This robot can grow and it may help perform surgery one day

first_imgResearchers have developed a proof-of-concept robot that is able to grow, a functionality that may have big implications for the medical field in coming years, though there are other potential uses for such a creation. The robot doesn’t grow how you’re likely imaging — it’s not like a human, that is. Instead, the growing robot can be imagined as something like a climbing vine, being equipped with the ability to extend its reach via a growing tip. That tip itself can accommodate many types of environments. The proof-of-concept was created by researchers with Stanford University and UC Santa Barbara; they describe their creation as a tubular robot, one that can navigate through various narrow environments by extending a tip that continues further outward. The robot senses the environment it is in during this growing process, basically expanding open in the same way as a party blower.While you could imagine this robot as being like a balloon expanding with air, the researchers explain that it does not expand across its body, but instead only at the tip. In that way it is like a vine growing forward (at a faster rate, no doubt); this particular aspect of its functionality was a top priority for the project.Because the pressure doesn’t cause the robot to grow along its body length but instead only at the tip, it is able to navigate through narrow, constrained surfaces without generating friction. By adding sensors and cameras to the robot, such an ability could prove useful in searching through rubble in search-and-rescue missions. The researchers explain that this capability can also be leveraged in surgery.Unlike a surgical catheter, which has a static size, the expandable portion of this robot can adapt to narrower blood vessels and other routes, navigating the passages without risk of bunching up or penetrating the vessel wall. In this way, the extending tip could be used to pull along a catheter through a blood vessel while greatly minimizing risk to that vessel. Further work on developing these capabilities is ongoing.SOURCE: EurekAlertlast_img read more

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Google Street View employs AI to read street business signs

first_imgGoogle Street View is all grown up. For the first time in nearly eight years, its cameras are finally getting an upgrade. But more than just producing clearer and crisper images, the higher quality images from the more powerful hardware have another purpose. In line with Google’s favorite obsession, Google Street View is putting machine learning and artificial intelligence to work, using these high res images to detect, process, and, if necessary, translate street names and business signs, making it even easier to index the whole, physical world and put them in Google’s hands. Street View has been to all sorts of places where very few of us can even dream of reaching. And, no, we’re not just referring to exotic vacation spots. Under the sea, near a volcano, and even in outer space, Street View has been there so that we won’t have to. And yet, until recently, it has been an excruciating and partly manual process.Google is the master of making computers do the work instead of inefficient and error-prone humans. While that is fine for things like text or even voice search, indexing the physical world is a slightly different and more complicated affair. Fortunately, Google has also been building its library of computer vision algorithms and techniques, which t can put to good use in Street View.But in order to analyze those Street View images, Google needs better images in the first place. That’s why it has employed the expertise of Steve Silverman, who has helped build cameras for two of NASA’s Mars rovers. This resulted in a significant reduction in the number of cameras on a custom-purpose Hyundai Street View car, from 15 down to 7 cameras, each with a 20 megapixel sensor.But just as important are the two side-facing HD cameras whose sole purpose is to capture images of human readable signs and names. These are then fed to Google’s machine learning computers. More than just interpreting image to text, Google’s algorithms also weed out unnecessary information, like ads or slogans, and interpolate abbreviations into their full street names, for example. This, together with user-submitted 360-degree videos, help keep Google’s mapping platform at the top, even while rivals like Microsoft and Apple try to nibble at a tiny part of the Google Maps pie.SOURCE: WIREDlast_img read more

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Google Pixel 2 revealed in XL pack of details

first_imgThis morning the folks at Google revealed the Google Pixel 2, a device that takes the original Pixel to a new level in functionality and power. This device is actually two devices, coming in as the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. The smaller of the two devices is quite similar to its predecessor save a new processor and camera setup, while the larger device has a significantly different display, as well. Story TimelineGoogle Home can now finally set and manage remindersGoogle Pixel 2 XL vs 1 : Release, Pricing, and SpecsGoogle Pixel 2 event live stream video: Watch it here!Google Home Mini release and price as tiny as the deviceGoogle lists device sales numbers at Pixel 2 eventGoogle Pixelbook revealed with Pixelbook PenPixelbook release info and pricing is bonkersPixel 2 on-device machine learning sends no info to GoogleGoogle Pixel 2 release dates and prices revealed with tweaks Back-facing cameras will roll with 12-megapixel sensors while the front-facing cameras will be 8-megapixels deep. These cameras should (hopefully) perform as well as or better than last year’s Pixels, which until the iPhone 8 was released, dominated the smartphone camera best-of charts around the world. Have a peek at our Android Hub for more information on the Pixel 2. The above gallery and the below timeline will give you all you need for info on this set of devices as well. We’ll have our own hands-on with the device today (very soon) and our own review as soon as possible! center_img The Google Pixel 2 XL works with a P-OLED display with 2880 x 1400 pixel resolution. That comes out to a cool 538 PPI (pixels per inch) across a 6-inch panel. This device has Gorilla Glass 5 across its face for scratch resistance, and Android Oreo will be on the device right out the box. SEE TO COMPARE: Google Pixel 2 XL vs (first gen)The display for the Pixel 2 XL is longer than it was before – or taller, however you look at it. It comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio where the first Pixel XL came with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It also has a slightly smaller set of bezels on the right and left of the display (when held in portrait mode), and a slightly larger set of bezels above and below to make way for 2x front-facing speakers. Inside Google’s packed the Google Assistant – available from any screen. On the back of both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is a fingerprint reader which, like the original Pixel, also allows the notifications panel to be pulled down with a swipe.The battery inside this device is a whopper with 3520 mAh – charged with USB-C, only. Both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM. Inside there’ll be 64GB of data storage with no micro-SD card for storage expansion.The only card you’ll be putting in this device is a nano-SIM card, though there’ll also be an embedded SIM (a permanent eSIM) for international travel and whatnot. All major carriers in the United States will be able to roll with these devices as they’re covered for both GSM and CDMA data. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL work with Active Edge. This is the HTC-made feature that allows the device to activate a wide array of abilities by squeezing the edges of the device. It’ll activate Google Assistant or take a selfie – and a whole lot of other things, too.There’s no headphone jack on either model. I can’t even handle this, but I feel I’ve successfully described my full feelings on the matter back in the article called I Swear To God. last_img read more

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Cortana bypassed passwords to browse sites on locked PCs

first_imgIt was only recently that Microsoft added the ability to use Cortana from the Windows 10 lock screen. That in itself isn’t exactly revolutionary, as others like Siri or Google Assistant are able to do so as well on smartphones. Normally, you’d expect that functionality would be limited while the screen is locked, which is exactly the case with Google Assistant and Siri. Not for Cortana in this specific case.Users can tell Cortana to go to a website even when the computer is locked. Cortana then dutifully loads the website, even when it doesn’t make sense because it won’t be visible anyway. But more than just a nonsensical oddity, it can actually be a gateway to gaining unauthorized access to the computer and, consequently, any other computer connected to the same network. The researchers plugged in a USB with a network adapter that will capture web requests and redirect them to a malicious site. That site will then automatically download and install malware that will then provide hackers access to the computer. Of course, it does require them to have physical access to that PC, but only temporarily. And once that PC has been compromised, they can use a variety of tactics to infect other computers sitting on the same network, sometimes through Cortana as well.Microsoft was already made aware of the vulnerability and its response is amusing, to say the least. Instead of opening the web page directly, Cortana will now redirect the command to Bing search. It will, however, still respond to the command and the researchers are trying to find other such cases where Cortana can be used to bypass security. Alternatively, you can also set Cortana to respond only to your voice and not others’, but that has also been proven not to be so foolproof as well. AI-powered smart assistants have become the newest weapons tech companies have in the market. For some people, they are life-changing and habit-forming. For others, they are mere curiosities. But for a certain group of tech-savvy users, they are opportunities to hack into devices. Two Israeli security researchers have come across a way to download malware onto a Windows PC, even when it’s locked. All because Cortana might have been too helpful to give users, whether its own or others, a helping hand.last_img read more

