A US judge has approved VW’s $1.2bn settlement with dealers

whatsapp Breyer said the settlement was “fair, reasonable, and adequate”.Read more: VW owners are taking their emissions scandal claims to the High CourtVW has also agreed to keep making volume-based incentive payments to dealers and will allow them to defer capital improvements for two years.Earlier this month, VW said it had negotiated a $4.3bn draft settlement with US regulators over the emissions-rigging scandal and said it would plead guilty to breaking certain US laws.It had already agreed to a $15bn civil settlement with environmental authorities and car owners in the US. Share Rebecca Smith Tuesday 24 January 2017 8:23 am Volkswagen’s dealers will receive a $1.2bn (£1bn) settlement, after a US judge approved it.The 650 dealers will receive an average of $1.85m due to the car company’s diesel emissions scandal and US District Judge Charles Breyer said they will be paid over 18 months. whatsapp Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic MirrorUndoSwift VerdictChrissy Metz, 39, Shows Off Massive Weight Loss In Fierce New PhotoSwift VerdictUndoUnify Health LabsRandy Jackson: This 3 Minute Routine Transformed My HealthUnify Health LabsUndoWarped SpeedCan You Name More State Capitals Than A 5th Grader? Find Out Now!Warped SpeedUndoMaternity WeekAfter Céline Dion’s Major Weight Loss, She Confirms What We Suspected All AlongMaternity WeekUndoPensAndPatronTori Roloff Confirms Devastating News About The FamilyPensAndPatronUndoOne-N-Done | 7-Minute Workout7 Minutes a Day To a Flat Stomach By Using This 1 Easy ExerciseOne-N-Done | 7-Minute WorkoutUndoNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyUndo More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgConnecticut man dies after crashing Harley into live bearnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.org And law firm Harcus Sinclair has applied for a group litigation order against VW on behalf of thousands of owners of cars manufactured by the firm. That’s the first such claim in the UK.Read more: VW’s launched a new company to discover the future of transportThe scandal emerged in September 2015 when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many VW cars sold in the country had software to detect when they were being tested and tweak the performance to cheat the tests.The German company then admitted cheating emissions tests in many other countries too, including the UK. A US judge has approved VW’s $1.2bn settlement with dealers read more

Robert Walters bemoans ‘savage’ coronavirus profit hit

first_img“It’s savage for the recruitment market,” Walters told City A.M. He said recruitment is still occurring in “pockets” via video interviews. But the economic fallout and the working from home directive means most firms have paused hiring. Joe Curtis whatsapp But the picture was bad across the board for Robert Walters. Asia Pacific income dropped five per cent in the first quarter to £34.5m and Europe experienced a two per cent dip to £25.4m. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBleacherBreaker4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!BleacherBreakerbonvoyaged.comTotal Jerks: These Stars Are Horrible People.bonvoyaged.comDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyGloriousaDrone Captures What No One Was Supposed to SeeGloriousaMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryNoteableyAirport Security Couldn’t Believe These Jaw-Dropping MomentsNoteableyzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsJustPerfact USAMan Decides to File for Divorce After Taking a Closer Look at This Photo!   JustPerfact USA Recruiter Robert Walters has bemoaned the “savage” economic impact of coronavirus as UK fee income slumped 29 per cent over the first quarter of 2020. London firms have paused hiring in the face of coronavirus, dealing a blow to UK recruiters like Robert Walters (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Robert Walters blames ‘savage’ coronavirus for UK profit hit The recruitment agency is seen as an economic bellwether and took a hit from Brexit uncertainty and the lead-up to December’s General Election in 2019. whatsapp Show Comments ▼ And rival Page Group saw profit drop 26 per cent last month, it revealed today. London firms have paused hiring in the face of coronavirus, dealing a blow to UK recruiters like Robert Walters (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Robert Walters blames ‘savage’ coronavirus for UK profit hit Robert Walters has already furloughed staff in the UK but has so far avoided redundancies across its international workforce.  The FTSE 100-listed company’s UK performance, where fee income sank to £19.7m, dragged overall fee income to an 11 per cent year-on-year decline.  London firms have paused hiring in the face of coronavirus, dealing a blow to UK recruiters like Robert Walters (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Robert Walters blames ‘savage’ coronavirus for UK profit hit Robert Walters blames ‘savage’ coronavirus for UK profit hit Sharecenter_img London firms have paused hiring in the face of coronavirus, dealing a blow to UK recruiters like Robert Walters (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Robert Walters blames ‘savage’ coronavirus for UK profit hit London firms have paused hiring in the face of coronavirus, dealing a blow to UK recruiters like Robert Walters (AFP via Getty Images) Chief financial officer Alan Bannatyne told City A.M. the business could up those cost savings to 20 per cent with the UK’s furlough scheme, where the government pays up to 80 per cent of staff wages. Wednesday 8 April 2020 9:47 am “It’s largely a hangover from a dreadful final quarter with uncertainties from Brexit to the election,” chief executive Robert Walters told City A.M. “And then just when things were starting to look better we get clobbered by the virus.” Overall Robert Walters’ fee income dropped from £98.56m in the first quarter of 2019 to £87.4m in the opening months of 2020. “It’s just really a question of time and seeing how this plays out for 2020,” he said. 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He also said Robert Walters is not at risk of burning through cash. But he did not rule out scrapping the 2020 dividend if the coronavirus crisis deepens. The coronavirus hit to Europe began in February and worsened in March, but lockdowns are set to continue until at least the end of April. “The group has a strong balance sheet, strong cash position and an experienced management team,” Walters added. “I am confident that we will emerge from this period of uncertainty very well placed to benefit from operational gearing to quickly take advantage of the inevitable market opportunities.” Tags: Robert Walterslast_img read more

