children have lost a parent or caregiver in this country during and after COVID,” she said. “We see it locally. Thus, families are still grappling with generational poverty that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. So it’s ubiquitous. »

Then there is the issue of security.

“I send my two children to school every day, as do parents all over the country,” she said. “And safety is a top priority for me.”

She has previously overseen the installation of metal detector scanners at the entrances to major high schools in the county. It has also launched a clear return policy at sporting events. Federal money is also being spent on improving security cameras.

In most cases, each middle school and high school has a school resource officer. In some cases, the officers are divided. But Oakley sees no need for officers in elementary schools.

“There is no data to support the need for school resource officers in our elementary schools,” she said.

She and her team also address recent fights at high school football games, though she points out that fighting at football games is not a new concept. Even so, meetings are held weekly to ensure the games have additional gaming staff and to resolve any potential issues.

But she does not rule out a “no spectators at games” policy if the fighting escalates.

“I will tell you that we will do everything we can to preserve all of the school experience for our children,” she said. “But what we know more than anything else is that building a relationship with every student having a trusted adult in the building is the best safety measure we can take.”

There are also other challenges.

They include hiring enough teachers (there were 44 teaching vacancies the day we spoke) and bus drivers. (There were 50-60 bus driver openings.) The numbers change every day. But Oakley says the school system is in a much better position in terms of staffing than it was a year ago.

Oakey will also oversee the most aggressive school construction/renovation plan in system history. That includes spending on a $1.7 billion bond package (the largest local school bond package in North Carolina history) approved by voters in May. It will be difficult with inflation and supply chain issues.

“I don’t think we can claim that, as big as these bonds are, that (nearly) $2 billion will fix decades of underfunding,” she said. “I am extremely grateful, as our entire community should be, to our current county commissioners who are committed to giving schools the funding they need.”

Oakley is therefore moving forward with one of the heaviest responsibilities in this field: 68,000 children, 10,000 employees, more than 300 buildings and an operating budget of almost a billion dollars.

“I will always consider myself a teacher. I didn’t wake up one day saying, ‘I want to be superintendent in Guilford County,’ she said. “I’ll tell you what’s happened here is that I’ve held different positions, all related to teaching and learning, which is our core business here. But what happened was that I didn’t want to leave.

But she’s far from being the paleontologist in the dinosaur play.

For more information on Dr. Oakley (including his teaching and administrative experience), click here.

Housing Strategies for Providers to Better Accommodate Traveling Nurses


Traveling nurses have been an integral part of the pandemic response since the very beginning. Today, amid economic uncertainty and an ongoing shortage of nurses, their importance in the healthcare landscape remains the same. Regardless of broader market conditions, dedicated healthcare professionals will continue to do important work in communities across the country. Perhaps the wage boom of the first pandemic is fading, but an essential nomadic workforce dedicated to improving patient outcomes and caring for those in need deserves a boost. be supported. While their salaries make headlines, medical professionals still face disparities in the provision of adequate housing. Often the responsibility for finding accommodation falls on the nurses themselves or the recruitment agencies that hire them. Companies often hire housing specialists because placing multiple nurses at once is difficult and time-consuming. Additionally, some hospital systems have chosen to explore in-house travel nursing programs as a way to recruit nurses more directly.

Housing is a complex space requiring a high degree of creativity. There are a number of decision points throughout the selection process, and without concrete, tested experience, healthcare systems may run the risk of underserving mobile workers. Achieving the best housing experience possible should be the guiding principle for the hospital or healthcare system adopting some form of in-house housing support, in addition to partnerships with third-party specialists. Giving traveling nurses a sense of home is central to these efforts. Operationalizing this type of housing structure, however, is a complex process that must be taken seriously. Providers who need ways to better accommodate traveling nurses should explore the following strategies.

Maintain creativity

The travel industry was one of the first to feel the impact of the pandemic. Ingenuity and creativity sustained a number of organizations during these early months. As nurses responded to spikes in Covid cases and the housing market fluctuated, housing providers faced an imperative: to welcome traveling healthcare professionals to support the pandemic response. People, processes and partnerships have been tested, and the housing-specific knowledge base established by this experience is not accessible to all current providers. At first glance, housing may seem like a relatively simple process. Organizing accommodations on a larger scale is as much a logistical process as it is a creative one. Nurses must go where the need is, which can sometimes place them in areas where inventory is limited or almost non-existent. Do you have access to the right tools? The ability to adapt at any time? The combination of these factors cannot easily be met by all housing solutions.

Attention to detail

From utilities like internet, to furniture, rental terms, to location-specific needs, the level of coordination required by a short-term stay is immense. The average length of assignment for a travel nurse is only 13 weeks. Housing markets vary across the country, and health systems are located in rural and metropolitan areas with different housing stocks. If health systems hope to support the level of movement and logistics associated with short-term housing, they will need to be prepared.

It is essential to seek candidates with prior housing experience, and the ability to adapt when arranging stays will best serve traveling nurses, whose varying needs cannot always be met by more traditional means of housing. corporate or vacation rental properties. The personalization of these stays is an integral part of providing comfortable accommodation. Health systems need to ask, do we have reliable supply partners? What level of flexibility are we able to provide?

Resources in addition to reimbursement

The structure of these types of in-house travel nursing programs has yet to be consolidated across the industry. However, as new programs have been launched, some health systems have indicated that housing reimbursement will be a primary means of supporting nurses with housing. While this might work for healthcare systems with relatively close clustered locations, what about more distributed networks? If that structure is based on how far a nurse will have to travel to qualify, what kind of additional burden does that place on healthcare professionals? In addition to reimbursement policies, what kinds of resources are health systems prepared to offer traveling nurses?

Ultimately, how providers navigate in-house travel nursing programs is at their discretion. However, awareness of the tensions within the accommodation space will better guide the support of incoming nurses. Figuring out the way forward will take creativity, attention to detail, and the infrastructure to provide traveling professionals with the resources to make informed housing decisions. Temporary assignment housing is more than just a place to stay, it’s a place to call home.

Kaspersky’s refreshed client platform is great but not perfect


Cybersecurity is more than installing an antivirus solution on your computer and smartphone. There are times when you need a secure folder to store sensitive information or maybe you need a VPN to add an extra layer of privacy to your browsing.

The way we interact with and use technology has changed, and surprisingly, consumer security software hasn’t changed all that much. Today, Kaspersky is reinventing its security software suite and making things much easier to understand.

For one thing, all of Kaspersky’s consumer product plans are now platform independent, so whether you’re using Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android, the software will work.

There are three regimes namely:

  • Kaspersky Standard,
  • Kaspersky Plus,
  • Kaspersky Premium.

As you’d expect, some features are locked behind higher subscription levels. For example, with Kaspersky Standard you don’t get unlimited VPN service, but with Plus and Premium you do.

Prior to this announcement, Kaspersky granted Hypertext early access to Kaspersky Premium, Plus, and Standard.

The standard is about as standard as it gets. For your money, you get real-time protection, safe browsing and anti-phishing as well as Pre Kaspersky virus removal. This tool will scan your PC for viruses and threats that may have appeared before the software was installed.

There are also a variety of performance and monitoring tools.

The Plus subscription is where things start to pick up speed. As mentioned, Kaspersky Unlimited VPN is included, as is Data Leak Checker. Here you can ask Kaspersky to monitor your online profiles using your email address for any leaks, including your details on the open and dark web.

Of course, Premium holds the real magic, including priority access to a team of specialists via online chat. Kaspersky says experts will help users with the highest priority, but we have some issues with that.

While most of the menus and options in the newly designed app are straightforward, the support system is not. Although we said we would have access to a specialist team, there is no clear path to these experts.

To contact support, click Answers to frequently asked questionsscroll to the bottom of the page that opens in a browser window, then click How to contact support. This will takes you to this page where you can select the best portal. Just add live chat option to Kaspersky app support page, please.

Clean, intuitive and not too greedy

The redesigned user interface is very fluid.

The different products available to you are arranged in clear menus. For example, in the Security menu, you can access all security-related features, including network monitoring, scans even recommend updating potentially vulnerable settings.

Shortly after installation, the software recommended that we enable the display of file extensions so as not to accidentally install malware when opening what we assumed was a PDF.

You can perform a quick scan, view recent events, and monitor your subscription right from the homepage. It’s just a very clean and very well thought out user interface. We also really appreciate the simple language used by Kaspersky as well as the explanations accessible by clicking on the icon in the form of a question mark on certain functions.

In terms of resource usage, even when scanning, the software was using 0.1% of our CPU power, but it uses around 100MB of memory. Scans take a while depending on how many files you have, but scans run in the background and have never had a negative impact on our performance.

One of the features that we think will attract the most people here is Kaspersky VPN.

Given that it’s included with your security solution, identity protection, etc., we didn’t expect the same experience we would expect from a company that specializes in VPN services. That said, Kaspersky’s solution is fine, but the ping to the South African server is oddly high, so we don’t recommend it for gaming.

Download (Mbps) Download (Mbps) Ping (ms) Download latency (ms) Download latency (ms)
No VPN 48.67 52.7 4 92 8
Kaspersky VPN (South Africa) 43.62 30.76 351 819 481
Kaspersky VPN (Manchester) 47.97 27.58 364 838 525

That said, this comes bundled with Kaspersky’s protection software, so it’s pretty good from that perspective. We had no problem streaming content while connected to a node across the pond, we just wouldn’t use it for online gaming.

Pricing is based on the number of devices you wish to protect. We’ve listed the prices below based on protecting a device, but you can configure plans according to your needs here.

  • Kaspersky Standard – R420 per year,
  • Kaspersky Plus – R600 per year,
  • Kaspersky Premium – R661 per year.

We know on the face of it that R661 for Premium is expensive, but we’d say that R55.08 per month for a security solution, high priority support and a decent VPN isn’t a bad price.

Of course, we have to mention the elephant in the room.

Kaspersky is not to be trusted given that it is a Russian company and there are allegations that the company has ties to the Russian government.

Earlier this year BBC reported that the German Federal Information Office has warned that Russian companies could be coerced or coerced into attacking target systems or spying on users. Moreover, Kaspersky itself could be spied on.

However, in this excellent opinion piece by Neil Rubenking on PC Magit is emphasized that Kaspersky is a global entity and has no political ties.

Ultimately the decision on which security solution to use is up to you, but this refresh from Kaspersky is pretty good and we plan to use it for next year and report on our experience.

14 Officers to Receive Highest Honors Medal of Bravery, Purple Heart and Preservation of Life – NA22089ti


October 17, 2022

The Above & Beyond Awards Ceremony.
During the official program, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore will present the department’s highest honors to 14 officers who knowingly and willfully put themselves in grave danger. FOX 11 News anchor Elex Michaelson will host the event and share the stories of heroism that accompany the body-worn and boarded-up videos by officers.

Thursday, October 20, 2022
• 11:30 a.m. program
• 12:15 p.m. Lunch
• 12:30 p.m. Prize-giving ceremony

Westin Bonaventure Hotel – California Ballroom
404 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90071

• Los Angeles Police Chief Michel R. Moore
• Elex Michaelson, FOX 11 News Anchor
• Mark Jenkins, pilot rescued by LAPD officers after his plane crashed into a train track.

Recognize real-life events that illustrate stories of bravery and heroism.

At the awards show, the public will view and listen to body-worn and in-car videos revealing some of the split-second, life-changing decisions officers face when serving the community. Some of the larger than life situations include:

• On Sunday, January 9, 2022, the pilot of a single-engine aircraft lost power shortly after takeoff and crashed into the train tracks. Foothill Division officers arrived at the intersection and immediately took action to rescue pilot Mark Jenkins, seconds before a Metrolink train collided with his plane. For reference, Mr Jenkins will attend the awards ceremony in support of the officers who saved his life.

• On May 28, 2021, Community Safety Partnership Office officers were working in South Park when they were told someone was drowning in the pool. The pool was filled with dirt and debris, making it almost impossible to see and locate the possible drowning victim. The officers, both of whom could not swim, jumped into the water to search for the drowned man. They found the person unconscious, brought them to the edge of the pool and administered CPR.

• On March 16, 2021, a man under the influence of narcotics, armed with an illegally manufactured rifle and pistol, fired in the air indiscriminately before barricading himself inside a house. The Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was called to the scene and the crisis negotiation team spent hours trying to establish a dialogue with the suspect. During their numerous attempts to negotiate his surrender, the suspect shot one of the SWAT officers several times. Bleeding profusely, the officer was removed from the line of fire as the suspect continued his serious attack. Shortly after, SWAT officers arrested the suspect and further danger to the community and the injured officer was taken to hospital for medical treatment.

• On a dark evening on January 13, 2021, Newton Division officers assisted with traffic control near a traffic accident. To draw attention to approaching motorists, officers used the police car’s amber lights in addition to their flashlights to direct and slow traffic. Most motorists followed the direction of officers and slowed down as they passed the car crash, but one driver did not slow down, swerved at high speed and hit one of the officers, causing injuries serious. After a valiant fight for his life, Officer Jose Anzora died of his injuries and will posthumously receive the prestigious Purple Heart Award.

• On January 9, 2021, an off-duty officer was at home when he heard a loud car crash. He got out and saw a car badly damaged in a collision and flames shooting out from under the hood. He rushed to help the driver out of the car and saw an unconscious driver wedged between the driver’s seat and the steering wheel. Despite the heavy smoke and extreme temperature, the off-duty officer pulled the driver from the burning car to safety.

• On July 27, 2018, officers from the Mission Division carried out a roadside check. When officers approached to speak with the driver, the driver aggressively opened the car door, pulled out a handgun and shot one of the officers. The suspect turned and shot the other officer who returned fire and stopped the deadly threat.

The Above & Beyond Ceremony is hosted by the Los Angeles Police Foundation (LAPF), an independent, nonprofit organization that provides essential resources and vital support to the Los Angeles Police Department. The Foundation provides funding for essential equipment, advanced technology and upgrades, specialized training, community outreach, and youth programs that would otherwise go unfunded. The Foundation directly improves public safety, impacts officer preparedness, and improves quality of life. Since its founding in 1998, the LAPF has awarded more than $46 million in grants to help the LAPD serve at its highest level to keep our communities and families safe.

The 2022 Above and Beyond Awards Ceremony is presented by Crown Robinson Philanthropy.

Medal of Valour, Purple Heart and Life Preservation recipients will be available for interviews on Thursday, October 20, 2022. On the day of the event, please meet with the Division of Public Information Officers. LAPD media relations at the media level.

For more information, please contact Police Officer Sara Faden, Office of the Chief of Staff, at (213) 841-2064. For more information about the Los Angeles Police Foundation, please call Dana Katz, LAPF Executive Director at (213) 489-4636, or visit: www.supportLAPD.org.

Free bus rides all week? wait for it

By Saumyangi Yadav

Bus Priority Week to educate commuters/citizens, government, local urban bodies, politicians on the benefits of public transport

The main focus of experts as well as civic activists in the city is sustainable mobility and a strong public transport system, thanks to the choked traffic and poor quality road infrastructure that has bedeviled Benagluru of late.

During this time, the indian institute of science considered ‘Bus Priority Week’ — a concept to encourage the use of BMTC buses by citizens.

Eight months ago, Professor Ashish vermaorganizer of Transportation Systems Engineering at IISc, submitted a concept note for the project to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Company — the plan has not yet been executed.

According to the concept, for a week, on every road in Bengaluru, with at least two lanes in either direction, one lane would be reserved for buses.

Some of the roads that have less than two lanes and a heavy movement of buses taking different routes would be turned into bus-only streets, Verma had suggested to civic agencies.

“The goal is to encourage as many people as possible to use public transport.

By making the buses free, this could be done. Thus, more people can experience and witness the tangible benefits of buses. Different government and private organizations and educational institutions can be enlisted and encouraged to offer incentives to their employees/students to travel to office or institutions by bus during the test bed week,” explained the Dr Verma.

He also recommended that different businesses – stores, restaurants, etc. – be encouraged to offer incentives (through discounts, etc.) to bus users for the week in question.


Although the plan is expected to increase bus ridership and reduce stigma around BMTC buses and their services, many obstacles still need to be overcome before it can be implemented.

For example, there are not enough buses in the BMTC fleet to accommodate the city’s burgeoning population.

When BMTC made its services free for all commuters this year on August 15, as part of its 25th anniversary, up to 61.47 lakh passengers availed the free utility.

However, although ridership has increased, it was noticed that the BMTC fleet could not accommodate the large number of commuters. In fact, overcrowding inside buses has been reported in several areas.

The plan is expected to increase bus ridership in the city (file photo)

“Bus Priority Week takes a lot of planning. The idea of ​​making it free is to allow as many people as possible to take advantage of the benefits of the priority week. So that all stakeholder groups, whether commuters, government officials, urban local authorities, politicians, each understand better. But of course, if they use the same number of buses, it will be insufficient. They must therefore deploy a large number of buses anticipating that many more people will take advantage of their services. It should be properly planned involving impact evaluation – what dimensions to consider for evaluation, how to collect data, etc. It cannot be implemented in a day or two without doing all that planning,” Verma told the Bangalore Mirror.

Dr. Verma also added that although BMTC officials agreed that this was an important project, little had been done so far to move the idea forward.