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 teardown same old same old

It’s not really surprising, especially if you’ve been keeping an eye on the Surface line for years. Just as smartphones have become less self-repair friendly as they become more closed in their designs, unibody slates like the Surface Pro 6 are just as tough to not crack while opening.That’s because getting inside the Surface Pro 6 is one tough job. Fortunately, iFixit already had lots of experience that didn’t end in disasters. In fact, the Surface Pro 6 is almost nearly identical that everything is almost in the same place and nothing has changed.Well, almost nothing. There are new heat spreaders to compensate for the more powerful hardware. And those spreaders seem to use graphite rather than the usual copper. That part wasn’t advertised much so it will be interesting to see how well they’ll perform in practice.All in all, the Surface Pro 6 scored a dismal 1 out of 10 on iFixit’s meter. Getting inside was difficult enough with all the adhesive but most of the parts are also not easily replaceable, including the SSD. The only good thing? There’s a modular headphone jack and the screws are standard Torx, but that’s almost a negligible gain. You’d be forgiven if you got a major case of deja vu seeing this year’s new Surface Pro 6. Unless you got the savvy new matte black color, you might, like iFixit, think you bought a spare “new Surface Pro” (2017). The incremental upgrade path is almost similar to what Apple has successfully been doing with its MacBooks. And to really drive the MacBook similarity home, the Surface Pro 6 also enjoys the same low repairability score of Apple’s premium notebooks. read more

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Teslas entire 2018 Model 3 production is almost all taken

first_imgThe first Model 3 deliveries are pencilled in for the end of 2017, but according to Musk today, right now Tesla is looking at its entire production for 2018 being reserved too. If you want a 2018 delivery, the outspoken CEO says, you should reserve your Model 3 “soon”. Tesla has already said it plans to ramp up production to try to meet the greater-than-anticipated demand for the Model 3, though even that might not be enough to sate interest in the car.Of course, that’s assuming that every person who reserves a Model 3 goes on to place an actual order, and a lot can change between now and when the order books open for real. Tesla is taking a $1,000 deposit as part of the reservations process, but since that’s fully-refundable there’s not much of a downside to holding a space but leaving the flexibility to pick a different car in the meantime. There should be a few interesting options to choose between, too, what with Chevrolet likely to make a big deal about the upcoming Bolt EV. That’s going to beat Tesla to market by a considerable margin, with sales of the hatchback kicking off later in 2016.Tesla hasn’t made any public estimates around how many of the 400,000+ reservations will drop off before placing a full order. NOW READ: Riding Tesla’s Model 3To help avoid line-squatters, reservations can’t be sold or exchanged, only refunded. Still, when the initial Model 3 cars finally do roll off the production line, their keys are likely to be in high demand and there’s almost certain to be a lot of cash changing hands from those wanting to jump the queue and with pockets deep enough to do that. Tesla is increasing the production ramp as fast as possible, but I’d recommend ordering a Model 3 soon if you want 2018 delivery— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 5, 2016 Affordable sedans don’t typically find themselves on the “covet” side of the supply/demand curve, but it’s looking like the Tesla Model 3 will buck that trend. The most affordable model in the automaker’s all-electric line-up has already seen record reservations, and now CEO Elon Musk is warning that those who don’t stake a place in line may be forced to wait even longer than initially expected. Story TimelineElon Musk feeds Tesla Model 3 fire with new car detailsTesla: “Hubris” soured Model X launch, but we learned our lesson for Model 3Tesla’s going to leapfrog rivals with Model 3 AutopilotModel 3 demand spurs Tesla to boost production planslast_img read more

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MercedesAMG GT fourdoor coupe spied before Geneva debut

first_imgStory TimelineMercedes-AMG GT Concept is a hybrid for hooligansMercedes-AMG 53-series CLS, E-Class Coupe and Cabrio debutThe 2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS53 is one mean-looking hybridProject ONE: SlashGear interviews AMG Head Tobias MoersCigarette Racing 515 Project ONE channels Mercedes-AMG spirit Seeing as how Mercedes has released these photos themselves, they’re hardly “real” spy photos, but they still do the job of teasing the new AMG GT, showing some road tests in action. The camouflage does nothing to hide the fact that this is clearly a Mercedes-AMG vehicle, and along with clear looks at the four doors, details like the quad tailpipes can be spotted.It’s also nice to see the GT Concept’s aggressive design has remained largely intact, with the lines of the overall profile, including the window shapes, appearing almost identical. The front grille has been slightly altered, with the large vent holes nowhere to be seen, and the flashy chrome wheels of the concept have been replaced with a standard five-spoke set. At the Geneva Motor Show last year, Mercedes-AMG wowed everyone with its impressive GT Concept. Now, this year’s show — less than a month away — will see the debut of the real thing: Mercedes’ latest take on blurring the line between a performance sedan and a so-called four-door coupe. To help build anticipation, a set of spy-themed photos of the four-door GT have been released, complete with camouflage. AdChoices广告 Unfortunately Mercedes’ tease offers no solid details about the four-door GT, leaving us all wonder what’s really under the hood. While last year’s concept featured an impressive hybrid powertrain, combining an electric engine with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 to produce 805 horsepower, the production version is widely expected to rely solely on the V8. There’s still a chance AMG could release a top-of-the-line hybrid model down the line, but we’ll have to wait until the 2018 Geneva Motor Show begins on March 6th to find out more.SOURCE Mercedes-Benzlast_img read more

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Study For Children On Medicaid Prescriptions Often Go Unfilled

first_imgStudy: For Children On Medicaid, Prescriptions Often Go Unfilled Reuters: Kids’ Prescriptions Often Going UnfilledA large share of medication prescriptions to children on Medicaid may go unfilled, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 17,000 prescriptions made to kids at two urban clinics, 22 percent were never filled. That’s similar to what’s been seen in studies of adults – among whom anywhere from 16 percent to 24 percent of prescriptions go unfilled (Norton, 9/25). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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First Edition May 22 2013

