Corbyn plots to establish publicly owned rival to Facebook

“A BDC could use all of our best minds, the latest technology and our existing public assets not only to deliver information and entertainment to rival Netflix and Amazon but also to harness data for the public good,” he said. “A BDC could develop new technology for online decision making and audience-led commissioning of programmes and even a public social media platform with real privacy and public control over the data that is making Facebook and others so rich.” Julian Jessop, chief economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs told City A.M. Corbyn’s plan for a state-funded social media network was “fixing problems that don’t exist”.“I suspect a government will come up with a service of lower quality, which is more expensive, and less innovative – as that’s what the public sector does,” he said.“This could be a massive sinkhole,” he added. “It’s sometimes years, maybe decades before tech firms make money. Corbyn plots to establish publicly owned rival to Facebook “The best journalism takes on the powerful, in the corporate world as well as government and helps create an informed public,” he said. “This work costs money. We value it but somehow that does not translate into proper funding and legal support.”The Conservatives said an “internet tax” would lead to higher bills for consumers. Another major measure raised by the leader of the opposition was to introduce elections into UK newsrooms, to make journalists elect their editors. “Journalists at the Guardian now elect their editor by indicative ballot and there’s no reason why that precedent shouldn’t be spread more widely,” he explained. Reforms to BBCOn the BBC, Corbyn suggested major reform to make the broadcaster more transparent, such as forcing it to publish equality data about its workforce, including information on the social class of its workers.He also called for the election of some BBC board members by staff and licence fee payers.”With secure funding and empowered staff and audience, the BBC would be on a firm footing to move forward into the 21st century educating, informing and entertaining, and be a vehicle to drive up standards for the rest of the media,” he said.Read more: Jeremy Corbyn’s approval ratings reach lowest level in a year Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has outlined plans to build a publicly owned social media platform to rival the likes of Facebook.In a speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Corbyn set out his idea to create the British Digital Corporation (BDC), a publicly owned entity that would also create entertainment content to rival streaming giants Netflix and Amazon. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryZen HeraldEllen Got A Little Too Personal With Blake Shelton, So He Said ThisZen Heraldinvesting.comThe Military Spent $1 Billion On this New Vehicle, And Here’s The First Lookinvesting.commoneycougar.comDiana’s Butler Reveals Why Harry Really Married Meghanmoneycougar.comPost FunDiana’s Butler Explains Why Harry Is With MeghanPost FunMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailTotal PastThis Woman’s Obituary Was So Harsh, Her Son Was Left ReelingTotal PastOne-N-Done | 7-Minute Workout7 Minutes a Day To a Flat Stomach By Using This 1 Easy ExerciseOne-N-Done | 7-Minute WorkoutBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBe Thursday 23 August 2018 10:19 am whatsapp “Facebook and others have the resources to test, trial, and experiment, but a state funded platform would have difficulty doing that.“It’s not impossible but i don’t think it’s a viable option.”Clamping down on tech giantsCorbyn also suggested measures to make tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google pay tax to fund British journalism and subsidise the cost of the licence fee. A so-called digital licence fee would charge tech companies and internet service providers to supplement the current licence fee for poorer households, and fund the BBC’s journalism. Corbyn criticised tech firms that “extract huge wealth from our shared digital space”, and said taxes on these businesses could provide a regular income for the BBC and allow it to compete more effectively with corporations like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and Google.  “This is exactly the thing the market should be left to do. With a limited amount of public money, is this the best thing we can spend it on?”The deputy chief exec of techUK, Antony Walker, described Corbyn’s proposal as “baffling”.“Many of the proposed functions of a BDC already exist so it is hard to see what purpose a state-owned social media site would serve,” he said.Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates also took issue with the plan, telling City A.M. it could cost in the “hundreds of millions” to implement.He said: “If you don’t have the bells and whistles in the early stages, are you going to be able to attract users to it? whatsapp Josh Mines Share read more

