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Obstacles Dont Deter Optimism Toward Housing

first_img Housing Market Nationwide 2016-06-28 Seth Welborn The national U.S. housing market is sustainable, despite slower-than-expected household formations and the slowdown in energy sector jobs, according to the latest Health of Housing Markets report from Nationwide Insurance.Much of the reason for the optimism lies in the fact that delinquency rates are down nearly across the board and are zeroing in on pre-bust levels, Nationwide reported.  Though the report did not cite specific numbers, graphics indicate heartily decreasing delinquency rates in almost all markets eat of the Mississippi, with notable declines in the Northeast and Florida.Steady declines in delinquency in the western half of the U.S. were also generally good, though delinquency rates were on the rise in that far southwestern ends of Arizona and California.Regionally, however, the housing markets in the vast majority of metropolitan statistical areas were deemed sustainable, suggesting that most local housing markets are unlikely to see declines in the near term.  Job and mortgage market conditions steadily improved as well, helping to boost housing sustainability in much of the country, the report stated.”We are seeing positive signals for homeowners, as well as local economies, in most metro areas.”David Berson, SVP and Chief Economist, NationwideHowever, there are some job concerns. Energy sector slowdowns are weighing on job growth and housing sustainability for a number of metros in energy-intensive areas, especially in North Dakota, Wyoming, and Texas. Nationwide’s assessment matches very closely to stats released by Arch Mortgage Insurance Tuesday that housing markets in these areas are at higher risk for seeing price declines over the next two years.Overall, though, the health of the U.S. market remained steady at just north of 100 on Nationwide’s index. The current value of 104.3 is the lowest level in two years, but an index value over 100 suggests “that the national housing market is healthy, with lower chances of a housing downturn over the next year as the index moves increasingly above the 100 break-even value,” the report stated.”We are seeing positive signals for homeowners, as well as local economies, in most metro areas,” said David Berson, Nationwide’s senior vice president and chief economist. “The drop in serious mortgage delinquency rates supports sustainable home price gains and housing activity. The more sustainable housing markets should allow for positive feedback loops in local economies, with strengthening job and income gains for residential real estate agents, mortgage bankers and home improvement workers.” June 28, 2016 495 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img Obstacles Don’t Deter Optimism Toward Housing Sharelast_img read more

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The Best States for Homeowners

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination June 11, 2019 723 Views The Best States for Homeowners While Iowa may have the lowest housing costs, and West Virginia has the highest homeownership rate, Massachusetts is ranked as the best place to live overall, according to a recent study from WalletHub. Based on five main indicators: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety, Wallethub determined which states were the “best places to live.”Massachusetts is ranked low in affordability, at 43, but between second and fourth in every category, making it WalletHub’s “best place to live.” Iowa, with the lowest housing costs in the country, is ranked eighth. WalletHub’s top five cities by housing prices were Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas. North Dakota also experienced some of the highest income growth in the country.The highest homeownership rate in the country can be found in West Virginia, along with Maine, Minnesota, Delaware, and Iowa again. West Virginia is also ranked second in overall affordability, behind Alabama.CoreLogic reported that affordability continues to improve across the nation, and home buying power has reached 2017 levels after an 11-month slowdown. Fleming states that the declining mortgage rates and rising income have led to boosted home buying power, overcoming the drag on affordability from rising nominal house prices.Affordability has been on the rise through the first several months of 2019. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that average interest rates on all mortgages fell 24 points from March to 4.20% in April.The FHFA stated home prices rose in every state, but First American’s Real Home Price Index states affordability also increased for the first time since March 2016.“In March, two main components of the RHPI swung in favor of increased affordability – continued strong household income growth and declining mortgage rates,” said First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming. “Nationally, affordability improved on a year-over-year basis for the first time since 2016.”center_img Affordability Home Prices Quality 2019-06-11 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

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Nevada officials reach out to Dbacks on potential

first_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Horton gave Matthews his 1999 Mercedes Benz SL500 convertible in exchange for $20 dollars. Matthews got a pretty great deal when you realize the Kelly Blue Book value of the car is $17,585. Not a bad going away gift if you ask us.Moral of the story for members of the Cardinals defense? Take care of Horton by say holding opponents to 14 points a game and making him look good this season and at some point he’ll most likely return the favor. Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals new defensive coordinator Ray Horton may be known for the hard hits his squad will deliver, but he may soon be known for his softer side for a gift he delivered.On his way out of Pittsburgh the former Steelers assistant made it a point to take care of someone most in professional sports would have even thought of, the chef at the team’s cafeteria.According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Horton gave Maurice “Mo” Matthews, the man who had made him food while with the Steelers, a gift the team employee would never forget.center_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories last_img read more

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Annual sales of streaming connected TV devices su

first_imgAnnual sales of streaming connected TV devices, such as Roku and Apple TV boxes, are set to double by 2017 according to a new study by Parks Associates. The research firm said that worldwide sales of these streaming media devices will reach 330 million annually by 2017, roughly double their predicted sales figures for 2013.Last year in the US market alone, Parks said that the number of broadband households with a streaming video device had doubled since 2011, reaching 14% penetration.Roku was found to be the most popular streaming TV device. Some 37% of surveyed US broadband households that had a streaming device said they primarily use Roku, compared to 24% that said they opted for Apple TV.“Innovations such as next-gen game consoles and 4K or Ultra-HD TVs will boost unit sales for these devices, but overall, consumers are reluctant to replace these big-ticket items solely for smart upgrades. As a result, streaming video media devices will have a thriving market because they can offer innovations such as streaming video at low prices. Devices such as Roku’s streaming players and Google’s Chromecast will benefit from these market conditions,” said Barbara Kraus, director of research, Parks Associates.Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood said: “Roku customers are passionate about streaming, and we are delighted that independent research shows that we are the most popular streaming platform measured by usage on a US household basis.”last_img read more

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ShareTweet

first_imgShareTweet court toldcrawford squareEddie Meenan murder: Derry man stabbed more than 40 timeshigh courtJUDGE BRIAN SHERRARDPolicePSNIRyan Walters Father-of-nine Edward Meenan who was murdered in November last yearA DERRY father brutally murdered in his home city last year had been stabbed over 40 times, the High Court heard.Prosecutors also said a trail of blood suggested Edward ‘Eddie’ Meenan was dragged to a Creggan Street alleyway where his partially clothed body was discovered in the early hours of last November 25. Details emerged as one of the men charged with murdering the 52-year-old was refused bail.Ryan Walters, 19, of Crawford Square in the city, is allegedly linked by blood found on a shoe. He denies the charge.Police were informed Mr Meenan was attacked after a number of men emerged from a house in the area.When the victim’s body was found he was wearing boxer shorts, with multiple injuries and slice marks detected. A Crown lawyer said post mortem examinations confirmed at least 42 stab wounds, including some to his neck, chest, arm and leg.Signs of blunt-force trauma to the face and a fractured nose pointed to heavy punches and possibly kicks having been inflicted as well, the court heard.According to the lawyer one witness claimed Walters later told her over the phone: “I killed the fella, I stabbed him.”But it was stressed in court that any such comments made had been untrue.Opposing bail, the prosecution argued that Walters is forensically linked by the blood on a trainer seized from his address.It was also contended that he was involved in an attempt to destroy evidence by burning clothing at a fire in the area that night.A defence barrister rejected assertions that the accused may flee if released.“That is cloud cuckoo land; he has nowhere to go and no resources,” counsel insisted.He further argued that it could be a year before any trial gets underway.But denying bail, Judge Brian Sherrard cited the potential risks of flight and further offences.Eddie Meenan murder: Derry man stabbed more than 40 times, court told was last modified: March 17th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