first_imgFirst Edition: May 22, 2013 Today’s headlines include reports about how the Medicaid expansion is shaking out in Virginia and Texas, as well as a report about the role health care is playing as the House attempts to negotiate an immigration reform measure.   Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Survey: Even In Southern States, Medicaid Expansion Is Popular; Accuracy of Blood Glucose Meters Draws ScrutinyNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Karl Eisenhower reports on a poll of public opinion in southern states and the health law: “Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina have a lot in common: The summers are hot and the political climates are conservative. These are states where Mitt Romney handily beat Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, so it’s not surprising to learn that the president’s signature health law is unpopular there. But despite the law’s unpopularity, its expansion of Medicaid is supported by almost two-thirds of adults in these states, according to a survey by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a left-leaning think tank” (Eisenhower, 5/21).Also on Capsules, Phil Galewitz reports on the accuracy of blood glucose meters: “Blood glucose meters, which millions of diabetics rely upon to regulate their blood sugar, have become less costly and easier and less painful to use. But they haven’t become more accurate, a top Food and Drug Administration official said Tuesday at a meeting of researchers analyzing studies that show wide variation in the performance of the machines used to measure blood glucose levels” (Galewitz, 5/21). Check out what else is on the blog.The New York Times: For Tea Party Groups, Shades Of 2010Leaders of the Tea Party movement hope outrage over the I.R.S. inquiry will rekindle grass-roots activism that in many places went dormant after big Republican electoral defeats of November 2012. They aim to link the current scandal to other government programs they consider overweening — principally the rollout of the health care overhaul law — and generate a Republican wave in the 2014 midterm elections reminiscent of 2010’s (Gabriel, 5/21).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Major Savings Reform Va. Demanded To Expand Medicaid Gets Approval From Federal OfficialsFederal officials approved a four-year Virginia cost-saving experiment intended to simplify and consolidate health care coverage for about 78,000 Virginians who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, a major change Gov. Bob McDonnell set as a condition for expanding Medicaid (5/21).The New York Times/Reuters: Texas: House Votes to Ban Medicaid ExpansionThe Texas House passed a measure on Tuesday that would prevent the state from expanding its Medicaid program as outlined by President Obama’s health care law (5/21).USA Today: Market, Insurers Will Keep Premiums Low, Analysts SayMarket forces and an impetus to attract younger, healthier people into the insurance market will help keep health insurance premiums lower as the 2010 health care law takes effect on Jan. 1, industry analysts and insurance officials say. “If they price too high, young people won’t buy insurance, and that’s going to hurt the companies,” said Jay Angoff, who led initial implementation of the law for HHS. “They need these people to come in. It’s an industry problem” (Kennedy, 5/21).Politico: Courts To Hear Birth Control Mandate LawsuitsObamacare’s birth control mandate will go before four different appeals courts over the next three weeks as private businesses that object to the policy on religious liberty grounds bring a barrage of lawsuits that opponents hope to get before the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as this fall. On Wednesday, two for-profit companies will ask the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike the requirement that they provide employees with insurance coverage that includes birth control and other drugs that they say can cause abortion. Three other companies will present oral arguments in different appeals courts by early June (Smith and Haberkorn, 5/22).The Wall Street Journal: Electronic Health Data Gaining FavorMore than half of U.S. doctors have switched to electronic health records and are using them to manage patients’ basic medical information and prescriptions, according to federal data set to be released Wednesday. The Department of Health and Human Services says it has reached a tipping point as it seeks to steer medical providers away from paper records (Radnofsky, 5/22).The Washington Post: The End Of Health Price Secrecy May Be Starting In MiamiSpurred by the release of the Medicare data, the chief executive of Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami has now pledged to release those negotiated rates that tend to be kept secret. Via MedCity News: Steve Sonenreich, chief executive of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, made a public pledge Monday to divulge the contractual rates the hospital pays private insurers for diagnoses and treatments (Kliff, 5/21).Politico: House Immigration Talks Hang On Health CareHouse immigration negotiators have given themselves until the end of the week to hash out language on what kind of health benefits should be available to undocumented immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship, a crucial issue for the talks. If they can’t resolve this issue, the four-year immigration negotiations could come to a crashing halt (Sherman and Bresnahan, 5/21).The Associated Press/Washington Post: House GOP Panel Approves Agency Budget Cuts Far Deeper Than Those Approved In MarchRepublicans controlling the House pressed ahead Tuesday with slashing cuts to domestic programs far deeper than the cuts departments like Education, Interior and State are facing under an already painful round of automatic austerity. Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and the Pentagon would be spared under the plan approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote, but legislation responsible for federal firefighting efforts and Indian health care would absorb a cut of 18 percent below legislation adopted in March (5/21).The New York Times: Arizona Law On Abortions Struck Down As RestrictiveA federal appellate panel struck down Arizona’s abortion law on Tuesday, saying it was unconstitutional “under a long line of invariant Supreme Court precedents” that guarantee a woman’s right to end a pregnancy any time before a fetus is deemed viable outside her womb — generally at 24 weeks (Santos, 5/21).The Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Strikes Down Arizona Abortion LawArizona is among a number of states that have tried to restrict the practice in recent months, while other states have weighed laws that would strengthen abortion rights. For instance, a bill recently proposed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, would expand women’s access to late-term abortions (Jones, 5/21).The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times: Arizona Abortion Ban Struck DownA three-judge panel of the court said the law violated a woman’s constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus can survive outside the womb. “Viability” is generally considered to begin at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks (5/21).Los Angeles Times: Strike At UC Medical Centers Continues; More Picketing WednesdayAs the afternoon wore on, the number of union members on the picket lines at the University of California medical centers started to thin. But hundreds of workers concerned about staffing levels and pension reforms planned to continue striking throughout the evening. Union spokesman Todd Stenhouse said that the decision to strike was a difficult one for many (Gorman and LaGanga, 5/21). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Insurers Providers Spar For Bigger Profits

first_img Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: FDA Approves Cancer Drugs Without Proof They’re Extending Lives The New York Times: As Insurers Try to Limit Costs, Providers Hit Patients With More Separate Fees And court delays hinder an SEC probe into insider trading – Insurers, Providers, Spar For Bigger Profits As insurers ratchet down payments to physicians and hospitals, these providers are pushing back by imposing a host of new charges on consumers. Kaiser Health News: Family Doctors Push For A Bigger Piece Of The Health Care Pie Prosecutors gathering evidence into whether congressional staff helped tip Wall Street traders to a change in health-care policy have hit a snag: a sluggish court system. A Securities and Exchange Commission attorney said Friday that delays by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York have “impeded” its investigation. (Ackerman, 10/24) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.center_img The Wall Street Journal: SEC Says House Trading Probe Hindered By Court Delays For decades, researchers have focused on developing new cancer drugs that save lives or improve the quality of life. But when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed Inlyta, a $10,000 a month drug, on the market in 2012, there was no proof that it did either. Inlyta is not an exception to the rule. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today analysis of 54 new cancer drugs found that over the last decade the FDA allowed 74% of them on the market without proof that they extended life. Seldom was there proof of improved quality of life, either. (Fauber, 10/26) Leo Boudreau of Massachusetts was thrilled to find a psychologist in his insurance network to treat his teenage daughter for emotional stress related to a medical condition. … But he was surprised when the bill for each visit contained two charges: the approximately $100 he expected to see for the therapist — and a similar fee for the room, which was not covered. … As insurers ratchet down payments to physicians and hospitals, these providers are pushing back with a host of new charges. … as insurers and providers fight over revenue in an era of cost control, patients often find themselves caught in the middle, nickel-and-dimed. (Rosenthal, 10/25) Meanwhile, an analysis of new cancer drugs finds that many are approved without proving that they extend life – Family medicine doctors are joining forces to win a bigger role in health care – and be paid for it. Eight family-physician-related groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, have formed Family Medicine for America’s Health, a coalition to sweeten the public perception of what they do and advance their interests through state and federal policies. (Gillespie, 10/24) last_img read more

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State Highlights Conn Panel Endorses Strategies To Control Health Care Costs Fla

