The New Blood at the FDA

first_imgThose wringing their hands about the state of science at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can breathe a little easier, as things seem to be looking up. A well-respected oncologist and cancer biologist will be acting chief of the agency after current head Andrew von Eschenbach steps down next week. Filling the new post of chief scientist, Frank Torti came to FDA in May from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he headed up the cancer center. The agency created the chief scientist position at the urging of the Institute of Medicine, which had expressed concerns about FDA’s research capacity and handling of scientific issues.It’s unknown whether Torti is a candidate for the permanent spot. But for the time being, scientists will be cheered by the selection of the new boss. In his brief time at FDA, Torti has created a new fellowship program for physicians and scientists, and reportedly was a driving force behind the review of the safety of bisphenol-A (BPA) in plastics. It’s not clear how much headway Torti has made on the culture of science at FDA, where reviewers have complained that their concerns about drug and device safety are often squelched.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“He’s very forward-thinking and strategic,” and “very close to the practice of both medicine and basic science,” which should serve him well as acting commissioner, says Barbara McNeil, who chairs FDA’s Science board and is a physician and health care policy expert at Harvard. She’s particularly pleased that Torti is “making efforts to make sure that there is a lot of external input from outside FDA” to help the agency prioritize what to tackle next.last_img read more

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New U.S. rules on helium sales said to stifle competition

first_imgNew rules on selling off a U.S. government cache of helium aren’t working as planned, a congressional panel learned today. A 2013 law designed to increase competition may actually be stifling it, according to witnesses. The law has also failed to stabilize the market price of a resource that is indispensable for many types of technology and scientific research, scientists say.The Helium Stewardship Act aimed to establish a competitive market for federal helium, which accounts for more than 40% of U.S. supply, by phasing in an auction instead of simply having the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sell it for a fixed price. But the number of companies buying from the reserve fell last year from eight to four.That drop led Representative Doug Lamborn (R–CO), chair of the energy and mineral resources panel of the Committee on Natural Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives, to declare at today’s hearing that “the first year of the BLM’s implementation [of the law] has been a failure.” But other members drew the opposite conclusion, noting that the portion of gas sold at auction went for a much higher price than BLM set for the rest of last year’s sales. “Why are we upset that the companies that were willing to pay the most for the gas won?” asked subcommittee member Representative Don Beyer (D–VA).Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Helium has unique properties that make it irreplaceable for some applications. For example, helium is the only element that won’t freeze, making liquid helium indispensable for reaching temperatures near absolute zero. That’s key for cooling the magnets of MRI machines and for myriad types of physics research. Starting in the 1960s, the United States accumulated a vast reserve of crude helium—a byproduct of natural gas drilling—storing 1 trillion liters of gas underground in a natural geological formation near Amarillo, Texas. However, in 1996, Congress passed the Helium Privatization Act, which ordered BLM to sell the helium reserve.Those sales proved problematic. The 1996 law instructed BLM to sell the helium at a constant rate and at a price that would recoup the $1.3 billion that the government had spent accumulating it. But that approach was holding down the market price of helium and encouraging waste, concluded a 2010 report from the National Academies’ National Research Council. What’s more, BLM had a mandate to continue the sales only until it had recouped the government’s investment. That would have occurred in September 2013, with roughly 370 billion liters still in the ground.So Congress passed the 2013 act, and last year 10% of BLM’s helium sales were through auction. But the change didn’t broaden the market as hoped.More than a dozen companies sell refined helium. But only four of them have refineries connected to the federal helium reserve. So nonrefiners who buy federal helium must work out a “tolling” deal to get one of the refiners to process it. In the past, BLM had reserved 10% of helium for fixed-price “non-allocated” sales to nonrefiners, four of whom bought helium in 2013. But with that helium now on sale to the highest bidder, two of the refiners bought it all, shutting out the nine nonrefiners at the auction.Refiners were apparently willing to pay a premium to block entry by the nonrefining companies. At auction, the winning bidders paid an average of $5.69 per kiloliter of gas, 52% more than the fixed price for the 90% of the helium that BLM sold to refiners in so-called allocated sales, Anne-Marie Fennell of the Government Accounting Office testified.Whether such a tactic is fair depends on whom you ask. Refiners essentially gamed the system, said David Joyner, president of Air Liquide Helium America Inc. of Houston, Texas, which doesn’t do its own refining. “The auction was set up to fail from the start,” he said. In particular, he said, nonrefiners were effectively discouraged from bidding because BLM has not enforced provisions of the law requiring refiners to set a reasonable price. Joyner wants BLM to maintain the sales for nonrefiners in addition to the auction sales, which Lamborn says is what the law intended.The general manager for global helium at Air Products & Chemicals Inc. in Allentown, Pennsylvania—which bought 78% of the auctioned helium—sees it differently. “The auction last year did exactly what the [2013] act intend, obtain a market price for helium,” said Walter Nelson, whose company also refines helium. Nelson said that if nonrefiners don’t like the price set by refiners they should simply invest in their own refineries. However, experts say that’s unlikely to happen, given that the reserve is likely to close in 6 years.Its closure will likely make a bad situation worse for scientists, says William Halperin, a physicist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Researchers are already being battered by price volatility, he testified. For example, Halperin told ScienceInsider that he pays about $6.50 per liter of liquid helium, whereas some of his colleagues have to pay as much at $40 per liter of liquid helium. Halperin told the committee that he would like to know why the range is so great. Such volatility, he said, is likely to get worse when the federal reserve in Amarillo, Texas, closes: It is the only place in the world where helium can be stockpiled to provide a buffer against supply fluctuations. “This subcommittee should consider possible legislative fixes to keep the helium reserve open beyond 2021,” he testified at the hearing.The next BLM auction is planned for 18 August. According to the law, that auction should account for 20% of BLM sales in 2015.last_img read more