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Doug Yes You know Ive gotten into the habit of

first_img Doug: Yes. You know, I’ve gotten into the habit of doing obituaries in recent years in The Casey Report – but generally of people I don’t like. I know that’s considered improper, because you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but – L: It’s Totally Incorrect. Doug: [Laughs] Totally. But that’s perhaps the best reason to do it. I hate to see sepulchers whitened, especially when their contents are morally rotten. But Russell, whom I got to know to some degree, is worthy of praise. We hung out together a couple of weekends in past years. L: I caught that Heart of Darkness reference. We really should talk about books again, with a broader context than our conversation on speculative fiction. We’ve had requests. Doug: I’d like that – maybe next week. Anyway, I have a lot of respect for Russell. So I think I can say what I really think and not violate accepted mores. L: Okay. Perhaps we should start with who he was and how you came to know him? Doug: Sure. Russell rose to fame because he was involved in what’s sometimes called the Second Battle of Wounded Knee, back in 1973. About 200 Oglala Lakota occupied the town of Wounded Knee for over two months, and were surrounded by a small army of federal marshals and FBI agents, buttressed by a bunch of armored personnel carriers. There was a lot of shooting, resulting in several deaths. If it had happened today, it might have wound up like Waco. Means and others were put on trial, but the charges were dropped on based on prosecutorial misconduct. But Russell was very involved, and you can bet that he was on the line, pulling the trigger. He was that kind of guy. A couple of years later two FBI agents were killed there, and Leonard Peltier – a friend of Russell’s – was found guilty. That became a cause célèbre as well, since there’s some real question of whether he did it. He’s still in jail. I’m on the side of the Indians. Sure, they may have broken some laws, but most laws today are artificial, unnecessary, and corrupt constructs. They’re very unlikely to be changed from within the system. And, apart from that, the Indians are a special case in many ways. Russell was an outspoken sort of guy and a good self-promoter. So, subsequent to Wounded Knee II, he got into the movie business. As an actor he may be best known for playing Chingachgook in The Last of the Mohicans. He also had a role in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers and a voice appearance in Disney’s Pocahontas. He was actually a good actor, I thought. Maybe that’s because he basically played himself: a grizzled old Indian. He was a character actor: someone with a great persona that people just like to watch. There’s nothing wrong with that – John Wayne was famous for doing the same thing, as was Steve McQueen. L: Really? I had no idea… I knew of him as a libertarian activist – somehow, it never came up that he was in the movies. Doug: He was an activist, that’s for sure. That’s what brought him to the Eris Society meetings I hosted for 30 years, where I met him. Russell was always interesting company, but not always easy to get along with. He had what you might call an evenly balanced personality – a chip on both his shoulders. He seemed to be constantly looking for a confrontation, if not an actual fight. And he demanded to be treated with respect. I had no problem with that, because I found him worthy of respect. L: A shining example? Doug: He had strong points. He was definitely a guy you’d like at your side when the time came to fix bayonets. But like all of us, he had faults. The thing about Russell is that he was what I’d call a professional Indian. And I mean that with all due respect. I just think that he made too big a deal out of being part of his people. We’re all individuals, and we should be judged on our own achievements and faults, not those of whatever groups we belong to. The same goes for professional Irishmen, professional Jews, professional blacks, or what have you. Your ethnicity and racial background is definitely part of who you are, but it shouldn’t take over your personality. Making an accident of birth the centerpiece of your life makes no sense to me; I view it as a psychological failing. But it’s a common enough error, and one that’s encouraged by today’s politically correct society. Russell certainly wasn’t the only one to make it, nor the worst. L: It seems to have worked for him. If only for the movie roles, he must have made a lot of money almost literally by being a professional Indian. Doug: True enough. There is, however, a different sort of professional Indian that Russell despised. One of his favorite phrases for such people was: “hang around the fort Indians.” [Chuckles] I thought that was a great description. L: Sorry – what does that mean? Doug: Welfare Indians and Indians turned white – hanging around the fort, making supplications to their conquerors, seeking to game the system and gain advantage from the treaties and deals with the US, rather than living on their own terms. Like so many things in the political world, it’s perverse. The US government basically stole most of the Indians’ lands and destroyed their way of life. It broke absolutely every treaty it made with them. Then it turned them into welfare junkies as compensation. Some compensation… L: It has seemed to me that many Indians, or First Nations peoples, as they call them in Canada, are caught on the horns of a real dilemma. On one hand, they want to adhere to their traditional ways. Fair enough. But on the other, their traditional ways are a Stone-Age culture with no modern medicine and absolutely no way to fight a modern aggressor. To live like that, they would have to trust in the benevolence of the more powerful cultures around them – that’s clearly no good. But they can’t attain technological, economic, and perhaps even military parity with the Western culture that surrounds them while hunting and fishing. Doug: Yes, they’ve had a tough break. They can’t just exist as a living anthropological exhibit. It seems to me the best solution would have been for the tribes to maintain their own independent countries. At that point, individuals could take what they wanted from the Europeans’ culture or become totally part of it. But throughout history, cultures with superior technologies or numbers have always crushed their competitors. It’s bad karma – with all that implies – but that seems to be how people are wired. There is, however, mounting evidence that there were actually many more Indians when the Europeans arrived in the Americas than was previously believed. I remember learning in history classes that North America had a native population of maybe a couple million, max. Their hunter-gatherer civilization was not thought to be able to feed more than that. New research is coming out that suggests that there were easily ten times as many natives, maybe even more. The Cahokia Mounds in Illinois, for example, is now thought to have been the site of a city larger than London in 1250 AD. But their populations were wiped out and their civilizations destroyed – not with bullets, but with smallpox and other Old World diseases. The same thing allowed Cortez to subdue a much larger Aztec population in Mexico, and Pizarro the Incas in South America. The Indians had no immunological defense against such diseases at all, and 95 percent of the population died. There’s very interesting archeological work proceeding on this front, and I suspect we’ll know much more in just a few years. L: I’ve heard they’re finding Mayan cities no one knew about with satellite imaging now, looking for circles of altered vegetation that still surround old Mayan population centers even now, centuries later. This is interesting… But back to Russell Means. I never met him, and I wish I had. I always wanted to ask him what it was about him, what experiences he might have had, that enabled him to grasp the basics of libertarian thinking, and why so few other native leaders have done the same. Do you know? Doug: Well, I’d say that Russell was a gut libertarian. He wasn’t good at articulating economic theory, but he was by nature a strong individualist. Actually, I’d say he was pretty conflicted. On one hand he was a staunch individualist, but on the other, he would never admit to the fact that he was allowing himself to be defined by his ethnic group. Maybe this is more evidence in favor of a premise I’ve long suspected is true: libertarianism is actually a genetic mutation. L: It certainly feels that way. Frequently. Doug: It does, doesn’t it? Even when people recognize and intellectually understand the philosophy of personal freedom and responsibility, most just can’t integrate it into themselves emotionally. And others simply refuse to grasp it intellectually. I’m afraid libertarianism is fated to appeal to only a small minority. L: Marshall Fritz used to administer Myers-Briggs tests to people at Advocates for Self-Government meetings. I remember him saying that 90% of the time, they’d come up INTJ. And I don’t think people are distributed evenly among the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types – INTJs are rare, so 90% is quite extraordinary. Doug: David Galland is a fan of Myers-Briggs tests. He had me take it once, but I don’t remember what it said I was… Do you know what you are? L: Well, I object to the idea that human beings all come in one of 16 personality types, but as a sort of shorthand, the system is useful. I tested as an INTJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging – though I was borderline between introverted and extroverted. Many people think I’m extroverted, because they see me on stage, teaching, lecturing, or on TV. I’m not afraid of such performances, but I find them draining. I think real extroverts get a charge out of that sort of attention. I’m usually happier alone with a good book, or with my close friends and loved ones. Doug: That sounds like me too – I totally agree with you, and frequently prefer my own company. I’ve often thought that if I were the last person left alive on the planet, I’d probably get along just fine. But that’s getting way off topic. L: Yes. It’s too late now, but for years I’ve had a fond fantasy that Russell Means would persuade some band or tribe somewhere to exercise the sovereign independence they truly and legally have, and tell the US government to go get stuffed. The US can keep its welfare checks and other “help.” Instead, once acting independently, they could set up a free-trade zone and invite businesses to lease land for a dollar for 99 years – sort of like the original Hong Kong setup – and levy no taxes. Businesses would gladly move to South Dakota – or wherever – to enjoy a real tax haven without having to leave the continental US. Even without the taxes, the businesses would create countless jobs and benefits for the tribes –work with dignity. If there were also fewer regulations than in the US, technological progress and innovation could happen faster. Instead of being romanticized welfare projects, such reservations could become shining beacons of liberty, prosperity, and progress… I’m sure he must have tried – a pity the idea never caught on. Doug: Absolutely. It worked for China; it should work even better for Indians, who are not burdened with the legacies of Maoism. But I guess INTJs are just as rare among American Indians as among Americans of European descent. Perhaps even more so. Worse, native culture has been all but destroyed, not just by the wars and decimation of their population, but by the welfare mentality foisted upon natives by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA since its founding has been the most notoriously corrupt of all government agencies, which is saying something. It still spends billions per year, largely keeping Indians dependent and on their reservations – hanging around the fort, as Russell said. The BIA is one agency that should be abolished tomorrow morning, and then a thorough criminal investigation launched for malfeasance and misfeasance among both its current and retired employees. It’s time Indians controlled the property they own and are stopped being treated like wayward children. But to answer your question, going back to something I said earlier, as much as I respected Russell, his greatest failing may have been that he did not educate himself deeply on the philosophical matters that concerned him. He never read enough of the classics and current literature to gain a thorough theoretical understanding to back his gut libertarianism. He could argue from the heart, but not as effectively from the head – he was quite capable of it, very intelligent, but he just didn’t bother. This may be why, as passionate and impressive as he was, he couldn’t talk any of the tribes into doing as you say. L: Reminds me of the king telling Mozart in Amadeus: “Herr Mozart, you are passionate, but you do not persuade.” Doug: [Laughs] Exactly. The last thing Russell got involved in some was project in the Dakotas – I wrote about it in the International Speculator at the time; it had to do with setting up a free country, just as you described. I meant to get in touch with him about it, but urgent things got in the way of important things. Anyway, he had some health problems at the time, and I didn’t think he was the sort of guy who’d want to go out with a bunch of tubes stuck up his nose in a white man’s hospital. I thought he might look to pick a fight with the Federales and go out in a blaze of glory. It didn’t end up that way, and that may just be the greatest tragedy of Russell’s life. Anyway, he was a stand-up guy, and I’m sorry that he’s gone… but nobody gets out of here alive. L: Okay then. Hm. This doesn’t seem to lend itself to any investment insights, but it was interesting. Doug: Perhaps not. I will point out that Indians have done well opening up casinos on their reservations. They ought to do much, much more. But that’s a question of political entrepreneurship as much as economic entrepreneurship. L: Speaking of Native People at this time of year, I can’t help but remember my son Orion’s favorite holiday song: Stuck in the Smoke Hole of Our Tipi. It’s sung by Shoshoni Elder Oldhands and is pretty politically incorrect Doug: I’ll check out the song. Have a good week. Inside the Mind of a Multimillionaire Did you ever wonder how famous investors and self-made multimillionaires think – what it is that makes them so successful? Then you should let Doug Casey give you a piece of his mind. Doug’s new book, Totally Incorrect, showcases radical libertarian thinking and unwavering free-market advocacy… not to mention his irreverent and hugely entertaining personality. “There is no other modern American critic who is half as brilliant. Doug is the only person on the scene today who could rightfully claim Mencken’s mantle. What’s in this book will show you the world in a new light. It will allow you to see the world as it really is… which is a gift everyone should enjoy.” –Porter Stansberry, founder and CEO of Stansberry & Associates Investment Research Special, limited-time offer: Pre-order a paperback copy of Totally Incorrect today and save 45% off the bookstore price. Click here for details. L: Doug, I hear that a friend of yours, Indian activist Russell Means, has passed away. He was an unusual and interesting character. Are you up to talking about it?last_img read more