first_img Nearly a dozen state and local lawmakers Monday called for more money and staff to combat the “crisis” of childhood lead-poisoning in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the state. Several Philadelphia council members also said the city must enforce existing laws to crack down on landlords whose properties injure families with unsafe levels of lead contamination. (Laker, 10/31) Justices heard arguments Tuesday morning over whether to keep in place an injunction that has blocked the waiting period from being enforced for most of the past year and a half. A Tallahassee circuit judge agreed to block the law while a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a Gainesville abortion clinic moves forward. The Supreme Court won’t yet rule on whether the law is constitutional, but because a lawsuit over constitutionality could take years, the justices’ ruling could determine, for years to come, if the 24-hour waiting period goes into effect. (Auslen, 11/1) Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday called on the Obama administration to expedite federal funding for the Zika virus to the state. … Congress approved $1.1 billion in federal funding for the virus in September after months of negotiations. The Department of Health and Human Services has defended the speed at which the money is being distributed, saying that the administration must take the appropriate steps now that the money has been allocated. The Centers for Disease Control says it has provided nearly $16.5 million in Zika-specific funding to the state, and more than $29 million in Public Health Emergency Program funding that can go toward responding to the virus. (McIntire, 11/1) Sacramento Bee: The Sacramento City Council Will Weight The High Costs And Benefits Of An Experimental “Pit Stop” Toilet Program For Homeless People A state panel voted Tuesday to recommend several strategies to control health care costs and reshape the way care is delivered. They included creating a state office to oversee health reform efforts and adopting a controversial payment model under which health care providers could lose money if they don’t hit quality and cost targets when caring for Medicaid patients and state employees. The Health Care Cabinet also appeared poised to recommend setting a target for health care cost growth in the state, although members did not yet vote on it. (Levin Becker, 11/2) Babies in midsize Kansas counties were more likely to die before their first birthdays than those in counties with larger or smaller populations, according to the 2016 Kids Count report. The annual report, produced by Kansas Action for Children, compares counties on a variety of measures related to children’s health, financial well-being and educational prospects. In some cases, the most recent data was from 2015, while in others it was from 2014. Statewide, infant mortality fell from 6.2 deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2011 to 5.9 deaths in 2015. Some areas continued to struggle with persistently high rates, however. (Wingerter, 11/1) State Highlights: Conn. Panel Endorses Strategies To Control Health Care Costs; Fla. Gov. Urges Feds To Expedite Zika Emergency Funding Outlets report on health news from Connecticut, Florida, California, Washington, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. A non-invasive bladder monitor, software to combat lung cancer and an app that identifies high-risk sexual behavior in adolescents are three technologies being developed right here in the Denver area. The three companies took the top awards at the recent Prime Health Challenge $150,000 competition that started with 30 contestants. Littleton’s dBMEDx won the $75,000 top prize for its BBS Revolution, a device that scans a person’s bladder to determine volume — and nix the invasive catheter. Denver’s Matrix Analytics, awarded $50,000 for its second-place finish, collects data to optimize care of patients with lung cancer. (Chuang, 11/1) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sheboygan Employers Eye Vincent Seniors The Washington Post: Seattle Cancer Center Bets Big On Experimental T-Cell Immunotherapy Businesses in Sheboygan County, where staffing shortages are so intense they bus workers in from Milwaukee, now have a new pool of potential recruits: seniors at Milwaukee’s Vincent High School. Milwaukee Public Schools and the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. on Tuesday announced a collaboration aimed at exposing interested Vincent seniors to the industries and employment opportunities two counties to the north. The program is modeled after a similar initiative known as the Joseph Project, in which a Milwaukee church transports local men — primarily African-American men who have subsisted on temporary jobs — to Sheboygan for more stable positions in factories there. (Johnson, 11/1) The Philadelphia Inquirer: Public Officials Demand Action On Philly’s Lead-Paint Scourge California Healthline: Maverick AIDS Activist To Porn Police? The Man Behind California’s Proposition 60 Kansas Health Institute: Kids Count Report Shows Infant Death Rates Vary Among Kansas Counties  Orlando Sentinel: Sanford Burnham Scientists Worry About Their Future  As the state pushes to reclaim half of the $150 million it invested to lure Sanford Burnham to Orlando, one of the research institute’s most prized assets — its intellectual talent pool — remains in flux. The faculty’s uncertain future casts a shadow on the Lake Nona Medical City — the cluster of universities, hospitals and research facilities that’s reaching the critical mass that stakeholders have been touting and hoping for. (Miller and Shanklin, 11/1) Inova Health System is nearing a $112 million deal with the University of Virginia School of Medicine to bolster its effort to become a national leader in genomics and cancer research. Leaders from both organizations plan to announce an agreement Wednesday to form a research partnership and bring a regional campus of the university’s medical school to Inova’s planned Center for Personalized Health in Merrifield. (O’Connell, 11/2) center_img The Washington Post: Inova Lures U-Va. To Northern Virginia With $112 Million Research Center Tampa Bay Times: Justices Consider 24-Hour Waiting Period For Abortions Denver Post: Prime Health’s High-Tech Challenge Awards $150K To Digital Startups  Morning Consult: Florida Governor Calls On Administration To Speed Up Zika Money Disbursement Chicago Tribune: New Cook County Clinic Aims To Keep Mentally Ill Out Of Jail Emergency medical technicians feared for their lives during an altercation with a mentally ill man who was shot by police Sunday morning, according to community leaders and others who attended a meeting on Monday with law enforcement officials. Police Commissioner William B. Evans and EMS Chief James Hooley met with roughly a dozen clergy, civic leaders, and lawmakers to discuss the shooting of Terrence Coleman in the doorway of his South End apartment. Police said Coleman had a knife, but his family and a neighbor dispute that account. (Ransom, 11/2 The Star Tribune: Minnesota’s Student Survey Finds Sharp Drop In Teen Smoking, Drinking, Sex  The CT Mirror: Panel Endorses Strategies To Curb Health Costs, Redesign Care System  The man behind Proposition 60 — and all those billboards — is Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and a long-time maverick in gay activist circles. The nonprofit runs pharmacies and provides HIV care in 13 states and 37 countries, and gave away 38.5 million condoms last year. It’s putting $4.5 million from its pharmacy sales into backing the Proposition 60 condom mandate. (It also put $14.7 million behind Proposition 61, Weinstein’s initiative aimed at lowering drug prices.) Weinstein said he’s steadfastly promoting condoms when other groups seem to have forgotten them. (Dembosky, 11/2) The Community Triage Center, which opened in recent weeks, is meant to keep more people with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems out of jail and the hospital. The idea is that people with those issues can visit the walk-in center for assessments, support and referrals. Police also can bring people to the center if they believe they’d be better served there than in the hospital or behind bars. The center, modeled after similar programs in Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Antonio, Texas, is believed to be the first of its kind in Chicago. (Schencker, 11/1) About 90 people a day use a staffed, portable restroom set up in June near Sacramento’s largest homeless services center. The idea is to reduce outdoor human waste while giving homeless people a bit more dignity. But the restroom has cost the city about $1,000 a day, nearly 75 percent higher than the initial estimated cost for the project, according to a city staff report. (Reese and Chabria, 11/1) Boston Globe: EMTs Are Said To Have Feared For Their Lives Before Police Killed Boston Man  Suzanne McCarroll, a television news reporter in Denver, had been in remission from non-Hodgkin lymphoma for almost eight years when the cancer returned in May 2015. She had a stem-cell transplant, but the disease came back again in January. What, she wondered, should she do now? After talking to her doctor and her brother, a neurobiologist at Harvard, McCarroll enrolled in an early-stage clinical trial using immunotherapy at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Researcher Center in Seattle. (McGinley, 11/1) Smoking among Minnesota teenagers has dropped to an all-time low, and other risky behaviors such as sexual activity and marijuana use are continuing a steady long-term decline. At the same time, the number of teens reporting emotional or mental health problems has risen sharply, and teen use of tobacco and alcohol show persistent gaps along lines of race and income. But overall, the latest Minnesota Student Survey, released Tuesday by the Department of Health, paints an encouraging picture of the state’s adolescents, public health officials said. (Howatt, 11/1) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Renewed Scrutiny Of 340B Program Seems Like Win For Pharma But Drugmakers

