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Chapter 2 Humbling the Oligarchs For a national

first_imgChapter 2: Humbling the Oligarchs For a national leader wishing to cement a hold on power—especially a would-be autocrat—nothing beats war. Turning the children of the common folk into soldiers and sending them to do battle with a feared or hated enemy tends to unite those folk in support of whoever is in charge, no matter what the actual reason for the fighting. It works in any country. So it was with Putin and Chechnya. Although the breakaway republic wasn’t exactly a foreign country, to most Russians it might as well have been. So they fell right in line behind their aggressive new president and his Chechnya campaign. Putin is always ready for the next move, the zag after the zig. He recognized that as quickly as war wins the population over to your side, the advantage can just as quickly be lost. The longer a war goes on, the more likely people are to turn against it. Lose a war, and everyone decides they were against it all along. So to gain from a bloody conflict, a leader needs a swift, decisive victory. The First Chechen War had left Russians with a sour taste in their mouths. It went on for two years and ended with their well-equipped, modern army failing against a posse of back-country guerrillas—a replay of Afghanistan in Russia’s own backyard. No one was in the mood for more of the same. The people rallied behind Putin because they detected his willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done. What else would you expect from an ex-KGB officer? Predictably, Putin went at the Chechens with maximum firepower and subdued them with minimum loss of Russian lives. After that, Russia’s lingering troubles with the republic hardly mattered. The war had ended quickly, and it had ended in victory, a demonstration of Putin’s strength for all to see. No more wishy-washy leaders in the Kremlin. A real man was back at the helm. The people cheered. Disposing of an outside threat was important as a first step toward Putin’s goal of reestablishing Russian might, with himself as the revered leader. It was the relatively simple part, however. Next, he had to deal with his political enemies. Some were easy to identify. The drifting policies of the Yeltsin years had fostered a small class of crafty and often violent billionaires, a wild bunch known as the oligarchs. In the words of a former deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank: “All Russian oligarchs are fiendishly ingenious, fiendishly strong, malicious, and greedy—tough customers to deal with.” Land of Opportunity During the 1990s, the country was struggling to adopt the ways of a free-market society. After 70 years of enforced collectivism, suffocation by central planning, and the quashing of individual initiative, Russia’s freedom makeover wasn’t going smoothly. The transition from centralized command and control to free markets was hindered by a massive flight of domestic capital, foreign investors deserting the country, a sharp rise in unemployment, widespread failure to meet payrolls for those who actually held jobs, and a precipitous drop in the foreign-exchange value of the ruble (which hit its all-time low in late 1993). Before the early 1990s, there wasn’t even a stock market. Three generations of Russians had toiled under the threat of communism’s gulags and been trained to look to Moscow for decisions in all matters. And that was after three and a half centuries of submission to czarist rule. Suddenly, people were thrown into a situation they weren’t prepared for and had no experience with. That they were overwhelmed by their first whiff of freedom was hardly a surprise. Most were utterly lost, but not all. As state control of enterprises withered, a few crafty individuals saw they could exploit what was happening. Some were already wealthy, whereas others simply seized the opportunity to start a fortune. What they all had in common was an aptitude for business that was in such short supply in Russia. The best that can be said of the oligarchs is that they were ready for economic freedom when almost no one else was. They certainly helped with the transition to a market economy. But in a society where cronyism, bribery, extortion, and murder for hire are normal, it would be a stretch to argue that these newly minted billionaires came by their fortunes in an honest way. They were utterly ruthless. But they would soon learn that someone else was even more so: Vladimir Putin. Nailing Khodorkovsky Putin realized early on that the key to Russia’s rebirth was its vast wealth of natural resources. Oil, gas, uranium—the country had them all in abundance. All figured into his master plan. And because of their importance, energy companies could not be allowed to fall under the control of foreign investors, no matter what. Even domestic private owners would have to answer to the state or, more to the point, to Putin. The oligarchs mattered to Putin not merely because of their wealth but because energy was precisely the industry in which they were most prominent. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the richest and most powerful of them, with a fortune of $18 billion. In his struggle with the oligarchs, Putin’s contest with Khodorkovsky was the decisive battle. When it ended—with Khodorkovsky and others stripped of their wealth and imprisoned, exiled, or dead—there was no doubt that Putin would be the overlord of Russia’s energy sector. And he would be thanked for what he did. As with Chechnya, attacking the oligarchs was a hit with the public, who resented both their great wealth and how they had gotten it. Seeing them humbled amped up Putin’s popularity yet again. The Khodorkovsky match was not the only front in Putin’s war with the oligarchs. But it was the splashiest, and it best illustrates his methods. Like Putin, Khodorkovsky had spent his childhood in a shabby communal apartment and, also like Putin, he had ambition to spare. After working as a leader in Komsomol, a communist youth organization, he opened the Youth Center for Scientific and Technological Development. Later he founded an import/export firm. As he transitioned from communist to capitalist, Khodorkovsky came to believe that the new Russian economy should be centered on high-tech industries rather than on natural resources. That put him in conflict with Putin’s notion that resources are the natural engine for Russia’s economic progress. Khodorkovsky became a prominent advocate for a free market. In 1993, he published the Russian capitalist manifesto, The Man with the Ruble. In it he wrote: “It is time to stop living according to Lenin! Our guiding light is Profit, acquired in a strictly legal way. Our Lord is His Majesty, Money, for it is only He who can lead us to wealth as the norm in life.” Khodorkovsky’s compliance with the law was noticeably