House committees take different approach on crime bills

first_imgAlcohol & Substance Abuse | Crime & Courts | Interior | Politics | Public Safety | Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence | Southcentral | State GovernmentHouse committees take different approach on crime billsApril 30, 2019 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, speaks during a House floor session in Juneau on April 11. Kopp said Saturday that the House Judiciary Committee’s version of House Bill 49 is a good starting point for making changes to criminal sentencing. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)Competing crime bills are advancing in the Alaska Legislature.Four major bills proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy have advanced to the Senate Finance Committee. Senate Bill 35 would increase penalties for sex offenses. Senate Bill 32 would reverse reductions to sentences from the 2016 law known as Senate Bill 91, and introduce a new category of crime called terroristic threatening.  Senate Bill 33 would increase bail and give judges more discretion in how people charged with crimes are released before trials. And Senate Bill 34 would reduce the use of parole, so that prisoners will spend more time in jail.But House members have brought different ideas on addressing crime to the House Judiciary and House Finance committees.The House Judiciary Committee moved House Bill 49 and House Bill 145, both of which include some elements of the different crime bills that have advanced in the Senate.Anchorage Republican Rep. Chuck Kopp said Saturday that the Judiciary Committee’s version of HB 49 is a good starting point for making changes to criminal sentencing.“This has incorporated numerous specific requests from the law enforcement community over — I think a dozen different sections came directly from (the Alaska Department of) Public Safety,” said Kopp, the House Rules Committee chairman. “And more than that came directly from the governor’s bill. It gives us a working document. There will be more amendments. We know we need a vehicle to improve crime, and this gives us a good starting point.”Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks during a House floor session, March 11, 2019. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)But Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman said the bills moved by the Judiciary Committee are too complex.“I had thought we had learned a lesson from what happened with SB 91 and all of the subsequent fallout,” he said. “Even those who supported it had to support continual bills of revision because it was just so big.”The House Finance Committee has taken yet another approach. It has amended House Bill 20, which was originally intended to improve the reporting and timeliness of rape kit testing.The committee added provisions that are closer to Dunleavy’s proposals to reverse the SB 91 sentencing reductions than the bills moved by the Judiciary Committee.Members of the House majority caucus planned to meet late Tuesday to discuss what crime legislation will advance to the House floor.Watch the latest legislative coverage from Gavel Alaska: Share this story:last_img read more