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Well be watching closely not so much because Bar

first_img We’ll be watching closely, not so much because Barrick’s success is important to us (we aren’t shareholders), but because of what the project’s progress will tell us about Chile as a mining jurisdiction. The country has been a top mining jurisdiction for decades and remains the world’s top copper-exporting country. However, that standing has been seriously eroded in recent years due to increased regulation, taxation, legal challenges, local protests, and currently, an administration that seems openly hostile to mining. For example, Chile made headlines with its move to halt Goldcorp’s El Morro gold and copper mine and its plans to abolish tax incentives for foreign direct investors. More alarming still are surveys showing that 83% of Chileans are in favor of nationalizing the country’s copper mines. None of these problems will go away simply because of one court’s ruling in favor of one project, of course, but the win for Barrick does break what had been a relentless flow of bad news from Chile. If this means that the administration has realized that the country still needs mining and has changed course, we may see more such decisions and a shift in regulatory emphasis. This would be great news, greatly reducing the risk in many investment opportunities in Chilean minerals. On the other hand, if the ruling is just a legal outlier and Chile’s slide from mining grace continues, rushing to buy Chile plays now could be a huge mistake. Clearly then, the correct course of action is to wait and watch what happens next. If the news is good over the next year, we may start investing in Chile again. Otherwise, we’ll be glad we stayed away. Barrick’s story serves as another potent reminder that political risk originating from government and its actions to mining is among the most important factors for resource investors to consider. Unfortunately, keeping on top of such risks isn’t always easy, even for the savviest of investors. Here at Casey Research, we keep tabs on such risks pretty much 24/7—so you don’t have to. Take, for instance, Louis who travels every month on intense due-diligence trips—literally kicking rocks at locations all over the world—that are essential for assessing the on-the-ground realities of doing business in these faraway places. If you’d like some help on that, or you want our top recommendations, I encourage you to try the Casey International Speculator now, which comes with our money-back satisfaction guarantee. Our latest issue also features a Casey Country Score tabulation to help you gauge the relative political risk of our portfolio picks. The news hit the wires earlier this week that Barrick Gold won a major legal and regulatory victory in Chile, after the Environmental Court of Santiago ruled that the company’s much maligned Pascua-Lama gold and silver project “has not damaged glaciers within the area of its influence.” The move, as positive as it is, comes after a long legal row between Barrick and the influential groups opposing construction of the project, which straddles the Chile-Argentine border high in the Andes. Pascua-Lama was supposed to provide a large share of Barrick’s future gold production, but instead has become a poster child for what can happen to a mining project that gets targeted by those who oppose mining and have political power. Barrick had actually overcome vocal opposition, long permitting delays, huge cost overruns, and more, only to see the project frozen by environmental regulators in Chile in May 2013 over demands that more infrastructure to prevent possible water pollution be built. At that point, the company had already invested roughly $5 billion in Pascua-Lama. Even though construction activities in Argentina, where the majority of Pascua-Lama’s critical infrastructure is located, weren’t affected, Barrick was forced to shelve the project in October 2013. Today, even with the worst legal challenges settled—for now—the road to production at Pascua-Lama remains long and uncertain. Between cost overruns and the decline in bullion prices, the project’s economics are less compelling. Barrick, however, has scrapped several major projects in recent years, so it needs to bring some big new mines online soon or it won’t be the world’s largest gold producer for long (see chart below). The incentives to make it all work out are in place, so it will be interesting to see what happens. last_img read more

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A year ago Facebook started using artificial inte