Mike Ashley loans Rangers £10m which will be used to pay back loans from… Mike Ashley

first_img Tags: Mike Ashley People Rangers have agreed to take a £10m loan from Mike Ashley, which has been secured against the club’s Murray Park training ground and registered trademarks.Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, will take control of 26 per cent of the club’s retail business as a result. The founder of Sports Direct has a 8.9 per cent stake in the football club but has been thwarted in attempts to increase his holdings by the Scottish stock exchange. The loan is to be split into two tranches, with the first £5m being made available for the club’s urgent capital needs. Before the loan, Rangers had stated they needed an emergency cash injection in order to cover costs to the end of January.The loan comes specifically from Ashley’s SportsDirect.com, but will also be used to pay back the previous £3m loans made by Ashley’s Mash Holdings.Ashley had originally wanted securities on the club’s Ibrox stadium as well as Murray Park, yet this sparked massive fan protest against any such move. Ibrox currently remains free from any security, and the club said it had been “specifically excluded” from the deal.Sports Direct will return the 26 per cent stake upon repayment of the loans.Rangers said in a statement:The company’s financial condition has been perilous for a number of months, exacerbated by lower than expected match attendances. The directors have implemented a cost-cutting programme with which they have made significant progress.There is however an immediate need for a substantial injection of capital, and the directors have considered a number of options. The terms negotiated with Sports Direct (which are reversible in the respect of the facility) represent the optimum combination of quantum and duration of funding, allowing the company time to arrange permanent capital which can be used for strengthening the playing squad. Tuesday 27 January 2015 3:07 am Joe Hall by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite Heraldzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comNoteableyKirstie Alley Is So Skinny Now And Looks Like A BarbieNoteableyEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorBeverly Hills MDPlastic Surgeon Explains: “Doing This Every Morning Can Snap Back Sagging Skin” (No Creams Needed)Beverly Hills MDUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementIf Your Dog Eats Grass (Do This Every Day)Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementVikings: Free Online GameIf you’re over 50 – this game is a must!Vikings: Free Online Game Share center_img More From Our Partners Killer drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.com‘The Love Boat’ captain Gavin MacLeod dies at 90nypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.com Mike Ashley loans Rangers £10m which will be used to pay back loans from… Mike Ashley Show Comments ▼ whatsapp whatsapplast_img read more

In mega-shelter for Harvey evacuees, telemedicine plans to help doctors keep up

first_img Getting thousands of Houston-area families to shelters has been a massive humanitarian effort. But the aid doesn’t end there: Many of the displaced have chronic medical conditions like asthma or injuries from recent days that need medical attention.Providers of telemedicine are hoping technology can help step into the breach. At Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, which has begun to take residents displaced by flooding in Houston, emergency-room doctors at Children’s Health, a pediatric hospital based in Dallas, are seeing young patients remotely.“For every adult that comes in, there will be about three children,” explained Scott Summerall, spokesperson for Children’s Health. “We have doctors for adults available at the shelter 24 hours a day, but we don’t have as many pediatric specialists, especially at night.”advertisement Trending Now: She added that flood conditions, like mold in flooded homes, can exacerbate conditions such as asthma. In addition, floodwater may carry viruses and bacteria from dead animals, chemicals, and other contaminants that could cause serious health problems in children if they swallowed it.“There’s also behavioral health issues,” Williams added. “Children are susceptible to anxiety and depression, especially in a time like this. ”And the Dallas shelter will eventually house a pharmacy, which should enable parents to fill their kids prescriptions on-site.Dr. Maeve Sheehan, a pediatrician at Children’s Health, is another of the physicians on-site at the convention center. Telemedicine has helped both the medical and nonmedical workers at the site, Sheehan said.“We have a lot of volunteers here, and people, especially kids, get sick at night. This way they can be in touch with emergency room doctors whenever they need help.”That, Sheehan said, is a notable improvement over disaster response teams she’s worked on in the past. “We didn’t have telemedicine for Katrina,” she said. “I was on [call] all night. This time, I don’t have to be. Telemedicine makes a big difference.” HealthIn mega-shelter for Harvey evacuees, telemedicine plans to help doctors keep up In preparation for that, Children’s Health has set up a telemedicine station from which ER physicians at the hospital can remotely see children at the shelter, via a computer monitor and specially designed equipment for measuring vital signs. The telemedicine station has been in use since Monday.“We expect to see a lot of rashes and infections,” said Dr. Stormee Williams, who oversees telemedicine at Children’s Health, and who is working on-site at the shelter. Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center has largely filled up, prompting officials to open the Dallas convention center to flood victims. Joe Raedle/Getty Images Houston hospitals may not be back to normal for a month Williams said she’s seen an outpouring of support from fellow physicians in the days since the storm hit.“We have doctors around the country calling in and saying, ‘I use telemedicine. How can I help?’ But because they are laws and rules about who can practice where, unless they have a license in Texas, they can’t do it,” she said.Still Williams hopes that the Harvey response efforts will be the beginning of telemedicine as a regular part of disaster recovery.“I’m really excited that we’re doing this,” said Williams. “This is an example of how telemedicine can be used in the most extreme situations, when health care is most needed.” Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson And it’s thanks to a recently passed law that it’s even possible: In May, Texas became the last U.S. state to allow physicians to see patients by telemedicine without an initial in-person visit.Children’s Health has set up a telemedicine station at a mega-shelter in Dallas from which ER physicians at the hospital can remotely see children. Children’s Health System of TexasAt the Dallas convention center, patients are slowly trickling in, many of them delayed by still-flooded roads. Plans for the “mega-shelter,” however, indicate that could house up to 5,000 people in coming days and weeks.advertisement Tags patients Related: By Leah Samuel Aug. 31, 2017 Reprintslast_img read more