MTC (IT) Director AV Surya Sen said that since many agencies are involved in the project plan, they cannot predict the reader’s future yet: “DULT has sent a proposal to the BBMP. We need to coordinate with the NHAI and traffic police. We do not yet know when it will be able to be tested because many stakeholders must be taken into account.

The Bus Priority Week idea was first proposed on February 15, 2022 at a public meeting organized by the bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike (BBPV). The testbed should potentially demonstrate how key service gaps related to affordability, reliability, accessibility, etc. can be improved for all sections of the city’s society.

Neighbors of overcrowded jail in residential Hilo want it moved: Big Island Now

Hawaii Community Correctional Center. File photo.

From a house in a residential area of ​​Hilo, a woman could see a naked, convicted sex offender exposing himself in a bay window at the Hawai’i Community Correctional Center.

Residents told harrowing stories of police searching their yards for escaped inmates and corrections officers chambering shotguns at the sight of frightened children walking to and from school. They say prison officers swore at them for asking to keep the noise down and at others for simply walking or running on the shoulder of Punahele Street.

They say they witnessed many fights in the parking lot, even between prison officers. They saw riots and fires, and visitors having sex, doing drugs and drinking at all hours of the day in a vacant lot across the street. They also saw drugs coming through the windows on a Sunday afternoon at the facility.

Vianne Reis and her mother, Cheryl, residents of the neighborhood surrounding the Hawai’i Community Correctional Center, each testified in favor of moving the prison at the Oct. 5 meeting of the government operations, relations and development committee. Economic Council of Hawai’i County. . Screenshot from the video.

At an Oct. 5 meeting of the Hawaii County Council’s Committee on Government Operations, Relations, and Economic Development, these personal testimonies testified in support of a resolution presented by the council’s vice chairman. of the county, Aaron Chung, who calls for the relocation of the state prison, often referred to by Big Islanders as HCCC, or H-triple-C.

Resolution 559 calls for the relocation of the prison to an area that would provide additional space for the state’s Department of Public Safety to allow for appropriate expansion of the facility and better meet the needs of inmates and employees. It received a favorable recommendation from the committee and the board will consider final approval of the measure at its regular session on October 19.


But the resolution does not specify any options as to where a new prison could be moved.

And that’s just a resolution. Any action to move the prison would have to be taken by the Hawaii State Department of Public Safety, which operates the prison, and the department cannot take action without funding approved by the state legislature. .

Residents who live around the prison hope the state is listening.

“The HCCC is a failing facility,” Vianne Reis said during the committee meeting.

Reis lives across from the Punahele Street Jail with her mother, Cheryl, who has lived in the house for nearly 50 years. They are fed up with the abuse, neglect and bullying that happens regularly inside and outside of prison.


“We can’t keep pretending that these problems don’t exist and there are no solutions,” Reis told council members.

The prison is also overcrowded. As of Thursday, there were 277 inmates currently housed in the jail, which has a design capacity of 206 and an operating capacity of 226, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

After a visit to the Hilo facility in August, the Hawaii Corrections Oversight Commission released a report in September regarding the overcrowding problem. According to Chung’s resolution, the report was released ahead of schedule because the commission had “serious and immediate concerns” about the safety of HCCC detainees and employees.

The report also highlighted a lack of basic programs and services, the use of a shipping container to house inmates exposed to COVID-19, and a lack of recreational space. The commission said the problems are due to a system failure. He hopes Public Safety will take the report seriously and take immediate action.

“The report’s findings and content appear to validate the community’s long-standing concerns that the location is no longer compatible to meet the needs of inmates and workers, as well as the collateral impacts on the nearby area,” states resolution 559.

Hawai’i County Council Vice Chairman Aaron Chung speaks about Resolution 559 at the Oct. 5 meeting of the council’s Government Operations, Relations and Economic Development Committee. Screenshot from the video.

Chung called the commission’s report “irrefutable evidence” that prompted him to introduce the resolution.

Originally called the Hilo County Jail, HCCC began as an 11-cell jail built in the 1890s. Chung referenced “The Andy Griffith Show” while talking about the original structure, saying it was where you would put Otis the city drunk to let him sleep before sending him back to the community. Public Safety obviously said the original prison was there before the neighborhood was built around it.

“Since that time, it’s quite different now,” Chung said. “[The jail has] hundreds of beds and we’re still over capacity than it should be, with no end in sight.

The existing HCCC was built in 1978. It sits on 3 acres in a concentrated residential area and is near two schools, Hilo Intermediate School and Hilo High School. The facility is made up of three housing modules located on Punahele Street, which it faces, as well as Komohana Street and Waiānuenue Avenue, just above downtown Hilo.

To help with overcrowding, construction began in February on a new housing module at the corner of Waiānuenue and Komohana. The 48-bed, three-level unit is about 35% complete, according to Public Safety. The first and second levels will each have 12 cells with two beds per cell. The first level will also include a staff office, an outdoor recreation area, common rooms and technical rooms. The third level will house a mechanical room.

The Public Safety Department said construction is progressing on schedule. The approximately $20 million capital improvement project with public funds is expected to be completed by April 2023.

Resolution 559 – and the prison’s neighbors – say the new module still won’t be enough to solve the overcrowding problem.

“What a joke,” said Lucille Chung, another neighbor of the facility, during her testimony before the committee, adding that the new module is a waste of public funds.

“Even after the project is completed in 2023 – and assuming the prison population does not approach its pre-COVID numbers – additional beds will still leave the facility well beyond its capacity,” the resolution states.

Big Island Now asked the Department of Public Safety if the new pod would solve the overcrowding problem. The Ministry’s response was only that it will provide additional cells and beds.

And the new module doesn’t address the other long list of issues affecting the neighborhood either.

Public Security is reportedly considering moving HCCC and building a new prison elsewhere on the island. The department has in the past submitted a request for funding for a site survey not only to relocate the HCCC, but also to build a new prison in western Hawai’i. But the demands were not funded by the state legislature.

“Since the site survey for the relocation of the prison was never completed, relocation plans could not be initiated,” the department said.

Benefits of a new prison would include better conditions for inmates, improved security, safer and more efficient operations, improved program services, and a more energy-efficient facility. But the feasibility of moving the prison anytime soon is questionable.

A man works Friday outside the construction site at the corner of Waiānuenue Avenue and Komohana Street in Hilo of a new 48-bed module at the Hawai’i Community Correctional Center. Photo credit: Megan Moseley.

“A site survey and strategic relocation plans will need to be developed to arrive at a cost estimate for such a project before design and construction can take place,” Public Safety said. “However, the planning process and design will usually take years. Therefore, moving the installation now is not possible or feasible. In addition, the fact that we do not have the funding to undertake the implementation study.

Chung said at the committee meeting that the problems at the HCCC and the concerns of residents in the surrounding neighborhood have been going on for a long time. The resolution speaks for itself.

He said he doesn’t have the solutions to the problems plaguing the jail and its neighbors, but it’s time for the county to step up and issue a statement.

“I just wanted to see if my colleagues were willing to put their stamp of approval on some sort of affirmative statement from the county or the county council that it’s time to look elsewhere already for this facility,” Chung said.

There were no dissents from the other seven Board members present at the committee meeting.

Councilman Rebecca Villegas called the situation a sad reflection of insufficient infrastructure not just in the county, but in some state facilities.

“I hope that through our council, hope today, by supporting this resolution and passing it, it will go to the ears and hearts of those in the state who have the capacity and the resources to allocate, find a solution and to move this facility out of what is otherwise primarily a residential area,” Villegas said. “It’s not a suitable place for something like this for anyone.”

She also hopes to regain the trust of local residents by advocating for the prison to be moved.

“I can’t help but feel frustrated and overwhelmed with what you have to go through on a daily basis,” Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz said. “But more than that, I just feel a huge sense of outrage that the state has failed our community. Their lack of prioritization, their lack of action has really led to major negative impacts on the community.

She said she would do whatever she could with her fellow council members to ask the state legislature to make the issue a priority during the 2023 legislative session.

Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy called Resolution 559 a call to action. She said it was time for the council and the island’s state senators and representatives to step in and resolve the issues.

Councilor Heather Kimball, chair of the committee, said, “I believe the state can and should do better, and I am happy to support this resolution encouraging them to do so.”

Council Chairperson Maile David said she hopes the resolution can raise awareness of the HCCC’s problems and the concerns of its neighbours, spurring state action.

“I’m really sad that we haven’t, as a government, done something sooner,” David said.

Kyrie Irving reveals advice for Ben Simmons in new interview



Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers guards Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets in the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center

If you were making an All-Criticism team for NBA players, the Brooklyn Nets already have three of the top five players you would list. Kevin Durant has faced criticism at every turn since making the decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. It’s hard to remember that Durant was once one of the NBA’s most beloved players and now finds himself on everyone’s team of critics. Kyrie Irving should be the starting point guard. Whether it’s flatland, forcing his way out of Cleveland and leaving Boston, or the vaccine mandate, Irving gets his fair share of flack in NBA circles. And now, with the return of Ben Simmons, he is the third Net who is a guaranteed player on the all-critic team.

No player has had his outside shots watched more closely or shared more widely than Simmons. Since college, there has been a lot of talk about Simmons’ shooting ability or lack thereof. Simmons has played at the All-Star level his entire career and is treated like a scrub. Simmons recently spoke about what he sees as unfair criticism that has steered his direction all these years in a interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell.

Kyrie Irving on advice from Ben Simmons

Simmons isn’t the only one who sat down with Friedell. Kyrie Irving recently spent time with NBA Insider for ESPN, where he shared the advice he has for his Nets and NBA All-Criticism teammate.

“…This is an emotional time in our world. People attack others for what they believe in, their work, whatever. Harsh criticism is one of them, but what’s warranted is how you react. And how do you handle it. … The moment he wakes up and he realizes, ‘This isn’t really my life. I have a love and support system around me made up of people who care about me, and they are people I can go to for honest answers.

Every time you go to social media for honest answers, I don’t know if you’ll come back any smarter than when you came in. … There are also good people out there who reach out and want to help others, so I’m just one of those people for sure,” Irving told Friedell.

Irving noted that he would have to rely on his support system and that his Nets teammates are behind him. Where Simmons shouldn’t seek support, according to Irving, is social media.

Kyrie Irving on supporting Simmons

Friedell took Irving’s advice to lean on his support system by asking how the Nets are making an effort to support Simmons when he returns to court.

“I think one of our greatest strengths as a human community is to humanize everyone’s life. He’s a human being, so he’s going to respond in his own way. And he’s going to handle things in his own way. , and we have to honor and respect that. That’s what people of integrity do. Not everyone lives by those same morals, so yeah, as a leader, I feel like it’s my responsibility to protect him, but I also have to understand that he has to go through things on his own. And when he asks for help, just be there for him. …

I don’t want to say that I found all the answers myself, because it’s an ongoing battle myself, just managing these ebbs and flows. But for him, I just don’t want to see him get caught up in the same nonsense. Irving told Friedell.

Autistic Scholar Temple Grandin: “The Education System Is Cutting Out Visual Thinkers” | Autism


Jmple Grandin is perhaps the most famous autistic researcher in the world. In over 50 years working in animal agriculture – specializing in designing more humane livestock processing facilities – she has improved livestock processing internationally. She is also a prominent autism activist, author and speaker. Her shared insights into her personal experiences – she had difficulty speaking as a child – have gone a long way in increasing our understanding of the disease. His new book, Visual thinking: the hidden gifts of people who think in images, patterns and abstractions, argues that, in a world dominated by verbal thinkers, those with a visual brain are overlooked and undervalued – to the detriment of all of us. Grandin, 75, is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

What are the different ways of thinking, as you conceive them?
I came to see gradually, and it was confirmed in the scientific literature, there are two kinds of visual thinkers: ‘object viewers’, like me, who think in images (concrete, detailed images), and a second group who, unlike me, are ‘spatial viewers’. More mathematically inclined, they think in patterns and abstractions. They are distinct from verbal thinkers who perceive and process information primarily through language. Both types of visual thinkers tend to be more bottom-up, details first. Verbal thinkers tend to be more top-down, linear, and sequential. Most people are mixtures of different types of thinking. What tends to happen with fully verbal autistic people is that you get the extremes of one kind or another. If I’m an extreme object viewer, it’s probably because I have autism.

your memoirs, Thinking in pictureswas first published over 25 years ago and you’ve written books afterwards about autism and thinking differently. What’s new here?
The most important thing is that I look at the problem of the loss of skills, which is gigantic in the United States. We are losing essential technical skills at a time when we need to rebuild our physical infrastructure and manufacture more high-tech products here. I focus on the education system and how it filters our visual thinkers – especially object visualizers who thrive on building, manufacturing, and mechanical things. At the feed yard I visited this morning, it’s hard to find people to repair the feed mill equipment and the specialized feed trucks: that fits perfectly with the book.

What would you most like to see schools do differently?
Deliver practical lessons. They fell from the 1990s with more academic tests. This would include boutique (with training in trades like metalworking, carpentry or auto mechanics), cooking, sewing, music, art and theater (which requires stage design and lighting). I’m a big proponent of visibility: kids have to try different things and find out what they’re good at.

How attitudes towards autism have changed in your life?
Many more services are available. Small children can be diagnosed early, there is better early intervention and support from parents; that’s good. But I also worry for too many kids, even fully verbal kids are so overprotected by their parents, who are locked into the autism label, that they don’t teach them basic life skills. like shopping or laundry, which I was taught.

The diagnostic criteria for autism were revised in 2013 so it is now on a spectrum and known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Was this a good thing?
The spectrum is so broad that it doesn’t make much sense. Are we really going to put severe autistic people who can’t dress themselves in the same category as mild autistic people who work in Silicon Valley? It also compounded this problem of not learning life skills – because even slightly geeky kids are labeled as “on the spectrum”. Where this labeling can be useful is with relationships – it can help clear up misunderstandings.

Given your affinity with animals, how can you design better slaughterhouses for them?
You need to give animals a decent life worth living, where they can have positive emotions. One thing that makes me angry is seeing cattle come lame into the slaughterhouse. I’ve seen issues with this recently for a few different reasons, including animals being bred at heavier weights. They must be able to walk, it is a basic behavior that they should have! And I got in trouble with some people in the industry for saying that.

Where does your bond with animals come from?
I think it’s because, like me, they don’t think in words. Rather, they think through their senses. It used to be that people denied that animals had emotions, which always seemed ridiculous to me. In my first scientific articles, I was not allowed to use the word “fear”. Critics have made me call it “behavioral agitation”. This is slowly changing, but I think part of it comes down to verbal thinkers who may have a hard time imagining that an animal can think and feel when it’s not using words.

You note in the book that many historical figures that we consider geniuses were also neurodivergent. Is it a prerequisite for genius?
I haven’t researched everyone, but that may be a factor. Einstein, for example, did not speak until he was three or four years old. He would land in an autism program today. I am also talking about scholars, who have extreme skills in certain restricted areas. They can perform amazing mathematical calculations in their heads, for example. A significantly higher proportion of people with autism have savant characteristics, compared to the general population.

A biopic about your childhood was published by HBO in 2010 (Claire Danes played you). Do you still use the hugging machine you invented as a student to give you the feeling of being hugged without being touched? And you eat more than jelly [jelly] and yogurt these days?
The hugging machine broke about 11 years ago. I never fixed it because by then I had kissed real people (the machine helped desensitize me). I came up with the idea for a cattle cage: I was having horrible panic and anxiety attacks and the deep pressure was easing.

The jello and yogurt were because in my late twenties I discovered I had terrible bouts of colitis. Everything else went straight through me. Then I took low dose antidepressants for my panic attacks (which I’ve been taking ever since) and the colitis cleared up. My abnormal fear response – I found from a brain scan that my fear center, my amygdala, was three times larger than normal – was the cause.

  • Visual thinking: the hidden gifts of people who think in images, patterns and abstractions is published by Rider & Co (£14.99). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

Review: Kautilyanomics: For Modern Times


Excerpts from the book Kautilyanomics: For Modern Times by Sriram Balasubramanian

Modern economic thinkers make a binary distinction between economic paradigms – either the laissez-faire approach or the Keynesian interventionist approach to policy-making. laissez-faire is broadly defined as “a doctrine opposing government interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary to maintain peace and property rights”.

Its proponents believe that state intervention should be minimal and that markets should determine how the economy works. The Keynesian approach, on the other hand, is broadly defined as one where “optimal economic performance could be achieved – and economic collapses averted – by influencing aggregate demand through militant policies of stabilization and economic intervention”. of the government “.

In simpler terms, they advocate that the state intervene when the market is not functioning properly and that this intervention is necessary for the proper functioning of the economy.

In my opinion, Kautilyan’s thought lies somewhere between these two economic paradigms with the particularity of being underpinned by the foundation of dharma. Some scholars argue that Kautilyan’s thought is akin to a state-controlled economy, something similar to the old Soviet-style planning commissions. As we will see later in this chapter and the rest of the book, this is far from the case.

I tend to agree, to a large extent, with other scholars, who have defined Kautilya governance through four main components: varta (economic policy), dandaneeti (law and enforcement), anvikshiki (framework philosophical and ethical) and trayi (cultural context). . These are well thought out and valid interpretations of Kautilyan’s approach and provide a basis for other researchers to explore further.