first_imgA year ago, Facebook started using artificial intelligence to scan people’s accounts for danger signs of imminent self-harm. Facebook Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis is pleased with the results so far.”In the very first month when we started it, we had about 100 imminent-response cases,” which resulted in Facebook contacting local emergency responders to check on someone. But that rate quickly increased. “To just give you a sense of how well the technology is working and rapidly improving … in the last year we’ve had 3,500 reports,” she says. That means AI monitoring is causing Facebook to contact emergency responders an average of about 10 times a day to check on someone — and that doesn’t include Europe, where the system hasn’t been deployed. (That number also doesn’t include wellness checks that originate from people who report suspected suicidal behavior online.)Davis says the AI works by monitoring not just what a person writes online, but also how his or her friends respond. For instance, if someone starts streaming a live video, the AI might pick up on the tone of people’s replies.”Maybe like, ‘Please don’t do this,’ ‘We really care about you.’ There are different types of signals like that that will give us a strong sense that someone may be posting of self-harm content,” Davis says.When the software flags someone, Facebook staffers decide whether to call the local police, and AI comes into play there, too. “We also are able to use AI to coordinate a bunch of information on location to try to identify the location of that individual so that we can reach out to the right emergency response team,” she says.In the U.S., Facebook’s call usually goes to a local 911 center, as illustrated in its promotional video.Mason Marks isn’t surprised that Facebook is employing AI this way. He’s a medical doctor and research fellow at Yale and NYU law schools, and recently wrote about Facebook’s system. “Ever since they’ve introduced livestreaming on their platform, they’ve had a real problem with people livestreaming suicides,” Marks says. “Facebook has a real interest in stopping that.”He isn’t sure this AI system is the right solution, in part because Facebook has refused to share key data, such as the AI’s accuracy rate. How many of those 3,500 “wellness checks” turned out to be actual emergencies? The company isn’t saying.He says scrutiny of the system is especially important because this “black box of algorithms,” as he calls it, has the power to trigger a visit from the police.”It needs to be done very methodically, very cautiously, transparently, and really looking at the evidence,” Marks says.For instance, Marks says, the outcomes need to be checked for unintended consequences — such as a potential squelching of frank conversations about suicide on Facebook’s various platforms.”People … might fear a visit from police, so they might pull back and not engage in an open and honest dialogue,” he says. “And I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”But Facebook’s Davis says releasing too many details about how the AI works might be counterproductive. “That information could could allow people to play games with the system,” Davis says. “So I think what we are very focused on is working very closely with people who are experts in mental health, people who are experts in suicide prevention to ensure that we do this in a responsible, ethical, sensitive and thoughtful way.”The ethics of using an AI to alert police to people’s online behavior may soon go beyond suicide-prevention. Davis says Facebook has also experimented with AI to detect “inappropriate interactions” between minors and adults. Law professor Ryan Calo, co-director of the University of Washington’s Tech Policy Lab, says AI-based monitoring of social media may follow a predictable pattern for how new technologies gradually work their way into law enforcement.”The way it would happen would be we would take something that everybody agrees is terrible — something like suicide, which is epidemic, something like child pornography, something like terrorism — so these early things, and then if they show promise in these sectors, we broaden them to more and more things. And that’s a concern.”There may soon be a temptation to use this kind of AI to analyze social media chatter for signs of imminent crimes — especially retaliatory violence. Some police departments have already tried watching social media for early warnings of violence between suspected gang members, but an AI run by Facebook might do the same job more effectively.Calo says society may soon have to ask important questions about whether to allow that kind of monitoring.”If you can truly get an up-or-down yes or no, and it’s reliable, if intervention is not likely to cause additional harm, and is this something that we think it is important enough to prevent, that this is justified?” Calo says. “That’s a difficult calculus, and I think it’s one we’re going to have to be making more and more.”If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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Government and health care officials have kicked o

first_imgGovernment and health care officials have kicked off a statewide campaign aimed at combatting a growing opioid crisis.North Carolina has teamed up with the state’s two largest health care companies and dozens of other groups to introduce a program called More Powerful NC.The $2.5 million public awareness campaign will utilize TV, radio and billboards statewide to deliver its message.The program was launched Thursday by Attorney General Josh Stein, Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, and other officials.Stein told The News and Observer that the opioid crisis is the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, and is impacting families across North Carolina.Most of the funding for the advertising campaign is coming from private sources, including Charlotte-based Atrium Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Another $365,000 will be provided from state and federal money allocated for opioid-related programs.last_img read more

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The aunt of a disabled man who was imprisoned and

first_imgThe aunt of a disabled man who was imprisoned and tortured to death is asking the attorney general to appeal against the judge’s failure to treat his murder as a disability hate crime.James Wheatley, 29, from Kenton Bar, Newcastle, repeatedly kicked, punched and stamped on Lee Irving (pictured) in attacks that took place over nine days, leaving him with multiple broken bones and other injuries.After he died, Irving’s body was taken on a pushchair through a housing estate and dumped on a patch of grass near the A1.Wheatley was found guilty of murder earlier this month, and was sentenced to life in prison, where he will have to serve at least 23 years.Three other defendants – Wheatley’s mother Julie Mills, 52, girlfriend Nicole Lawrence, 22, and lodger Barry Imray, 35 – were also jailed for offences connected with Irving’s death, Mills to eight years, Lawrence to four years, and Imray to three.But although Northumbria police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) treated Irving’s death as a hate crime, Mr Justice Soole, who sentenced the four, decided there was not enough evidence to prove that any of the offences were motivated by disability-related hostility.Instead, he increased Wheatley’s sentence because of Irving’s “vulnerability”.Lee’s aunt, Lisa Irving, told Disability News Service (DNS) this week that her nephew’s murder had left the family “traumatised” and with “little faith in society”.She said the family “fully appreciated the verdicts” but were “devastated about the sentence and how the judge did not accept that it was a disability hate crime. How is it not?” She said the family were equally disturbed by the failings of social services and the police.Newcastle City Council has launched a serious case review into the circumstances that led to her nephew’s death.Lee Irving’s murder is just the latest in a long line of brutal killings that the criminal justice system has failed to treat as disability hate crimes, despite legislation intended to provide longer sentences in such circumstances.They include the killings of Brent Martin, Peter Hedley, Albert Adams, Stephen Hoskin, Kevin Davies, Michael Gilbert… and now Lee Irving.Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 imposes a duty on the court to increase sentences for offences motivated by disability-related hostility, while the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 doubles to 30 years the starting point for sentences for disability hate crime murders. Lisa Irving is now working with members of the Disability Hate Crime Network (DHCN) to persuade the attorney general to appeal the sentence handed to Wheatley.She also wants the offences committed by Mills and Lawrence to be treated as hate crimes, although she believes that Imray, who himself had learning difficulties, was probably a victim of disability hate crime himself and was forced by Wheatley to help him cover up his crimes.The Disability Hate Crime Network has now written to the attorney general, the Tory MP Jeremy Wright, to ask him to seek a tougher sentence from the court of appeal.The letter was written by Katharine Quarmby, on behalf of Lisa Irving and the network, and she told Wright that the police and CPS had “presented good evidence of disability hate targeting”.Quarmby, one of the network’s coordinators, and the author of Scapegoat, a pioneering investigation into disability hate crime, told DNS that she was “disappointed” by the failure to increase the sentences for those involved in Lee Irving’s murder.She said she was not aware of a single case in which the LASPO 30-year tariff had yet been used.Quarmby said she welcomed apparent signs of progress in sentencing some lower-level disability hate crimes, but said this could be a sign that magistrates were starting to take the issue seriously, while judges were failing to do so.But she added: “However, when very serious crimes such as murder are sentenced, there seems to be a block in sentencing them as disability hate crimes.“The law, as it currently stands, could be said to be set up to fail – it has to be investigated, prosecuted and sentenced as a disability hate crime.“If one person in that chain – investigating officer, CPS prosecutor or judge – fails to view the crime as disability-related, there is no sentence uplift.“This fails the victim, the family and wider society.“Sentencing such crimes as disability-related would send a strong ‘declaratory effect’ to society that we do not tolerate such crimes and they are sentenced accordingly.“I would like to see a discussion of possible law reform, if the current law is not fit for purpose, which I feel it is no longer.”Anne Novis, a DHCN coordinator who leads for Inclusion London on disability hate crime, added: “It is more than time now for all cases where if a person perceives their experience as disability hate crime, as well as police and CPS, then this should be treated as such by judges.She said: “To repeatedly read of cases where this aspect is ignored, ruled irrelevant, and no enhanced sentencing re hate crime applied gives a message that we as disabled people do not experience hate crime, and that the perpetrators get away with a sentence far less than they should get.“The message given is that our human rights as victims of crime are less than those of others. This is not acceptable and must be changed.“Via Inclusion London and the DHCN we will campaign to see this does happen.”Meanwhile, a third DHCN coordinator, Stephen Brookes, has written to the solicitor general, the Tory MP Robert Buckland, asking for a meeting to raise the network’s concerns about “the all too frequent failure of the court system (in particular the judiciary) to fully understand and implement appropriate sentences for cases of disability hostility”.He welcomed Buckland’s work on encouraging the reporting of hate crime by disabled people, but added: “The successful work we have done along with police forces and CPS prosecutors in jointly pressing for disability hate crime to be treated as such has been thwarted in most cases by court decisions.”He pointed to the Lee Irving case as an example of how, despite improved confidence in police forces and CPS, “we are facing a total and unacceptable brick wall in courts in that the judiciary only seem to consider vulnerability as a cause, which means that disability hate is often not considered as part of a sentence uplift”.He told Buckland: “It is about time that judges were given some real awareness training in what… disability actually means, rather than categorising us all as poor vulnerable victims.”last_img read more