Environmental conservation unit chief objects to Dunleavy’s watered down rules for PFAS chemicals exposure

first_imgEnvironment | State GovernmentEnvironmental conservation unit chief objects to Dunleavy’s watered down rules for PFAS chemicals exposureMay 9, 2019 by Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska Share:Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2019/05/09PFAS-web.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Dunleavy administration’s decision to redefine PFAS levels considered safe in drinking water has caused dissension from a senior staffer working on contaminated sites. Lawmakers are scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue later this week.PFAS are a type of man-made chemicals that have been in use for over 50 years, and while the direct health effects are not fully understood, the chemicals “may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals,” according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has quietly reclassified how it measures PFAS contamination in ground water. In April, the state agency said it would test for fewer chemicals to determine whether well water is safe to drink.DEC’s map of known PFAS-contaminated sites in Alaska. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances chemicals are found in some firefighting foams and a wide range of consumer products. Exposure has been linked to adverse health effects. (Image courtesy of Department of Environmental Conservation)The shift in policy won’t affect the thousands of households whose wells have elevated PFAS levels and receive alternative water supplies from the state. But going forward, DEC would use the new, less-stringent standards before providing supplemental water.The move was panned by environmental groups pointing to fears of long-term health effects in people and the environment.At least one senior staffer working on contaminated sites expressed concern.“As the manager for the Contaminated Sites Program’s unit for science-based regulatory standards policy, I am stating my objection to the administration’s recent decision to put regulations on hold,” wrote DEC’s Sally Schlichting in an internal memo obtained this week by CoastAlaska.“The best way to protect our citizens of the state of Alaska is not by rolling back standards,” she wrote in the April 28 memo to the head of DEC’s Contaminated Sites Program. “Such action goes against our responsibility as environmental and health professionals to ensure the drinking water of Alaskans is safe.”Schlichting is on leave through May 17 and couldn’t be reached for comment.Officials in the Commissioner’s Office say they hadn’t seen the memo until Wednesday. DEC Commissioner Jason Brune brushed off the criticism.“This individual is entitled to her opinion. However, she does not speak for DEC nor for the administration,” Brune said in a statement Wednesday (read Brune’s full statement here).Brune said the science surrounding PFAS is evolving and noted the federal government is already working to craft an updated standard for states to follow.“We will be closely monitoring the EPA’s progress on this issue and the emerging science, and if necessary we will adjust our course,” Brune added.House Democrats have criticized this approach.“There’s no reason that you should not take action to protect the health of your citizens of the environment and clean drinking water,” Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) said, “because at some point — and we hope in the future — that the federal government is going to take action?“Tarr co-chairs the House Resources Committee which has scheduled a Friday hearing on PFAS contamination.The internal DEC memo lends evidence that the state’s revised PFAS policy was a political decision, she said, rather than a move to protect human health and the environment.“And so it tells me that the administration ignored the recommendations of the scientists at their department,” Tarr added.Much of the contamination discovered last year was in wells around Fairbanks, Bristol Bay and the Southeast community of Gustavus. It’s likely much of the PFAS pollution is from an FAA-mandated fire suppressant foam used at airports.Share this story:last_img read more

Could eating bioengineered bacteria with every meal treat a serious disease?

first_imgBiotech The genetic disease phenylketonuria causes devastating brain damage if the person is exposed to protein in food. Its damage can be so severe that newborns are routinely screened for the genetic defect that causes it.The effects of PKU can be prevented with a diet that avoids all protein, but it’s incredibly challenging to follow. Even pasta has some protein, as do all meat, dairy, fish, nuts, and beans — and kids who stick to a protein-free diet and rely on a protein-substitute formula often end up with stunted growth. GET STARTED By Karen Weintraub Aug. 22, 2018 Reprints @kweintraub About the Author Reprints What is it? Karen Weintraub Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Log In | Learn More Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. What’s included? E. coli bacteria NIH Karen Weintraub is an independenthealth/sciencejournalist, journalism teacher, and bookauthor. Could eating bioengineered bacteria with every meal treat a serious disease? Tags drug developmentgeneticsrare diseaseSTAT+last_img read more