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Taming nature’s fury: An in-depth look at natural hazards

first_img Here’s how the world could end—and what we can do about it These disaster machines could help humanity prepare for cataclysms Blogging the danger—and sometimes the art—of deadly landslides Review on Historical trends of tropical cyclone tracks by A. H. Sobel et al. and related Interactive graphic display of tropical cyclone tracks from 1980-2014 Review on global trends in satellite-based emergency mapping by S. Voigt et al. Review on connecting slow earthquakes to huge earthquakes by K. Obara and A. Kato  Editorial on hazards without disasters by M. McNutt Natural Hazards topic page Podcast: The science of the apocalypse ​Tornadoes sweep through central Kansas. Mudslides bury a neighborhood in Guatemala. A tsunami triggers a nuclear meltdown at a power station in Japan. Every day, the news brings fresh reminders of the great dangers our planet can unleash with little warning. The dangers remain, even as researchers slowly unpack the secrets behind volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tropical storms, and other natural hazards. That knowledge can reveal new threats, such as the planet-changing possibility of volcanic supereruptions or collisions with mountain-sized bodies from space. However, this information also leads to better tools for studying natural hazards and estimating where, how often, and how fiercely they are likely to strike.Our increasingly sophisticated toolbox is helping us understand the physical processes driving hazards such as large and damaging earthquakes; track tropical cyclones to project how increasing temperatures might change these powerful storms; provide much-needed warnings of volcanoes, landslides, and tsunamis; and recover from catastrophic events when they occur. These tools now allow researchers to analyze data collected as disasters occur, including the recent collapse of the Bárdarbunga caldera in Iceland. The ways in which communities prepare and respond to potential disasters are also becoming more sophisticated. Social media allows for rapid dissemination of information before and during a disaster. Although social scientists sometimes face challenges in interpreting the digital record of these events, they may provide a valuable insight into an effective response. Communities that face risks from natural hazards benefit from investing time and effort into preparing for unlikely yet unavoidable events.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)This special package explores some of the ways people are learning to assess risks, lessen dangers, and repair the damage from disasters that elude or breach our defenses. We will continue to highlight important research and news on our Natural Hazards topic page. Natural hazards will never go away, but we can always become better prepared for the inevitable.  Additional articles in our Natural Hazards feature package:center_img Video images: Twisting tornado looms over central Kansas; Chile’s Calbuco volcano spews ash and lava in 2015; Meteor Crater, in Arizona, marks the site of a 50,000-year-old asteroid crash; storm chasers study an approaching tornado; aftermath of landslide triggered by 2008 Tangjiashan earthquake in southwest China; lava from Sicily’s Piano del Lago volcano outshines the lights of Catania below.last_img read more

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Samsung Galaxy Note Edge to launch in the US on Nov 14

first_imgSouth Korean giant Samsung’s new and rather unconventional offering in the Galaxy Note Edge smartphone is all set to hit markets in the US come November 14. The device that uniquely curves around its right front edge all the way down will be available exclusively in the US from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular. There is however no word regarding its availability in other parts of the world including India.    First announced on November 3, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge smartphone (technically a phablet), lets users move on-screen controls for email, apps, notifications and more to the curved side of the device giving users more screen space to do other things they want. Moreover, users can customize the Edge’s curved and scrollable menu panel to add their favourite apps for quick and easy access.      Taking a look at its specifications, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge features a 5.6-inch QHD Super AMOLED display and is powered by a 2.7GHz quad-core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of internal storage expandable up to 128GB via a microSD card. It sports a 16MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilization along with a 3.7MP front-facing snapper. The device runs Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box. It decks in a 3,000-mAh Li-on battery that boasts of Adaptive Fast Charging that can charge the phone to 50 percent in mere 30 minutes.On close observation, much of the specifications of the Edge appear similar to the company’s recently launched Galaxy Note 4. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge also comes with an S Pen that boasts of handwriting recognition, as well as the company’s Multi Window feature.advertisementlast_img read more

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Carnival Grp acquires LTs realty projects for 1,785 crore

first_imgMumbai, Sep 30 (PTI) Mumbai-based Carnival Group today said it has acquired Larsen & Toubros commercial real estate projects in Chandigarh at a whopping Rs 1,785 crore. The deal includes the largest mall in Chandigarh Elante Mall, Hyatt luxury hotel and office premises with central courtyard. “This acquisition is a part of asset creation for the group as an investment portfolio. This acquisition will help us to further expand our capabilities and has allowed us to make inroads into newer markets. This project will be operated as a separate unit and will be led by its current India based management team,” Carnival Group Chairman Shrikant Bhasi said in a statement. The acquisition will enable Carnival Group to widen its portfolio and help the company achieve leadership position in the retail sector. The deal is said to be the largest in the realty sector in recent times, it said. The retail space hosts premium national and international brands along with a mix of hypermarket, departmental stores, Sports Bar, Bowling Alley. Spread across 20 acres, Elante has a an entertainment zone with multiplex and food court that caters to its customers. “This project has got a good rental yield,” Carnival Group Director of Finance A C Dinesh said. This is Carnival Groups third real estate acquisition after Leela Infopark (Kochi) and Leela Technopark (Thiruvananthapuram). The Group has also bought out Anil Ambani led Reliance Groups Big Cinemas multiplex business. It also acquired Glitz Cinemas, which was a part of Capital 18, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambanis Network 18 Media. Carnival Group shares interests in media and entertainment with segments like movie production, international concerts, reality shows and wedding planning in India and overseas. PTI DS NRB MKJ PTPadvertisementlast_img read more