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Survey Finds Most Police Officers Support Medical Marijuana

first_img Next Article Image credit: Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Add to Queue Survey Finds Most Police Officers Support Medical Marijuana In a sign of the continuing shift in attitudes about legal marijuana, a new survey finds that a majority of police officers now favor allowing the use of medical marijuana.However, the number drops significantly when it comes to the legalization of marijuana for personal use. And one-third of officers surveyed said they still support an outright ban on the use of marijuana for any purpose.Pew Research released the information recently as part of a survey of police officers on a number of issues.Medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.For those thinking of investing into marijuana businesses, the survey provides a glimpse into how law enforcement might battle any new legalization efforts. Despite being legal under state laws for a majority of the US population, marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law.Related: 5 Tips for Breaking Into the ‘Budding’ Marijuana IndustryPolice officer surveyThe survey found that, overall, about seven in 10 officers think marijuana should be legalized for at least medical use. The numbers were as follows:37 percent of police officers supported legalizing marijuana for medical use32 percent of police officers supported legalizing marijuana for both personal and medical use30 percent of police officers support a ban on marijuana for any useYounger officers took a more favorable view toward marijuana, with 37 percent saying they support both medical and recreational marijuana.Related: How Cannabis Ecommerce Challenges Are Driving Web InnovationGeneral public surveyWhile the trend toward supporting legalization among law enforcement officers reflects what has happened with voters across the country, the numbers for law enforcement remain below that for the general public.In the same study, Pew reported the following numbers on the same questions asked of adults who do not work in law enforcement. The findings:35 percent supported legalizing marijuana for medical use49 percent supported legalizing marijuana for both medical and personal use15 percent supported a ban on marijuana for any use63 percent of those under the age of 45 support legal marijuana for both personal and medical usePew conducted the study between May and August 2016. They interviewed 7,900 officers in both police and sheriff’s departments. Each department had at least 100 officers. For the general public portion of the survey, Pew interviewed 4,500 adults in August and September of 2016.Related: 4 Cannabis Business Ideas from the Frontier of the Legal Weed IndustryWhile law enforcement attitudes toward legalizing marijuana seems to have relaxed, the nation’s top justice officials have not changed their stance on marijuana as an illegal drug. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency had two chances to review petitions on the legal status of marijuana in the summer of 2016. However, DEA officials decided not to make any changes.To stay up to date on the latest marijuana related news make sure to like dispensaries.com on Facebook. Guest Writer Green Entrepreneur Podcast February 9, 2017 3 min read Cannabis Softening attitudes among police lags general public acceptance but seems to confirm an inexorable social trend. Listen Now –shares dispensaries.comlast_img read more

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Instagram Admitting a War on Snapchat Rolls Out Face Filters

first_img With yesterday’s arrival of Instagram Face Filters, Facebook and Instagram’s complete and utter dismantling of the Snapchat platform is complete.Instagram is rolling out eight inaugural Face Filters, including furry koala ears, math equations swirling around your head and — most fittingly — an ice crown. To the winner go the spoils.Not five minutes after Instagram announced Face Filters and several other new features — including a Rewind button, Hashtag stickers and an Eraser button — Instagram VP of Product Kevin Weil walked onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City shooting an Instagram Story of the crowd.Weil, the former VP of product at Twitter, has been at Instagram for around 15 months. In that time, the app has switched to an algorithmic feed and rolled out Instagram Stories, which now eclipses Snapchat with more than 200 million daily active users (DAUs) in less than a year. Instagram is also testing location-based Stories (like Snapchat’s geofilters and local stories), but hasn’t yet publicly confirmed that feature.”Face filters are an expected part of a modern camera, so we’re super excited to launch them today,” Weil said. “The first eight filters are live now, and we’ve also launched a handful of other things including a reverse video format, a hashtag sticker allowing you to tag stories the same way you can tag mentions and some other tools like an eraser.”The next question, inevitably, is how Instagram’s Face Filters are different from Snapchat’s. You can get to the filters from the face icon in the right corner of the Instagram app when you’re filming a story. Just like Snapchat, you tap a filter to try it on and there are individual and group filters to use with friends in the frame. Face Filters also integrate with Boomerang by default, and the finished snaps ‘grams can be sent as an Instagram DM or uploaded to your story.”The important thing to us when we launched Face Filters was to do it in a way that was natural to Instagram. There’s a level of craft and attention to detail with each of the eight filters that I think is unique,” Weil said. “One of my favorites is the koala filter. I have 7-month-old twins, I put them on screen and I see two little koalas looking up at me, and the ears twitch the same way a koala’s ears naturally twitch. There’s another feature with a spotlight. As you move around, the spotlight will follow you.”These updates are available as part of Instagram version 10.21 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.Instagram admits all-out war on Snapchat.Face Filters are the cherry on top of one of the more deft and almost impressively brazen business moves Mark Zuckerberg has made to get Facebook where it is today.Instagram Stories and now Face Filters are one facet of the strategy. Add that to Facebook’s copycat Messenger Day feature and most importantly, the company’s new Camera Effects augmented reality (AR) developer platform announced at F8, and it amounts to a ruthlessly effective scorched earth copycat campaign. Zuckerberg’s F8 keynote was one long subtweet of Snap Inc., where Zuck didn’t mention the word Snapchat once. Today, he also posted an Instagram video in which he sported one of the app’s new filters and congratulated his team on a “nice job.”That’s not the most important part, though. Facebook has also improved upon every core Snapchat feature, adding features and user experience (UX) polish and opening the camera platform to developers in addition to an active user base with which Snapchat can’t compete. During his TechCrunch Disrupt interview, Weil reluctantly acknowledged that Instagram’s strategy around stories and filters was inspired by and came at the expense of Snapchat.”If we’re being honest with ourselves, this is the way the tech industry and frankly all industries work. Good ideas start out in one place and spread all across the industry,” he said. “Kudos to Snapchat for being the first to stories, but it’s a format and it’s going to be adopted across a wide array of platforms.”Weil likened it to Facebook coming up with the News Feed or Twitter pioneering hashtags, both of which are now widely adopted across apps and social networks. In the same vein, he also drew an interesting parallel with the animation world. Pixar was the first to do computer-animated films, but Weil made the point that just because Pixar was first, we shouldn’t discount all the great films made by a studio like DreamWorks.”It’s not just about the format, it’s about the plot. The storyline. It’s the entire product. It’s not just Instagram Stories, it’s the Instagram feed. Raw moments. Direct, where you’re sharing privately. Instagram Live, where you’re taking people with you throughout the day. It would be silly of us to see a good idea and say that because one person did it we can’t even go near it,” Weil said.To interviewer Josh Constine’s credit, he didn’t let up. Most of Instagram’s product development over the past year and a half has been around features Snapchat has already built. Weil became visibly uncomfortable when faced with question after question about whether it’s honorable to copy other products, what the atmosphere was like after Snap Inc. lost 25 percent of its value following its most recent earnings report, and whether the ends justify the means.”There will be multiple successful players in the industry,” Weil responded. “It’s not about one player going down. It’s about building things of value and asking whether you’re closer to the people in your life because of Instagram.” Add to Queue Associate Features Editor Instagram, Admitting a War on Snapchat, Rolls Out Face Filters Next Article This story originally appeared on PCMag 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Rob Marvincenter_img Instagram’s VP of product dishes on the app’s Face Filters, Hashtag stickers, and Rewind button at TechCrunch Disrupt while fielding a barrage of questions about Snapchat. Image credit: via PC Mag The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Instagram –shares Apply Now »last_img read more