As ‘the clock starts ticking’ after coronavirus infection, Trump faces an uncertain road ahead

first_img The critical time to know whether Trump will remain in the former group or progress to more serious disease is a window of between about eight to 12 days after symptoms begin, experts say.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: “The problem is that a lot of the time, very abruptly … they worsen. Their oxygen needs just start to go up really fast,” Swamy said of Covid-19 patients he has seen in the hospital. “That doesn’t mean that that’s going to happen by any means. I think it’s still more likely, hopefully, that it will be a mild course.”The world may never know how and where Trump became infected. The president has been doing more in-person election campaigning than public health officials believe to be wise in the middle of the worst pandemic of the past century. This week alone he has held rallies and attended private fundraising events in Minnesota and New Jersey.In particular, an event on the White House lawn announcing Trump’s selection of Amy Coney Barrett as his choice for the Supreme Court is drawing new scrutiny. Wes Ely, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, called it “just super frustrating” in an interview after news of Trump’s positive test.“I was like, oh, my God, what the heck are they doing? No one had masks on. And he could have gotten that virus at that event or any of the rallies,” he said.Trump, who has downplayed the significance of the pandemic from the start, has resisted wearing masks at public events, even mocking his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, during this week’s debate for routinely wearing a mask in public.Infection can take up to 14 days to become evident, though most people who contract the virus develop symptoms within about five days. They tend to be at their most infectious at that point — even emitting high levels of virus in the day or two before they become symptomatic. “For anybody who gets infected, the clock starts ticking,” said Lakshman Swamy, an intensive care physician with Cambridge Health Alliance, in Cambridge, Mass.“No matter what it is that he feels today, what all of us are going to be watching for is how he’s doing in about a week,” agreed Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Lifespan Health Systems in Providence, R.I.Alex Hogan/STATIt’s believed that the immune systems of people who go on to develop severe Covid-19 infection fail to contain the viral infection, at which point a cascade of inflammatory responses takes off, triggering new and serious symptoms such as blood clots and organ failure. Tags CoronavirusDonald Trump Lakshman Swamy, intensive care physician Related: Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. @cooney_liz The news that President Trump is showing mild signs of Covid-19 infection after testing positive tell us nothing about what the disease might have in store for the commander-in-chief, physicians who treat patients with the illness warn.And they suggest people the president’s age — he is 74 — who develop Covid-19 often have more subtle symptoms initially that may give way to pneumonia and severe illness.One of the common early symptoms among elderly Covid patients is a drop in mental acuity or periods of mild confusion — which would be a disconcerting turn of events, if it were to happen to a sitting president.advertisement Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest a person 65 to 74 has a five times greater chance of being hospitalized with coronavirus infection than a person aged 18 to 29. The risk of death from Covid-19 in the president’s age demographic is 90 times higher than that people in the 18 to 29 age group.Ranney noted the risk of death from the infection for a person Trump’s age is 8%. While that means most people his age will survive this infection, that fatality rate is very high for a viral respiratory infection.Wherever Trump is being treated in the days ahead, his medical team will have him under close observation. So will the American people, Ranney said.“I think as a country we will all be watching closely for the next seven to 14 days and hoping that he’s one of those that escapes the severe consequences — but knowing that we still have no good treatments for this stage of the illness,” she said.Andrew Joseph contributed reporting.  Please enter a valid email address. Why the White House’s testing-only strategy to shield Trump from Covid-19 fell short Privacy Policy Anyone who was in close proximity to Trump and his wife, Melania — who has also contracted Covid-19 — in the past few of days should be in quarantine.When someone contracts the virus, it can take a few days for the level of the virus in their systems to reach detectable levels. It was why experts were cautioning that the Bidens’ negative test Friday doesn’t preclude the chance he was infected at the debate, which was just a few days earlier.