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Interview: Ferry Industry Rules Lack Practicality

first_imgThe recent Norman Atlantic case was the first accident to claim passenger lives in this sector in more than a decade. WMN: How would you assess the overall safety conditions across the industry? Would you say that there is an ever growing number of accidents (groundings/capsizing) in the ferry/Ro-Ro industry, often with tragic consequences?Roos: Firstly, we do not see an ever growing number of accidents in the ferry/RoRo industry, especially if measured in relative terms i.e. the number of accidents in relation to the number of ships. Secondly, it is very important to categorise ferry accidents in relation to the regulatory framework that governs their respective operations.International ferry routes governed by IMO rules in OECD countries have an excellent safety record.  The recent Norman Atlantic case was the first accident to claim passenger lives in this sector in more than a decade.  With 700 million passengers per year in Europe alone, ferry travel in OECD states can be considered extremely safe.  At the other end of the spectrum, there are some less developed countries where domestic operations account for the vast majority of the 15,000 lives lost in ferry accidents since 2000.  This is truly an unacceptable situation but it is important to keep it in perspective – the World Health Organization reports that 1.24 million people died on the world’s roads in 2010.WMN: What are the crucial issues that need to be addressed in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening?Roos: First and foremost, adequate enforcement of already existing rules for domestic operations. In some cases, the domestic rules themselves may not be fully adequate, but we consider that sub-ordinate to flag states taking their responsibility to ensure that safe operations are conducted. Very basic measures – such as ensuring that the number of passengers on-board is within the ferry’s limits and that adequate life saving equipment is readily available – would immediately save many lives.For international operations, we see no crucial issues to be addressed. The regulatory framework is exhaustive and predominately very well enforced. The only area of potential improvement we note is that cooperation between flag and port states could be improved in some areas to ensure that any local agreements are properly scrutinised.WMN: The global shipping industry has been pursuing a “bigger is better” policy.  Can this kind of approach to building vessels be applied to ferries in the future?Roos: We have already been through that phase and have probably reached the upper limits.  Ferries are more dependent on quick turnaround in port than tankers or container ships.  Many ferries also operate on routes and into ports that restrict their size. Furthermore, ferries serve as the lifeline for many scarcely populated island communities, where a super-sized ferry could not be filled even if the entire population was lined up.  The ferry sector is very diverse, ranging from very small to very large ships, all of which try to be optimised for the routes they serve and the benefits they provide to society. The new sulphur regulations have certainly diminished the ability of northern European ferry operators to compete for the same business with rival modes such as railways, motorways and low cost airlines. WMN: How has the January 1 sulphur switch influenced the ferry industry?Roos: The recent drop in fuel prices came as a fundamental relief to operators who have chosen to use low sulphur distillate fuel.  Even though the price difference between Heavy Fuel Oil and Marine Gas Oil remains at around USD 250 per ton, the lower oil prices in general have meant that operators are paying more or less the same today as one year ago. The much dreaded overnight price hike of 20-40% on ferry tariffs has been avoided, so fears of a modal shift have also been diluted – although we must bear in mind that the road option has also benefited from the low fuel prices.  However, no-one knows if this price level is only temporary.Long term, the new sulphur regulations have certainly diminished the ability of northern European ferry operators to compete for the same business with rival modes such as railways, motorways and low cost airlines. WMN: What has been the feedback from your members so far on meeting the new requirements? Roos: A vast majority of the ferries operating in SECA areas have switched from 1% HFO to 0.1% MGO, with few reported technical issues.  Apart from some clogged up filters and separators, the transition has been remarkably smooth.Also the port states seem to have been wise enough to refrain from any draconian inspection campaigns.  This recognises that contamination from old HFO in the on-board systems can significantly influence the sulphur content of a fuel sample and generate unintentional non-compliance, which obviously should not be punished.WMN: What has been the preferred option among ferry companies to meet the new requirements?Roos: Distillate fuels were already commonplace for many domestic operations and high-speed international crossings and most other ships have now switched to MGO.  In addition, a handful of LNG-fuelled ships have been introduced over the past few years and the world’s first methanol-powered ferry is now entering service. We have also seen a significant uptake of scrubber technology.  Some 40 ships under Interferry’s membership have installed or are currently fitting scrubbers on one or more engines in their fleet – the total of individual scrubbing units is approaching 100.  The main concern among operators right now is that, despite the EU Commission promoting scrubbing as an alternative compliance solution since 2010, there is still no legal certainty that the units already installed may actually be used in all SECA ports and waters.WMN: Many companies have opted for LNG-powered newbuilds. However, there have been various safety concerns regarding the location of fuel tanks on LNG-powered ships. Have there been any developments on this debate? What would be the ideal scenario for ferries in this respect?Roos: There never were any real safety concerns as such. Our concerns were over a rather puzzling academic approach to LNG tank location – and consequently their size – in order to prevent impact damage. This approach took into account mostly irrelevant accident statistics derived not primarily from modern ferry operation but from a muddled dataset ranging back to the 1980’s and largely populated with container ship accidents – since there were too few ferry accidents to be statistically significant.  