That said, I tend to disagree on a few points of this approach. First of all, I find the tray to be a common feature across the various pillars rather than a separate pillar on its own. I try to highlight these cultural elements in the different pillars of dharmic capitalism later in the chapter. Second, and most importantly, the idea of ​​dharma as a fundamental principle was central to his view of the economic world. Without the philosophy of dharma, Kautilya’s economic principles are a baseless skyscraper. This has to be the most important element of any Kautilyan economic framework. I define this detailed framework as dharmic capitalism.

Dharmic Capitalism

Kautilyan’s dharmic capitalism rests on three pillars: a rule-based but non-intrusive state, wealth creation with a global perspective, and the need for sustainable growth and well-being.

State based on rules but not intrusive

The role of the state, as conceptualized by Kautilya, is a firm and rule-based role, but not intrusive in its implementation. The plethora of rules and regulations for various industries indicates a rules-based governance framework as opposed to an overly planned economy. Take, for example, trade policy. As we detail later in the book, Kautilya wanted fixed duties and tariffs for goods and exempted some for imports in order to stimulate trade between the borders of the different kingdoms. Although the basic principles are strictly followed, there is no kind of “executive planning” in its execution.

There seems to be no limit to the productive capacities of companies regarding what they produce and how they produce. The main focus seems to be on establishing a strong and strictly enforced regulatory and legal framework. Otherwise, the detail of the processes is flexible enough to ensure that they work correctly and according to the interests of the consumers. All of Kautilya’s thinking about implementation centers on the best interests of the consumer, which is contrary to the role of what is called a “planned economy” in modern parlance.

Does this mean that the state is not at all interventionist? Not really. Kautilya seems to feel the need to step in when the market fails to fix certain things. For example, as we detail in the “Sustainable Growth and Wellbeing” chapter, Kautilya believes in the need for matsya nyaya, which means ensuring that small businesses are not overwhelmed by larger or dominant corporations. . In this particular case, he feels the need to intervene so that the richest companies/people pay their fair share of income so that inequalities are not exacerbated. This is a case where he believes the state needs to “push” policy in a way that provides parity for people in the kingdom.

Wealth Creation through a Global Perspective

At the macro level, Kautilya seems to be inclined to take a broad view of the economy. This has three components: a dynamic international business environment through the ease of doing business, the use of natural resources and population characteristics, and the opportunity to invest from savings to drive growth in various areas, including infrastructure.

International trade was integral to the functioning of the Mauryan dynasty and the free exchange of knowledge and trade seems to be rooted in its approach. Although he is aware of the need to protect national interests as well, his policies seem to indicate an expansionist view of the economy. For example, its import exemptions and incentives and efforts to make “ease of doing business” a reality in the kingdom indicate its world view on this subject.

Also, the emphasis on creating a friendly trading environment is evident with its focus on streamlining tax measures for all traded products.

The development of infrastructure through highways, roads and sea routes further reiterates that he viewed trade as more of a boon to his kingdom than anything else. It is important to note that key highways such as the Uttarapath and the Dakshnipath (discussed later in the chapter “Wealth Creation”) were improved and strengthened significantly during Maurya’s rule. Kautilya felt the need to improve trade infrastructure to enable better trade between trading partners. In short, he felt the need to create wealth through an internationalist mindset and approach.

About the book

Title: Kautilyanomics: for modern times

Author: Sriram Balasubramanian

Published: Bloomsbury Publishing

The author is an economist based in a leading international monetary institution. Excerpt published with permission from the publisher, Bloomsbury

Check it out on Amazon.

Windows Common Log File System 0-Day Driver Gets a Close-Up


Endpoint Security, Governance and Risk Management, Patch Management

Zscaler researchers probe base filesystem log file to expose flaw

Prajeet Nair (@prajeetspeaks) •
October 14, 2022

The function of a once obscure subsystem of the Windows operating system called the Common Log File System is to record the transaction history of databases and mail systems as an aid to functions, including the recovery support. The record is called the base log file.

See also: Building a Secure IoT Deployment Using 5G Wireless WAN

Probe deep enough into the base log file and you might come out the other side with system-level access. The flaw, identified as CVE-2022-37969, is no secret: Microsoft patched it in the September monthly security vulnerability dump (see: Microsoft Fixes Actively Exploited Day Zero, 63 Other Bugs).

But before Microsoft even knew about it, someone else did too, since the patch came with a warning that the vulnerability was being actively exploited in the wild. Its exploitation required that an attacker had already gained access to an endpoint. “Bugs of this nature are often wrapped up in some form of social engineering attack, like convincing someone to open a file or click on a link,” said Dustin Childs, security analyst at Zero Day Initiative. , at the time.

Today, researchers from Zscaler’s ThreatLabz research team claim to have identified the root cause of CVE-2022-37969.

In a nutshell, before the Common Log File System creates a log file consisting of the base log file, which consists of metadata blocks and containers to store the actual data, each base log file starts with a header. In the header is the cbSymbolZone field. The field is normally commonplace. In this context, it’s important because when set to an invalid value, it can trigger an out-of-bounds write.

To identify the root cause of the vulnerability, the researchers developed a proof-of-concept triggering an operating system crash.

Exploiting cbSymbolZone to deliberately trigger Microsoft’s dreaded blue screen of death – instead of, say, simply letting Windows run until it triggers one itself – forced Zscaler researchers to create a base log file with specific bytes in specific metadata fields of the base log file.

Essentially thanks to a chain reaction created when the attackers invoked the modified base log file, the researchers triggered the system crash.

The September patch of a Common Log File System flaw was the first time Redmond discovered hackers were using it for nefarious purposes. In an April 2022 blog post, cybersecurity firm PixiePoint Security said the system first gained popularity as an attack vector in 2016, particularly as a method to evade sandboxes. of the browser.

Cate Blanchett on the role of ‘Tár’: ‘Music is often the starting point for me’


About an hour after seeing “Tár”, I received a text from the friend who had joined me for the screening. Fresh out of our two-and-a-half-hour immersion into the collapsing world of conductor-composer Lydia Tár — played by Cate Blanchett — my friend set off in search of some of Tár’s oeuvre. . After a few unsuccessful scrolls, it clicked.

“Wait, so she’s fictional?” read the message. “Not a real person…”

Non-classically oriented people like my friend could easily be forgiven for mistaking Tár de Blanchett, an American conductor conducting an orchestra in Berlin, for the authentic article. Writer-director Todd Field’s capture of the classic world is so true to life, and Blanchett’s habitation so compelling, that the line between Tár’s world and our own seems as thin as a canvas of light.

On the surface, “Tár” could be a drama about cancel culture – suggesting that failures of moral purity are as inevitable as Beethoven’s next note. But, like a good symphony, over time the film reveals its deeper psychological and cultural concerns: the accommodations we make in the name of genius, the reliable abuse of power, the trusty excuse of art.

Review: Ann Hornaday gives 4 stars to ‘Tár’

Field took advice from conductor and author John Mauceri and worked extensively with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, and Blanchett had her own crash course with conductor Natalie Murray Beale. (She also had to pick up some German and relearn the piano.) Her performance suggests that she not only absorbed lessons about what happens on the catwalk, but also about the history that weighs every wave of the baguette.

But beyond this astonishing plausibility, “Tár” is above all a film for listeners.

Along with Mahler’s 5th Symphony, which provides the melting musical core of the film, Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor (Op. 85) plays an important supporting role. Other contemporary and classic works accompany the film: Pulitzer Prize-winning Caroline Shaw’s “Partita for 8 Voices” makes an appearance, as does the Offertorio from Verdi’s “Requiem”, the overture to “Tannhäuser” by Wagner, and the prelude in C major and fugue from Bach’s “Well-Tempered Keyboard”. A sort of leitmotif for Lydia is provided by Anna Thorvaldsdóttir’s stunning ‘Ró’.

A lively ONS gala celebrates the extension of the Noseda era

An original score by Oscar-winning Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadottir (whose name is dropped in the film) gives Lydia’s Berlin an unsettling mood. And the unclassical sounds find their way – little reminders of a world outside the concert hall and traces of humanity often left in the wake of the commandeering conductor. We hear Count Basie, Cole Porter, and a haunting thread from Lydia’s academic past in the form of an icaro from the Shipibo-Konibo people of the Peruvian rainforest, sung by shaman Elisa Vargas Fernandez.

“Tár” is Field’s first film in 16 years (following 2001’s “In the Bedroom” and 2006’s “Little Children”), and he wrote the role specifically for Blanchett. “In every possible way,” he says in a director’s statement, “this is Cate’s movie.”

I caught up with Blanchett and Field by Zoom last week to talk about “Tár,” the music, and the dangers that come with every creative peak.

Q: The classic movie world could have been entirely fictionalized, but it was full of names and situations that we recognize. What was important about keeping the real world so close to the film world?

Cate Blanchett: Personally, I think to jump into the movie’s more metaphysical and existential ending, you need to have it rooted in a very possible today. I felt it from the script.

Todd Field: This character talks about Nathalie Stutzmann, she talks about Marin Alsop, she talks about MTT [Michael Tilson Thomas] and Bernstein and all the usual suspects. It’s important in that if it was a baseball movie, you’d be talking about Hank Aaron, Whitey Ford, and Roger Maris. This is the world she comes from. It’s not like there’s going to be a test for anyone outside of that medium. It’s more important that you understand that it’s in there, that it’s real and immediate and that there’s some kind of real fundamental grounding.

Michael Tilson Thomas and NSO offer a grandiose panorama of American music

Q: Cate, I was curious about your relationship with classical music before this movie and how you prepared for it.

White: As a child, I was taken to concerts and learned the piano as a child, but I kind of gave it up. I was much more kinesthetic, much more dancing. But I guess dance, like music, needs no language, and I’m always very grateful in a movie when you don’t have to talk, which of course wasn’t the case with this script.

But music is often for me the starting point to unlock the atmosphere in which a character lives, or the spirit of a character. So when you look at the structure of Mahler’s Fifth, there seemed to be Lydia Tár’s arc contained within – all these unspoken enigmas about love and the life she was living and fighting against. So it was obviously extremely important in this case and an incredible privilege to work alongside musicians and to stand in front of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. I’m always happy when I can find the beat or the song that speaks to the soul of the character.

Q: Todd, Cate mentioned the structure of [Mahler’s 5th] be present in Lydia’s arc. Did this symphony influence the way you composed the story? I felt like it progressed in a series of movements.

Field: Without getting too equational about it, the Five certainly informs him. During my first interviews with John Mauceri, he immediately asked me: “What is your favorite piece of classical music? And, as an apologist, I said: “The Five”. And I felt that because it’s a lot of people’s favorite music. And he said, ‘No, you shouldn’t be afraid of that. It is an essential pivot in concert music. You should kiss her.

There’s so much going on around this piece of music, as Lydia unpacks it at the start, having to do with when [Mahler] wrote it, who he wrote it for, how it has changed over the years. Mahler was an obsessive revisionist. So much so that there are still discussions about the definitive interpretation of the Mahler Five. Of course, it depends on your point of view. Lydia’s point of view would be the start. From another academic point of view, it could be the end or the middle. It’s a piece of music that’s still going on, so it’s kind of fitting for this movie.

Q: I found myself, especially through the first act, excusing all sorts of little lies and manipulations and kind of reducing their impact as the cost of genius. Now, if I watch this movie again, it will feel like an indictment of my attention, because of how much detail I’ve overlooked, all so I can help maintain the Lydia mythology. What was your perception of the mythology surrounding the role of the conductor before working on this film? Has this changed?

White: I think at the Greek level, she is the architect of her own downfall. We see [Lydia] at a time when she is nearing the end of a creative movement in her life – hence, her focus is on legacy. And I think as an artist, when you start thinking about legacy, that’s where your demise lies. But, along with that, I think part of a conductor’s power, and his authority to dominate the enormous human instrument that is an orchestra, is his personality. So you have to balance that.

What I’ve really found fascinating — and I still live with what that means to me personally — is that when you overcome what is considered the pinnacle of your career, you know you’re at the pinnacle and the only way to continue is to run downhill. When you get to that peak, you want to hold onto it so tightly, and that’s incredibly human. If you look at Georgia O’Keeffe’s work, you think she paints mountains and in fact she only paints anthills. So he doesn’t necessarily have to lead the biggest orchestra in the world. What I find truly noble [Lydia] it’s that she knows she has to burn, and it’s going to be brutal and embarrassing and have huge repercussions.

Q: There’s a wonderful presence of time as a kind of medium in the film – a kind of legato smoothness in the long takes, and then things shift to that more staccato third act. How did you want time and tempo to factor into the story telling?

Field: It is calibrated in a specific way, similar to having tempo changes in a piece of music. Even until last summer, when [composer] Hildur Gudnadottir and I sat down and started working on it…we talked about character tempos. So, for example, Cate was always walking at 120 beats per minute – so during production she had something in her ear and she was always walking at 120 beats per minute. While, say, Olga, the young cellist [played by cellist Sophie Kauer], would run at 60 beats per minute. That very much determined how we treated Tár, because except for two angles, she is in every frame. When it moves, we move. We never leave her, so she really sets the pace. Propulsion and engine are determined strictly by Cate.

Q: It was wonderful to see musicians [such as Kauer] move on to acting. How has being exposed to so much music up close influenced your process?

White: In fact, I started the process of directing by watching [the late Soviet conductor] Ilya Musin’s master classes online. … My friend [conductor] Natalie Murray Beale, who was helping me prepare, said, “You won’t really understand the music or the experience until you stand on the podium and hear the sound coming back to you and through. you.

There was a conversation that Todd and I had early on when Todd thought he should cast an actor who would have access to the cello? Or a cellist who can who can play? And in the end, the decision was made to opt for a cellist. Sophie introduced herself and I was amazed by her facilities. For her, who is still studying in Denmark, performing with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra was nerve-wracking at best. She had a life imitating art, where she was the chosen one and she was a student, which is kind of what happens to [the character] Olga. There were so many parallels. Watching her confidence grow was such a privilege, but then watching her as an actress!

Field: She had the rhythm and the ear.

White: Rhythm and the ear, bypassing psychology. As an actor, there are so many ways to get into a role, and it doesn’t always have to be an intellectual connection. It’s something else, something mysterious. And she totally had it. I was in awe of what she was doing.

“Tár” opens in select theaters October 14 and nationwide October 28.

How to support a loved one with cancer

How to support a loved one with cancer (Photo: iStock)

Cancer affects millions of families each year. This disease can also affect a person’s physical health and emotional well-being.

This reality can also be hard on their loved ones. There is the fear of losing someone they love, financial worries and anxiety about what the future will look like.

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed, they desperately need your love and support, even as they try to be strong. They go through so much and they might not be able to get through it without a good support system.

What you can do right now is learn to be there for them in the right way. Here are five tips that will guide you on how to help them feel better:

Comfort them with encouraging words

Having cancer cannot be compared to catching a mild flu. It’s not a situation where you can just tell someone to be strong, to stay positive, or that everything happens for a reason because they’re literally fighting for their life.

It’s important to learn what to say and what not to say otherwise you’ll get a completely different response if you say something you’re not sure about.

An example of something that will work is telling them you are there for them.

Try and be available

It may not always be practical to always be around when you have other commitments like work. But, they need to know that you’re doing your best to be there when they need someone by their side.

Do your best to go with them to appointments and if you are unable to do so, call or visit them as soon as you can. It would also be helpful to work with someone to cover you during times when you can’t show up.

Don’t Talk About Cancer 24/7

You might assume that you help them by showing them articles about cancer every day or talking about it whenever you’re with them, but that doesn’t work at all.

Talking about it all the time can make them feel doomed and crush their will to keep fighting. What you can do instead is bring up different fun topics that won’t constantly remind them of their situation.

Surprise them with gifts

Unexpected gifts are the best. Your loved one really needs something to help them stay positive, and giving them gifts just might do the trick.

The good thing is that you don’t have to spend millions. Simple gifts like a bracelet, earrings or flowers will mean a lot to them.

Offer help

Your loved one probably doesn’t want to feel like a burden asking for help all the time. They may try to push themselves to do the basics, but they definitely need your help.

Don’t always ask them if they need anything, because they probably do. You can learn to anticipate their needs once you learn their routine.

Related Topics

Governor Hochul Announces Increased Financial Assistance for Victims and Survivors of Crime


Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that victims and survivors of crime whose essential personal property was stolen, damaged or destroyed during the incident can now receive up to $2,500 to replace items deemed necessary for their health, safety or well-being. Prior to this change, state law capped the reimbursement rate at $500, an amount that did not keep pace with inflation and the rising cost of living. This financial assistance is administered by the state’s Office of Victim Services, which provides an essential safety net to victims and survivors who have no other resources to pay for expenses resulting from the crime.

“The cost of replacing items lost or damaged in a crime can create an unnecessary burden for victims and their families still recovering from a traumatic incident,” Governor Hochul said. “In New York City, we support victims in any way we can, and I’m proud to extend that assistance to take one thing off victims’ and survivors’ plaques and ensure they receive the support they need to help them recover. .”