“It’s certainly still a possibility,” said Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Mina said the vast majority of people who eventually test positive do so within five to seven days after contracting the virus, so that while it’s a good sign the Bidens tested negative, they should have additional tests in the coming days.White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed that the president has been displaying mild symptoms. And the New York Times, citing sources, said Trump seemed “lethargic” at a fundraising event on Thursday in Bedminster, N.J., and fell asleep on Air Force One on his return from a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.Symptoms vary widely with Covid-19. “They can range from just the sniffles or some mild fatigue to severe muscle aches, severe fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and of course, cough and trouble breathing, which most of us think of as classic Covid,’’ Ranney said.But in the elderly — and both Ranney and Swamy classified Trump in that category — the disease presentation can be different. General Assignment Reporter Liz focuses on cancer, biomedical engineering, and how patients feel the effects of Covid-19. HealthAs ‘the clock starts ticking’ after coronavirus infection, Trump faces an uncertain road ahead About the Authors Reprints Helen Branswell Related: Elizabeth Cooney By Helen Branswell and Elizabeth Cooney Oct. 2, 2020 Reprints “In elderly patients, you … may not see the fevers. You may not see the sort of classic Covid symptoms. You may just see that someone’s falling asleep more. That could be the start of it,” Swamy said. “But that’s really hard to make sense of because that doesn’t mean that every elderly person who’s falling asleep has Covid.’’Ranney said she diagnosed Covid-19 in “so many” elderly patients during Rhode Island’s spring crush of cases who didn’t appear to have the disease. For instance, they did not have the shortness of breath many think of as the defining feature of Covid-19 infection. In fact, the infections were only caught because the hospital was testing anyone who came to the emergency room for care.“They show up being just a little confused or a little off. A little fatigued. A little dizzy,” she said.Still, that doesn’t mean Trump won’t develop more severe symptoms seen in some Covid-19 cases. A patient might be hospitalized if they experience shortness of breath and other signs of low oxygen — including levels in the low 90s on a home pulse oximeter — or an unrelenting fever. Once in the hospital, patients can be treated with drugs to prevent the serious blood clots common in Covid-19, as well as a new antiviral and an old steroid.“Our progress in therapeutics has been to this point, exclusively hospital-based,” said Paul Sax, clinical director of Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “We can’t use remdesivir or dexamethasone in the outpatient setting. That’s something that’s reserved for people who are in the hospital.”A patient who is getting sicker will likely move from a regular bed in a Covid ward to the intensive care unit, first when pneumonia has developed or later when it worsens to acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS. A later stage called Covid sepsis means that other organs beyond the lungs are at risk of failing.Given Trump’s age and his weight — whether he would be medically classified as obese is a matter of debate — his chances of developing severe disease are higher than his wife’s. (Men also have a higher rate of severe Covid illness than women.) “In elderly patients, you … may not see the fevers. You may not see the sort of classic Covid symptoms.” MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images Could President Trump receive an experimental coronavirus treatment? Should he? Covid-19 Drugs and Vaccines Tracker [email protected] This is a disease that can and often does confound, with many people experiencing no or very mild symptoms and others progressing to prolonged, debilitating bouts of illness that, in some cases, can lead to death. It’s also a disease that can take its time: People who appear to be recovering can take a turn for the worse at a point where, with other respiratory infections like influenza or colds, one would be expected to be starting to recover. Related: @HelenBranswell Senior Writer, Infectious Disease Helen covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development.last_img read more