If LNG prices prove to be at the levels promised by the fuel’s proponents over the years, there is no reason to be overly concerned by the current lack of infrastructure. At the IMO, Interferry and others successfully argued that the very same safety provisions that have effectively safeguarded huge LNG tankers for decades should also be applied to LNG propulsion tanks. We will now be able to build new LNG-powered ferries that will not have to refuel after each and every crossing.WMN: Is LNG a sustainable solution for ferry operators having in mind that LNG bunkering is still under development?Roos: With any new fuel there is always a gradual transition period as supply and demand seek a balance. If LNG prices prove to be at the levels promised by the fuel’s proponents over the years, there is no reason to be overly concerned by the current lack of infrastructure.The EU Commission has put in place a requirement for ports to provide LNG, but Interferry considers this to be slightly misguided and a matter best dealt with by the market. Instead, the EU should support individual ship owners in their investment in LNG-powered ships, which would also entail investment in the necessary infrastructure.  Furthermore, the EU would be perfectly placed to support the bunker suppliers investing in LNG provision, including shore-side tanks.WMN: How has the oil price fall influenced ferry operators and their investment in environmental solutions?Roos: It has given them some breathing space to cope with the SECA situation, but the general sensation in the market is that today’s oil prices will not last for very long.  Further ahead, in addition to the increased uptake of scrubbers and LNG, we also see some very interesting developments on electrically-powered ferries, either as hybrids or as pure electric drive.80% of maritime incidents are due to human errorWMN: How would you describe the outlook for the ferry industry having in mind the ongoing trends and push for technologically-superior vessels? Can we expect SMART (autonomous) ferries to be introduced soon?Roos: We would like to see an informed discussion on how we could better utilise modern technology to reduce risks in maritime operations in general and ferry operations in particular – but this must go hand in hand with increased focus on the human element in safety.At IMO level, improved safety is too often equated with adding more steel and equipment on the ship – seemingly with the unrealistic end goal of making ships unsinkable. That mentality is hampering the industry and should be compared to what has been done in aviation over a long period of time. Aircraft are not expected to be collision proof but rather to operate in a system that prevents them colliding or crashing in the first place.  We are confident that very much could be done with a systems approach for ferries, but we would not consider autonomous ferries to be realised in the near or even medium term. Meanwhile we also wholeheartedly support the growing trend to think beyond enhanced technical safety solutions by combining them with improved operational control. We know that 80% of maritime incidents are due to human error, so the industry is increasingly committed to crew training programmes that build a leadership and teamwork safety culture. The experience and competence of on-board personnel must be acknowledged as a paramount factor in helping to avoid or mitigate an incident.World Maritime News Staff zoom Originally formed back in 1976 as the International Marine Transit Association in order to provide the ferry industry with a platform for networking and information exchange, Interferry soon evolved into the only world-wide industry association, currently representing 225 members from 38 countries.Interferry has also assumed the role of the industry representative regarding regulatory matters, attaining Consultative Status at the International Maritime Organization and Observer Status at the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) to fulfill this role.World Maritime News spoke to Interferry’s Regulatory Affairs Director Johan Roos to find out how the industry is tackling the latest safety and environmental issues.Current proposals to prevent the spread of invasive species go too far. WMN: What are the most important projects you are currently involved in?Roos: There are several regulatory issues of high importance on our agenda. The most immediate is ballast water management. In our view, current proposals to prevent the spread of invasive species go too far – measures to restrict inter-continental spread are laudable but we cannot see the point of imposing them on short stretches of water between two nations. In effect, this would require spending half a million dollars per ship on equipment to kill organisms that are common in the same water.  Therefore, at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in May, Interferry and other sponsors will propose that neighbouring states should be allowed to reach bilateral agreements on whatever action they see fit. This would spare them from the onus of applying for exemption from a requirement to fit expensive, voluminous and – in their cases – unnecessary equipment.On passenger ship safety we are engaged in three parallel issues of high relevance and concern. The first one is domestic passenger ship safety, where we are in close collaboration with the IMO in trying to devise new ways of reducing the large number of passengers that are lost every year, primarily in south-east Asia. In our view, if all flag states put in place the requirements we have in for instance North America and Europe, the problem would be solved. We realise however that the resources to make such an investment are not available to all countries and therefore we need to find other ways to reduce the greatest risk factors. At the end of the day, it will come down to the member states concerned taking their responsibility.The second issue relates to a ship’s ability to stay afloat after a collision or grounding. For many years a sophisticated and, to us, rather academic approach called ”probabilistic damage stability” has been pursued by the IMO to put in place requirements on a more theoretical basis rather than building new rules from experience.  This general line of thought is good – it means that, rather than waiting for the next accident and adjusting the regulations accordingly, clever people can predict risk scenarios and design regulations to prevent such risk scenarios leading to catastrophic consequences. The concern we have is that the process has been very academic and non-transparent – looking forward, the ship’s captain may almost need to be a professor in naval architecture in order to ascertain whether his ship will sink if it is involved in an accident.The third safety issue is more hands-on and is prompted by the recent Norman Atlantic fire. We note that several previous fires on Ro-Pax ships all relate to vehicles on the car deck and that the on-board systems for detecting and fighting fires have not been perfectly in tune with what we expected.  We do not yet know the details of the Norman Atlantic, but we believe it is important to have another look at fire safety on ferries so that any systemic or technical shortcomings can be properly addressed.last_img read more