first_img The Hill: PhRMA Expresses ‘Serious Concerns’ With Trump Drug Pricing Proposals Politico Pro: CMS Drug Dashboards Reveal Big Price Hikes The U.S spent 60 percent more on drugs for Medicare patients in 2016 than it did in four years earlier, according to newly released federal data, countering pharmaceutical industry arguments that prescription medicine represents only a small and stable portion of health-care costs. Among top-selling drugs in the program, the per-unit cost of Sanofi’s Renvela, which is used by dialysis patients, climbed by an average of 21.6 percent between 2012 and 2016, the most recent year for which data are available. Unit costs for AbbVie Inc.’s Humira, a blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug, rose at an average pace of 18 percent a year during the same period, according to the figures released Tuesday by the Trump administration. (Langreth and Edney, 5/15) Stat: Taking Aim At 340B Drug Program, Lawmakers Target Both Hospitals And Pharma Bloomberg: Trump’s Attempt To Shame Drugmakers Shows Medicare Costs Soaring  The Hill: GOP Chairman Plans Hearings On Trump Drug Pricing Proposals  Dozens of Medicare and Medicaid drugs more than doubled in price between 2015 and 2016, according to new data CMS released Tuesday. However, the drugs with the biggest percentage increases often were not the ones that accounted for the most program spending. Drugs that accounted for the highest total spending in Medicare Part B and D and Medicaid in 2016 tended to post increases of under 20 percent, with many under 10 percent. (Karlin-Smith, 5/15) The main drug industry lobbying group on Tuesday said that it had “serious concerns” with major elements of President Trump’s new plan to bring down drug prices. In the first extended remarks on the plan since Trump unveiled it last Friday, Lori Reilly, an executive vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), pointed to several proposals she said would harm patient access to drugs. (Sullivan, 5/15) Renewed Scrutiny Of 340B Program Seems Like Win For Pharma, But Drugmakers Shouldn’t Celebrate Yet Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress show interest in increasing oversight to the drug discount program that the pharmaceutical industry wants reined in. But lawmakers’ attention isn’t solely directed at the role of hospitals. Meanwhile, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) plans a hearing about President Donald Trump’s plans to curb high drug prices, and the industry’s lobbying group has some “serious concerns” with the president’s blueprint. They don’t agree on the details, but both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are ready to ramp up oversight of a federal drug discount program that hospitals generally support — and drug makers tend to want to rein in. On its face, the increasing congressional scrutiny seems like a win for the pharmaceutical industry, which has bucked against the status quo. But lawmakers at a Tuesday hearing on the program, known as 340B, signaled an interest in taking aim at both industries. (Mershon, 5/15) Modern Healthcare: Senate Committee Turns 340B Spotlight On Drugmakers Lawmakers turned their sharp scrutiny of the 340B program on drugmakers Tuesday, questioning why states and providers don’t know the ceiling prices within the drug discount program. In a hearing Tuesday, members of the Senate health committee asked government watchdogs why the Trump administration has delayed for the fifth time a rule that would set ceiling prices and why 340B hospitals don’t know what they ought to be paying for the discounted drugs. (Luthi, 5/15) Bloomberg: $100,000 Drugs Get Targeted For Discounts Under Trump’s Plan  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Tuesday that he plans to conduct hearings on some of President Trump’s new proposals to bring down drug prices. Brady said it is too early to tell if the committee will move legislation on the issue, but said he wanted to consider the ideas. …Brady said he particularly liked items in the proposal to bring drugs to market faster to increase competition, as well as ideas to make sure that savings from insurer negotiations with drug companies make their way to consumers. (Sullivan, 5/15) The key proposal in President Donald Trump’s plan to lower the price of some of the most expensive drugs would open up those treatments to price negotiation, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. Trump had once pledged, to the chagrin of many Republicans, that the federal government would be doing the negotiating, using its enormous buying power to drive down prices. But the plan his administration announced last week made no mention of that strategy. Instead, the new goal is to shift the coverage of some drugs so that insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers can negotiate better deals. (Edney and Langreth, 5/15) The Wall Street Journal: Investors, Brace Yourselves For More Drug-Price Drama The next leg of the Trump administration’s plan to lower the cost of drug prices could get ugly for investors. As soon as Thursday the Food and Drug Administration plans to publish a database of complaint letters from generic drug companies to the agency alleging anticompetitive activities from branded pharmaceutical companies. It is likely that some complaints will pertain to high-price blockbuster drugs that investors watch most closely. (Grant, 5/16) Prescription Drug Watch: For more news on high drug costs, check out our weekly feature, which includes coverage and perspectives of the issue. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Philips Hue and Echo Dot Deal Save £7599 on the Smart Home

first_imgDeals It’s 2019. If you don’t have at least one smart home feature in your household, you’re doing it wrong. Let’s face it, the easiest place to start is a quick light bulb change.Now including an Echo Dot speaker in this bundle, it’s never been a better time to jump on the smart home hype. Going hand in hand together, integration is simple – and the features are sure to leave you geeking out. Not only can you use voice control, you can also set the mood with a not too shabby 16 million colour options.Including two B22 bulbs, a Hue Bridge, and the Echo Dot, this starter kit includes everything you need to set your home aglow. With an A+ Efficiency Level on the 10W bulbs, the ability to manage your lighting even when you’re not in is a great environmental advantage. Ensure you’re preserving energy whilst you’re out, but still coming home to a well lit, cosy space.Even niftier, especially in the daylight saving hours, benefit from smart lighting that helps you to wake up more easily in the morning. On those darker mornings, you can preset timings to allow your lights to gradually come on, brightening to emanate the sun rising. Similarly, you can also use warmer white tones to slowly calm and prepare your body for sleep at night.With the Currys PC World bundle, you can link your bulbs up to other smart gadgets for a better connected home, with your Echo Dot being the first port of call. Utilising their Hue Sync app, the colour the bulb emits can adapt to what you see on screen or the music you play to create an even cooler atmosphere, too. Philips Hue & Amazon Echo Dot BundleHue White and Colour Ambience Mini B22 Smart Bulb Starter Kit & Echo Dot (2018) BundleA great way to kickstart your smart home system, enjoy over 50,000 colour profile options with the Philips Hue bulb. Add an Echo Dot speaker to boot and benefit from Alexa’s assistance in turning the lights on and off.Currys PC World|Save £75.99|Now £89.99View DealNow £89.99|Save £75.99|Currys PC World The heart of your lighting system, the Hue Bridge quite literally bridges the gaps between all app functions and the smart lights themselves. If you don’t have a Philips Hue system already set up then the Bridge is essential.Want to create the reading nook to beat all reading nooks, or an almost immersive movie night experience? With the ability to adjust even white lights with over 50,000 variations, transport your home not only into the smart home world, but into other worlds and dimensions. With a £75.99 discount, this Philips Hue and Echo Dot set is likely one of the coolest purchases you’ll make, just saying.For more amazing offers, follow us @TrustedDealsUK We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Let there be light. Bring your home into the 21st Century with this must-have smart home bundle of dreams, giving you everything you need to get started. Down to £89.99 (from £165.98), buy now from Currys PC World.Cutting the price by a substantial £75.99 when you buy in this nifty set, get two white and colour ambiance Philips Hue bulbs, a smart home hub, and — the main event — an Amazon Echo Dot. Philips Hue & Amazon Echo Dot BundleHue White and Colour Ambience Mini B22 Smart Bulb Starter Kit & Echo Dot (2018) BundleA great way to kickstart your smart home system, enjoy over 50,000 colour profile options with the Philips Hue bulb. Add an Echo Dot speaker to boot and benefit from Alexa’s assistance in turning the lights on and off.Currys PC World|Save £75.99|Now £89.99View DealNow £89.99|Save £75.99|Currys PC Worldcenter_img Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests to evaluate products in order to assess them properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. Trusted Reviews may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tell us what you think.last_img read more

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Jaguar IPace Looks Toasty After Fire Of Unknown Cause

first_imgSource: Facebook, Autobahn Pictures of the smoldering ruins appeared on Facebook (embedded below). Occurring in the village of Rumpt in the Netherlands, no mention is made of the cause of the incident. It is significant to note, though, that the battery does not appear to be the source of the combustion.It’s also worth mentioning that this could be a case of vehicle arson. As the publication Autobahn points out in its coverage of the Car-B-Que, this hamlet is very near the city of Culemborg which suffers from an unusually high number of vehicle arson events. In their (translated from Dutch) words, “In addition, Culemborg, a few kilometers to the north, is plagued by an auto-pyro man.”According to a tweet from Verge transportation reporter Sean O’Kane (embedded below), Jaguar has the crispy I-Pace in its possession and will try to determine the cause of the blaze. Said they, “Our colleagues in Europe are aware of a thermal incident w/ a vehicle in Rumpt, in the Netherlands. Jaguar is in possession of the vehicle & we are investigating the cause of the incident in cooperation w/ the local authorities. That’s all we can say at this time.”Lead Image Credit: Marco van Deick 2019 Jaguar I-PACE: A Very Rare Extended Test Drive Source: Electric Vehicle News Watch Jaguar I-Pace Crash Repeatedly To Earn 5-Star Safety Rating It is the first reported incident involving the electric crossover.Vehicle fires are an unfortunate fact of life.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about one in eight fires that fire departments respond to are burning vehicles. And it’s not just restricted to those motivated by petroleum fuel, either. Electric vehicles can also go up in smoke on occasion. Such was the sad case early last Friday morning when a fire crew was called to respond to a burning Jaguar I-Pace.More about the Jaguar I-Pace Jaguar Now Sells Over 2,000 I-PACE Per Month Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 11, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Jaguar spox:“Our colleagues in Europe are aware of a thermal incident w/ a vehicle in Rumpt, in the Netherlands. Jaguar is in possession of the vehicle & we are investigating the cause of the incident in cooperation w/ the local authorities. That’s all we can say at this time.” https://t.co/zc2dhXzCRy— Sean O’Kane (@sokane1) December 10, 2018last_img read more