Thae Yong Ho’s elite pedigree could work for or against relatives…

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR SHARE AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Facebook Twitter The defection of one of North Korea’s highest-ranking diplomats to South Korea has stirred up concerns about a sweeping purge by the Kim Jong Un leadership, which may seek all-out revenge against its Deputy Ambassador to the UK Thae Yong Ho and his wife O Hye Son. The two are both from the North’s core “guerrilla partisan” elite, considered the highest-ranking families in social class since the founding of the country. Some observers have expressed concerns that Kim Jong Un’s fearpolitik could manifest as a “bloodbath” against family members with ties to the elite couple still in North Korea.Kim Jong Un has in the past put the North’s draconian guilt of association into practice when purging high-level cadres, often meting out brutal punishments. The leader’s outrage about Thae’s defection is expected to be explosive, increasing the likelihood for Kim to call for strong measures of accountability. “Kim Jong Un is said to have tempered his punishments of guilt by association against defector family members recently, but Thae Yong Ho is no average resident. He was a deputy ambassador representing the country,” a former North Korean high-level military cadre member who escaped to the South told Daily NK. “There is the possibility he will purge not only all of the immediate family but relatives as well.”He added, “Kim Jong Un has always been on edge about high-level officials overseas defecting because of the reality they face under global sanctions, so Thae Yong Ho seeking asylum above all things would have been a shock. This is why there’s a high chance their families will receive strong punishments to set an example so that other diplomats and high-level cadres aren’t influenced by Thae’s asylum.” However, a blanket purge against Thae’s family and relatives could result in blowback against the regime. Those connected to the anti-Japanese partisan revolutionary line, which is only superseded in importance by the “Mt. Paektu line” of the Kim family itself, hold key positions within the leadership; a sudden sweep-out would leave gaping vacuums of power. Thae Yong Ho’s brother Thae Hyong Chol is currently a Party Central Committee member and the president of Kim Il Sung University, while O Kum Chol, vice chief of the Korean People’s Army General Staff, is a member of O Hye Son’s family, to name a few.“These ‘guerrilla partisan’ groups occupy core posts within the North, so it would be hard for Kim Jong Un to carry out a purge against them all just because they’re related to Thae Yong Ho,” Cho Han Bum, a senior research fellow at Korea Institute for National Unification said. “There may be some punishments to hold people accountable, but it’s difficult to imagine something like this so-called “bloodbath.’”Cho added that a misstep on Kim Jong Un’s end in dealing with the “guerrilla partisan” generation could have the reverse effect and accelerate splintering within the leadership. “The ‘guerrilla partisan’ bloodline is stronger than people realize, and the possibility of this contingent rising up against Kim Jong Un in the most extreme of  situations cannot be ruled out,” he surmised. Kim Kwang In, director of Korea Advancement Association also said, “The relatives won’t be left completely untouched, but it’s hard to imagine it becoming a full-on purge. Kim Jong Un won’t be able to ignore the symbolism that ‘guerrilla partisan’ groups have.” Kim added that whatever measures are carried out they will not likely be made public, as news of Thae’s defection may incite additional escapes if the general public is made aware of it.  By Daily NK – 2016.08.19 3:58pm Thae Yong Ho’s elite pedigree could work for or against relatives in NKcenter_img Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Analysis & Opinion Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

Lessons from advisors on discussing responsible investing

first_img“When I first became familiar with RI, I used to bring it up a lot, introduce the concepts and [clients] would make a decision,” Smith said during a June 5 virtual panel hosted by the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) as the kick-off to its 2020 virtual conference.As Smith’s familiarity with RI matured, she began to incorporate it into her investment approach, rather than highlight it as a niche.“RI is something I believe in 100% and, wherever possible, I invest my clients in it,” Smith said, adding that analyzing environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is embedded into her process when she’s choosing products and portfolio managers.If clients ask for more information on RI, Smith directs them to consumer-facing videos and industry research. The goal, she said, is to help them see “the broad impact that they’ll be having by investing in RI.”Given the complexity of the RI universe, clients can be overwhelmed if given too much information, said Alicja Brown, an advisor with Remy Brown Investment Group at CIBC Wood Gundy in Edmonton.“For those who are really interested [in RI], I often say, ‘I could talk about this all day. How much time do you have?’” Brown said.“I’ll provide as much information as investors like but, ultimately, clients are hiring me because they want to delegate the management of their financial affairs,” she added.Brown said learning about RI led to a “career shift” for her, but she still focuses on the client first.“I always bring up the fact that, from an investment management perspective, I use RI,” Brown said. “I don’t advertise myself as, let’s say, a green advisor, but it is something I integrate in all client portfolios.”Determining how to broach RI with a client depends on the client’s priorities, Smith said.“If [a client] is someone who comes from an environmentally conscious background and cares about sustainability, we talk about their values,” Smith said. Conversely, if a client is focused more on their financial goals, “I tell them as a bonus that I’m investing responsibly and what that means.”When starting discussions about RI, advisors may confront client biases and industry myths. While there are “myths of underperformance, of extra costs [and] of [RI] limiting the investible universe,” these myths aren’t valid, Brown said.“There’s so much robust research that tells us this, so a major takeaway is to check your biases at the door” — especially with so many Canadians wanting to learn about RI, Brown said.And learning about RI options is becoming easier. Increasingly, ESG factors are being mentioned in the earnings reports of major S&P 500 companies, said Mary Robinson, the RIA’s director of research, policy and collaboration.“[This] matters because earnings calls are the opportunity for companies to share their stories with the capital market,” Robinson said.Robinson noted that there were 71 mentions of “ESG” on earnings calls for S&P 500 names in Q4 2019, up from 14 a year earlier and up from only five in the first quarter of 2018. She added that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated RI growth, with social issues coming to the forefront.Also read: Do advisors ask clients about responsible investment? Keywords Responsible investing,  ESG,  CoronavirusCompanies Responsible Investment Association Deciding how — and whether — to discuss responsible investing (RI) with clients can be tricky.Carol Smith, an advisor with Lévis, Que.-based Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network (DFSIN), has evolved her approach over many years. Related news Study: Racial diversity stagnated on U.S. corporate boards Katie Keir Ontario unlikely to balance budget by 2030: FAO Catastrophe bond market gains momentum hand painting symbols of alternative energy sources in green ismagilov/123RF Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Like investors, bacteria, viruses and cancer cells hedge their bets