You’ve swum with one, stepped on one, maybe swallowed one. This unsung invertebrate could teach us about aging

first_img About the Author Reprints Chances are you’ve swum with one or swallowed one or stepped on one or all of the above. They’re tiny animals, some microscopic, some the size of a speck of dust. And they’re everywhere: in the acidic water collected by the former pyrite pit-mines of Poland’s Sudety Mountains and in the salty “soda lakes” of Kenya’s rift valleys, in the fjord-like lochs of Scotland and in the smelliest of America’s sewage lagoons.No matter how fleeting a body of water is, rotifers can live in it. A moisture bauble caught ornament-like between strands of moss or lichen is enough. In case their pond or droplet dries up, they’ve evolved a neat stunt to withstand desiccation, forming hard little eggs that can last a decade, blowing about with wind gusts and traveling on birds’ feet. Terry Snell, an emeritus professor at Georgia Tech, has even seen some of them survive an hour of near-boiling.advertisement Eventually, he also heard about rotifers. They were different from those bats, rats, and quahogs: What attracted researchers like Gribble was not how long rotifers lived but how quickly they died. After all, if you want to test whether a drug or a diet extends lifespan, and the creature you’re working on hangs around for years and years, the experiment could outlast the experimenter. The risk is remote with rotifers: When not in desiccation survival mode, their life cycle lasts only a few weeks.Gribble is hardly doing this work from scratch: We’ve been peering at rotifers through microscopes since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first noted, early in the 18th century, that their cilia — the hair-like appendages they whirl through the water to find sustenance — reminded him of wheels, an image that gave them their name. Biologists the world over still work on them. To aquaculture experts, they’re larval fish food; to environmental scientists, they’re bellwethers at the bottom of the pond. That means their life histories have been pored over, their reproductive habits prodded.This young female rotifer is about 0.5 millimeters long, and has cilia (at the top) used for swimming and feeding, a large jaw for grinding food, a gut packed with brown algae, reproductive organs, bands of muscles running around the body, and a long, tail-like “foot” ending in two tiny toes. Michael Shribak and Kristin Gribble/Marine Biological LaboratoryGribble uses that to her advantage. If she wants a population of identical rotifers, so that she knows different outcomes in her experiments aren’t because of innate differences, she simply lets them reproduce clonally, like some science-fiction dream. But if she wants to introduce variation in their genes, she can tweak their environment, nudging them toward making males and having sex. “We can have it both ways, which is sort of nice,” she said.They’re not without their challenges, either. “There’s a real push in the aging community to not only think about extension of lifespan, but to think about extension of healthy lifespan, the health span,” Gribble explained. “But with rotifers, we can’t ask them how they’re feeling.”Instead, her team videotapes and measures how they twitch and flick and swim. Especially useful is the rotifers’ propensity to gravitate toward light: “One of the research assistants in the lab, she calls it the zombie swim. No matter what they’re doing, they make a beeline toward that light source,” Gribble said. That inclination, it turns out, wanes with age.Using those kinds of behavior, Gribble and many others have started to untangle the wires that might be driving such late-life changes. As Snell put it, “She’s now on the forefront, she’s probably the leading rotifer aging researcher in the world.” Meanwhile, she emphasizes how many other scientists there are in her “rotifer family.” Their findings are incremental: That certain drugs can help maintain their ability to swim toward the light. That under certain conditions, reducing the calories of their algal diets might extend their lives.No matter how many genes a creature might share with us, the usual caveats of animal research apply. Before they might come anywhere close to helping humans, whatever observations occur among the rotifers will have to move up the evolutionary tree, into other invertebrates and then rodents and then larger mammals. The starlet sea anemone, for instance — a tentacled denizen of the salt marsh — turned out to have about as many of a specific subset of genes as humans did. It happened again and again: Sometime in the last 600 million years or so, the ancestors of today’s fruit flies and worms had shed some of the genetic bits that humans and jelly-like sea creatures still share.That didn’t escape the notice of administrators at the National Institutes of Health. “If you don’t need those genes, you lose them,” said Felipe Sierra, director of the division of aging biology at the National Institute on Aging. He hadn’t realized such gene loss occurred until after he accepted the position in 2006. “I was with my antennas open even more than usual, because I was starting my new job,” he remembered.As he asked around about organisms, beyond flies, worms, and mice, that might help us understand the biology of aging, a whole menagerie has come out of the woodwork. He heard about bats that can survive a storm of human-killing pathogens and naked mole-rats that live decades longer than their fur-covered cousins. He heard about clams that gurgle on the seafloor for 500 years; you can read the passage of time in the lines on their shells, as if they were rings on a tree. Exclusive analysis of