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Formula E Might Boost Attack Mode Power

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Formula E Attack Mode Showcased In New Video Holden Presents Stunning Time Attack Electric Concept Racer The first iteration of the attack mode, which the FIA can change for each race, was two four-minute bursts of 225kW, with the activation zone placed in a tight off-line spot at the very beginning of the Ad Diriyah circuit’s main straight.Read also The placing of the activation zone was moved after criticism from the drivers ahead of the race, and they offered further on the system’s effectiveness after the race.When asked for his thoughts on the attack mode’s first outing and if FE was planning to make any tweaks to its use as a result, Agag said that any changes would be “nothing major”.“It depends on where we put it, positioning on the track [for future races],” he told Motorsport.com.“Maybe having a little bit more gap of energy [the attack mode’s raised level is only 25kW above the standard 200kW race power] could be a possibility, potentially making the difference bigger.“But the difference was quite visible, I think it was sufficient for guys to overtake. So minor tweaks. It worked really well.“I think it’s ground-breaking for motorsport, it’s an incredible innovation that again is being brought by Formula E. [I’m] very proud.”Several drivers said after the race that the 25kW increase was not sufficient for overtaking and many complained that the system caused them to lose too much time.“Attack mode is not enough,” said Audi’s Daniel Abt.“It’s more like a lose mode because you lose time. I lost a position activating it, and then I never properly got back it because the 25kW is not really enough to make a proper move.“We should have 250kW or something so you at least you accelerate so good that you can clearly make a move. Right now, if someone defends you do not overtake them.Lucas di Grassi outlined his belief that there are “[fewer] strategy possibilities with current format”.“Maybe if they put attack mode at qualifying power the difference will be very big,” he continued.“Or in another track maybe you have to go through pit lane to activate it – maybe there are different stuff to use these solutions.“It was very conservative [in Ad Diriyah].”But Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird reckons attack mode should lead to a greater time loss, which would reward drivers who fight back through on the higher power setting.“You [should] lose six, seven, eight seconds instead of one,” he said. “So you do definitely lose positions and then you’re fighting with new people and you have to make your way through.“A bit like the joker lap in Rallycross – same sort of concept, only you lose six-eight seconds but you’ve got more power for the next three laps. Something like that would be cool.”center_img Alejandro Agag says increased power is among the minor changes ABB FIA Formula E is considering making to the attack mode system following the 2018/19 Ad Diriyah season opener. More Details On Formula E Attack Mode Revealed Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 21, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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Proterra CEO Electric buses are close to inevitable

first_imgThe economic case for electric transit buses has become a no-brainer, Proterra CEO Ryan Popple told Bloomberg in a recent interview. The energy cost of a typical e-bus is about 20 cents per mile, compared to about 75 cents per mile for diesel. The up-front costs for e-buses are substantially higher, but Proterra recently introduced a battery-leasing model to mitigate this.The transition to electric buses is “close to inevitable atthis point,” Popple told Bloomberg. “Some mainstream middle American cities aregoing all-electric. The longer you run diesel, the more career risk you’retaking. Because ultimately, someone could come in and say, ‘Wait, you wasted$40 million of taxpayer money because you thought it was hard to figure out howto transition to EV?’”While some Chinese cities are already wellon the way to going all-electric, cities in the US and Europe are moving slowlyto replace their fleets. “Transit agencies churn or turn over one-twelfth oftheir fleet each year,” said Popple. “So even if cities started going electricnow, it means their communities are still going to be breathing diesel for 12years.”Interestingly, many of the electric buses have been showingup in smaller cities such as ParkCity, Utah (and Charged’s homecity of StPetersburg, Florida, which recently deployed two BYD e-buses), while giantmetros like NewYork and SanFrancisco are behind the curve.“Most of the early adopters have been smaller, more agilecities,” says Popple. “You see San Jose before San Francisco. You see Park Citybefore Salt Lake City. But some large cities have culturally acted like earlyadopters, including LosAngeles, Seattleand Dallas. Major cities’ requirements on a product basis are tougher. New Yorkis a great example of that. It probably has the toughest structural testingrequirements of any fleet. It’s one of the reasons why, even on the diesel busside, there are very few qualified vendors that can sell anything to New York.”The lower operating and maintenance costs of electric buses arehard to argue with, but too often e-bus vendors don’t even get a chance to maketheir pitches to transit agencies. “Diesel bus companies don’t really sellanything,” says Popple. “Procurements are on autopilot. Years ago, they put inplace a contract and built a customer relationship. It’s not that the dieselcompanies are good at marketing, it’s just everyone assumes that when theprocurement comes up, they’re just going to carbon-copy the last version ofthat contract and hand it to the vendor.“The diesel bus guy doesn’t come in and give a compellingpitch on why black smoke coming out of the bus is good. Fossil fuel maintainsits market share by people not paying attention. If you knew that New York Citywas about to buy 500 diesel buses and run them in your neighborhood, you’d goto a meeting and you’d make a public statement: ‘This is a really dumb idea andI’d prefer that my kids not breathe diesel.’ But it tends to happen withoutanybody paying attention.”Electric buses are also starting to make inroads in thenation’s school bus fleet, which makes up the largest mass transportationsystem in the nation (in 2013, there were 480,000yellow school buses on US roads, 2.5 times as many vehicles as transitbuses, motor coaches, commercial airplanes and passenger rail cars combined).Last October, Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built Buses unveiledanew electric school bus featuring a Proterra battery system.In June, a group of Democratic US Senators, including presidentialcandidates Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, introduced legislationto accelerate the electrification of the US school bus fleet. The CleanSchool Bus Act would provide $1 billion over five years to fund DOE grants forelectric school buses and charging infrastructure, giving priority to fleetsthat serve lower-income students.“We know that students are breathing polluted air on theirway to school, and we know that burden falls disproportionately on low-incomestudents and students of color,” said Harris. “Electrifying the nation’s schoolbus fleet will clean the air our students breathe and help fight the climatecrisis that threatens their futures.”“Electric vehicles are already reducing emissions, ensuring clean air for our children and grandchildren and saving American families money on their fuel and maintenance costs – a real win-win for anyone who isn’t a fossil fuel executive,” said Sanders.Sources: Bloomberg, Senator Kamala Harris Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

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Mourinho for Inter

first_imgJosé Mourinho Jose Mourinho is ready to test his skills in Italy. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Share via Email Serie A First published on Sat 29 Mar 2008 13.36 EDT Share on Facebook Sat 29 Mar 2008 13.36 EDT This article is more than 11 years old This article is more than 11 years old Soccer Mourinho for Inter Soccer Topics Shares00 European club football Internazionale Share on Twitter Jose Mourinho will be in Milan this weekend for talks with Internazionale’s president, Massimo Moratti, about succeeding Roberto Mancini as the Serie A club’s coach. The former Chelsea manager is ready to return to football and is flying to Italy with his agent, Jorge Mendes.If Mourinho accepts the post, doubts will be cast on the Chelsea futures of Frank Lampard, who has yet to agree a new contract, and the unsettled Didier Drogba. Mancini has seen Inter’s Scudetto lead slip to four points. newslast_img read more