first_imgLike investors, bacteria, viruses and cancer cells hedge their bets Bacteria, viruses and cancer cells can act like savvy human investors by diversifying their population against futures shocks just as people hedge their investments with a diversified portfolio against uncertainty.Cells ‘put buy’ slow-growing cells, called persisters, for a rainy dayPersisters are cells’ ways of proofing against future adversity, including antibiotics or chemotherapyMathematicians have applied financial investment ideas to model how cells allocate their persistersPersister modelling could help clinicians plan effective interventionsQUT mathematicians from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers applied financial risk management theory to the study of biological population dynamics to better understand an emergent ‘cellular hedging’ strategy that maximises the expected growth rate of bacteria and other microorganisms.QUT mathematician Professor Matthew Simpson said bacteria invested in ‘persisters’, a slow-growing subpopulation, to ensure their survival in the face of uncertainty and volatility.“The cellular hedging strategy of bacterial persistence is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance and is responsible for the incurability of common infections,” Professor Simpson, from the QUT Centre for Data Science, said.“While most cells are growing and dividing, a tiny proportion of the bacteria population – perhaps only one in a million – become persisters and lie dormant until needed to re-establish the population after an adverse environmental event, such as antibiotics.“Persister-like strategies are also found in some cancer cells and viruses, which helps explain remission, recurrence and how viruses can stay inactive in the body for years.“These dormant cells are often overlooked due to their scarcity but must be taken into account before clinical interventions.“With a better understanding of how biological systems adapt to uncertainty we can help combat antibiotic resistance and find new, adaptive, therapeutic interventions.”Professor Simpson said the study provided a new theoretical foundation for studying how cells adapted to uncertainty using ideas from mathematical finance.“We applied cross-disciplinary ideas from mathematical finance to the problem of persister cells in biology. Our tools can simulate bacteria persistence under mathematical models of truly volatile environments.“In the financial model, for example, investors allocate a fraction of their wealth to a high-yield but volatile asset, such as stocks and a low-yield stable asset, such as government bond just as bacteria have evolved mechanisms to allocate cells from their total population to remain proliferative but susceptible to volatility, and some to be persisters,” he said.“A key result of the direct comparison between bacterial persistence and the financial problem is that, for a simple model of environmental volatility, the bacteria only need maintain a constant proportion of persisters to maximise their growth.“This is significant because the cell population cannot directly control the proportion of persisters, unlike a financial investor, even though cells can display behaviour which makes us think that they are acting in an intelligent way.“This model of cellular hedging has clinical significance and could be applied to improve the efficacy of antimicrobial therapies.”PhD researcher Alexander Browning said the model opened the way for experimental studies where bacteria could be repeatedly exposed to a volatile environment to gain insight into how bacteria adapt to a form of uncertainty that could be quantified.Alexander Browning“Our framework could then predict both the emergent strategy and how the bacterial population might behave when exposed to interventions such as antibiotics,” Mr Browning said.“Further mathematical analysis on models of environmental volatility could aid experiment design by revealing which environmental features have the largest effect on persister strategies.“For example, we expect different responses to environments where change occurs gradually over time, compared to where changes are due to shocks.”“Persistence as an optimal hedging strategy” was published and featured on the cover of the January 5 issue of Biophysical Journal.The study was conducted by QUT PhD researchers Alexander Browning, Jesse Sharp; post-doctoral researcher Dr Tarunendu Mapder; and Professors Kevin Burrage and Matthew J Simpson – all from QUT School of Mathematical Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS), QUT; Dr Christopher M Baker from University of Melbourne and ACEMS. /University Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, Australia, bacteria, biological, chemotherapy, environment, Government, Investment, Investor, Melbourne, Professor, Queensland University of Technology, QUT, science, Simpson, university, University of Melbournelast_img read more