biopharma, health policy, and the life sciences. Tags agingBoston Related: General Assignment Reporter Eric focuses on narrative features, exploring the startling ways that science and medicine affect people’s lives. In the LabYou’ve swum with one, stepped on one, maybe swallowed one. This unsung invertebrate could teach us about aging WOODS HOLE, Mass. — In case you were wondering, Kristin Gribble is not a basher of fruit flies or roundworms. She wants to be clear: She bears no ill will toward those invertebrates so often studied that they’ve become scientific celebrities, recognizable by their truncated Latin names. She knows that Drosophila and C. elegans are powerful tools. She understands the allure of experimenting on creatures we know better than we know ourselves.As an ecologist, she also thinks we might come to know ourselves a little better — and perhaps, stave off certain indignities of old age — by scrutinizing less famous spineless creatures in the lab. She’s staked her career on a particularly obscure one, and hopes others might do the same. Three to five times a year, she makes a point of mingling with the telomere-researchers and cell-rejuvenators and longevity-hounds who populate scientific conferences on aging. Like everyone else, she’s there to give papers and exchange ideas. But she’s also on a mission: to preach the gospel of rotifers.“I feel like a bit of an evangelist,” said Gribble, a researcher at the Marine Biological Laboratory on Cape Cod. The good news she spreads is that there’s a creature with a genetic makeup, a lifespan, and a sexual bent that make it a good candidate for certain studies on how older bodies fall apart — and how we might hold them together. There’s a catch, though: “I do have to spend a portion of my talk every time explaining what the heck a rotifer is.”advertisement By Eric Boodman Aug. 1, 2019 Reprints Longevity scientists launch academy to raise profile of life-extending research Related: @ericboodman How a society gala was used to sell young-blood transfusions to baby boomers desperate to cheat death Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Gribble’s proselytizing has met with some skepticism from hardliners in the worm and fly and yeast camps — but she has managed to reel a few researchers in.About five years ago, Karl Rodriguez, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, got to talking with her at an aging conference held on a dude ranch. He was a naked mole-rat and C. elegans man, studying how the cellular cleanup crews change with age — and he was intrigued to see those patterns replicated in Gribble’s rotifers. He wanted to know more, so she shipped him some.They arrived by the thousands, frozen in vials, kept cold by Styrofoam. “You basically get test tubes, we add buffer and crush ‘em up, and that releases all the proteins,” he explained. Then he started measuring the levels of different molecules.He’d tried to do the same with C. elegans, but had run into trouble with the worm’s rigid outer envelope. The force needed to break through it also tore apart the compounds he was trying to study. Not so with the creatures from Gribble’s lab: “Rotifers, they’re squishier, they’re easier to work with.” Eric Boodman STAT+: [email protected] Trending Now: Rotifers under the microscope Emily Corey That isn’t the creatures’ only trick. Rotifers from one lineage never have sex, cloning themselves instead, and refreshing their genes by importing DNA bits from bacteria, fungi, and plants. The species Gribble studies is asexual — females cloning females cloning females — until the going gets rough, when the mother resorts to making males.“The male is very different than in a human. The male rotifer does nothing but try to impregnate a female. He doesn’t have a mouth or a stomach. It reduces maleness to its essential parts,” joked Julia Kubanek, a chemistry professor who works with Snell at Georgia Tech.If that doesn’t sound entirely like the biology of the humans you know, you would not be wrong. Then again, in some ways, certain underwater creatures are more like us than the standard organisms of the lab — and Gribble was just coming into her own as a scientist when that was coming to light. Scientist Kristin Gribble works in her lab at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Hyacinth Empinado/STAT She’d grown up in the dairy cow country around Arena, Wis. — not as much of a farm kid as some of her classmates, but still someone whose parents had 40 to 50 head. Her after-school routine involved scrubbing the bulk tank to keep bacteria from colonizing the fresh milk. She imagined she’d become a nurse or a teacher. “That’s all I knew girls did when I grew up,” she said. “I didn’t even know there was a thing they called grad school.”Her own conversion began with a vision of phytoplankton, glimpsed in an undergraduate class on aquatic ecology — and within a few years she found herself sieving out toxic dinoflagellates she’d hauled up from the Gulf of Maine.By the turn of the millennium, she knew what grad school was and after six years of waitressing, hotel housekeeping, and research assisting, knew she had to go. It was right around the time that the first genomes were being sequenced — and there were some pretty notable differences between our favorite lab animals’ and our own. We might have a dozen versions of one sort of gene, while Drosophila and C. elegans would have only a handful. “You think something that must make mammals or humans special is that they have more copies of these genes,” explained Mansi Srivastava, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard. “But then a big surprise came when we started sequencing all these other species.”last_img read more