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DOJ Announces NonBinding Policy Discouraging Piling On Regarding Corporate Resolution Penalties

first_imgYesterday, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced a non-binding policy discouraging “piling on” by instructing DOJ “components to appropriately coordinate with one another and with other enforcement agencies in imposing multiple penalties on a company in relation to investigations of the same misconduct.”While this represents a new DOJ non-binding policy, the concept of “piling on” has been talked about for quite some time including by Obama administration enforcement officials. (See prior FCPA Professor coverage here, here and here). This includes in the FCPA context going back to the FCPA reform hearings in 2011 (see here for the prior post) – a concept that has long been termed “double-dipping” on these pages (see here). (See here for an FCPA Flash Podcast on the subject with David Bitkower (former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General).The DOJ’s new policy is general in nature, not FCPA specific, but portions of it are FCPA relevant and a future post will analyze the new policy in the context of FCPA enforcement. For now, this post excerpts Rosenstein’s speech and sets forth the policy.In pertinent part, Rosenstein stated:“[W]e are announcing a new Department policy that encourages coordination among Department components and other enforcement agencies when imposing multiple penalties for the same conduct.  The aim is to enhance relationships with our law enforcement partners in the United States and abroad, while avoiding unfair duplicative penalties. It is important for us to be aggressive in pursuing wrongdoers. But we should discourage disproportionate enforcement of laws by multiple authorities. In football, the term “piling on” refers to a player jumping on a pile of other players after the opponent is already tackled.Our new policy discourages “piling on” by instructing Department components to appropriately coordinate with one another and with other enforcement agencies in imposing multiple penalties on a company in relation to investigations of the same misconduct. In highly regulated industries, a company may be accountable to multiple regulatory bodies. That creates a risk of repeated punishments that may exceed what is necessary to rectify the harm and deter future violations. Sometimes government authorities coordinate well.  They are force multipliers in their respective efforts to punish and deter fraud. They achieve efficiencies and limit unnecessary regulatory burdens. Other times, joint or parallel investigations by multiple agencies sound less like singing in harmony, and more like competing attempts to sing a solo. Modern business operations regularly span jurisdictions and borders. Whistleblowers routinely report allegations to multiple enforcement authorities, which may investigate the claims jointly or through their own separate and independent proceedings. By working with other agencies, including the SEC, CFTC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, OFAC, and others, our Department is better able to detect sophisticated financial fraud schemes and deploy adequate penalties and remedies to ensure market integrity.But we have heard concerns about “piling on” from our own Department personnel. Our prosecutors and civil enforcement attorneys prize the Department’s reputation for fairness. They understand the importance of protecting our brand. They asked for support in coordinating internally and with other agencies to achieve reasonable and proportionate outcomes in major corporate investigations.  And I know many federal, state, local and foreign authorities that work with us are interested in joining our efforts to show leadership in this area.“Piling on” can deprive a company of the benefits of certainty and finality ordinarily available through a full and final settlement. We need to consider the impact on innocent employees, customers, and investors who seek to resolve problems and move on. We need to think about whether devoting resources to additional enforcement against an old scheme is more valuable than fighting a new one.Our new policy provides no private right of action and is not enforceable in court, but it will be incorporated into the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, and it will guide the Department’s decisions. This is another step towards greater transparency and consistency in corporate enforcement. To reduce white collar crime, we need to encourage companies to report suspected wrongdoing to law enforcement and to resolve liability expeditiously.There are four key features of the new policy.First, the policy affirms that the federal government’s criminal enforcement authority should not be used against a company for purposes unrelated to the investigation and prosecution of a possible crime. We should not employ the threat of criminal prosecution solely to persuade a company to pay a larger settlement in a civil case. That is not a policy change. It is a reminder of and commitment to principles of fairness and the rule of law.Second, the policy addresses situations in which Department attorneys in different components and offices may be seeking to resolve a corporate case based on the same misconduct. The new policy directs Department components to coordinate with one another, and achieve an overall equitable result. The coordination may include crediting and apportionment of financial penalties, fines, and forfeitures, and other means of avoiding disproportionate punishment.Third, the policy encourages Department attorneys, when possible, to coordinate with other federal, state, local, and foreign enforcement authorities seeking to resolve a case with a company for the same misconduct.Finally, the new policy sets forth some factors that Department attorneys may evaluate in determining whether multiple penalties serve the interests of justice in a particular case.Sometimes, penalties that may appear duplicative really are essential to achieve justice and protect the public. In those cases, we will not hesitate to pursue complete remedies, and to assist our law enforcement partners in doing the same. Factors identified in the policy that may guide this determination include the egregiousness of the wrongdoing; statutory mandates regarding penalties; the risk of delay in finalizing a resolution; and the adequacy and timeliness of a company’s disclosures and cooperation with the Department.Cooperating with a different agency or a foreign government is not a substitute for cooperating with the Department of Justice. And we will not look kindly on companies that come to the Department of Justice only after making inadequate disclosures to secure lenient penalties with other agencies or foreign governments. In those instances, the Department will act without hesitation to fully vindicate the interests of the United States.The Department’s ability to coordinate outcomes in joint and parallel proceedings is also constrained by more practical concerns.  The timing of other agency actions, limits on information sharing across borders, and diplomatic relations between countries are some of the challenges we confront that do not always lend themselves to easy solutions.The idea of coordination is not new. The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and many of our U.S. Attorney’s Offices routinely coordinate with the SEC, CFTC, Federal Reserve, and other financial regulators, as well as a wide variety of foreign partners. The FCPA Unit announced its first coordinated resolution with the country of Singapore this past December.[…]Coordination also will help us to identify culpable individuals and hold them accountable. We will seek appropriate corporate penalties when justified by the facts and the law. But the primary question should be, “Who made the decision to set the company on a course of criminal conduct?” Our investigations should focus on those individuals.Our commitment to enhancing international coordination and promoting individual accountability is demonstrated by our increased cross-border enforcement.  The Attorney General assigned additional attorneys and paralegals to the Department’s Office of International Affairs to achieve those goals. The additional resources help us promptly and efficiently obtain necessary evidence from abroad through Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties and other mechanisms of foreign assistance. They also strengthen efforts to return fugitives from abroad for prosecutions here in the United States. At the same time, we will improve our ability to support our foreign counterparts by more expeditiously responding to their requests for assistance in securing evidence and fugitives located within our borders.”In terms of the actual policy, it is titled “Policy on Coordination of Corporate Resolution Penalties” and Rosenstein’s memo states in full:“Corporate enforcement, like other criminal and civil enforcement, must be guided by the rule oflaw. In reaching corporate resolutions, the Department should consider the totality of fines, penalties, and/or forfeiture imposed by all Department components as well as other law enforcement agencies and regulators in an effort to achieve an equitable result. Attached for your attention are new provisions to be incorporated in the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual. These provisions recognize the Department’s commitment to fairness, as well as the strength of our partnerships with law enforcement agencies and regulators in the United States and abroad. We are committed to rooting out and punishing corporate offenders, including through coordinated investigations and resolutions that fully vindicate the public interest. The Department also recognizes the value of corporate voluntary disclosures ofmisconduct and cooperation by responsible corporate actors. In appropriate cases, coordination and balancing of corporate resolution penalties furthers those aims. Thank you for sharing your helpful suggestions on this matter, and for your dedicated work to serve the American people.”The: new insert in the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual is the following:1-12.100 – Coordination of Corporate Resolution Penalties in Parallel and/or Joint Investigations and Proceedings Arising from the Same Misconduct In parallel and/or joint corporate investigations and proceedings involving multiple Department components and/or other federal, state, or local enforcement authorities, Department attorneys should remain mindful of their ethical obligation not to use criminal enforcement authority unfairly to extract, or to attempt to extract, additional civil or administrative monetary payments.In addition, in resolving a case with a company that multiple Department components are investigating for the same misconduct, Department attorneys should coordinate with one another to avoid the unnecessary imposition of duplicative fines, penalties, and/or forfeiture against the company. Specifically, Department attorneys from each component should consider the amount and apportionment of fines, penalties, and/or forfeiture paid to the other components that are or will be resolving with the company for the same misconduct, with the goal of achieving an equitable result.The Department should also endeavor, as appropriate, to coordinate with and consider the amount of fines, penalties, and/or forfeiture paid to other federal, state, local, or foreign enforcement authorities that are seeking to resolve a case with a company for the same misconduct.The Department should consider all relevant factors in determining whether coordination and apportionment between Department components and with other enforcement authorities allows the interests of justice to be fully vindicated. Relevant factors may include, for instance, the egregiousness of a company’s misconduct; statutory mandates regarding penalties, fines, and/or forfeitures; the risk of unwarranted delay in achieving a final resolution; and the adequacy and timeliness of a company’s disclosures and its cooperation with the Department, separate from any such disclosures and cooperation with other relevant enforcement authorities.This provision does not prevent Department attorneys from considering additional remedies in appropriate circumstances, such as where those remedies are designed to recover the government’s money lost due to the misconduct or to provide restitution to victims.”In his speech, Rosenstein also stated as follows regarding deterrence:“We often talk about deterrence as a goal of law enforcement, but what causes deterrence?For twelve years, I commuted 40 miles each way from Bethesda to Baltimore, mostly on Interstate 95. The speed limit is 65 miles per hour. Some people take that as a suggestion. They know the enforcement strategy. During those long drives, I sometimes thought about how well traffic laws illustrate the mission of law enforcement. Speed limit signs deter law-abiding people. If the rules are clear, most people obey them out of a sense of duty and honor. But some people are not deterred by rules. If we announce a speed limit, but we do not enforce it, then law-breakers always get ahead of law-abiding people. What if we post a speed camera? A speed camera deters many law-breakers. They slow down as they approach the camera. Then they speed up again. It is not a complete solution. Nonetheless, it does illustrate deterrence. But some people do not bother to slow down at all. Those people are thinking one of two things. Either they do not believe the government will enforce the penalty, or they calculate that the likely benefit of breaking the rule outweighs the potential penalty.The lesson is that deterrence requires enforcement.  The rules that matter most are the ones that carry expected penalties that decision-makers are unwilling to pay.Focusing on deterrence requires us to think carefully about what we can achieve in our enforcement actions. Corporate settlements do not necessarily directly deter individual wrongdoers. They may do so indirectly, by incentivizing companies to develop and enforce internal compliance programs. But at the level of each individual decision-maker, the deterrent effect of a potential corporate penalty is muted and diffused. Our goal in every case should be to make the next violation less likely to occur by punishing individual wrongdoers.”In closing Rosenstein stated:“In order to promote consistency in our white collar efforts, we established a new Working Group on Corporate Enforcement and Accountability within the Justice Department. The working group includes Department leaders and senior officials from the FBI, the Criminal Division, the Civil Division, other litigating divisions involved in significant corporate investigations, and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices.The working group will make internal recommendations about white collar crime, corporate compliance, and related issues. We look forward to collaborating with other agencies and regulators in implementing the new coordination policy. And we welcome input from stakeholders who share our commitment to reduce crime and uphold the rule of law. Most American companies are serious about engaging in lawful business practices.  They want to do the right thing. They need and deserve our support to help protect them from criminals who seek unfair advantages. Corporate America should regard law enforcement as an ally.  In turn, the government should provide incentives for companies to engage in ethical corporate behavior and to assist in federal investigations.  Companies can help protect themselves by using caution when choosing business associates and by ensuring appropriate oversight of their activities.By effectively combating white collar crime and prosecuting individuals when appropriate, we can protect Americans from fraud, and reduce the risk of another corporate-fraud epidemic. That will require us to get the policies right, articulate the policies clearly, train our agents and attorneys properly, and provide appropriate supervision.The Department’s rhetoric gets a lot of attention – the policy memos and speeches.  But performance matters most.When we are serious about wanting people to follow the law, it does no good merely to post a sign. We need to make clear our intent to enforce the law, with sufficient vigor that people fear the consequences of violating it.” Learn More & Register FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.last_img read more