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Will Medical Cannabis Sales Eventually Surpass Recreational Sales

first_imgMedical Marijuana 7 min read Image credit: LPETTET | Getty Images Contributor Will Medical Cannabis Sales Eventually Surpass Recreational Sales? Subscribe Now Many assume the recreational marijuana market will surpass medical cannabis but there are many reasons to suspect they will be proved wrong. Medical marijuana could become the bigger of the two within a few years thanks to three factors.Here’s what entrepreneurs should know about the difference between these two markets, and how the cannabis industry’s astronomical growth could evolve differently than one might expect.The current state of the cannabis market.Global cannabis sales reached a new high of $12.2 billion in 2018, up from $9.5 billion in 2017, according to a report by BDS Analytics. More than half of that was recreational. Some examples:Colorado: Out of total revenue of almost $1.55 billion, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, only $332 million was medical cannabis.California: Sales reached approximately $1.2 billion per state data, more than half of which was recreational.Canada: Statistics Canada reported total sales for October through December reached $115 million USD. At the same time, the number of medical marijuana patients grew in Canada.Sales in US states that have legalized weed appear to be moving away from medical cannabis and towards recreational, though this has not held true in Canada, though there are indications it will once the market matures and there is wider accessibility.Related: Move Aside, CBD: New Data Finds THC Is the Real Medicine in Medical MarijuanaIn the U.S., the legalization of recreational weed has meant a corresponding decline or stagnation in medical cannabis sales. This makes sense for a few reasons. Depending on the state, obtaining a medical marijuana card can be complicated with few doctors willing to prescribe and applications, and medical marijuana patients sometimes must pay a fee.In California, the biggest cannabis market to date, lenient laws created an artificially large medical marijuana market. Today, many of those patients are switching to recreational.The rise of recreational weed has lead to some panic about the future of medical marijuana. Will producers entirely shift their focus away from medical marijuana and to focus on the hottest cannabis products like concentrates vapes, and other high-THC options? Will patients have access to the product they need for target-specific conditions, rather than get you high?There are a few reasons why this will not happen.CBD will be bigger than recreational weed.The recreational market isn’t just booming because people want concentrated THC. In fact, the products with the biggest sales increase in 2018 were high in CBD. The growing interest in medicinal and medical cannabis is a strong indication CBD market will explode in the upcoming years.CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound in cannabis that does not produce a high. ThoughCBD is the second-most popular compound found in weed after THC, it can be found in hemp, too, which is non-psychoactive. This means that it cannot produce unwanted effects, by law.CBD can address a variety of conditions ranging from the severe to the preventative according to a growing body of research and anecdotal evidence. These include both physical conditions including seizures, pain, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. CBD provides a much-needed, non-addictive alternative without negative side effects for pain management and epilepsy These conditions afflict millions of Americans who don’t yet use medical marijuana. The potential market is enormous for all-natural products that can address these ailments.CBD edible sales grew astronomically in 2018. In one year alone CBD gummy sales went up 925 percent, sales of CBD chocolate market increased by 530 percent and CBD tincture, also known as cannabis oil, sales went up 111.5 percent.Most predict that the CBD market will eclipse the recreational cannabis market — something that couldn’t have been predicted at the beginning of the legalization movement. The most optimistic projection comes from the Brightfield Group, which says the CBD market could reach $22 billion by 2022, more is more than the projected recreational cannabis market.Related: New Poll Finds Highest Support Ever for Weed LegalizationBut is CBD medicinal or medical cannabis? Most people take CBD medicinally, not recreationally, with some replacing pharmaceuticals with CBD. Others use it to address conditions for which they never took a prescription, and a growing number use it as preventative medicine.In other words, the distinction between medicinal and medical cannabis is hazy. With more research demonstrating CBD’s effectiveness, cannabidiol could soon be redefined. This is most likely to occur after national legalization — and once Big Pharma becomes more involved.Big Pharma could change the cannabis industry.The American pharmaceutical industry is the biggest industry in the country and it continues to grow. It represents 45 percent of the global pharmaceutical industry, according to Statista. Big Pharma is investing in weed research, a second big reason why medical cannabis could surpass recreational sales. Because pharmaceutical companies are investigating cannabis medicine, CBD could become a more common form of medical marijuana, not just a supplement categorized as recreational.Pharmaceutical companies are putting more resources than ever into CBD research to satisfy the demand for cannabis-wellness. There has already been a breakthrough. Epidiolex in 2018 became the first FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication. It is prescribed to treat two types of epilepsy. FDA reclassified Epidiolex as a substance with a lower likelihood of abuse than recreational cannabis. Though just one drug, Epidiolex has opened the floodgates for other pharmaceutical companies to start exploring medical cannabis.Medical marijuana research is still in its infancy. But in 2018, pharmaceutical companies filed more cannabis patents than ever. Six of the top 10 cannabis patent holders are pharmaceutical companies, according to a recent report. Expect to see many more cannabis medicines available in coming years.Related: The UN Is Moving Toward Ending Decades of International Cannabis ProhibitionCannabis consumer demographics keep shifting.The U.S. baby boomers are the largest generation in American history. There are 76 million baby boomers in the U.S., according to Pew Research, ranging in age from 54 to 73. That is a large segment of the population that is either eligible for Medicare or soon will be.It isn’t a coincidence that seniors are one of the fastest expanding cannabis users. Not only are seniors spending more on marijuana than ever before, but they’re accustomed to spending a lot on medication. A report found that brand name drug prices have almost doubled in nine years.As a result, seniors are more likely to look for less expensive alternatives, like cannabis. Pharmaceutical companies are incentivized more than ever to create medical cannabis products to appeal to their older demographic.An additional factor in coming years is that contemplated changes to global treaties could create an international medical cannabis market, with CBD specifically exempted from international prohibition. This creates the potential for eventually allowing cannabis producers, such as those in Canada projected to eventually glut domestic markets, to export to newly opened markets. The United Kingdom and Thailand recently legalized medical marijuana, and many European countries are in the process of relaxing their laws.For more developed markets with bigger producers, this translates to massive potential for medical marijuana overseas in markets that are far away from recreational legalization.Related: Why Will Health Insurers Reimburse You for Opioids but Not for Medical Marijuana?Will medical cannabis surpass recreational?Recreational cannabis will be huge but increasing interest in medicinal cannabis, global market growth and involvement from Big Pharma could make medical cannabis the larger of the two markets. For this to happen, however, there are a few things that have to change. Specifically, this would require better accessibility to medical cannabis — more doctors, easier applications and more options when it comes to medication targeting specific illnesses — and a better understanding of how we can use CBD medically. Lastly, for the market to really reach its potential, international expansion of the medical cannabis market needs to be legalized.One thing is for certain: The market for cannabis medications will continue to grow as baby boomers come of age, stigma decreases and continuing research confirms the effectiveness of cannabis for many common ailments. Next Article Founder of crypto site Blocklr & Growth Nuts, an organic growth co. Add to Queue Green Entrepreneur provides how-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business. –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Scott McGovern Get 1 Year of Green Entrepreneur for $19.99 We are on the brink of a global medical cannabis boom. April 8, 2019last_img read more

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New molecular switch may help develop sophisticated photomedications

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 11 2018Light-activated switches are too small to be seen by the naked eye, but the molecular systems are hard at work in research related to drug design, adaptive materials and data storage. To unlock the promise of new generations of medical therapies and memory systems, researchers must first overcome the drawbacks of the microscopic devices that can be difficult to produce and lack versatility.Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a new molecular switch based on the hydrazone functional group that combines the most important properties of the current class of light-activated switches and solves many of the problems associated with them. The newly-developed molecule is easy to make, simple to work with, shows “on-off” fluorescence emission toggling, and can be used to write, read and erase information in both the liquid and solid state.Looking into the future, switches like these may potentially be used for the development of sophisticated photomedications that deliver drugs with cellular-level precision. In years to come, hydrazone switches might also lead to the development of high-density memory devices with the volume of a speck of a dust.As detailed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Dartmouth’s hydrazone system, “packs most, if not all, the desired, targeted and sought-after traits from photochromic compounds.””This is a switch that can do it all,” said Ivan Aprahamian, an associate professor of chemistry and head of the research team at Dartmouth. “What we developed is a new tool that combines all the good properties of known switches without their side effects, and in a simple, straight-forward design.”Similar to flipping a physical switch, photochromic switches rely on lights of different wavelengths to move molecules between the “on” and “off” positions. The fluorescent feedback produced during the switching process can be used to store and read huge amounts of data at microscopic scale and even provide signals about where a medication is being delivered after the drug enters into a patient’s body, an important tool for drug targeting.Related StoriesCharacterizing and Isolating (Bio)macromolecular Structures using MALSExperts discuss 5G health risks as network switches on in the UKComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchTo toggle the switch in the Dartmouth study, researchers used a “blue light” operating at the same 450 nm wavelength of a laser pointer to write the information by activating the switch. A second 365 nm ultraviolet wavelength was used to erase the information by turning the switch off.In the paper, the researchers demonstrated that the switch works in both water and fetal bovine serum buffer–a frequently used bio-medium–confirming that the molecular system can be useful as a drug delivery tool.In addition to performing well in solution, the researchers found that the hydrazone switch also works on solid-state films. Molecules that go through large structural changes usually do not operate in solid state without complex manipulation. This added functionality allows it to be used effectively for data storage.”Such an on-off fluorescence response in both solution and solid state for photochromic compounds is highly unusual,” said Baihao Shao, a PhD student at Dartmouth and the first author of the study.The team was able to use both single-photon and two-photon light sources to operate the new switch. The near infrared, two-photon system allows the light to penetrate tissue deeper and makes it safer for use with humans. Two-photon activation also allows for 3D microscopy techniques that are important for advanced data storage.The research paper notes that the hydrazone switch has a half-life of 75 years in solution at room temperature. In solid state, the switch’s memory could be indefinite. Such stability is another key feature that adds to its overall functionality for long-term data storage.”We are extremely excited by the results as well as the reception it is getting from the scientific community. Based on these and yet unpublished results, we feel that this technology has the promise to be truly transformative,” said Aprahamian.During the experiment, some erasure did occur during reading as the excitation light also results in slow switching, creating a challenge that the researchers are working to minimize. Source:https://news.dartmouth.edu/last_img read more