Man tries to drown K-9 deputy after running from authorities in North Fort Myers

first_imgAdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments AdvertisementTags: North Fort Myers The 29-year-old is facing charges of fraud, resisting an officer, drug possession, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and causing harm to a law enforcement animal in Lee County. He was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries caused by the K-9 deputy, according to LCSO. NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Georgia man was arrested in North Fort Myers early Monday morning after deputies said he ran away from law enforcement and held a K-9 deputy underwater. Cody Patrick O’Donnell, 29, of Cumming Georgia is facing multiple charges after he was pulled over just after 12 a.m. at the intersection of N Cleveland Avenue and N Key Drive, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said O’Donnell gave a fake name before sprinting away towards the Caloosahatchee River. O’Donnell was able to run out of sight of law enforcement but a K-9 deputy named Koa tracked him in the water underneath the US-41 bridge leading from North Fort Myers into Fort Myers, according to the arrest report. Advertisement Missing North Fort Myers woman found dead May 12, 2021 Ex-employee accused in North Fort Myers business burglary June 12, 2021 AdvertisementThe 29-year-old grabbed K-9 Deputy Koa around the back of the neck and forced the dog under the water, investigators said. Deputies caught up with O’Donnell and put him in handcuffs. He was, reportedly, found with a large knife, brass knuckles, and two small baggies of cocaine.Investigators confirmed O’Donnell has active warrants in Georgia. RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Miami man found guilty of running red light, killing North Fort Myers woman June 4, 2021 Truck left running causes brush fire in North Fort Myers May 10, 2021 Advertisementlast_img read more