More than 25 million people in UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

first_imgMore than 25 million people in UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine 95% of people aged 65 and over have been vaccinated with first dose9 in 10 of those clinically extremely vulnerable have received first jabMore than 25 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.Figures out today show the UK health services vaccinated a total of 25,273,226 people between 8 December and 16 March with first doses of the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, while 1,759,445 people have had their second dose.This means almost half of the adult population (26.5 million) have already been vaccinated and will soon develop strong protection from serious illness, saving countless lives and significantly reducing pressure on the NHS.Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:This latest milestone is an incredible achievement – representing 25 million reasons to be confident for the future as we cautiously reopen society.Thank you once again to the brilliant NHS, scientists, armed forces, volunteers and all those who’ve helped our rollout.Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:Today, exactly 100 days after Margaret Keenan got the first authorised jab in the whole world, we’ve now vaccinated over 25 million people across the United Kingdom.It’s been such a national mission. One of the biggest logistical exercises since the war.We’re moving in the right direction. Thanks to everybody following the rules that are keeping us safe now and coming forward to get a jab that will keep us safe for the future.So let’s stick with it, follow the rules, and when you get the call, get the jab.The rollout is continuing at pace and the UK is on track to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of offering the first dose of the vaccine to all over-50s by 15 April, as well as all adults by the end of July.BT are marking the milestone with a message on the iconic BT Tower in London.Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:Vaccines are the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this terrible virus and the UK vaccination programme is going from strength to strength.This is an incredible milestone and moves us one step closer to safely seeing our friends and family again.The vaccination programme will continue to expand over the coming weeks and more people will receive their second doses.All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.Data from Public Health England’s real-world study shows that both the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing COVID-19 infections among older people aged 70 years and over.The vaccines are available free of charge from thousands of vaccine centres, and through GPs and pharmacies. Ninety-eight per cent of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England, which includes mosques, Westminster Abbey and football stadiums.Background informationThere are a total of 53 million adults in the UK and we expect to have vaccinated 26.5 million people – half of all UK adults – later this week.PHE’s real-world data on the efficacy of COVID vaccines is available here.Through the government’s Vaccines Taskforce, the UK has secured early access to 457 million doses of 7 of the most promising vaccine candidates, including:BioNTech/Pfizer for 40 million dosesOxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million dosesModerna for 17 million dosesGlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million dosesNovavax for 60 million dosesJanssen for 30 million dosesValneva for 100 million dosesCureVac for 50 million dosesTo date, the government has invested over £300 million into manufacturing a successful vaccine to enable a rapid rollout.The UK government is committed to supporting equitable access to vaccines worldwide. The UK is the largest donor to the COVAX facility, the global mechanism to help developing countries access a coronavirus vaccine, and has committed £548 million in UK aid to help distribute 1.3 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines to 92 developing countries this year. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Boris Johnson, clinical trials, coronavirus, Government, health, health services, London, older people, Pfizer, Prime Minister, public health, Scientists, UK, UK Government, United Kingdom, vaccination, vaccine candidatelast_img read more