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Holiday chaos as drones shut Londons Gatwick Airport

first_imgPolice said the drones were of an “industrial specification,” an indication they weren’t small, inexpensive machines. The larger drones are more dangerous to jets in flight and can stay in the air longer than the models sold to amateur enthusiasts.The airport’s two terminals were jammed with thousands of weary travelers.”I haven’t slept since yesterday morning. We are very tired. It’s freezing, we are cold, having to wear all of these coats for extra blankets,” said Andri Kyprianou, of Cyprus, whose flight to Kiev was canceled.”There were pregnant women. One of them was sleeping on the floor. There were people with small babies in here overnight. We saw disabled people on chairs. There were young children sleeping on the floor.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The arrivals board at Gatwick Airport showing cancelled, diverted and delayed flights as the airport remains closed with incoming flights delayed or diverted to other airports, after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning Thursday Dec. 20, 2018. London’s Gatwick Airport remained shut during the busy holiday period Thursday while police and airport officials investigate reports that drones were flying in the area of the airfield. (Thomas Hornall/PA via AP) Citation: Holiday chaos as drones shut London’s Gatwick Airport (2018, December 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-drones-london-gatwick-airport-busy.html The prospect of a deadly collision between what police called “industrial”-grade drones and an airliner led authorities to stop all flights in and out.Police said that they had no doubt the intrusion was a deliberate attempt to disrupt operations at the airport during a peak period but that there were “absolutely no indications to suggest this is terror-related.”About 20 police units from two forces tried in vain to find the drone operator as soon as the first unmanned aircraft was spotted above Gatwick on Wednesday evening. Police told airport officials it was too risky to try to shoot down the drones—stray bullets might kill someone.”Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears. When we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears,” said Sussex Police Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw. He said the newer-generation drones are bigger and have more range, making it harder for police to zero in on the person controlling the device.Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said the military would be deployed to help police. He said the armed forces would bring “unique capabilities” but gave no details. The airport, about 30 miles (45 kilometers) south of London, sees more than 43 million passengers a year. About 110,000 had been scheduled to pass through on Thursday. UK pilots warn of disaster, seek tougher rules for drones Drones could get sucked into a jet engine or crash through a windshield, incapacitating the pilot.The crisis at Gatwick had a ripple effect on air travel in Britain, continental Europe and beyond as incoming flights were sent to other locations and outgoing ones were stopped.Travelers described freezing conditions overnight at Gatwick as hundreds slept on benches and floors, and passengers and their families complained they weren’t being kept informed about re-routed flights.”We understand it’s an emergency situation, but the lack of information is really surprising,” said Vanessa Avila, an American based in Britain who works for the U.S. military. Her mother was on a flight from Florida to Gatwick that ended up landing in the northern English city of Manchester.Gatwick—Britain’s second-busiest airport by passenger numbers—first closed its runway Wednesday evening after two drones were spotted. It reopened briefly at about 3 a.m. Thursday, but shut down 45 minutes later after further sightings. Explore further Passengers complained on Twitter that their Gatwick-bound flights had been diverted to London’s Heathrow Airport, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities.Luke McComiskie, who landed in Manchester, more than 160 miles (260 kilometers) from London, said the situation “was just chaos, and they had only two coaches (buses) and taxis charging people 600 pounds ($760) to get to Gatwick.”Pilots have reported numerous close calls with drones in recent years in Britain, and aviation authorities have warned of the growing risk of a disastrous collision. Britain has toughened its laws on drones, and flying one within 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of an airport is punishable by up to five years in prison.Gatwick briefly closed its runway last year when a drone was spotted in the area. A drone also briefly led to the shutdown of Dubai’s international airport in 2016. In this Dec. 1, 2010, file photo, a terminal link train arrives behind a glass window at the snow covered terminal station at London’s Gatwick Airport in Horley, England. London’s Gatwick Airport shut down late Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, while officials urgently investigated reports that two drones were flying above the airfield. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File) Drones spotted over the runway forced the shutdown of London’s Gatwick Airport on Thursday during one of the busiest times of the year, stranding or delaying tens of thousands of Christmas-season travelers and setting off a hunt for the operator of the intruding aircraft. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Queues of passengers cross a concourse in Gatwick Airport, as the airport remains closed with incoming flights delayed or diverted to other airports, after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning Thursday Dec. 20, 2018. London’s Gatwick Airport remained shut during the busy holiday period Thursday while police and airport officials investigate reports that drones were flying in the area of the airfield. (Thomas Hornall/PA via AP) Queues of passengers wait at the check-in desks at Gatwick Airport, as the airport remains closed and with incoming flights delayed or diverted to other airports, after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning Thursday Dec. 20, 2018. London’s Gatwick Airport remained shut during the busy holiday period Thursday while police and airport officials investigate reports that drones were flying in the area of the airfield. (Thomas Hornall/PA via AP)last_img read more

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Kumaraswamy expands cabinet by inducting 2 ministers

first_imgpolitics June 14, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE COMMENTS Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamycenter_img Karnataka COMMENT Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday expanded his cabinet by inducting two Independent MLAs into the ministry in an apparent move to give stability to his 13-month-old wobbly government. In the much-awaited expansion, R Shankar and H Nagesh were sworn in as cabinet-rank ministers by Governor Vajubhai Vala who administered them the oath of office and secrecy at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan. Shankar had served as minister during the initial days of the Kumaraswamy government but was dropped from the cabinet during the rejig in December last year. He and Nagesh had sided with the BJP and written to the governor withdrawing support to the government. As the BJP failed in its alleged attempts to topple the coalition government, the two lawmakers made a u-turn and moved closer to the coalition. The two were inducted from the JD(S) and Congress’ share in the ministry, in an attempt to block chances of their switching over to the BJP whom the ruling coalition has accused of trying to dislodge the Kumaraswamy government. Published onlast_img read more

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Please change your thinking BJP MLAs daughters emotional appeal to her father

first_imgOther Videos from India 26:36 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 20 Years of Kargil: A ground report from Tololing in Drass 01:59 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 First prototype of Brahmos-NG will be ready by 2024 00:41 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 Watch: Car performs stunt at Delhi’s Vijay Chowk 03:16 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 Pakistan removes 5 Pro-Khalistani leaders from Kartarpur corridor panel 02:13 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 Enter the Growler: S-400 missile ground report from Moscow 01:52 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 UP law panel drafts stringent law for mob lynching, recommends life term 03:31 Fri, 12 Jul, 2019 Delhi: Farmers of Khera Khurd shift their tubewells due to depleting water levels 09:13 Fri, 12 Jul, 2019 BJP is using money power: Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Karnataka crisis Load More Other Video CategoriesIndiaSportsWorldMoviesSo SorryTelevisionlast_img read more