Office of Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin said: “Victims of crime often have their entire lives turned upside down in minutes, and the effects of their experience can linger much longer. Increasing these funds and replacing lost necessities will allow these survivors to focus on healing and allaying some of their concerns. . Thank you, Governor Hochul, for your unwavering support to survivors.”

The increased cap applies to any claim filed with the Office of Victim Services on or after October 6, 2022. such as footwear, suits and outerwear; bedding; mobile devices or computers; and items necessary for the safe operation of a person’s personal conveyance, such as tires, a child car seat or a motorcycle helmet. Essential personal property claims can also assist in the replacement or repair of items necessary for an individual’s health or safety, including eyeglasses, hearing aids and other medical devices. People deemed eligible cannot receive more than $2,500 in assistance.

In the past decade alone, New York State has dramatically expanded eligibility for reimbursement or compensation for victims who were not physically harmed, a recognition that the emotional effects of a crime can be just as harmful. These changes also help ensure that victims and survivors of crime – and in some cases, their family members – do not face significant financial burdens as a result of their victimization.

In addition to the replacement or repair of essential personal property, the Office of Victim Services compensates and reimburses eligible individuals for medical and counseling expenses; funeral and burial expenses; relocation, security system and crime scene clean-up costs; and loss of wages and support, among other aids. This assistance is free for taxpayers. Funding comes from fines, costs, and surcharges paid by certain individuals convicted in state and federal courts.

The Office of Victim Services also supports over 200 victim assistance programs that provide direct services, such as crisis counselling, advocacy services, emergency shelter, civil legal assistance and resettlement assistance, to victims and their families. The agency also provides financial assistance and reimbursement to eligible crime victims for medical and counseling expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and support, in addition to other forms of support. assistance. Follow the agency on Twitter and Facebook.

Unit4 2022 Business Future Index 2022 Shows Improving Business Resilience – ERP Today


Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for midsize service companies, has released findings from the second annual Business Future Index.

The company surveyed 3,450 people in 12 global markets to understand how the company’s performance over the past 12 months has been affected by the pandemic and reveals how changes in people strategies, labor policies business and technology adoption have accelerated.

More than nine in ten organizations report a sharp acceleration in their activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results. This acceleration includes digital transformation efforts (52%), flexible work practices (51%), and the adoption of software and tools to improve productivity and the employee experience (45%).

Organizations that have embraced the change have seen clear benefits ranging from better digitization of the workplace (80%), improved well-being (74%), stronger team collaboration (73%) and a better customer/end-user experience (72%).

Organizations have also become more resilient during the pandemic, with 49% able to recruit from a wider geographic area. Those reporting a major adoption of workflow automation and/or real-time reporting felt this positive staffing benefit even more (54% and 52% respectively).

Additionally, the index highlights priorities where organizations can focus their action plans to accelerate change in the areas of people, policy and ESG tools in response to competitive pressures and to improve well-being. being, productivity and employee experience. Key business priorities for the next 12 months were highlighted as attracting and retaining talent, creating new products and services, and digital transformation.

Providing a framework for businesses, the Business Future Index 2022 indicates a specific course of action in which investments can be targeted to generate tangible benefits.

Mike Ettling, CEO of Unit4, said: “As with every crisis, the pandemic has shown that organizations that are ready to be more innovative and progressive in their people and technology strategies, as well as company policies, came out on top in terms of business performance. . Looking forward to 2023, businesses around the world will face myriad pressures such as geopolitical issues, inflation and rising energy prices, as well as continued competition for talent. The ability to adapt to such challenges is essential, without hesitation or inertia, as it can have a lasting impact on future performance.

5 Tech Trends For Legal Marketers To Watch | Legal Marketing Association (LMA)


By Lavinia Calvert

The pandemic has catapulted law firms into a digital future that has forced accelerated investment in technology, especially in the front office. This has brought good news for marketing and business development (BD) teams who are enjoying increased access to the tools they need to operate effectively in a digital world.

The marketing technology landscape is full of solutions that make it difficult to create and maintain the right technology stack. Where to start? Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM), Social Media, Experience Management, Marketing Automation, Web Content Management, Proposal Generation? For some, it’s all of the above!

For companies looking to digitally transform their operations across the customer lifecycle, the answer does not lie in purchasing multiple, disparate applications that don’t communicate with each other or create fragmented data sets. It is neither a sustainable nor scalable solution for the enterprise of the future.

1. Connected apps

The answer lies partly in our first trend to watch: the concept of connected apps. Simply put, these are applications that interconnect and integrate with others, and share a centralized source of data.

Supported by the appropriate enterprise architecture and data model, an approach to connected applications will provide multiple benefits to your business. This includes the ability to become more data-driven across the organization, to surface customer insights faster and with more relevance, and, perhaps most importantly, to deliver a more seamless customer experience across all touchpoints.

2. Single source of truth

Law firms generate extraordinarily high volumes of data throughout the client lifecycle, from intake to billing, and it is often stored in different databases, depending on where it originated in the life cycle. It is therefore difficult to obtain an overall view of the company’s activities and relationships. And yet, data on customers, prospects, records, and business experts is like engine oil for a successful marketing and comics machine: without high-fidelity fuel, it’s unlikely to run very well. efficiently or winning races.

Directly related to the concept of connected applications, our second trend to watch is the notion of establishing and operating from a single source of truth. You could define it as a philosophy, a practice and a desired state all rolled into one. Essentially, it’s the concept of aggregating and structuring data from multiple systems in one place, so that users across the organization have a single point of reference, regardless of how those data is used.

For law firms, this typically requires the integration of multiple core systems, such as the financial management system (FMS); HR system (HRS); time, admission and conflict systems; and CRM, ERM and marketing automation solutions.

Integration, aggregation and a robust underlying data model are key to developing a single source of truth architecture – but it doesn’t stop there. Companies that want to fully exploit the value of a single source of truth also need to carefully consider the workflows, data governance, and user tools needed to share, analyze, and visualize data.

When brought together in a cohesive and scalable way, companies can energize all of their operations, resulting in richer insights, increased collaboration, and greater efficiency across the enterprise.

3. Low-Code/No-Code Platforms

Potentially new buzzwords for some, our third trend to watch is low-code/no-code platforms. It is a new generation of software that enables users with little or no development experience to quickly design, build and deploy applications. Examples include Microsoft Power Apps, ServiceNow, and Intapp’s OnePlace platform.

For law firms, low-code/no-code platforms offer the ability to build software solutions that meet business needs faster, without the associated cost of a development team. Sophisticated real-time dashboards, for example, can easily be created using point-and-click interfaces that don’t require a deep understanding of the underlying operating system or data architecture.

While adopting low-code/no-code platforms can provide an increased level of autonomy and democratization for non-IT professionals within the enterprise, governance, security, and training remain considerations. important.

Successful companies will be those that strike the right balance between embracing the increased creativity and agility offered by these platforms, with the organizational and cultural build to support this change.

4. AI-Assisted Workflow and Insights

An article on technology trends would not be complete without mentioning AI-assisted workflow and insights — our fourth trend to watch.

AI and its close cousin machine learning (ML) have the potential to transform the way law firms manage nearly every aspect of their digital operations. Answers to strategic, complex or esoteric questions are possible at lightning speed thanks to AI. Businesses are now able to automate, speed up and assist all kinds of legal processes that previously depended on manual and human intervention.

For law firm marketing and comics teams, the potential of applied AI is a particularly exciting development. There are already technologies available today, such as QorusDocs proposal management software, which uses AI and ML to automatically detect and suggest recommended answers or text for presentation documents and RFPs ( RFP). Ultimately, this helps auction teams meet these requirements up to five times faster. Imagine a future in which the perennial task of filling rooms and other directory submissions is largely automated. It’s much closer than you think.

Many next-gen software vendors have already integrated sophisticated AI and ML into their solutions today, and we can expect more and more innovation as these technologies evolve.

From automating tedious or repetitive tasks to personalized insights and nudges at scale, AI offers businesses a future in which the art of the possible seems limitless.

5. Collaboration tools and workspaces

Even before the pandemic, law firms yearned for greater collaboration across practice groups, offices, and core client teams, as they instinctively understood that this is what their clients increasingly expected of them. them.

But that hasn’t been an easy thing to achieve, not least because most companies are made up of subject matter experts operating in narrowly defined niches. As a result, the firm’s collective expertise tends to be widely distributed across individuals, practice groups, and geographies, which can be a structural barrier to managing complex issues requiring a multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional approach.

Almost overnight, however, the pandemic has catalyzed rapid and exponential growth in the adoption of apps such as Zoom, ON24, Microsoft Teams and Slack, providing some of the tools needed to facilitate greater collaboration between people, places and teams in an accelerated time frame.

So our fifth trend to watch is collaboration tools and workspaces — a trend that we believe will truly transform the way law firms engage both internally and with their clients. It is a category of technology that combines engagement-centric document management, smart workspaces, virtual meeting places, and centralized knowledge capture and compliance. It sets the stage for seismic changes in the way law firms work.

For many, the widespread adoption of such tools among partners, firms and clients will likely represent a giant leap in the company’s ability to achieve the financial, cultural and institutional gains long believed possible through to true collaboration.

Takeaway meals

Many law firms have been catapulted into a digital future that they might not have prioritized with the same urgency, had not the pandemic imposed new ways of working. This shift has resulted in an increased focus on the technology and tools needed to operate in a digital world.

While software alone is never the answer on its own, modern businesses are beginning to pursue IT strategies and solutions that more seamlessly connect people, processes, and data across complex operational ecosystems. This bodes well for law firm marketing and comics teams, who are increasingly tasked with orchestrating a streamlined experience throughout the client lifecycle.

From connected apps to collaboration tools — and almost everything in between — law firms and their clients stand to benefit greatly from advances in the development and adoption of technology as an important enabler of digital transformation. .

As overwhelming as it may seem to some, there is only one way to face the future: seize the opportunities and challenges present in the present.

Lavinia Calvert


Lavinia Calvert leads the marketing and business development solutions business at Intapp, serving the front-office technology needs of professionals in the legal, accounting and consulting industries. Calvert brings a deep and diverse base of international business experience. She has held several leadership positions in the United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, including Marketing Director at OnePlace, Marketing Director at intellectual property law firm AJ Park, and Executive Vice President strategy and marketing at Reuters Media.

How Real-World Data Supports Pharmaceutical Drug Development


The development of new drugs is an uncertain and expensive process. While the average research and development (R&D) cost per new drug varies from less than $1 billion to more than $2 billionthe FDA approves a simple 12% of drugs entering clinical trials. Clinical trials – which represent a portion of these costs – remain the benchmark for studying the efficacy and safety of new drugs. However, the experimental conditions required for clinical trials do not necessarily represent real contexts, points out Sonia Araujo, clinical manager at ArisGlobal.

The life science industry’s R&D process can significantly benefit from real-world data (RWD). RWD answers questions that clinical trials cannot answer. It allows drug developers to study how patients use and respond to a drug once it is approved for use and hits the market, generating insights that help drug developers better design and conduct clinical trials .

Real-world data sources

Gartner finds that approximately 80% of top life sciences companies use RWD to support R&D activities and ensure patient safety. Drug developers Source RWD of:

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR): A digital version of patient records containing information on medical histories, treatment plans, diagnoses, allergies, etc.
  • Claims and billing activities: Information regarding health service utilization, prescribing patterns among patients of different payers, and population coverage.
  • Product and disease registers: Organized systems that collect data defined by a particular condition, disease, or exposure.
  • Patient Generated Data: Data collected directly from the patient via mobile devices and wearables to inform medical teams of health status in real time.

RWD provides essential information that reflects a broader group of patients and helps inform care decisions. This information allows researchers to develop hypotheses and further investigate clinical research questions. Increasing regulatory success is essential for pharmaceutical companies to reduce the financial risks associated with R&D programs.

Learn more: What is Data Modeling? Processes, tools and best practices

Benefits of real-world data

RWD helps bridge the gap between healthcare research and practice and delivers value throughout the product lifecycle. For example, researchers use RWD to identify potential patients during preliminary study design.

The evidence suggests that Recruitment strategies supported by RWD – such as direct email campaigns to patients identified through complaint data and EHR-supported discussions at the point of care – increase the effectiveness and efficiency of trial recruitment.

Additionally, RWD helps drug developers create appropriate eligibility criteria for clinical trials. Organizations should carefully evaluate the available data against the needs of a particular study. The integration of EHRs helps define patient cohorts more quickly and accurately and sometimes eliminates the need for direct patient screening.

Drug developers also use RWD to overcome the limitations of clinical trials. RWD provides a much larger volume of data, potentially reaching terabytes and petabytes. Life science professionals have access to a broader cross-section of society, giving them a better understanding of how their products work.

To finish, RWD helps drug developers compare drug efficacy. Some diseases have several treatment options available that have not been directly compared in a clinical trial. In these cases, RWD provides a way to assess how drugs measure up outside of routine clinical parameters.

Potential Barriers

Although RWD offers many advantages, it also presents certain obstacles for the pharmaceutical industry. RWD can give drugmakers and regulators a lower level of confidence in quality than they might receive in the highly controlled setting of randomized clinical trials. Quality issues include data inconsistency and incompleteness.

When evaluating RWD, drug developers may also face challenges when:

  • Access the correct datasets.
  • Integrate siled data and extract relevant and usable information.
  • Exploitation of unstructured data.
  • Understand and comply with data privacy regulations.

Patient confidentiality presents another barrier to sharing the RWD. However, despite privacy concerns, studies show that patients generally feel willing to share health data contribute to public health as long as they understand the potential benefits and risks.

Another challenge that hinders the advancement of RWD is the heterogeneity of data formats between different sources and different countries. The FDA recognizes the importance of having a common data model, which has led to an RWD standardization effort over the years, but it’s not 100%.

Learn more: Data Lifecycle Management for Financial Services Companies

Regulator RWD data and training standards

Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) the community introduced the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOOP) common data model to transform RWD into a common format.

OMOP leverages data normalization to enable network studies and analysis. A coordination center sends study requests remotely to each data owner, who reports their results in the same format. Both parties keep the data confidential and successfully conduct their benchmarking.

OMOP is also making ongoing efforts to bridge the gap between RWD and clinical trial data, benefiting both life sciences and healthcare research. For example, OMOP enables the use of RWD for clinical trial design, to optimize trial planning and recruitment, and to enable the use of clinical data as a source of real-world evidence (RWE).

Such efforts have undoubtedly helped convince regulators of RWD’s value. The FDA already uses RWD and RWE to monitor post-market safety and adverse events and to guide regulatory decisions. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been evaluating this area for a long time through its Big Data Taskforce and, more recently, with its DARWIN projectwhich aims to “provide RWEs from across Europe on diseases, populations and drug uses and performance”.

The FDA, EMA, NMPA and other agencies have recently called for closer collaboration among regulators around the world, committing to “encouraging global efforts and enabling greater integration of real-world evidence into regulatory decision-making”.

Regulatory approval requires conclusive evidence from clinical trials. Life science organizations need to anchor this evidence in good study design, appropriate data collection, and thoughtful data analysis. RWD is relevant and essential for innovation and regulatory approval.

Do you think real-world data is more important than clinical trial data? How can we get the best of both? Share with us on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tokyo Tech Establishes Sustainable Bond Framework for Bond Issuance


Tokyo Tech will start issuing 40-year sustainable bonds for a total of JPY 30 billion from fiscal 2022.

Proceeds from the bonds will be used to realize the Tokyo Tech Cross-Campus Innovation Ecosystem 2031 (XCIE2031) initiative, which aims to build a unique campus innovation ecosystem where Tokyo Tech’s knowledge, talent and funding flow efficiently. on all three campuses of the Institute, and are connected to an organic and evolving network of industry-university-government collaboration both on and off campus.

Through the achievement of XCIE2031, the Institute aims to create new values ​​and industries – two goals that have been at the heart of Tokyo Tech since its founding – and, therefore, to pave the way for a better future with new knowledge and innovations.

Along with the bond issuance, the Institute has formulated the Sustainability Bond Framework, which assesses the “green” nature of the Institute’s teaching and research activities with green eligibility criteria. Tokyo Tech’s Sustainable Bond Framework has been third-party assessed by Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I), which states that the framework complies with the 2021 Green Bond Principles, 2021 Social Bond Principles , the 2021 Sustainability Bond Guidelines and other principles and guidelines issued by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).

Invest in the future

Tokyo Tech, Japan’s leading science and technology university, has a long history that began with the founding of Tokyo Vocational School, the Institute’s predecessor, in 1881. Tokyo Tech was selected as a Designated National University (DNU) by the Japanese government in March 2018. With the long-term goal of becoming the world’s leading science and technology university, the Institute sees the next decade leading up to its 150th anniversary in 2031 as a great leap forward. Over the next 10 years, the Institute will rise to the challenge of redefining science and technology while nurturing highly skilled global talent, executing the virtuous cycle of Tokyo Tech through major reforms in university management and systems of campus, and contributing to a better future society.

In addition to its sustainability bond issuance plans, Tokyo Tech has launched the Tamachi Campus Redevelopment Project, which includes a 75-year land lease agreement with commercial operators who will develop the land made available on the campus. of Tamachi and will manage operations during the lease period. The ground lease, which is expected to commence in fiscal 2026, will generate JPY 4.5 billion in revenue per year.