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ADS Crude Carriers to Pay More for Scrubber Installations

first_imgzoomIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Tanker owner and operator ADS Crude Carriers has seen an increase in the cost of its scrubber installation project in China.The VLCC owner said that the total expected investment in scrubber systems and taking the vessels through intermediate surveys is around USD 6.5 million per vessel, up from the previously guided USD 5.5 million per vessel.The company, set up in April 2018, explained that the change was mainly due to “increased estimated costs necessary to maintain the highest level vessel rating.”Subsequent to quarter end, two of the company’s vessels went into yard to perform mandatory intermediate surveys and retrofitting of scrubbers, with the third vessel expected to enter yard around the end of September. ADS Crude Carriers said that the yard stays remain on schedule with two expected to finish before end of the third quarter of 2019 and one during the fourth quarter of the year.The rise in costs was revealed as part of the company’s second quarter of 2019 financial report.ADS Crude Carriers reported a net profit of USD 0.6 million for the second quarter of 2019, down from a profit of USD 1.2 million seen in the first quarter of the year. Net revenue decreased 27% to USD 4.8 million from USD 6.5 million in the previous quarter, mainly due to increased voyage expenses.“The seasonally weak tanker market impacted our second quarter earnings, resulting in a 27% lower average Time Charter Equivalent quarter-on-quarter of USD 17,463 per day and providing a net profit of USD 0.6 million, of which we will immediately return USD 0.5 million back to shareholders by way of a dividend,” Bjørn Tore Larsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said.last_img read more

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Thoroughly enjoyed directing Kangana Judgementall Hai Kya director

first_imgMumbai: Filmmaker Prakash Kovelamudi says he enjoyed working with Kangana Ranaut in “Judgementall Hai Kya” and thanked the leading lady and male protagonist Rajkummar Rao for their support. Prakash, a prominent name in Telugu film industry, is making his Bollywood debut with “Judgementall Hai Kya”, produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shailesh R Singh. In the past, Kangana has been accused of “hijacking” a film, most recent being “Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi”. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography Asked about the experience of working on the thriller, the director said he likes to have creative discussions with his cast and crew as filmmaking is a collaborative process. “I would like to thank the team who helped me make this wonderful film. The entry into Bollywood is fantastic. With the kind of support I have got from my producer, writer, technical team and most importantly, my cast Kangana and Rajkummar has been fantastic. “I thoroughly enjoyed directing Kangana. I come from theatre (background) and I like when my actors ask me questions. I like us to have creative discussions. I like us to arrive on something that we can creatively collaborate on. I believe filmmaking is a collaborative process,” Prakash told reporters here at the trailer launch of the film on Tuesday here. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot Calling Kangana a “thinking actor”, the director said the movie has turned out be “better” with teamwork. “I thoroughly enjoyed working (with her). Taking her inputs and giving mine, we have made this a better film together. And those inputs have come from everybody in the team. She is wonderful. She is a thinking actor,” he said. Also featuring Jimmy Shergill, Amyra Dastur and Satish Kaushik, the film is slated to be released on July 26.last_img read more

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Trudeau apologizes asks for forgiveness after third instance of racist makeup surfaces