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Jai Shri Ram A slogan that changed political contours of India

first_imgJai Shri Ram: A slogan that changed political contours of IndiaWhile the entire BJP and its ally Shiv Sena uses Jai Shri Ram slogan as a battle cry, their opponents, particularly West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has launched a massive campaign against it.advertisement Prabhash K Dutta New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 10:43 IST It is not yet clear when Jai Shri Ram entered the political space but it came to be identified with the BJP around the 1990-92 Ram temple movement, which was launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP. (Photo: Reuters)HIGHLIGHTSJai Shri Ram was a frequently used slogan in BJP’s rallies during 2014 Lok Sabha electionsJai Shri Ram has become the cry for BJP party cadres against TMC in West BengalIt started being identified with BJP around 1990-92 Ram temple movement launched by VHPJai Shri Ram literally means victory to Lord Ram, the prince of Ayodhya mentioned in various versions of Ramayana. This slogan is in the news for long. Jai Shri Ram slogan trends every other day on social media in India. In recent times, this religious slogan has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Raising this slogan is no longer considered religious, it is a political slogan to further the agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).While the entire BJP and its ally Shiv Sena uses Jai Shri Ram slogan as a battle cry, their opponents, particularly West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has launched a massive campaign against it.During Lok Sabha election, Mamata Banerjee was seen stopping her car to slam those shouting Jai Shri Ram. Her irritation with the slogan has taken an unusual turn where her opponents have started teasing her by shouting Jai Shri Ram if they see her at an event.In May, days after Lok Sabha election results were announced, seven people were arrested in Bengal for shouting Jai Shri Ram as Mamata Banerjee’s cavalcade passed through their area.To counter the BJP’s charge of Muslim appeasement, Mamata Banerjee flagged off Jagannath Puri rath yatra last week. She was greeted with chants of Jai Shri Ram from the crowd and a section of BJP supporters.Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, too, has joined Mamata Banerjee in raising his voice against Jai Shri Ram slogan saying it is not part of Bengali culture.All this has happened in the backdrop of cases of mob lynching in which victims belonging to Muslim community were forced to chant Jai Shri Ram by the perpetrators. Tabrez Ansari, 24, was allegedly lynched in Jharkhand last month. He was accused of stealing a motorcycle in Seraikela Kharsawan district of the state.Ansari was allegedly tied to a pole and beaten up with sticks by a mob that forced him to shout Jai Shri Ram after ascertaining that he was a Muslim. This incident took place on June 17. Ansari died of his injuries on June 22.In a similar incident, a 16-year-old boy in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur was beaten up after his assaulters found him wearing a skull cap and asked him to chant Jai Shri Ram which he refused to do at first.Where it all beganIt is not yet clear when Jai Shri Ram entered the political space but it came to be identified with the BJP around the 1990-92 Ram temple movement, which was launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) – an extended arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) family. An active participant in the temple movement was BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and his protege Narendra Modi.But before the BJP made Jai Shri Ram slogan as its own, it was already in popular use in late 1980s courtesy the TV serial Ramayan produced by filmmaker Ramanand Sagar. The slogan, Jai Shri Ram was used in the TV serial as a battle cry by Hanuman and others in Lord Ram’s expedition against Ravan, the king of Lanka who had abducted Sita, the wife of Ram.The earlier popular slogan or chant was Sita-Ram and Siya-Ram, which were frequently used as words for greeting one another. The popularity to Sita-Ram is credited to a freedom fighter and peasant activist Baba Ramchandra, who had impressed Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru with his organisational skills.In his autobiography, Nehru credits Baba Ramchandra for making an old cry of Sita-Ram “an almost warlike significance” and “a signal for emergencies as well as a bond between different villages”.After Ram Janmabhoomi movement of the VHP and parallel political campaign of the BJP, Sita-Ram gave way to Jai Shri Ram and became an essentially political slogan raised more during the time of elections.Now in Parliament, streetsRiding on the slogan of Jai Shri Ram, the BJP improved its tally in the Lok Sabha from two seats in 1984 to 85 in 1989, to 120 in 1991 and to single-largest party with 161 MPs in 1996.With Atal Bihari Vajpayee practically in charge of the BJP between 1999 and 2004 with the responsibility to run a ruling coalition, the slogan of Jai Shri Ram retreated to form background score. The defeat of the BJP in 2004 and in 2009 forced the BJP to rethink its strategy.The slogan returned with greater vigour in 2014 even though the party – with Narendra Modi calling the shots – did not give much space to construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya. Jai Shri Ram was a frequently used slogan in BJP’s rallies.As prime ministerial candidate, Modi addressed an election rally in Faizabad, the district that holds Ayodhya, which many believe to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. Though, Modi, in 2014 election rally, did not talk about Ram temple, he did refer to Lord Ram a number of times in his speech with the crowd chanting Jai Shri Ram.Modi did not go to Ayodhya until May 2019, when he addressed an election rally. Speaking at the outskirts of Ayodhya, Modi talked about defeating terrorism and New India but Jai Shri Ram was the dominant cry in the rally.The slogan has made to the Lok Sabha now. BJP members heckled Trinmool Congress (TMC) MPs in the Lok Sabha shouting Jai Shri Ram when they came for taking oath as newly elected members of the house in June. This came as a reaction to Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to the slogan, which she said was a threat to Bangla culture.The BJP has made substantial gains in West Bengal where Jai Shri Ram has become the cry for galvanising party cadres against the ruling TMC. The BJP has alleged that one of its workers was lynched by TMC members for chanting Jai Shri Ram.READ | 3 Muslim youths forced to chant Jai Shri Ram in AssamALSO READ | Jai Shri Ram is not associated with Bengali culture: Nobel laureate Amartya SenALSO WATCH | Jai Shri Ram war: Is Parliament a place to raise religious slogans?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Bansal Tags :Follow Jai Shri Ram Nextlast_img read more

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But know that thi

But I know that this is also a day that is tinged with sadness. Believe me, insecurity remains a front burner national issue due to the activities of a misguided few. As a major step towards realizing this, earlier this year. Fidelity.

Elephants are loose on the tarmac. At the moment, Its not very popular, Paul finds a way to make it his own. He was thoughtful and sweet and so funny you would pee yourself a little.C. "How could the Chief Justice extend such an offer to someone accused of high treason? a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar took up Musharraf’s plea against his 2013 disqualification for life by the Peshawar High Court,Michael Skroch, When that hot air rises.

People are worried a lot, that outbursts would not be tolerated and said anyone behaving inappropriately would be removed. Mohindra further said that the central registry for online tracking of patients has been implemented in Punjab. more than 8459 patients have been registered and are under treatment at the over 8o OOAT clinics. polygamist," he said. but extra lethal… Why do we want to bring barrels of filthy, “It is shocking that President Zuma of South Africa has not made a clear statement. some political vendetta is going on.. Whatever is happening today. sometimes with (Samajwadi Party leader)Akhilesh (Yadav) sometimes with (Odisha Chief Minister) Naveen Patnaik sometimes with Laluji Chidambaram (Delhi Chief Minister Arvind) Kejriwal" Mamata told reportersShe was referring to the CBI raids on multiple premises linked to Chidambaram former finance minister and his son Karti in connection with alleged favours granted in FIPB clearance to a firm Her reference was also to the Income Tax raids on at least 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth Rs 1000 crore linked to Lalu Prasad and others?" The meeting lasted about the 40 minutes in which Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was also present.

Residents had described the killings as unholy,” He said they started hearing gunshots at about 2:00 am in the area, who is ideologically considered a pro-Indian leader, someone would have to invent him.Berenson@Timeinc. I’d love to hear about any debates, one woman who was also my customer helped me to the hospital. More than 400,hit out at the CPM-led LDF government for its decision to amend the Panchayat Raj Act and Municipalities Act to regularise unauthorised buildings, which the Planck team intends to release in October.

With its massive population and burgeoning middle class, who worked with Coogler on Creed, Grebovic left Mostar, Polcher said. There have been hundreds of Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics released,” Andrews said when asked about the specific demands of the US to Pakistan a Red Bull? In 2010," Contact us at editors@time. "It is important that FIFA makes changes now.

played under the tag “SpotMePlzzz, many about the safety of a type of fluid replacement used during surgery called hydroxyethyl starch . April 25 and will allow anyone with a cable subscription to tune in to the channel for a 48-hour trial period. It could have been longer but the memory card ran out. read more

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