These revenues will be used to fund Tokyo Tech’s very long-term investment strategy. Of the approximately 230 billion yen that will be generated over the 75-year period (3 billion yen per year after tax), approximately 80 billion yen will be invested in “talent”, 100 billion yen will be invested in “the environment “. and 50 billion yen will be invested in “the future” through the creation of various funds.

Tokyo Tech Sustainability Bond Framework

Tokyo Tech’s Sustainable Bond Framework will help the Institute realize XCIE2031 by making the proceeds of Sustainable Bonds available for projects that redevelop Tokyo Tech’s campuses, create an advanced teaching and research environment, and ultimately form an ecosystem. diverse that serves as a base for talent from all over the world. the world, while contributing to carbon neutrality.

Based on its philosophy of creating new industries, Tokyo Tech aims to provide solutions to societal problems through innovation. The Institute has positioned integrated energy sciences as one of its priority areas in its DNU scheme, and will contribute to the achievement of carbon neutrality through the creation of the Laboratory for Zero Carbon Energy at the Research Institute innovation, the launch of the Tokyo Tech Green Transformation Initiative (GXI) and other efforts. A distinctive feature of Tokyo Tech’s Sustainability Bond Framework is that it assesses the “green” nature of the Institute’s decarbonization-related teaching and research activities with green eligibility criteria. This feature is not often associated with conventional sustainability bonds or green bonds.2 reduction etc. and commercialization oriented research and development funds etc. are highly valued.

An independent assessment of Tokyo Tech’s sustainability bond framework has been conducted by R&I. R&I’s second opinion states that the framework complies with the Green Bond Principles 2021, Social Bond Principles 2021, Sustainability Bond Guidelines 2021 and other principles and guidelines published by ICMA.

Product use

The funds will be used for projects that meet the following eligibility criteria:

Green Bond Eligibility Criteria

Social Link Eligibility Criteria

Activities falling under section 8(iv) of the Cabinet Order for the partial revision of the National University Society Act 2020 Enforcement Order, and activities considered part of the initiative 2031 on Tokyo Tech’s cross-campus innovation ecosystem that will serve as the foundation for solving societal problems through education and research

(“Social” character of Tokyo Tech’s teaching and research activities)

Eligible project

Tokyo Tech Cross-Campus Innovation Ecosystem Initiative 2031

Examples of Specific Efforts

Redevelopment of the Suzukakedai campus into a global research hub
Digital transformation, building resilient education and research infrastructure on campuses
Establishment and maintenance of facilities that enable large-scale cutting-edge research and industry-university-government collaboration

Project evaluation and selection process

Projects that potentially fall under the Sustainability Bond Framework are selected by the Strategic Management Board, the body that oversees the Institute’s operational strategy under the direction of the President. After confirmation of compliance with the eligibility criteria for green and social bonds, the projects are voted on by the Board of Directors.

Revenue management

Tokyo Tech’s financial accounting system will be used to manage deposits and withdrawals. An audit firm will audit the financial statements of the Institute each fiscal year. Unrestricted funds will be managed or invested in cash or cash equivalents.


Fund allocation information will be disclosed annually until the full amount has been allocated to a qualifying project. The environmental and societal benefits of the project will also be disclosed annually until the sustainability bonds are repaid.

ICMA Sustainability Bond Framework and Principles

A sustainability bond is a form of financing for both green and social projects. A sustainability bond framework is a document in which the issuer explains that the funding complies with the Green Bond Principles 2021 and Social Bond Principles 2021 published by ICMA. The four essential components of alignment with these principles are 1. the use of funds, 2. the project evaluation and selection process, 3. the management of funds and 4. reporting. External assessments of framework content for compliance with various principles, etc. are recommended.

* In the case of conventional sustainable bonds and green bonds, eco-eligible projects (projects with positive environmental effects) such as the construction of green buildings, renewable energy projects, equipment and investment funds operations that have a direct impact on the environment through CO2 reduction, etc., and commercialization-oriented research and development funds, etc. are highly valued.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.

Oba Bamike Adeyemi and 50-10-50 Mentoring Project

Oba Bamike Adeyemi

You may have seen her on some local TV stations doing what female Gospel artists do, praising God, swaying to the beat, her hands raised above her head in a pleading gesture, a head covering elegant crowning a smiling face and generally giving the impression of being at peace with its creator and its fellows.

Singing vigorously with backing strings and percussion instruments often against the backdrop of lush greenery, blooming flowers, or a cascading waterfall, such settings recreate and depict a kind of bliss evoking paradise. And for many of these Gospel artists, making heaven is a fait accompli, a fait accompli.

But right now, Oba Bamike Adeyemi aka OBA is here on earth and will be coordinating a project that no one has ever seen her perform on screen before. The project, she told THEWILL, is “50-10-50 on” for a 10-week run from October. “Enable 50-10-50” is not randomly named. Bamike turns 50 on December 10, which is the number of weeks the program will run. The last 50 is the number of young people to be mentored in music, songwriting, singing lessons, choreography and poetry.

The 50-10-50 activate project “is a restitution project aimed at empowering young creative minds passionate about serving God and energizing humanity with their unique and authentic creative brilliance,” Bamike told the newspaper via WhatsApp la last week. “This is an opportunity for me to transfer, liberate and empower others for greatness and impact.”

As it stands, OBA is very well prepared for her role as a mentor in the upcoming 50-10-50 project. A self-described “multi-influenced expressionist”, she is also a motivating and inspiring teacher who was trained by the John Maxwell team, one of the world’s foremost leadership groups. Then there is an already existing structure Bamike OBA Mentoring Academy – an online learning center which she runs. A Certified Relationship/Marriage Coach from the Institute of Marriage and Family Affairs USA, an alumnus of Daystar Executive Leadership Academy, Bamike is more than certain to see her pet project through from start to finish.

“It’s an equipment project to train the next generation of creative artists,” explains the musician, “so that they are well grounded in using their creative genius for impact and social change.” When asked if the time allotted to the program – a mere 10 weeks – might not be enough to turn her future mentees into professionals, she disagreed, insisting that it was not an “intensive program”. Additionally, there will be a number of guest speakers and experts (in music, relationships, leadership and emotional intelligence) to help train the youngsters during this time.

The 50 participants, according to Bamike, “will undergo intensive training in guitar playing, songwriting and mastery of poetry/eulogy”. She describes herself as a “mistress of communication,” a designation, a title that will come in handy when the project kicks off this month.

Quite in demand in churches and concerts these days, OBA started her musical career in 2002 with her very first album “Simply Divine” featuring tracks such as “Ilu mi Nigeria” translated as Nigeria is my Home. Another, “AKODA,” what she calls her “second-year project,” followed 10 years later, making one wonder why her muse lingered so long. But she came to visit soon enough, leading OBA to compose and release a song called “Were Were” in 2012. Her latest effort, she says, “will be a collaboration with Nathaniel Bassey and featuring Chandler Moore.” The same trio performed it for the first time in 2020 and the promotional music video for this collaboration is on Youtube.

Not having the privilege of watching the concerts of his life, we turned to Youtube for one of his recordings. We found AKODA, a six-minute exhortative performance of praise and worship in Yoruba and English. Give Bamike some credit for his singing prowess, demeanor, and sense of style. Rather than outdoors, OBA staged the performance indoors in a clinically clean studio-like room – with drummers, guitarists, keyboardists and back-up vocalists all dressed to match whoever found in the highlife bands of old.

In this particular video, Bamike herself is wearing a light green colored dress with puffy lace sleeves and very simple earrings and not the garish bracelets favored by much younger female artists in other genres. There is a certain maturity in AKODA that one can easily identify with a singer of her age. Bamike was 40 years old when AKODA was released in 2012.

The Golden Jubilee is a turning point in most people’s lives, a time to reflect on what happened before, what to do now, plans and expectations for the future. Like most ambitious people his age, Bamike has his hands full of professional aspirations and private expectations. Focusing on shaping the lives of young people through music, singing and singing lessons is quite a commendable project. After all, some Nigerian celebrities cause a stir in public on such occasions – posh parties in expensive hotels with a phalanx of entertainment journalists in tow, a high-profile birthday getaway in Dubai or any high-end hotel range in a European capital and the obligatory shopping at sumptuous boutiques for that rare Balenciaga dress or that clever Manolo Blahnik pump.

For Bamike, it is not. No unforgettable pool parties at Lekki or VGC, no hedonistic displays at indoor event centers at Ikeja or Surulere. Of course, there will be gifts and big wishes for turning 50. But Bamike would spend much of his time, as we now know, educating young people eager to learn more about music.

The 50-10-50 project is not only about teaching young people the art of singing, dancing or even composing music. On the day in question, Bamike will offer a concert to launch and celebrate the new album entitled Reemergence. The implication is not lost on demanding people and fans. The last time anyone from her fans saw her with a new one was eight years ago. With this concert and album launch, Bamike seems to be telling her fans that, yes, she is back and will surely get better.

Meet 9-1-1: Lone Star actor Ronen Rubinstein’s famous girlfriend


Nicky Morris

9-1-1 lone star Ronen Rubinstein is known and loved for his portrayal of TK Strand in the procedural drama. But did you know that his other half is also a famous actor?

MORE: 9-1-1 star Oliver Stark teases Lone Star crossover for ‘Tarlos’ wedding

Find out all about his girlfriend, Canadian actress Jessica Parker Kennedy here.

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WATCH: Do you watch Season 6?

Who is Ronen Rubinstein’s girlfriend?

Ronen has a long-term relationship with 38-year-old actress Jessica Parker Kennedy.

Jessica is known for playing the roles of Melissa Glaser in the CW teen supernatural drama, The secret CircleMax on the Starz historical series black sails and Nora West-Allen on the superhero show, the flash.

She has also appeared in shows such as the superhero series SmallvilleMTV drama kayak and teen series 90210.

Exclusive: CW star Kat McNamara on the ‘dark side’ of new Walker Independence show

MORE: 911: Lone Star Ronen Rubinstein shares a beautiful tribute to his partner for a special reason

Jessica and Ronen are believed to have started dating in 2018 and reside together in Los Angeles.

Jessica shared this sweet snap of the couple in February

Ronen previously revealed how supportive Jessica was when he came out as bisexual in 2021, telling People: “It was the most sustained kick in the ass [to come out]. Sometimes it can be difficult to impose this on your partner. It’s not the easiest transition, but she handled it beautifully and with respect. His support was all I needed.”

She keeps me grounded, and she keeps me here in the moment,” he continued. “With her, it’s just been a beautiful next chapter in our relationship. She is my rock – I really understand what that means now… She is everything to me. She has been my support system since day one. I can talk to him about things that I can’t talk to anyone else.”

The 28-year-old only recently shared a tribute to his girlfriend to mark her birthday. Sharing selfies of his partner on Instagram, he captioned, “Happy birthday baby!

Ronen shared a cute post for Jessica’s birthday

“I love you so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so much so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so much!”

Jessica was quick to respond to the adorable message, commenting, “Thank you RoRo. I’m going into my phone to steal pictures of sorts of birthday wishes!”

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Harris calls on Texas voters to protect abortion and the right to vote


A regional training and coordination meeting of experts and focal points for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in West Africa

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The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through the Department of Human Development and Social Affairs, is organizing a regional training and coordination meeting of experts from the region, focal points for inclusion of persons with disabilities in West Africa. The event is scheduled to be held in Accra, Ghana from October 10-12, 2022.

The meeting will serve as a framework to build the capacity of Disability Inclusion Focal Points on the reporting requirements of the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It will also sensitize focal points in the region on the importance of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (AfChHPR-PH).

Following the Accra meeting, experts from ECOWAS Member States will develop a framework on appropriate means to enable more Member States to ratify this important protocol of the AfChHPR-PH. To date, only three of the fifteen Member States have ratified the protocol.

As a reminder, the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, which was validated by experts in the region in April 2022, clearly sets out the measures to be undertaken to strengthen the implementation of international instruments and continental forums on the rights of persons with disabilities. disabilities. In this context, ECOWAS is keen to conduct sensitization and sensitization campaigns in the respective Member States for the ratification and implementation of the AfChHPR-PWD and build the capacity of actors in the Member States.

The action plan is the result of the ECOWAS regional study on the inclusion of persons with disabilities, which was conducted between August 2021 and April 2022. The study had revealed that persons with disabilities in the region face social stigma, especially people with intellectual disabilities. , or with a hearing or visual impairment.

As a result of this study, the governments of ECOWAS Member States also committed to take the necessary measures for the inclusive development of persons with disabilities through policies and programs relevant to persons with disabilities who experience various levels of prejudice. , verbal or physical violence linked to certain traditional beliefs which remain widespread in several African communities.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been checked or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Navy Demonstrates VLS Reloading in Port of San Diego

Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) guide practice munitions into the ship’s Forward Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells during a proof-of-concept evolution at San Diego, October 4. US NAVY / Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor Crenshaw

SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Navy is scheduled to demonstrate vertical launch system rearming aboard the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) at Naval Air Station North Island and in San Diego Harbor Oct. 4-7, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs said in an Oct. 6 statement

This will be the first time the Navy has tested VLS reloading from an offshore support vessel platform, using Military Sealift Command’s fleet experiment vessel, MV Ocean Valor.

The demonstration is being conducted to provide a proof of concept that an Offshore Support Vessel can reload the weapons system while docked and while the vessel is at sea, with the aim of extending VLS reloading capability in expeditionary environments. .

Launch system reloading has already been tested, in 2016 and 2019, using other Military Sealift Command platforms.

Spruance, named for Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, who commanded US forces at the Battle of Midway, is based in San Diego. The ship returned to Naval Base San Diego in August after a seven-month deployment with Carrier Strike Group 3 in the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets. Spruance was also one of 38 ships from 26 partner nations that participated in Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2022 in the Hawaiian Islands area of ​​operations from June through August.

Built in 2002, the MV Ocean Valor is an MSC contract vessel that supports logistics experimentation for the delivery of fuel, stores, passengers and ammunition.

The demonstration will not include live ammunition and there is no danger to San Diego residents, the harbor or marine life.


Bell V22 announcement

Who helps when it’s out of fashion? Remembering the Power of Dark Mutual Aid


Rewind to 2020. Self-help groups swept the country, and like many in my community, I was skeptical of impact and argued that we need to remember the black roots of self-help groups. What may have felt like hope to many in troubled times, unfortunately risked being another display of performative activism. Yes, some groupsespecially those led by black people and people of color – who have emerged from the pandemic have done well and many remain active. But the buzzword “self-help” largely excluded marginalized groups of people and the community power that already existed.

Mutual aid is what we have always known in black communities and communities of color internationally as an abolitionist and survivalist practice – from partners, credit unions and funds, to large pots of shared stews, advocacy and revolutionary education. But in the past two years, the term has moved away from anarchist and communist activism. What should be the autonomous community organization that promotes the practice of solidarity, not charity, has just become a catchy band title for neighborhood Covid-19 bands.

This appropriation of the term, without any political structure to back it up, has meant that, whether they like it or not, these groups serve as an excuse for the councils and the government to abdicate their obligations. It’s much easier to endorse that communities can “do it on their own” during a pandemic, especially when it has the fun bonus of depoliticizing the sense of caring. We have been manipulated into thinking that there is nothing wrong with volunteers ‘running’ local authority emergency services and community outreach projects for them, instead of using community money. taxes we pay.

Many of these new self-help groups may not understand the issues they are participating in and see themselves as pure in heart and beyond the need for politics, intersectionality and inclusivity. I don’t mean to denigrate community service projects; this article is an act of care. It is a reminder that “good intentions” are not enough. Intentions don’t outweigh impact, and if our actions harm or oppress people – even with the best intentions – we need to hold ourselves accountable and be better.

“Self-help groups are used as an excuse for councils and government to abandon their obligations”

Working for or replacing state services is not good. We should never thrive on hearing our overseers, our tax-funded “leaders”, praising us for licking their boots, fixing their mess and letting them off the hook by not doing their jobs and funding not their resources. We will not see different results without challenging oppressive structures. It’s essential that we fight to tear down our government as part of the bigger picture, but we also need them to do the bare minimum they should be doing as part of survival at the moment. The government wants us to relieve them of their duty of care – and once services and resources are gone, it’s nearly impossible to get them back.

At UK Mutual Aid, the black-led activist support community active on Facebook since 2018, people have been referred to us by the Citizens Advice Bureau, local councils, crisis teams, UK Department for Work and Pensions government, homeless shelters, food banks, national charities and city council funded community centres. These organizations advertised UK Mutual Aid (and some even gave my own name) as services accessible to people. But we are not a service provider, we are a community group. There shouldn’t be a situation where funded organizations tell people to join a Facebook group and message some random person for help, when they’re the ones who are supposed to be providing support.

Who helps whom in the mutual aid spaces?

More than 4,000 new self-help groups have sprung up during the pandemic, and now only 40% of them are still active. While this is widely described as positive, it raises questions about sustainability if 60% of groups fold. UK Mutual Aid has seen an influx of new members fleeing pandemic self-help groups, after feeling unsupported and unsafe by these predominantly white, middle-class spaces. Working at full-spectrum community care and active inclusion is ongoing work, which is not appealing to the privileged, and so many pandemic groups have bid farewell to their marginalized members instead.