first_imgHe added that he told campaign staff of the existence of photos only when he found out that Time Magazine was looking for a picture of the 2001 event.Trudeau also said he was wary of giving a definite number of instances when he wore racist makeup or indulged in similar behaviour because he had not even remembered the pictures that surfaced since Wednesday night.“How can you not remember? The fact is I didn’t understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination every single day. I have always acknowledged that I come from a place of privilege, but I now need to acknowledge that that comes with a massive blind spot,” he said. Trudeau added that people of colour face racism and hardship on a regular basis simply because of their skin or their language and he “didn’t see that from the layers of privilege that [he has]”When asked why he did not volunteer information about the instances during the vetting process when he was running for office, he said he was embarrassed.“It was not something that represents the person I’ve become, the leader I try to be and it was really embarrassing.” The Prime Minister said representing a multicultural riding like Papineau helped him understand the racist connotations of blackface.“The responsibility of not just sticking up for people of all different backgrounds, but fighting for them and defending them is something that made it very very clear to me that minimizing or further marginalizing people by dressing up that way is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.Trudeau also acknowledged the difficult conversation Canadians may have had to have with their kids, trying to explain what the pictures of their Prime Minister meant and represent.“I regret deeply parents who had to had difficult conversations with their kids that were uncomfortable and hurtful because of my actions,” he said.In answering why he chose to dress up in brownface and blackface, Trudeau said he did not have a clear reason, but it was a terrible idea and it “minimizes and takes advantage of a reality [he has] not had to live with.”“I have to recognize that I let a lot of people down with that choice. I stand here today to reflect on that and to ask for forgiveness,” he said, followed by a round of applause from some of the gathered crowd.Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was kicked out of the Liberal caucus amid the SNC-Lavalin scandal, said she was “extremely disappointed” to learn party leader Justin Trudeau wore brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago.“I’m incredibly proud to be an Indigenous person in this country, one that has experienced racism and discrimination,” she said. “And it’s completely unacceptable for anybody in a position of authority and power to do something like that.”At a campaign stop in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., just east of Montreal, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s attempt to proceed with the campaign as normal and announce a tax credit for seniors was knocked off the rails by the emerging Liberal crisis.Asked whether he had ever dressed in a way that stereotyped or mocked anyone’s race or culture.“No,” he said firmly.When asked if his comments on same-sex marriage are among the things he regrets, he did not directly answer the question.“I have addressed the speech I gave in 2005,” he said. “What we’re talking about today is Justin Trudeau’s behaviours and his inability to be truthful and honest about it, and we saw that last night when he was asked directly if there were other examples out there of this and he failed to be honest.”RELATED: It’s not just a ‘brownface’ photo. The whole election is about race.While federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh sought to keep his campaign on message Thursday, he responded to the images by speaking of the hurt the pictures and video have caused to many Canadians who have suffered racism and discrimination.“When you’ve got a prime minister that is mocking the lived realities of Canadians, it can inflame those tensions and give more oxygen to those who believe in discriminating (against) people based on the way they look,” he said.“That’s why it’s deeply concerning. The impacts that this has on Canada and on the lives of Canadians can’t be underestimated. This is massive.”Singh said Canadians will have to decide who the real Trudeau is while underscoring what he described as the importance of having a federal government “that’s going to move forward the policies to end discrimination.”Files from The Canadian Press were used in this reportcenter_img Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the release of a video of him in blackface Thursday afternoon — the third instance of him in racist makeup revealed since Wednesday night.Speaking during a campaign stop in Winnipeg, Trudeau said he “deeply, deeply” regrets his actions.Trudeau started by addressing racialized Canadians “who face discrimination every single day.”“What I did hurt them, hurt people who shouldn’t have to face intolerance and discrimination because of their identity,” he said. “Darkening your face, regardless of the context and circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface. I should have understood that then and I never should have done it.”last_img read more

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Helen Mirren Supports No One Should Have No One Campaign

first_imgHelen Mirren has thrown her support behind an Age UK campaign that aims to raise awareness about the millions of older people who are facing later life alone.There are 2.9 million people aged 65 and over who feel they have no one to go to for help and support, a new Age UK survey finds. Of these, 39% said they felt lonely and one in five said they felt forgotten as a result of this.In addition, half of younger people aged 25-44 admit to worrying about being alone in later life.The research shows just how crucial having someone to turn to is if we’re to be happy and fulfilled in our lives. For those aged 65 and over, 81% said being able to talk and laugh with someone is the most important thing of all, with 57% saying physical contact has made them happy.Nearly two thirds (62%) of all UK adults said this for having someone to eat with and 67% said that feeling that they are part of other people’s lives makes them happy.No one should have no oneThe findings come as Age UK launched No One Should Have No One on Monday 19 January in order to raise awareness about the millions of older people who are facing later life alone.Age UK is calling for donations to enable it to continue the vital work of providing companionship, support and advice.“It’s vital we raise awareness of this sad fact so isolated older people get the help and support they need,” said Dame Helen Mirren. “I’m proud to support Age Uk, which aims to give older people the things everyone deserves in life – a bit of advice, sharing a cuppa (cup of tea), company or simply someone to laugh with.”Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “We all face ups and downs and our survey shows that sadly, millions of older people could be doing so almost entirely alone.“This means they have no one close with whom to share the good times, or to go to for support when life is tough or for trusted advice to help solve a nagging problem.“That’s why we’re asking the public to donate today so we can continue to give millions of older people the companionship, support and advice they need.“We also hope these findings will spur everyone into being good neighbours to older people living nearby. Truly, no one should have no one in our society and together we can make sure that no one does.’Having someone to turn to is important to us all, and this was highlighted in the survey with many UK adults saying that everyday things, such as meals out (54%), going on holiday (42%) and being successful in our careers (37%) are currently less important than having someone to go to for help and support.Older people and their families can call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 65 65 to find out how the Age UK network can help someone who may be feeling alone. Lines are open 365 days a year from 8am – 7pm.To support Age UK’s work and help it provide companionship, advice and support for millions of people facing later life alone people can donate online.last_img read more

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YSRC retains all sitting MLAs Jagan to seek reelection from Pulivendula

first_imgAmaravati (AP): Fighting a do-or-die electoral battle in Andhra Pradesh on April 11, the main opposition YSR Congress on Sunday announced its candidates for all 175 assembly seats, retaining almost all the sitting MLAs and giving a major share to the backward communities.YSRC chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy who is aspiring to become the chief minister in his late father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s footsteps will, for the second time, contest from his family pocket borough Pulivendula in Kadapa district. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedIn 2014, Jagan won the seat by a record margin of 74,256 votes, the highest in the state. The announcement of candidates, however, triggered some rebellion in the party in a few districts, including Guntur, Prakasam and Visakhapatnam where some aspirants were denied tickets. Floated in 2011 after Jaganmohan Reddy quit the Congress over denial of chief ministership, the YSRC lost the race in the 2014 general elections, getting just 0.3 per cent less vote share than the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) that captured power winning 106 seats in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) then. Though the YSRC won 67 seats, as many as 23 of its MLAs defected to the ruling party in 2016 and 2017. In the context, the 2019 election is a do-or-die battle for the YSRC as its political longevity will largely depend on election result. Political strategist Prashant Kishore, who worked the electoral magic for Narendra Modi in 2014, is YSRC’s consultant now.last_img read more