TSX closes flat at end of positive week

first_img The Toronto stock market gave up a modest gain to close little changed Friday while investors looked to the release of a disappointing read on U.S. home sales last month. The S&P/TSX composite index slipped 4.65 points to 14,205.72 at the end of a positive week for the Toronto market. TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Malcolm Morrison S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sectorcenter_img The Canadian dollar continued to pile up losses for a third day, down 0.28 of a cent to 89.82 cents US as Statistics Canada said that December retail sales tumbled 1.8 per cent from November. Economists had expected a drop of just 0.4 per cent. The agency also reported that the Canadian consumer price index was up 1.5 per cent in January compared with a year earlier. U.S. indexes were lacklustre as the National Association of Realtors said existing house sales dropped 5.1 per cent in January following a 0.8 per cent rise in December. It was the worst pace in 18 months as cold weather, limited supplies of homes on the market and higher buying costs held back purchases. The drop took the annualized rate of sales down to 4.62 million but analysts said one month of negative data doesn’t change the trend. “The concern that started to surface last year with the move in interest rates was whether we would see a big impact on mortgage financing — and we did see a temporary slowdown on the housing front,” said Mark Bayko, vice-president and portfolio manager at RBC Wealth Management. “That was cause for some alarm but, thus far, people remain fairly comfortable with the improving trend that has been in place now for quite some time.” The Dow Jones industrials fell 29.93 points to 16,103.3, while the Nasdaq lost 4.13 points to 4,263.41 and the S&P 500 index dropped 3.53 points to 1,836.25. Next: TSX sectors @[email protected] TSX sectors Techs were the biggest TSX drag as BlackBerry (TSX:PBB) shed 24 cents or 2.3 per cent to $10.17. The gold sector moved down about 0.4 per cent even as April gold gained $6.70 to US$1,323.60 an ounce. Eldorado Gold Corp. (TSX:ELD) shares were 16 cents lower to $7.96 as the miner posted a US$687.6-million quarterly net loss amid lower values for its assets and reduced gold prices and output. Revenue was $231.7 million, down from US$350 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The energy sector rose 0.23 per cent even as the April crude contract in New York declined 55 cents to US$102.20 a barrel. March copper was up a cent at US$3.29 a pound and the base metals sector rose 0.19 per cent. Thompson Creek Metals Co. Inc. (TSX:TCM) posted an adjusted net loss of US$28.5 million or 17 cents per share, missing forecasts for a loss of three cents a share. Revenue was also below expectations. But its shares rose 26 cents or 8.81 per cent to $3.21 as it also said that it will suspend operations at its molybdenum mine in Idaho by the end of this year due to persistent low prices. In the U.S., Groupon plunged 21.88 per cent after the online deals company said it expected to post a loss this quarter. The company also issued a weak outlook for the year. The TSX ended the week with a solid gain of 1.07 per cent, reflecting general satisfaction with fourth-quarter earnings reports and positive U.S. manufacturing data on Thursday. The Dow faltered somewhat this week, down 0.3 per cent but strong earnings reports have left the index up 2.57 per cent for the month while the TSX has jumped 3.73 per cent so far in February. Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Keywords Marketwatch Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Methods known from climate science can make Covid-19 models more robust