At UK Mutual Aid, 61% of members are trans and cis women, 21% are gender matched or gender neutral, and 18% are trans and cis men, most of whom in our group are trans men. This data is racially disaggregated, but in the latest membership survey, only 73 white members out of our 2,300 members reported being active in the past month.

The 2019 census shows that 84.8% of the UK is white, with 51% white males. So where are they? As I wrote in my article in 2020: “White people hate black people helping each other. It’s a fact.” That fact has only been reinforced in the last two years. Our group hasn’t had more love from the wider white communities than it did in the pre -Covid, which shows us that the pandemic self-help groups of 2020 have not changed who supports white people, nor their politics.

“We will not see different results without challenging oppressive structures”

White supremacy affects every aspect of everyday life for black people and people of color, including financial security and stability. This is also replicated in self-help networks where group rules mean people cannot apply for financial support, thus directly affecting BPOC, who are economically disadvantaged in the UK. As clearly seen on crowdfunding pages, Facebook groups, Instagram reposts and shares on Twitter feeds, requests for white resources are receiving an outpouring of support, love and trust. But when the BPOC issues demands, we receive racism and distrust, doxxing and calls, telling us to pick ourselves up by our boots.

Black MaGes (marginalised genders) are tirelessly fundraising, reporting and organizing to support everyone – rituals of love that have been performed countless times before and will be performed countless times in the future. I recognize mutual aid and community care as an inclusive political practice offered by Black MaGes to the world, though they are routinely punished for it and left unreciprocated and neglected.

White British men earn more than women from 14 of the 16 ethnic minority groups. And in 11 of the UK’s 16 ethnic minority groups, UK-born and non-UK-born people earn less on average than the white British population. I believe personal reparations should be included in the structure of all self-help communities. It forces white people to give back financially to black people as part of their own anti-racism journey – in addition to supporting the fight for state reparations and recognition of the impact of colonialism and white supremacy.

Where can we go from here?

Building an anti-oppressive infrastructure in community projects is essential, and it is necessary to stop and work on your group’s goal. That those most marginalized by society – black people and people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, asylum seekers and refugees, people currently and formerly incarcerated, sex workers and other groups – are supported and represented. You have the right to challenge anyone who harms, without helping. Actively work with groups that teach and speak about radical community care. And openly challenge the larger politics of the structure of society and our government, while having them perform their duty of care to manage and deliver services. UK Mutual Aid will also be making changes soon as we work to assess our structure and evolve to better meet the needs of our communities.

No group is perfect and we are all constantly learning. We can build safe and sustainable communities, but only if we strive to be consistently anti-oppressive, not just ‘good vibes’ and ‘good intentions’.

Learn more about British Mutual Aid here.

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Rise of plea bargaining is forcing young defendants to plead guilty, report finds | Right


Young prisoners in England and Wales are being rushed to plead guilty under American-style bargaining arrangements, with some defendants having just 30 minutes to decide, it is claimed.

The survey results and focus group discussions with people serving sentences raised concerns about the lack of informed choice in a criminal justice system that incentivizes early guilty pleas.

The model of plea bargaining, made famous by American court dramas, where defendants effectively negotiate with prosecutors over charges and potential sentences, is increasingly followed around the world.

Such negotiation is not formally part of the system in England and Wales, except in complex fraud cases, but court sentencing guidelines suggest that those who plead guilty at the first hearing for other crimes can benefit from a reduction of up to a third of their sentence. . There is a sliding scale of sentence reductions as criminal proceedings continue, and informal bargaining is widespread.

A report from the NGO Fair trials offers anecdotal evidence that defendants are offered little guidance and rushed advice on their pleas, with little judicial oversight over decision-making, raising allegations that some are pressured into admitting guilt for crimes they have not committed.

Unpublished data from the Criminal Cases Review Commission in England and Wales shows that of the 128 cases referred to the Court of Appeal as potential miscarriages of justice since 2012, around 50 cases involved defendants who originally pleaded guilty.

Prior to a court hearing, lawyers must follow guidelines on the level of information they give their clients before pleading guilty, but there is no court process to ensure defendants understand their rights. .

Unlike in the United States, there is also no requirement for judges to thoroughly question a defendant to verify that he has grasped the implications of a guilty plea before the plea is accepted.

A contributor to the report, named only Faisal, said: “Even when you go to court, you don’t really get… what like 20 to 30 minutes with your lawyer before he calls you.

“They even rush [you] sometimes. I clearly remember yeah, my lawyer sometimes shoved me like ‘We’re gonna have to bear it then we’re gonna be guilty’…”They’re probably gonna give you that amount of time”…”You’ll be out in duh duh duh’…J feel like a lot of things are under pressure.

A second, named Amina, who initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against her but worried about the impact of the proceedings on her father’s health, said: ‘I was not guilty so I don’t Shouldn’t have pleaded guilty but I had no support system or anyone to tell me that they would fight for me for my innocence.

The report, Young minds, big decisionsbased on a survey of 27 inmates and focus group discussions with 12 people over the past year who had experience with the criminal justice system as young adults, notes that adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years account for around a third of criminal cases in England and Wales.

The report states: “It is clear that many young people do not receive adequate information to make their decisions about how to advocate, or, when they do receive this information, it is not provided in an easily understandable way.

“Many people felt that the pros and cons of pleading ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ had not been properly explained to them, including the impact such decisions might have on their rights and given inaccurate or misleading advice about the potential outcomes of their cases. This often led them to make decisions that they later regretted.

He adds: “Their stories detail a system that not only fails to equip young adults with the knowledge and information needed to make the best decisions for their cases and encourages them to plead guilty to offenses they do not committed, but they also point to broader systemic problems. failures that have impeded justice and fairness for the defendants, regardless of age or experience”.

A government spokesman said: “Ensuring defendants plead guilty as soon as possible means that victims and witnesses do not have to relive their potentially traumatic experiences in court. Sentencing is the business of independent judges, who have a duty to follow the guidelines established by the Sentencing Council.

The Red Cross is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help victims of the storm in Florida


It’s been a week since Hurricane Ian hit Florida, and the American Red Cross is working day and night, alongside our partners, to provide food, shelter and comfort to those dealing with the heartbreaking devastation left by this huge storm.

Many neighborhoods that housed retirees on fixed incomes and mobile home parks have remained unrecognizable and conditions still make it difficult to get help. With the help of our partners, we are reaching out to offer relief and support so that no one faces this difficult time alone.

RED CROSS RESPONSE With the help of the Southern Baptist Convention, several mobile kitchens are now preparing tens of thousands of hot meals each day. More than 80 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are on the road delivering hot meals and relief supplies to people in need in the hardest hit areas.

Red Cross emergency shelters remain open to give people a safe place to rest, and disaster relief posts are also open where people can get food and relief. Trained volunteers also provide health and mental health support to families who have suffered unimaginable losses. This includes replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses, or essential medical equipment like canes and wheelchairs.

As of Tuesday evening, more than 2,000 people sought refuge at nearly 20 Red Cross and partner shelters across Florida. More than 1,500 Red Crosses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are supporting relief efforts, and together with our partners, we have provided nearly 355,000 meals and snacks to those in need. On Tuesday alone, some 142,000 meals were provided.

We also distributed more than 62,000 comfort kits and other relief items like cleaning supplies. Among the partners the Red Cross works with are the NAACP, which supports feeding operations, and Save the Children, which provides support to children in emergency shelters.

Red Cross teams are beginning to compile more detailed residential assessments, including the number of homes affected and the extent of that damage. This essential information will be used to plan the support families may need in the weeks and months ahead.

HOW TO GET HELP If you need a safe place to stay or a hot meal, find open shelters on redcross.org, the free Red Cross emergency app, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS ( 800-733-2767) and selecting the disaster option. You can also find shelters by following local authorities in your county and city on social media or by monitoring local news.

Anyone affected by the storm is urged to stop at a shelter for information, a hot meal, phone charging, relief supplies and other essential aid. The Red Cross helps anyone in need after a disaster, and everyone is welcome in our shelters. All disaster assistance is free and we don’t require people to show ID to enter a shelter – just their name and where they lived before the disaster.

Our workers will do everything possible to comfortably accommodate service animals and pets. If you are going to a shelter, please bring your own animal cage, supplies, medications, and food whenever possible.
Depending on the situation, pets may need to be housed in a different location with the support of animal welfare groups. Please consider visiting redrover.org/hurricaneian for additional pet resources.

Report the disappearance of your loved ones to Missing.FL.govand report to yourself, or your loved ones, that you have been found and safe at Safe.FL.gov. Residents of Lee and Charlotte counties can find information about emergency roof coverings provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers at BlueRoof.us.

YOU CAN HELP people affected by Hurricane Ian by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word IAN to 90999 to donate $10. Your donation is a commitment to help those in need, and every donation counts. Financial donations allow the Red Cross to prepare, intervene and help people recover from this disaster.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD Dangerous weather conditions and flooding canceled dozens of blood drives and around 1,000 blood and platelet donations were not collected. People in unaffected areas of the country – especially those with type O blood types – are urged to donate blood now to help ensure that patients in affected areas continue to have access to life-saving blood. Please make an appointment to donate blood today using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visitingRedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP Generous donations from members of the annual Red Cross Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Response Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters, large and small, to intervene whenever a disaster strikes and to help families through the recovery process.

Million Dollar ADGP Members:
Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Bank of America; Best buy; Caterpillar Foundation; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Wholesale Costco; Delta Airlines; Elevance Health Foundation; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft Corp. ; National Foundation; PayPal; PetSmart charities; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Vision; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.

$500,000 ADGP Members:
Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Bread Financial; Calmoseptine, Inc.; Capital 1; CarMax; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental; general dollar; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Company; General Motors; Google.org The Home Depot Foundation; International Paper; The JM Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; Mutual freedom of insurance; Lockheed Martin Company; MasterCard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Organon; PepsiCo Foundation; selling power ; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Stanley Black & Decker; Target; The companies TJX, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and the Wawa Foundation.

ADGP Members $250,000:
7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; The AES company; Ameriprise Financial; Assuring; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; CDW; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; NAC insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; CSX; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Duke Energy; Dutch Bros Foundation; Fair; FirstEnergy Corporation; Gopuff; Port Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; HCA Health; Hewlett Packard Corporate Foundation; HP Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; LHC Group; Major League Baseball; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Martin Marietta; Mattress company; McKesson Foundation; MetLife Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwest Mutual; Former Dominion Freight Line; Pacific Life Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Prudential; Raytheon Technologies; Reckitt; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Project, a New Venture Fund project; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Mission Band of Indians; the Lending Hand Foundation of Security Finance; ServiceNow; South West Airlines; Tata Consulting Services; U-Haul International; American Bank Foundation; and Zurich.

Loblaw Commissions Third-Party Safety Review Endorsing Gatik’s Autonomous Technology for Completely Driverless Operations


TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gatik, the market leader in mid-mile autonomous logistics, today revealed details of an extensive third-party safety assessment ahead of the rollout of Canada’s first fully driverless commercial operations . The safety review was commissioned by Canada’s largest food and pharmaceutical retailer, Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L, “Loblaw”).

“Security is at the heart of everything we do at Gatik,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik. “We integrate security into all facets of our business, from initial concept to commercial deployment. It spans all levels of our technology, processes and operations, and resides deep in the cultural makeup of the company. We were very pleased to participate in the extensive security review and strongly encourage this level of review to become the standard in our industry. »

Gatik operates its network of self-driving vans in several cities, both in the United States and Canada. This includes fully driverless operations in two locations and autonomous operations with safety drivers in 5 markets. Currently, the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry awaits the implementation of common standards to assess and confirm the safety and security of AV systems before they are rolled out for wider adoption. Today’s announcement underscores Gatik’s commitment to ensuring transparency and clarity in the company’s systems engineering approach to the development and safe deployment of its autonomous fleet.

Gatik’s comprehensive three-month technology assessment was designed to assess safety and security prior to the launch of Gatik’s fully driverless commercial delivery service with Loblaw. A team of third-party experts was deployed to create and execute an end-to-end Gatik technology solution assessment framework covering the landscape of ISO/SAE and NHTSA standards, including NIST Framework, SAE J3061 security standards , ISO/SAE 21434 and UNECE R155. The evaluation included a rigorous series of system-level and component-level tests, the successful completion of which provided clear and comprehensive validation that Gatik’s fully driverless technology is safe enough to operate on public roads.

The assessment first looked at Gatik’s technology solution, subsystems and their functions, development and deployment practices, and standards and regulatory compliance. The assessment confirmed that the following Autonomous Driving System (ADS) requirements have been met by Gatik:

✔ ADS functionality automation level(s) is/are clearly defined based on SAE automation levels found in J3016. The definition of the level of automation identifies the agent responsible for the dynamic driving task (DDT) in different circumstances and the intended use of the vehicle is clearly indicated.

✔ The ADS feature(s) have a clearly defined Operational Design Domain (ODD). Domain constraints are known and the vehicle will respond in a safe and predictable manner when the ODD is exceeded.

✔ The vehicle has OEDR capabilities suited to its ODD that allow safe and appropriate action to be taken when subjected to everyday traffic conditions, as well as unexpected events.

✔ Where applicable, the vehicle and ADS comply with safety standards and best practices, such as those developed by SAE International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

✔ Safety risks have been considered throughout the development of the vehicle and ADS technologies. Sufficient pre-deployment testing was performed and validation methods were used to verify performance, safety of intended functionality, occupant safety and fault handling. Validation and verification were used to ensure the safe integration and operation of the vehicle and ADS functionality in everyday traffic and in response to unexpected events and various weather conditions.

✔ The vehicle is equipped with safety systems with appropriate redundancies that continuously monitor system performance, perform fault detection and hazard analysis, report any malfunctions and ultimately take corrective action or return to a condition minimal risk if necessary.

✔ Vehicle controls are accessible to users (ie intuitive and easy to understand). The vehicle can communicate critical messages to occupants and other road users when needed, taking into account relevant accessibility factors, the needs of different occupants and the intended use of the vehicle.

✔ Concrete actions have been taken to ensure awareness of the capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s ADS functionalities, as well as the vehicle’s safe fallback conditions.

✔ The vehicle is equipped with adequate active and passive safety devices to protect occupants and other road users, and to mitigate injury and damage in the event of system failure. The vehicle will be returned to a safe state after a system failure and will transmit safety-critical information to passengers, first responders and emergency services.

✔ Adequate design and mitigation strategies have been developed to protect the ADS equipped vehicle from cyber threats.

✔ In the event of a system update or aftermarket repair or modification, measures are in place to verify that all vehicle systems continue to operate safely and as intended.

✔ In the event of a collision or other incident, data collected by vehicles and ADS functionality is shared with federal, provincial/territorial and municipal law enforcement agencies and government agencies to support investigations, including defect and collision investigations.

As part of the assessment, Gatik’s system underwent tests that included: end-to-end technology solution assessment, development and deployment processes, standards and regulatory compliance, risk and control measures evaluation as well as testing at the physical component, subsystem and vehicle level. . Physical testing of these vehicles on Gatik’s closed circuits included fault injection and several edge case tests – e.g. sensor data degradation and fault injection, GPS jamming/spoofing to disrupt navigation, disabling the brakes, or sending incorrect throttle commands with objects ahead. This also included replacing RADAR and LIDAR data representing fake empty road situations for the system, while having real objects in front of the truck mimicking sensor failures or malicious hacking. The results confirmed that Gatik’s autonomous technology does not create an unreasonable risk to the safety of other road users.

“Canada is on the cusp of enormous potential in driverless commercial delivery, an area led by Loblaw,” said Vivek Khindria, Senior Vice President, Cybersecurity, Networks and Technology Risk. “We commissioned an independent, third-party assessment to validate the security and safety of Gatik’s autonomous system, and we are pleased with the results.”

“Security is not achieved by a single factor, but by the combination of best practices, multiple layers of system redundancy, state-of-the-art techniques, exhaustive validation, sound engineering judgment, and continuing to build on our proven track record of delivering exceptional results,” Apeksha said. Kumavat, co-founder and chief engineer at Gatik. “We took the opportunity for our system to undergo a rigorous review process and validate our technology before beginning fully driverless operations with the nation’s largest retailer.”

Gatik’s fail-safe approach to fully driverless operations builds on the company’s foundational Operational Design Domain (ODD) framework, which aims to provide a structure for defining autonomous stack capabilities at a given point, and connect these capabilities to routes and areas of operation. This allows Gatik to gradually deploy, test and validate targeted releases, enabling the structured expansion of SDGs for fully driverless operations in a predictable and value-driven manner. This in turn allows Gatik to deploy on a given safety-validated route while developing additional functional capabilities on other routes, paving the way for continued commercial expansion of Gatik’s fully driverless operations.