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Lankan court extends custody of Indian fishermen

A court in Sri Lanka today extended till November 6 the custody of 19 Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested by naval personnel of the island nation on September 10.President of Sri Lanka Vadakku Marachi Fishermen Association T Emiliyan Pillai told PTI that the fishermen were produced at the court at Paruthithurai today and that the magistrate Vijaya Rani extended their custody till November 6. Meanwhile, mechanised fishermen organisations in Rameswaram today decided to observe a one-day fast tomorrow pressing various demands, including securing the release of 24 of their colleagues and boats in Lankan custody.The fishermen would boycott fishing tomorrow, the meeting resolved, association leaders R Sagayam, N J Bose, T Sesuraja, S Emirite and N Devadoss said. This is the second time their remand is being extended. Earlier, the fishermen had been produced in the same court on October 3 and their remanded extended to Oct 23. They also demanded suitable compensation for the families of the fishermen whose 18 boats were allegedly destroyed by Sri Lankan Navy in June, 2014. (Courtesy Outlook India) The 19 fishermen were arrested by Lankan naval personnel off Paruthithurai on September 10 and their two boats seized. They were later lodged in a prison at Jaffna. read more

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Reuters photographer arrested in Negombo granted bail

A Reuters photographer who was arrested in Negombo and remanded yesterday has been granted bail.Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photographer and Pulitzer prize winner who is based in India was arrested when he allegedly attempted to forcibly enter a school in Katana. However a special motion was filed by his lawyers today pleading for bail and he was released on surety bail and was asked to appear in court on May 9. He was produced before a Magistrate and remanded until May 15. The photographer was in Sri Lanka to cover incidents related to the Easter Sunday bombings.He had attempted to enter the school to obtain information regarding a student killed in the bombing of St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya when parents who were at the school at the time alerted the Police. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Trump picks fast food executive Andrew Puzder for Labour

Trump picks fast food executive Andrew Puzder for Labour by Julie Bykowicz And Alan Fram, The Associated Press Posted Dec 8, 2016 12:10 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump plans to add another wealthy business person and elite donor to his Cabinet, saying he would nominate fast-food executive Andrew Puzder as labour secretary.Puzder heads CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and other chains. In 2010, he published a book called “Job Creation: How it Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.”“Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring workers receive the benefits they deserve, and he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages,” President-elect Trump said in a statement.Puzder, in the same statement, said he was honoured “to help President-elect Trump restore America’s global economic leadership.”The Californian was one of Trump’s earliest campaign financiers, serving as a co-chairman of his California finance team and organizing fundraisers well before most major donors got on board with the eventual Republican nominee. Together with his wife, Puzder contributed $150,000 in late May to Trump’s campaign and Republican Party partners, fundraising records show.As one of Trump’s most outspoken defenders, Puzder frequently appeared on cable news and Twitter to talk up the benefits of having a business leader in the White House.A week after Trump’s election, Puzder said he agreed with Trump’s aim to ease business regulations.“We’ve reached the point where overregulation is doing meaningful damage to our businesses,” he said last month at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, citing high labour costs, increased health care costs and “political and social” policies as hindrances.Union leaders decried Puzder as a secretary who would look out for millionaires — but not workers.AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement that Puzder’s “business record is defined by fighting against working people.”Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said there’s reason to be skeptical about Puzder.“Turning the Labor Department over to someone who opposes an increase in the minimum wage, opposes the overtime rule that would raise middle class wages, and whose businesses have repeatedly violated labour laws might be the surest sign yet that the next cabinet will be looking out for the billionaires and special interests, instead of America’s working class,” Schumer said in a statement.Trump’s selection won praise from the National Retail Federation, however.“Andrew Puzder is someone with the real-world experience to understand workforce issues and how jobs are created,” said David French, NRF’s senior vice-president for government relations.Trump’s recent appointments have reflected his desire to turn to business leaders — who also were campaign donors. Trump tapped former WWE chief executive and top campaign contributor Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration. He also selected his campaign’s national finance chairman Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive and hedge fund investor, as Treasury secretary.Puzder visited with Trump several times since the election, including a meeting Wednesday afternoon at Trump Tower.He has long been a reliable GOP donor. He was a major financier for 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and has remained close to him. At Romney’s annual donor summit in June, Puzder was one of just a few attendees who aggressively promoted Trump to the dozens who were more squeamish about their party’s new star.He told The Associated Press at the Republican National Convention in late July that he enjoyed the challenge of raising money for Trump, saying he often sought common ground with reluctant GOP donors by talking up Trump’s children.“If he’s such an evil villain,” Puzder said he would tell would-be donors, “how do you explain the kids?”___AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace contributed to this report. FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump walks with CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J. Trump is expected to add another wealthy business person and elite donor to his Cabinet, with fast food executive Andrew Puzder as Labor secretary. In the background is Vice President-elect Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) read more