first_imgMethods known from climate science can make Covid-19 models more robust University of AmsterdamHow reliable are the computer models that governments use to decide which measures they should take to control the Covid-19 pandemic? A team led by chemist and computer scientist Peter Coveney put the British model CovidSim to the test, using techniques that are known from other complex models like those used in weather prediction and climate science. They show that small variations in the input parameters can lead to very high variations in the outcomes. And they offer a solution.When Covid-19 suddenly spread around the world in the early months of 2020, the need for models that could predict which measures would be most useful to reduce the spread of the virus and limit the number of deaths was high. There was still so much uncertainty surrounding this new virus, its infectiousness, and the health toll. One of the first models that received a lot of attention when it was developed in March was the CovidSim model by a group of scientist at the Imperial College London. Back then, this model helped convince both British and American politicians that they should introduce lockdowns to prevent the high number of projected deaths. However, over the months doubts have risen as to its reliability.6000 runsIn the United Kingdom, London’s Royal Society therefore decided to commission a team of independent researchers to put the model to the test. This team was led by Peter Coveney, who next to his work as director of the Centre for Computational Science at University College London (UCL) and professor in physical chemistry at the same university is also professor by special appointment at the University of Amsterdam’s Informatics Institute. Coveney and his team decided to test the robustness of the CovidSim model with the help of techniques known from the modeling of other highly complex systems, like the weather and climate models. They used a supercomputer to run the model 6000 times, each time with slightly different initial parameters.Coveney’s team found that tweaking the initial parameters led to highly variable outcomes. Which is important, since many of these parameters have a rather high degree of uncertainty. For instance, what is the exact effectiveness of a behavioral measure like social distancing on the spread of the virus? Slight variations in the prediction of the effectiveness of such measures can, after running the entire model, be amplified and eventually lead to a difference of tens of thousands of predicted deaths.Most crucial parametersThere are as many as 940 variable parameters in the CovidSim model. But Coveney’s team found that nineteen of those are most crucial for the eventual outcome. And up to two-thirds of the variation in the outcome of the model turned out to be determined by a set of three parameters: the length of the phase in which an individual is already infected but can’t yet pass the virus on to others; the effectiveness of social distancing; and how soon an infected person goes into isolation.All this doesn’t mean that the model cannot be used. And Coveney is hesitant to criticize the predictions made by the Imperial College team in March. ‘They did the best job possible under the circumstances’, he comments. But he also stresses that a different approach to these models is needed. Coveney: ‘Our findings are important for government and healthcare policy decision making, given that CovidSim and other such epidemiological models are – quite rightly – still used in forecasting the spread of COVID-19. Like predicting the weather, forecasting a pandemic carries a high degree of uncertainty and this needs to be recognized.’SolutionThe solution, according to Coveney, is to always run these models like an ensemble. As is customary in, for instance, climate science. The outcome would then be a range instead of a single number. The average value within that range is the most probable outcome. When Coveney’s team did this with the CovidSim model to predict the death toll in the UK under lockdown, the average number their runs produced was twice as high as the number predicted by the Imperial College team in March but closer to the actual figures.The team’s findings have not been peer-reviewed yet, but are available as a preprint and expected to be officially published soon. The preprint has already attracted a good amount of attention; it is, among other places, discussed in the news section of Nature and at the well-read blog of the British Science Museum Group.PartnersNext to University College London and the University of Amsterdam, the other partners involved in this study are the Dutch CWI (Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica), Brunel University London, and the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre in Poland.As soon as it is available, a link to the peer reviewed version of this study will be added. /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:american, Amsterdam, climate, climate model, Commission, covid-19, death toll, Government, healthcare, Imperial College London, outcomes, Professor, UK, United Kingdom, university, University of Amsterdamlast_img read more

UK PM call with Irish Taoiseach 27 November 2020

first_imgUK PM call with Irish Taoiseach 27 November 2020 The Prime Minister spoke to Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin this evening.The leaders updated one another on their respective efforts to tackle coronavirus and the steps they have taken to ensure people in the UK and Ireland can enjoy Christmas as safely as possible.They discussed shared challenges including the environment and committed to working together ahead of the UK-hosted COP26 summit next year.They discussed the progress in the UK-EU trade negotiations and the Prime Minister underlined his commitment to reaching a deal that respects the sovereignty of the UK. The leaders also reaffirmed the need to prioritise the Good Friday Agreement and avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.The Prime Minister and Taoiseach looked forward to seeing one another in person when possible. /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:agreement, Border, coronavirus, deal, environment, Government, Ireland, Minister, PM, Prime Minister, trade, UK, UK Governmentlast_img read more