About Gatik

Gatik, the leader in mid-mile autonomous logistics, delivers goods safely and efficiently using its fleet of light and medium trucks. The company focuses on B2B short-haul logistics for Fortune 500 retailers and in 2021 became the first company in the world to operate fully driverless commercial deliveries in the middle mile. Gatik’s Class 3-6 self-driving vans are commercially deployed in several markets, including Ontario, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Founded in 2017 by veterans of the autonomous technology industry, the company partners with industry leaders including Ryder, Goodyear, Isuzu and Cummins, and has offices in Toronto, Ontario, and Mountain View , in California. In 2022, Gatik was named to Forbes’ list of America’s Top Startup Employers and by Fast Company as an Idea Changing the World. In 2021, Gatik was recognized on the Forbes AI 50 list and as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.

About Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L)

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s leading food and drugstore and the country’s largest retailer. Loblaw provides Canadians with groceries, drugstores, health and beauty products, apparel, general merchandise, financial services, and mobile wireless products and services. With more than 2,400 corporate, franchise and associate locations, Loblaw, its franchisees and associate owners employ approximately 200,000 full-time and part-time employees, making it one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. .

Two Pitt faculty members won NIH Director’s New Innovator Awards


Two University of Pittsburgh Researchers Received Prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Award New Innovator Award to support unconventional approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.

Alok Joglekar, assistant professor at the Center for Systems Immunology and the Department of Immunology of the Medicine Schooland Tagbo Niepa, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at Swanson School of Engineering, will receive a total of more than $4 million to support their scientific research projects. As part of the NIH High-risk, high-reward research programthe awards recognize exceptionally creative early-career scientists pursuing exceptionally innovative research.

“This award has tremendous value because it funds great ideas that are in early development but have high potential for impact,” Joglekar said. “For early career researchers like me, this support is hugely important because it allows us to dive headfirst into these ideas and gives us a cushion to take risks and innovate.”

Adjust T cells

Joglekar’s laboratory focuses on engineering molecules to manipulate immune system T cells to boost tumor-killing prowess in cancer or prevent them from attacking healthy tissue in autoimmune diseases.

T cells respond to pathogens, good microbes, and the body’s own cells when T cell receptors recognize unique antigens that are displayed on MHC (major histocompatibility complex) molecules. It’s usually a “one-way street” with T cells responding to target cells, but Joglekar and his team engineered MHC molecules to have signaling components, creating a new class of molecules called SABR. When engineered to carry SABRs, immune cells can respond to T cells and manipulate their function.

“We basically converted a one-way street into a two-way street,” Joglekar said. “We know the concept works, and within the next five years we want to set up preclinical studies that we hope will eventually lead to new treatments for autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes. and multiple sclerosis and improve immunotherapies against tumours. We also hope to use this platform to modify specific functions of the immune system to better understand it.

The microbiome as medicine

Niepa, who heads the MicroBioInterface Laboratoryhas been recognized for his research in the development of capsules aimed at restoring the microbiome after it has been disrupted by infections or other diseases.

The the capsule uses unique materials to mimic the conditions of a microbe’s natural environment, facilitate the growth of previously difficult-to-grow species, and avoid the growth biases that occur in traditional crops when different microbes compete for space and nutrients.

“With this technology, we can actually collect and store samples from healthy individuals, screen them to understand their microbiome composition, and then administer them to the patient when they are sick,” Niepa said.

One of the capsules’ targets is people who have contracted Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, a bacteria that causes serious intestinal problems and often eliminates good intestinal bacteria. One day, thanks to Niepa’s research, the simple act of swallowing a pill could restore intestinal balance and promote a healthy microbiome.

“If this project is successful, it could mean a huge shift in how we think about disease and medicine,” Niepa said. “This work creates a necessary framework for future research into manipulating the human microbiome to prevent and even cure disease.”

The NIH grant numbers are DP2AI176138 (Joglekar) and DP2GM14955 (Niepa).

—Asher Jones and Maggie Lindenberg

Acelero, Inc. to Expand Impact in Early Childhood Education with Investment Led by BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund and Builders Fund


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Acelero, Inc. today announced that the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund and The Builders Fund have co-led a strategic investment in the company that will help it expand its mission to dismantle inequalities in early childhood education childhood across the country. The BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund seeks to improve the economic outcomes of undercapitalized communities of color while uncovering compelling investment opportunities for its clients. BlackRock is joined in this funding round by The Builders Fund, which focuses on purpose-driven companies whose business models deliver positive social and environmental benefits, and A-Street, which invests in innovative learning solutions and achievement of students from kindergarten to 12th grade. families and schools. Acelero will leverage the funding to support ongoing product development, deepen district partnerships, and increase talent recruitment efforts.

Acelero, Inc., and its divisions Acelero Learning, Shine Early Learning, and Spark Learning Lab, are pioneers in early childhood education and family engagement services, impacting more than 150,000 children ages 0-5 and their families in 28 states and territories through their work with state agencies, child care centers, home-based providers, private and public Pre-K and Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This investment will fund the company’s future growth and enable it to serve more children, families and communities.

According to co-founder and CEO Henry Wilde, this funding will support the company’s mission to deepen and broaden its impact in communities across the country.

“We are pleased to join forces with the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund, The Builders Fund and A-Street – a unique group of mission-driven, mission-aligned investors. They understand that universal access to high-quality early childhood education, regardless of a child’s race or income, is essential to dismantling inequalities, and they share our vision of a world where children become champions of their own making,” Wilde said.

“We are proud to support Acelero in its mission to close the achievement gap and advance educational outcomes at scale. Acelero’s strong fundamentals and leading technology services platform, along with its vision to eliminate historical biases and systemic inequities in the American education system, make the company a compelling investment for our customers.” , said Aarthi Sowrirajan, lead portfolio manager for BlackRock Impact. Opportunity Fund. “We look forward to partnering with the leadership team at Henry and Acelero, as well as Builders and A-Street, to help expand Acelero’s footprint and deepen its impact in communities.

“The huge unmet need for quality early childhood education has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, and Acelero is uniquely positioned to improve child and family outcomes at scale. The company’s impressive operating history, the caliber of its mission-driven team, and its commitment to data-driven innovation attracted builders to this opportunity. We are proud to partner with Acelero management, BIO Fund and A-Street to ensure the company’s continued growth and impact. said Katharine Hawthorne, vice president of The Builders Fund.

“At a time of unprecedented challenges facing early childhood education in our country, we need proven solutions that deliver high quality support to underserved communities. For more than 20 years, Acelero has been committed to closing the achievement gap and making breakthrough progress in child outcomes. We are excited to partner with BIO Fund and Builders Fund to support the leadership team as Acelero enters this new phase of growth to expand its impact and reach even more families across the country,” commented Mora. Segal, general manager at A-Street.

In addition, three members of the Investor Syndicate will join Acelero’s Board of Directors. Aarthi Sowrirajan, of the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund; Katharine Hawthorne, of The Builders Fund; and Mora Segal, of A-Street; will join Tonika Cheek Clayton of McKinsey and Company and Scott Miller of Greenhaven Road Capital on Acelero’s board of directors.

East Wind Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Acelero on the transaction.

About BlackRock Alternative Investors

BlackRock Alternative Investors serves investors seeking outperformance in real estate, infrastructure, private equity, credit, hedge funds and alternatives. We strive to provide our investors with the highest quality investments by leveraging our global presence, superior execution capabilities and preferred partner position. BlackRock manages $320 billion in alternative investments and commitments on behalf of clients worldwide as of June 30, 2022.

About the Builders Fund

The Builders Fund is a growth-stage private equity firm that invests in companies that generate exceptional returns while fixing our future. The company partners with established, high-growth North American companies whose core business models create positive social and environmental benefits. Major themes of interest include sustainable systems and human upliftment. Thirty of Builders’ founding limited partners are former operators and entrepreneurs: “Builders”, committed to serving as operating partners to the fund and supporting entrepreneurs and leaders who are building businesses that improve our world.

About A-Street

A-Street is a private sector-sponsored investment fund with a strategic focus on companies and ideas that lead to cohesive, differentially effective and equitable solutions to transform the future of preK-12 learning. Our vision is that every student in our country will have access to rigorous, engaging and positive learning experiences that will lead to economic and social prosperity. A-Street invests in a mix of early-stage, growth-stage and late-stage businesses in the areas of educational content and measurement, sustainability education and student well-being. We invest for the long term and aim to build a true partnership with entrepreneurs and founders through a diverse staff deeply rooted in the practice of education, philanthropy and politics. Our fund structure, investment tools, and incentives are uniquely aligned with what is needed to create and sustain excellence in the preK-12 classrooms. For more information on A-Street, please visit https://www.astreet.ventures/ and on Twitter @astreetventures.

Caregivers – an undervalued and underutilized essential


On August 26, Elizabeth K O’Donnell and colleagues reported a prospective study showing that caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma experienced psychological distress across the disease continuum, particularly anxiety. The study adds to previous evidence showing that caregivers often suffered from greater psychological distress and impaired quality of life than the patients themselves. Although they provide an essential service, caregivers are still seen as an informal aspect of healthcare and their views and needs tend to be relegated.

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving’s 2020 report, 21% of the US adult population had caregiving responsibilities, that is, helping someone who is ill or disabled in their social network with activities of daily living. Unsurprisingly, most caregivers are women, employed part-time or full-time, and caregiving is unpaid work in most cases. Caregivers are often overwhelmed with the burden of their role and are emotionally and physically drained with worry about their loved one. Caregiving challenges include lack of time for self, financial hardship, sleep deprivation, and fear of asking for help, which can lead to isolation, depression, and anxiety, such as research shows. Although most hospitals, NGOs and patient organizations have resources for caregivers that emphasize the importance of self-care and support networks, there is little information available on interventions or public policies. , and little research on the social, health and economic effects of caregiving. . With aging populations and the increasing burden of debilitating chronic diseases in high-income countries, the role of caregivers should be recognized as economically and functionally important.

Primary caregivers also have a role to play in shared clinical decision-making. Although there are cultural variations regarding how physicians interact with patients and caregivers globally, research suggests an underutilization of caregivers during the decision-making process. In a series of video analyzes of clinician-patient-caregiver interactions, most caregivers’ involvement was self-triggered and clinicians did not address the preferred level of caregiver involvement. In contrast, most patients and caregivers value and expect caregivers to participate in decision-making, according to a nationwide survey of 990 patient-caregiver pairs. Not involving caregivers in this process seems ethically unacceptable, as they are directly affected by the decisions made and are already subject to a huge emotional burden. Therefore, a more inclusive communication model, similar to those used with caregivers of pediatric patients, could be applied to adult clinics to ensure caregiver engagement.

In hematology, caregivers are a key element in the successful delivery of complex treatments, such as cell therapies, particularly in outpatient settings. It is necessary for anyone undergoing these therapies on an outpatient basis to have a clear caregiver support plan. Caregivers must take the patient to daily visits and may not be able to work, as they must stay with the patient for most of the day and night and must always be available. Caregivers are encouraged to take personal time while the patient makes daily hospital rounds. However, despite the demanding tasks of caregivers, formal support programs are rare. A series of interviews with 17 primary caregivers of ambulatory hematology patients identified caregiver well-being and a collaborative caregiver-healthcare professional relationship as key to ensuring benefits for all. Indeed, some of the latest guidelines from the American Society of Hematology include the assessment of burdens on caregivers as part of critical outcomes for decision-making.

Although awareness of the essential work carers do is growing, there is little societal support, with many countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) still lacking basic policies to facilitate this work. basic and unpaid. Public policies could address several needs of caregivers, including paid care leave, fair and flexible working hours, and putting in place anti-discrimination protections for caregivers. While equally essential to a working society, care leave is less frequently available than parental leave, with only 19 (53%) of 36 OECD countries offering paid family care leave, compared to 24 (67%) offering paid parental leave. Awareness campaigns, such as International Caregiver Day on November 26, can be used to push for these policies. At the clinic, we encourage all healthcare professionals not to miss the opportunity to include the primary caregiver in the shared decision-making process, recognizing their lived experience and crucial role in patient care. .

To learn more about the study of caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma see Adv of blood 2022; 6: 4967–74

To learn more about the series and survey on the involvement of caregivers see Patient Education Tips 2014 ; 96: 302–07 and Psycho-oncology 2013; 22: 2624–31

To know more pediatric patient care see BMC Pediatrician 2017; 17: 146

To know more caregivers of hematological patients see Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020; 17: 4036

WVU Medicine Camden Clark Honors Employees With Picnic | News, Sports, Jobs


Rhonda Boso-Suggs, Rebekah S. Matuga and Cindy Kern at a barbecue this week for employees of WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center for their efforts in recently receiving the Partnership for Excellence’s “Platinum Governor’s Award.” (Photo provided)

PARKERSBURG — WVU Medicine Camden Clark honored its employees with a barbecue with games and prizes for their efforts by recently receiving the “Platinum Governor’s Award” of the Partnership for Excellence.

The hospital has been recognized for performance excellence through innovation, results and visionary leadership using the Baldrige Excellence Framework. Camden Clark, honored with the Platinum Governor’s Achievement Award, was the only West Virginia hospital on the list.

The mission of The Partnership for Excellence, based in Columbus, is to cultivate excellence in organizational performance and continuous improvement in organizations across all industry sectors.

By providing a performance excellence framework through the Baldrige Excellence Framework, organizations become more focused on customers, process management, innovation, work systems and organization-wide results .

These organizations typically see lower costs, improved productivity, and increased employee and customer satisfaction.

Earl Lockhart, Crystal Graham, Cindy Bever, Josie Evans, Dr. Edward Boso and Zac Campbell at a barbecue this week for employees of WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center for their efforts to recently receive the “Platinum Governor’s Award” from the Partnership for Excellence. The hospital has been recognized for performance excellence through innovation, results and visionary leadership using the Baldrige Excellence Framework. (Photo provided)

“WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center has been on an ongoing journey, applying the Baldrige Framework to our operations for many years,” said Steve Altmiller, President and CEO. “Our physicians, employees and partners at WVU Medicine strive every day to advance excellence and quality in the delivery of patient-centered care.

“We appreciate their dedication and are honored to receive this prestigious award in recognition of these efforts. This recognition validates the efforts of our team, the quality of our work and our unwavering commitment to excellence in everything we do.

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The reinvention of Pellegrini Cucina Italiana is a reincarnation born of smoke and fire


When Carlo Pellegrini and his wife Jessica Morse’s restaurant, Pellegrini Ristorante Italiano Bar, was partially destroyed by fire early on March 30, 2019, little did they know it would take almost three and a half years to reopen for the having dinner. Company.

Apparently the remnants of a campfire jumped on an umbrella outside the Cottonwood Square restaurant. The flames went through the roof of the building at the front of the house and caused smoke damage throughout the facility.

What initially seemed like an easy fix, with the hope of fixing the interior, replacing the roof and getting back to business within five months, also went up in smoke thanks to wrangling with the insurance company, a global pandemic, inflation and a shortage of workers. .

The restaurant’s new business model begins with a fast-paced, casual counter where customers place their meal orders. Homemade pasta and products from the Italian market are available for purchase. (Photo credit Emily Kemme)

But in September, the renovated and revamped restaurant – newly created Pellegrini Cucina Italiana – reopened with an Italian market concept. The space is refreshing and white-walled, reflecting the coastal region of Puglia where Pellegrini grew up and learned to cook from family recipes.

“That look is what the restaurants look like where I come from,” Pellegrini said, also noting that Morse’s design work channeled an idea of ​​what you might feel when exploring a street market. from southern Italy.

Aged wooden trellises suspended from the ceilings are adorned with dried sheaves of wheat and tomato vines bursting with decorative fruit. Copper pans are on order and will soon find their way into farm decor.

Casual seaside wooden tables with cross-backed chairs and wooden benches with cushions have replaced the old Baroque-style chairs and leather booths. Small decorative elements, like a replica of an antique lock and key on the wine shelves, add a vintage touch, as does the fireplace, which is surrounded by rustic white stones reminiscent of cobbled streets.

The revitalized space is refreshing and white-walled.  But many design elements from the damaged restaurant have been reused throughout.  (Photo credit Emily Kemme)
The revitalized space is refreshing and white-walled. But many design elements from the damaged restaurant have been reused throughout. (Photo credit Emily Kemme)

But there are also touches of modernity: the bench that borders part of one of the dining rooms is equipped with USB charging sockets. The setup encourages customers to linger over a glass of wine or an espresso.

Even still, there are hints of the old Pellegrini — and cycling even further, of Potato Brumbaugh’s, a steakhouse named after a character in James Michner’s book Centennial, a fictional story based in northern Colorado.

The heavy beams, still a unique feature of the building, were damaged by the smoke, but their structural integrity remained intact.

“The craftsmen who worked on them sanded them down, applied white paint, then sanded some more,” Pellegrini said, describing the process that allowed the wood to be reused.

He also restored other architectural features such as the mullioned windows in the rear dining room. Now, glass adorns the dividers between dining nooks, giving the space an airy and inviting look.

The fire-damaged roof tiles that were less charred were drilled with gradually diminishing rows of holes and were installed as appliques in the dining rooms.

In a sense, the building rises from its ashes, its spaces reinvented and repurposed. In this, Pellegrini draws lessons from the Old World: do not throw away any building material because it could one day become art.

Emily Kemme)
Emily Kemme)

He also developed a new business model. When customers walk through the door, they are greeted by a quick and relaxed counter where they can order their meal and choose a table from a small seating area or take out food. Customers can order wine or beer with their meals to eat in or they can be packaged to take away.