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Do You Feel Your Age

first_imgby, Christina Pierpaoli, ChangingAging ContributorTweet25Share118Share7Email150 Shares Christina PierpaoliAging has always fascinated me—and it’s largely for this reason that I study it. Another is because I’ve never felt my age.I’ve always felt older. As a tyke, I remember my strong and unmistakable attraction to the adult table (sorry mom) when most of my peers preferred to ogle at each other’s collection of beanie babies or fire spitballs from their bendy straws. It was never my shtick.At 24, I probably feel closer to 34 or 40—though, admittedly, I haven’t a clue what that *actually* feels like.  All I really know is that I’m some type of anachronism, preferring hard copies to digital ones, Bach to Beyonce, and the Times to Twitter.  I don’t know about you, but I never did feel 22 (well, perhaps I did at age 5).Does that matter, and what does it mean? Is how old I feel more important than how old I actually am? As a geropsychologist-in-training, I don’t think these questions are particularly absurd.  And I do think they matter.This tension between one’s subjective age—that is, how old or young someone feels—and their actual, chronological age has begun to attract a good bit of attention in the gerontological literature, and has quickly become a focus of my own research.Accumulating evidence, for example, implicates subjective age in older adults’ well being.  Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have found that feeling younger is associated with better self-rated and objective heath, and is an important correlate of cognitive and physical functioning. Feeling older has even become increasingly recognized as a risk factor for premature mortality.Why? Because this research is in its infancy (ha!), the reasons are unclear. It has been suggested that younger subjective age is associated with lower C-reactive protein, which is a marker of systemic inflammation linked to a catalogue of adverse heath outcomes in old age, including functional limitation and all-cause mortality.  It is conceivable that individuals who feel younger than their actual age may have lower systemic inflammation because they have more favorable health profiles. Consistent with this logic, feeling younger has been linked to lower body mass index (BMI), fewer depressive symptoms, and more frequent participation in physical activity.Considering the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA)—another research interest of mine —these findings are important and interesting to me for several reasons.   For one, elevated BMI is a widely accepted risk factor for knee pain, with inflammatory responses having been implicated in the obesity-knee OA link. And among persons with OA, activity restriction and physical inactivity are avoidance measures often adopted to reduce the pain associated with movement.  Paradoxically, these strategies have been linked with obesity, increased pain, and further restriction among its sufferers.So, to what extent might subjective age influence OA pain, and OA pain, subjective age?Before I attempt to answer, I should note that recent experimental research demonstrates the possibility that subjective age—like pain—can vary proximally and contextually. For example, increases in subjective age have been observed after priming participants with negative age stereotypes. Emerging work also suggests that felt age fluctuations may also be sensitive to health cues: features of physical functioning—particularly pain—have been found to make age salient to people, suggesting increased physical symptoms could trigger an awareness of one’s age and aging process.It seems previous research positions OA as an apt context in which to study subjective age because pain is a central and persistent symptom to which fluctuations in subjective age may be sensitive.How does subjective age behave with osteoarthritis, then?Using a single baseline interview and a unique “in the moment” 7-day experience sampling method (ESM) comprising 4 assessments daily—drawn from Dr. Patricia Parmelee’s ongoing study of everyday quality of life with OA— we examined health and affective (i.e. emotional) correlates of self-reported subjective age among 68 older adults with knee osteoarthritis.The difference between participants’ actual and endorsed subjective age, computed globally (i.e. from baseline) and at each ESM data point, was examined as a predictor of baseline well-being and of momentary pain and affect.Dr. Parmelee and I found that while older adults in our (admittedly small) sample typically felt younger than their actual age, there was considerable momentary variability in subjective age. At baseline, feeling older than one’s actual age was associated with more anger, higher BMI, disability, and depression and with poorer life satisfaction. At the momentary level, feeling younger was associated with greater positive affect and with lower negative affect, fatigue, and pain.Results provide at least preliminary support to a conceptualization of the age individuals feel on a proximal basis as a marker of individuals’ physical, and perhaps mental heath. What might this mean clinically? Perhaps simply asking a person how old he feels, for example, may yield rich insights into the physical and mental state of the individual, his experience with getting older or, more specifically, with managing a disability like OA.  Felt age may, so too, be an elegant proxy measure of the subjective experience of pain in clinical settings.So, while you may not stay forever young, at least there’s evidence to suggest you can feel like you are. And, really, that seems to be more important— take it from this subjectively old soul.Tell me– do you feel your age?Related PostsTweet25Share118Share7Email150 Shareslast_img read more

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