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MacBook Air refresh to include 19nm 400Mbps mSATA SSD

first_imgA typical mSATA flash driveWhen the MacBook Air got an update last year it impressed on a number of fronts. The super thin laptop not only offered long battery life and decent performance using an Intel Core 2 processor, but the decision to incorporate an SSD instead of a hard drive meant instant-on capabilities and much faster access to stored data.AdChoices广告Apple managed to keep the Air so thin by initially using a new type of Toshiba SSD called Blade X-gale. Those drives looked more like RAM modules and had no casing in order to keep their size down. The Air now uses drives from both Toshiba and Samsung that are capable of achieveing read speeds of up to 260Mbps. However, for the Air hardware refresh expected this year Apple is thought to have moved to another, much faster drive.The new MacBook Air is expected to adopt the mSATA connector which we’ve mainly seen used on mini-ITX motherboards and in some netbooks. It allows a flash drive to be slotted directly on to the motherboard taking up very little space.The memory Apple has opted for is called “Toggle DDR 2.0” built on a 19nm process. The good news for consumers is the fact this new memory can reach speeds of 400Mbps while using less power due to the smaller manufacturing process used to create it. In other words, the MacBook Air refresh should bring with it even faster access to your data while using less power than previous models.We don’t know who is providing these new mSATA Toggle drives, but both Toshiba and Samsung are setup to manufacture them. It could just be a case of supplies arriving from both companies and which you get is the luck of the draw.Read more at Macotakara (translated), and Apple Insider (images courtesy of Intel)last_img read more

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Tebas drops massive La Liga hint of Neymar and Mbappé

first_imgDuring an event organized by Europa Press, La Liga president Javier Tebas stated that he believes “something” will happen with Neymar and Mbappé.The summer transfer market seems like it will be even more interesting than the ones prior due to the high demand for stars like Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, at least that’s what La Liga’s president Javier Tebas seemed to hint this Wednesday.During an event organized by Europa Press, the chairman spoke about several topics regarding the competition he controls and spoke about how much the exit of people like Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, or Pep Guardiola have affected the tournament in a very negative way.It’s clear that these football stars leaving Spain dropped La Liga’s level and has elevated the countries where they have decided to continue their careers, Guardiola made a massive impact in the Bundesliga when he coached Bayern Munich for three seasons and Jose Mourinho kept winning trophies in the Premier League during the time he managed both Chelsea and Manchester United.The situation with Cristiano Ronaldo is no different as he has managed to revive Serie A practically on his own after coming to Juventus, suddenly many top players want to play in Italy just because they want to play either with or against the Portuguese forward.➡ Tebas: “Ojalá que Mbappé y Neymar jueguen en #LaLiga”➡ El presidente de LaLiga cree que “puede que haya algún club que se está guardando dinero” y que pueda “haber algo importante en verano”#EPDesayunoTebas https://t.co/vnRHxjSsA0— EP Deportes (@EPdeportes) January 30, 2019Tebas is aware that the Spanish La Liga needs to make some instrumental decisions that will bring the competition back to the very top and they can keep winning the biggest trophies on club level football.While FC Barcelona seems like they will keep Lionel Messi in the squad until the day he retires, clubs like Real Madrid or Atletico are still searching for more interesting players who can help them compete against the dominant Catalan club.Los Blancos are a very specific case, they are one of the wealthiest clubs in the world and they are expected to make a massive investment in one of the two most coveted players in European football.Paris Saint-Germain currently has Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, the Brazilian seems like a more plausible option for the French giants to release from the club but the French wonder kid is still one of the most impossible targets in the market today.However, president Javier Tebas just hinted that he may have some inside information about the possible negotiations for both players and he let something slip this Wednesday during the public event organized by Europa Press this week.Javier Tebas, boss of LaLiga: “There are many indications that one of the clubs from LaLiga saves money for the big move. I don’t know if it’s about Neymar or Kylian Mbappé, but I have the impression that something big can happen in the summer.” pic.twitter.com/PzoM1piBeB— Rafał (@madridreigns) January 30, 2019Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…Apart from dismissing the complaints from Real Madrid about VAR used in the Spanish La Liga, Javier Tebas offered several headlines as usual about several topics that are very interesting to the world of football.“I wish that both Neymar and Kylian Mbappé can come to La Liga next season,” said Tebas on Europa Press during the event.“I have a feeling that something important is going to happen during the summer. Both of these players are people who can only come to great clubs and there is a possibility that one of them is saving money in order to bring one of those major stars to Spanish football.”“I obviously would’ve loved Cristiano Ronaldo to continue playing for La Liga, or that Mourinho would sign a new contract with a Spanish club.”“Their exits haven’t really affected us, I am not 100% sure that people from Serie A are happy with his arrival.”“As far as the financial fair play allegations against PSG goes, we have been leading the charge on this for the last three years in European football.”“We did place a formal accusation against Paris Saint-Germain in front of UEFA. We won’t stop being on top of this issue until we get a proper resolution,” he added.📈 Biggest home win in #Ligue1 🏡🏅 Biggest win in #Ligue1, equaling the scoreline from a March 2016 victory 🆚 Troyes9⃣-0⃣ #PSGEAG🔴🔵 #AllezParis pic.twitter.com/y9rduSsmYr— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 19, 2019Who would you like to come to La Liga, Neymar or Kylian Mbappé? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

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National Tourism Month

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 30 Oct 2014 – November begins National Tourism Month and among the activities is a Tourism Symposium; the two day event is set for next Tuesday and Wednesday… the theme is: “Tourism is Key, Unlock its Possibilities.” Recommended for you Holiday on Friday in Turks and Caicos Related Items:national tourism month, novembercenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI Shines joins National Tourism Month activity calendarlast_img read more

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