Government keeps spinning tall tales on Cashless Debit Card despite failure to prove it works

first_imgGovernment keeps spinning tall tales on Cashless Debit Card despite failure to prove it works The Australian Greens MPsThe Greens say the Government should abandon the Cashless Debit Card not continue to throw money at the failed punitive program.“The $30 million “Job Ready Package” intended for the Cashless Debit Card Trial sites must be invested in supportive measures, for all people in regional, rural and remote areas that need support and training.“According to a budget leak some portion of the “Job Ready Package” money will be allocated to assisting with helping people get tax file numbers, driver’s licences or other documentation, this should be happening right now in all areas.“It’s frankly ridiculous that Employment Providers who are being paid billions in Government money are not already providing this essential and very basic support.“Helping people address key barriers like poverty or assistance with administration or access to the internet has been recommended extensively by people in the Jobactive program and by experts for years.“Now we finally have some tacit acknowledgement that we need to help people address what is stopping them finding work rather than just punishing them or telling them to “get a job”.“It’s appalling that Government Senators keep spinning out their tired lines on how good the Cashless Debit Card is. It’s absolute rubbish and it needs to be called out.“This Government has been unable to provide ANY compelling evidence that the card has had a positive outcome or achieved any of its supposed aims.“The Government has spent billions pushing this punitive scheme, and millions on flawed evaluations trying to prove that this approach works and to justify their punitive approach.“Government Senators claim they know what communities want when First Nations organisations have been extremely clear that this card is contrary to the Closing the Gap objectives of self-determination and free, prior informed consent.“The card doesn’t work. It’s racist, discriminatory and punitive. If there was a genuine will to assist people with the barriers they face we would see investments in wrap around services that are delivered by the community and abandonment of the card.“This card causes loss of dignity, shame and stigmatisation, this is what people have said when asked in the Government’s evaluations.” /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:AusPol, Australia, Australian Greens, Closing the Gap, community, debit card, employment, failure, gap, Government, Internet, Loss, money, racist, tax, triallast_img read more

CU Police giving away free U-locks, encouraging bike safety

first_img Published: Sept. 24, 2013 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail By the CU-Boulder Police DepartmentThe CU-Boulder Police Department is giving away free bike U-locks. Bike theft continues to be the No. 1 crime on campus, and we need your help to deter thieves. Don’t become a target. Register your bicycle online for free at http://www.colorado.edu/pts/content/register-your-bike-online-free.  (After logging in, click on “Manage Your Vehicles: Add Bicycle.”) You’ll get a registration sticker for your frame, and your bike’s serial number will be recorded. If it’s stolen and later located anywhere in the United States, you’ll have a better chance of it being returned to you. Use a high-quality U-lock. They are more difficult to defeat than cable locks.We’d like to help you get prepared. This week, we will be awarding 10 Kryptonite U-locks. Here’s how to win: Follow us on the CU-Boulder Police social media pages, where we offer crime alerts, crime prevention tips and other safety information you should know. During this month’s flood, we posted hundreds of tweets with emergency information. Facebook: www.facebook.com/CUBoulderPolice. “Like” us on this page and leave a comment on our U-lock giveaway post and say why bike safety is important to you. Twitter: www.twitter.com/CUBoulderPolice. Follow us and send a tweet with @CUBoulderPolice in the message and say why bike safety is important to you. You must be a current CU-Boulder student and not a previous winner in past U-lock giveaways. The contest ends at 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. We’ll contact the winners and hand out the prizes. We’ll pick five winners from both Facebook and Twitter.Good luck and stay safe! For more bike safety tips, see http://bit.ly/CUBikeSafety.last_img read more