“This concept allows you to be more free and that’s how you survive,” Pellegrini said. “If you go to a restaurant today, 99% are understaffed. The servers are overwhelmed and behind on their tickets and you have to wait longer for your food. That way, after ordering, you can sit down, have your wine or beer, and get your own water or soda at a self-serve station. The waiters bring your food and when you’re done you just leave because you’ve already paid.

If you want to stay (and order dessert – which you should do as the selections are divine) the staff will watch you.

With the revised service flow, the system tallies tips and automatically splits them between front and back of the house.

Small decorative elements, like a replica of an antique lock and key on the wine racks, add a vintage touch.  (Photo credit Emily Kemme)
Small decorative elements, like a replica of an antique lock and key on the wine racks, add a vintage touch. (Photo credit Emily Kemme)

Next month, Pellegrini will add self-serve beer and pre-mixed cocktails on a tap system. There’s no bartender: Guests are given a wristband that connects to their credit card which is charged when they use the drink system.

Operations are very efficient at the moment. Since the restaurant is run with a total of five people (including Pellegrini in the kitchen), hours are limited to evening meal service.

Once he can hire more staff, he will add lunch service, and eventually a section of the dining room will include an intimate, reservations-only dining room limited to 50 people. It will offer a more extensive menu and Pellegrini plans to add high-end, quality products that will allow it to showcase its culinary talents.

Although the division of labor has been streamlined, the quality of food has not changed. Everything on the menu is made from scratch — as it always has been, even during the pandemic days when Pellegrini and his family were subsisting on catering and takeout. Pasta is freshly made on site and is packaged and ready to serve in glass-fronted coolers at the entrance.

The rest of the market style concept is ongoing with the addition of foodstuffs. But the 6-pound cans of Alta Cucina tomatoes that line the shelves behind the counter aren’t for sale. Pellegrini notes that plum tomatoes are so delicious you can eat them canned with a spoon, but he uses them daily to make the restaurant’s tomato sauce.

Fresh pastas and homemade sauces are back (on pottery plates, not just takeout boxes) at Pellegrini Cucina Italiana in Greeley.  (Photo credit Emily Kemme)
Fresh pastas and homemade sauces are back (on pottery plates, not just takeout boxes) at Pellegrini Cucina Italiana in Greeley. (Photo credit Emily Kemme)

If you missed fresh pasta and homemade sauces like Bolonese, (Italian meat sauce with tagliatelle), Gamberi in salsa rosa (paccheri pasta with prawns and tomato-basil marinara) or Fiori di Zucca (fried zucchini flowers stuffed with fresh mozzarella) that won’t get soggy in the take-out box by the time you get home, all of this and more awaits you.

he new market concept offers foodstuffs for sale in front of the house.  But the precious boxes of Alta Cucina tomatoes are reserved for the restaurant's tomato sauce.  (Photo credit Emily Kemme)
he new market concept offers foodstuffs for sale in front of the house. But the precious boxes of Alta Cucina tomatoes are reserved for the restaurant’s tomato sauce. (Photo credit Emily Kemme)

Back to Dine-In at Pellegrini Cucina Italiana

Hours: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday

Where: 2400 17th Street, Greeley

Other info: Delivery via NoCo Nosh | Catering | Take-out meals | Italian market

Nigerian Railway develops rail access framework to encourage PPPs – WorldStage


WorldStage Newsonline– The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, says the company’s management has come up with a railway access framework to encourage public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Okhiria said this during a press briefing held on Wednesday at the NRC headquarters in Ebute Metta, Lagos.

He said that putting in place an access framework for the railway would allow third parties to use the track.

Okhiria said the framework would increase private sector participation and also increase the use of trackers.

He said the railway access framework will also improve interstate business and passengers will pay a lower amount for transporting goods from one point to another.

“We submitted the Rail Access Framework to the NRC Board of Directors at our last meeting and we expect the framework to be approved at the next Board meeting.

“We have put together a team to work with the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) to enable them to operate successfully.

“LAMATA had just received wagons for the red line and I hope they will start operating before the first quarter of 2023,” Okhiria said.

He said efforts were being made by the federal government to adequately secure train passengers across the country as well as address other industry issues.

Okhiria said the incident on March 28, 2022 impacted not just the Abuja-Kaduna route but all rail services nationwide as efforts were made to secure the release of the remaining passengers.

He said Nigerians’ confidence in the train as the safest means of transport was gradually being restored.

The NRC boss said the price of diesel had skyrocketed and being a service provider for the benefit of Nigerians, the company could not just raise its tariffs.

According to him, the company needs to reduce the number of trips on Lagos-Ibadan to four and Itakpe-Warri to two in order to provide train services to Nigerians.

He said the NRC had lost N531 million due to inactivity on the Abuja-Kaduna road between March and August 2022.

Okhiria said the company intends to increase the Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge run while it will increase the Lagos-Ibadan train to 10 runs; five to go and five to go.

“We were already doing 10 trips a day on the Abuja-Kaduna and we thought that now it would have increased to 12, six round trips; so that people can properly plan their journey using the train.

“Unfortunately, due to the inactivity of the Abuja-Kaduna train caused by the latest terrorist attack, we recorded a shortfall of N531 million on the Abuja-Kaduna route from March to August 2022.

“The shortfall comes from the expected revenue, following the disruption caused by the attack on the train.

“As we try to solve this problem and people gain confidence, we have this astronomical challenge in the cost of diesel from N300 plus to over N1000 per litre,” he said.

According to him, because of this, the Lagos-Ibadan route has dropped to two due to the cost of diesel. What we earn cannot pay for diesel.

“We have people providing security due to the situation everywhere. We need to engage separate security.

“We have to pay them whether the train is running or not.

“We have to pay lighting bills and still have to buy diesel for the generators serving the stations, among other things despite the inactivity along the Abuja-Kaduna railway line and the decline in Lagos-Ibadan rail services.

“So you can see that what we earn is also eroded by operational costs. Even amidst the challenges, we also receive funds from the NRC properties management,” Okhiria said.

While explaining the movement of cargo from the ports via standard gauge rail, the Managing Director said that the movement of cargo with the Lagos-Ibadan train will commence in November 2022.

He said NRC management had met with some maritime stakeholders, including APM Terminals and ENL Consortium, to ensure cargo runs at standard gauge from both terminals to Papalanto and Abeokuta before November.

The NRC boss said they were also working hard to ensure access roads and freight yards were properly set up so equipment for rolling stock was provided.

He noted that the NRC would meet with some people offering to use the warehouses and freight yards and was optimistic that before November they would start transporting goods on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail.

Meyer Yachts unveils 210m superyacht concept


Written by Alexander Griffiths

Meyer Yachts has expanded its portfolio with a second superyacht concept that joins its A50, unveiled last year. The German shipbuilder has gone even further, and its newest addition has a length of 210 meters.The Two10 is equipped with a durable propulsion system, much like its sister the A50, because Meyer Yachts is determined to “build the greenest superyachts in the world”. Its length was cleverly concealed by its exterior styling, which was kept flat and tight. But climb aboard and its size is imposing; on the foredeck, for example, she not only has a helipad but also a full-size tennis court. Two10 yacht exterior design Two10 yacht exterior design Two10 yacht exterior design Meyer Yachts also revealed that the Two10 will be equipped with a beach club that spans two decks and will house a suspended infinity pool, located above the aft bar. This pool is said to be the largest pane of glass ever installed on a yacht.Two10 yacht exterior design Two10 yacht exterior design Lily: At the shipyard with Meyer Werft: the cruise ship giant looking to enter the superyacht market

“The Two10 illustrates the capabilities of the Meyer Group in all respects and we are currently very pleased with the response to our yachting business,” commented Lars Kruse, Head of Sales at Meyer Yachts.Interior layout of the One50 yacht Two10 yacht exterior design Two10 yacht exterior design

Community Control: How Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Can Revolutionize Business Ownership


Advantages of a DAO structure

While most organizations operate using decision-making models where power is concentrated in the hands of a few stakeholders, one of the purported benefits of ceding control and adopting a more decentralized model is that it minimizes the risk of human error. This is possible for two main reasons:

  1. DAO rules are enforced by code rather than by physical persons. Stakeholders no longer need to trust physical persons to implement decisions, and can instead rely on the sanctity of the code, to automate decisions according to rules that stakeholders have previously agreed upon. Code is arguably more trustworthy than people because it is publicly available and can be extensively tested before release; and
  2. DAO decisions are made by a collective of members, rather than a select few. Proponents of DAOs argue that decisions made by a collective will be better informed and more likely to succeed.

DAOs are also touted as a promising vehicle for engaging a community around common goals, for-profit or not-for-profit, as they not only allow their members to have a say in decision-making, but can also be used to reward members for participation. With DAOs, the community is both owner, manager, customer and/or advocate of the product or service.

A decentralized model can also provide a solution to the principal-agent problem, which is characterized by conflicts that arise between the principal (a person or a group of persons, ex. shareholders) and their agent (managers of a company, ex. CEO). ), who may have conflicting priorities and be tempted to act in their own interests. The community governance offered by DAO structures is arguably better suited to align stakeholder incentives.

Disadvantages of a DAO structure

Community governance can be inefficient and uninformed. Additionally, the pseudonymous nature of membership can have a deleterious effect on member relationships, which could encourage bad actors, lead to less effort in DAO initiatives, and/or result in a general lack of engagement. CAD. The risk of DAO members “caring less” would be magnified by a DAO structure that allows members to come in and exist on demand without repercussions (as is typically the case with most existing DAO structures today). today).

DAOs also introduce significant challenges in establishing accountability. DAOs are inherently decentralized, which means that control and decision-making capability is distributed among a network of entities, rather than a single controlling entity. However, the more decentralized the organization, the more difficult it is to assign responsibility for the actions of one or more particular groups or individuals, which can lead to significant problems in case the DAO faces challenges. Difficulties in establishing accountability are exacerbated by the pseudonymous and often international nature of DAO members. These same risks are at the center of the multitude of compliance challenges that impede DAO’s development and overall ability to integrate into the global marketplace.

The relationship between your hotel booking engine and your website


The relationship between your hotel booking engine and your website


Each hotel aims to increase its direct bookings. Not only do they save on commission fees paid to third parties like OTAs, but they also have full control over building customer relationships early on and building loyalty. Hotel Booking Engine is the gateway to direct bookings. The success of booking your hotel directly depends on the efficiency of your hotel reservation system and a smooth booking experience for guests. Here is the role of the hotel website.

The website is your storefront. It’s a reflection of your brand and what you promise to deliver. A slow loading website is one of the main reasons customers turn to other booking platforms like OTAs or other hotels abandoning their bookings on your website. Along with this, other reasons include boring design, clunky user interface, and immobility. The booking experience can change the whole travel plan.

It’s true that a good online hotel booking engine will improve the user experience by simplifying the process and allowing potential customers to make a reservation with just a few clicks. But only an attractive website design and interface will attract the customer to click the “Book Now” button and enter the booking page. Can a booking engine provide this with a lagging website?

Hotel booking engine and website go hand in hand

The majority of hoteliers view booking engines and websites as 2 different products and are unaware of the effect of one on the other. Even the best hotel booking engine on the internet needs the support of the hotel website it is hosted on to convert visitors into customers.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Your hotel’s booking engine and website are each other’s support system.

Let’s see how they are interrelated:

1. Website Design Influences Booking Engine Traffic

The look and feel of your hotel website has a significant impact on the traveler’s booking pattern. No matter how efficient or user-friendly the booking engine may be, the customer won’t be happy to click the “Book Now” button if your website is boring and slow. Thus affecting the traffic on your hotel booking engine. An unattractive hotel website design will not attract the user to the booking gateway. Therefore, it is essential to successfully integrate your hotel reservation system with an attractive website.

2. Good optimization simplifies the management of ARIs

According to a recent survey by eRevMax, 57% of hoteliers update their room rates and inventory multiple times a day. Consider manually updating pricing and availability individually on each platform whenever you change it. This will not only waste your time, but also delay the update and affect performance. With a properly optimized Internet booking engine and a hotel website of the same degree, it will be much easier and faster to update your ARI in real time. Two-way XML connectivity will automatically extract data simplifying hotel reservation management for you.

3. Seamless integration decides the user experience

If the two are not properly integrated, your potential guest may end up typing the search term over and over again and land on the wrong page. This repetitive process will increase booking time and decrease the user’s rating on the experience scale. This is why it is suggested to apply for a booking engine and website design and development by the same company as RateTiger.

4. Mobile functionality triggers booking

According Stratosjets, 70% of US travelers begin their booking journey on a smartphone. Imagine that the booking engine you use is mobile-friendly, but your website is not, or vice versa. Will it allow the user to seamlessly book a room in your hotel from their mobile phone? By limiting the user experience on your site, you will lose potential customers to the best OTAs known to deliver a mobile-friendly booking experience throughout the booking journey. Therefore, having a mobile-friendly hotel reservation system and website is key to winning direct bookings.

As a hotelier, your ultimate goal is to get the user to click the Call-to-Action button on your website. To do this, your website must be intuitive enough to grab the user’s attention and properly integrated with the hotel booking engine to provide a seamless booking experience. The hotel booking engine and brand website work together to drive direct bookings and increase revenue for your property.

About RateTiger

RateTiger by eRevMax is a market leader in hotel technology and provides Channel Manager, Booking Engine, Rate Shopper, Website Design, Digital Marketing Services as well as GDS and Metasearch Distribution solutions to large hotel chains and resorts, size groups average as well as to the self-employed. boutique properties worldwide. RateTiger connects to over 450 channel and technology partners. It has deep two-way integration with distribution channels including Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, Airbnb, Google, HRS, Hotelbeds, among others. It connects to leading PMS, RMS, CRS, Booking Engine and other hotel technology systems for a seamless online distribution experience. Data security and privacy is a key aspect of RateTiger – it is ISO and PCI certified as well as GDPR compliant. RateTiger provides 24/7 multilingual support to hotels around the world to help them achieve their revenue generation goals.

For more details, please visit www.ratetiger.com or contact us on [email protected]

Essential guide for students – How to have fun in college AND stick to your budget

Stay in tune with your finances

Entering college can be a busy time, filled with excitement, hopes, and dreams.

There’s a lot to look forward to – meeting new people, getting involved in societies and learning more about a course you’re passionate about. However, it can also be quite scary, especially if it’s your first time living away from home and managing your own money. You certainly won’t be alone if you’re feeling nervous about starting college, but there’s plenty of help available.

With the cost of living crisis continuing to bring more unwelcome news, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the thought of money – but talking about it has never been more important. Having a solid plan in place for your finances from the start will hopefully mean that you can stop worrying about money and start focusing on all the fun things.

Here are my tips for preparing your money for college:

Planning your budget probably won’t be the most exciting part of your pre-college preparation, but it could be the most important and could save you a lot of hassle. The first step in planning your budget is to calculate your income throughout the year – this could be from Student Finance, a part-time job, or perhaps family. The next step is to estimate your expenses; remember to be realistic and include non-essentials as well. Now is the time to compare. Will you have enough income to cover your estimated expenses throughout the year? If not, you may need to reconsider some of your expenses or explore other income opportunities. If you’re struggling to balance your budget, contact your university’s student services team.

Creating your budget is just the beginning – sticking to it is often the hardest part, especially since undergraduate finances are paid quarterly, not weekly. Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting “tricks” to help you stay in control of your money. One of the most useful tricks is a technique called “drip”, where you can set up a standing order for a certain amount of money to be transferred from your main account to a second bank account every week. . This way you only need to manage your money one week at a time – much more manageable and much less scary. Managing your money is a life skill that everyone needs to learn at some point. It’s okay to make mistakes, but try not to let things get out of hand. There’s no shame in asking for help with budgeting – believe me, we’ve all been there.

Many banks offer “student bank accounts”, i.e. bank accounts exclusively for university students. Some banks offer enticing gifts or interest-free overdrafts for student bank accounts as incentives to switch. So how do you choose? While a good overdraft facility is useful if you need to borrow money short-term, the best bank account is the one that helps you manage your money most effectively.

If you prefer to talk to someone face-to-face, look for banks with branches near your campus; while if you like managing your money on the go, look for a bank with good app facilities (and if you can also set spending limits in the app, that’s a bonus!)

If you decide to switch, remember to update your bank details in your Student Finance portal to ensure you can get paid.

Even the best budgeter can deal with unexpected emergencies. The unexpected train trip home or the broken laptop screen – you can’t plan everything. Keeping a small emergency fund can be useful in these situations, even if it’s just £50 in a piggy bank. Overdrafts can be a useful alternative to an emergency fund, but if you’re starting to find that you’re spending more time in your overdraft than out of it, it’s time to seek help.

The best advice I can give is to never be afraid to ask for help.

Many universities, including Keele, offer financial advice and support for students who are experiencing unexpected financial difficulties.

This could be through a ‘hardship fund’ or there could be alternative support available. Whether you’re having funding issues or struggling to make ends meet, we want to help.

Check your university’s website for information on advice and support available to you, or contact your student services team.

Finally, good luck with your college experience.

Three years may seem like a long time right now, but time flies when you’re having fun.