far from strict. But that was the norm at the time. Several of his early millionaire colleagues had gotten so closely involved with criminals that they eventually had to flee the country to save their lives and the lives of their families. Shootings in public view were common, as were kidnappings of women and children. It was all part of the cost of doing business. That Khodorkovsky’s import/export company was known to violate dozens of laws surprised no one, and by comparison with many others he was a goody-goody. It was entering the financial arena that put Khodorkovsky on track to join the billionaires’ club. And it was through Bank Menatep that he positioned himself to become the richest man in the new Russia. Vouchers Bank Menatep, which Khodorkovsky established in 1989, made significant profits, reportedly enhanced by diverted state funds. The bank also operated a lucrative market for trading state privatization vouchers, which turned out to be more than just another profit center. Though it seems crazy now, the voucher program must have made sense to Boris Yeltsin at the time. He initiated it in 1992 on a day when, perhaps, he was heavily into the vodka. Yeltsin proposed that every man, woman, and child in Russia be issued a voucher that could be exchanged for shares in one of the state enterprises undergoing privatization. That way, Yeltsin was convinced, every citizen would gain a stake in the emerging capitalist economy. However, consistent with capitalist principles, everyone would be free to trade or sell his or her voucher if one chose to. The voucher idea had been imported to Russia by consulting economists from the United States. It made good sense in a textbook kind of way. But it made no sense at all if the vouchers were going to be issued to people who didn’t understand what the pieces of paper represented. Over 140 million Russians participated in the grand voucher program, the great majority of them cash poor and lacking even a rudimentary comprehension of capital markets. Most chose to capture a little cash immediately by selling their vouchers. That played right into the hands of anyone with a bit of investment sense—especially the oligarchs. They were ready and able to accommodate the millions of Russians who knew nothing about the vouchers except that they could be turned into instant cash. Buying on the very cheap, they gained control of formerly state-run companies, which concentrated an astronomical amount of wealth and power in the hands of a very few. Khodorkovsky topped the list of those who made the people’s ignorance his gain. Through Bank Menatep and a separate holding company, he took control of a string of companies for mere kopecks on the ruble. It wasn’t quite theft, but it was a process in which informed consent played no role whatsoever. In 1995, Group Menatep moved on Yukos, a major petroleum conglomerate. Yukos had been assembled by the Russian government in 1993 to roll up dozens of state-owned production, refining, and distribution assets, including one of the most productive oil fields in western Siberia. Like most other Russian companies struggling to adapt to a market economy, its performance had been dismal. Oil production rates were declining, employees were months behind in getting paid, and financial controls were haphazard. Khodorkovsky set out to grab Yukos and fix it. He captured Yukos in two bold moves and in so doing demonstrated that he was a wily businessman, someone to be reckoned with. Vladimir Putin—at the time still working for the mayor of St. Petersburg, but with his eye on higher office—took notice. Perhaps, given his dispassion in separating ends from means, he even admired how Khodorkovsky operated. It happened this way: First, knowing that the Yeltsin administration was strapped for cash, Bank Menatep participated in the ill-fated “Loans for Shares” program. Under the arrangement, Yeltsin’s government pledged shares in several of Russia’s most profitable companies as collateral for loans from oligarch-controlled banks. The value of the collateral was several times more than the value of the loans secured. If the state defaulted—and its debilitated condition made that likely—the lending bank was supposed to auction off the shares. But the auctions that actually took place were rigged. Everything was carefully planned to exclude anyone who might outbid the lending bank. In this instance, Bank Menatep lent the Kremlin $159 million under conditions that virtually ensured default. For collateral, the Kremlin pledged 45 percent of Yukos, which at that point was worth over $3 billion, or some 20 times the size of the loan. Then, when the government indeed defaulted, Khodorkovsky effectively swapped the IOU Bank Menatep was holding for nearly half of Yukos. Days later, to gain full control, Menatep purchased another 33 percent of Yukos from Yeltsin’s desperate government for just $150 million, or about 15 cents on the dollar. Over the next several years, Khodorkovsky brought the company back to health. In 2002 Yukos became the first Russian oil company to pay dividends to its shareholders, and by 2003 it was accounting for 20 percent of all Russian oil production and 2 percent of the world’s. It had become the country’s second-largest taxpayer, covering 4 percent of the Russian federal budget. This was quite a high standing for a company about to be smashed. Whether Putin could have succeeded in moving on Khodorkovsky in a different political and economic climate is difficult to judge. But he clearly made savvy use of the man’s past. You’ve just read an excerpt from Marin Katusa’s new book, The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp. Click here to order your copy now.last_img read more

The wrenching testimony of Christine Blasey Ford

first_imgThe wrenching testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault years ago, raises questions about the long-term emotional and physical toll this kind of trauma takes on survivors and how our society responds to those who come forward long after the assault.Emily R. Dworkin, a senior fellow at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, studies how the social interactions of trauma survivors can affect their recovery. She was also the lead author of a paper published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review in 2017 that looked through more than 100,000 studies conducted in the last 50 years and found nearly 200 relevant ones on the relationship between sexual assault and mental health to analyze.What she found, Dworkin says, is strong evidence that sexual assault is associated with an increased risk for multiple forms of psychological harm “across most populations, assault types and methodological differences in studies.” Too many survivors still face stigma and internalize that blame, and that can make it harder to seek help. And while some types of therapy have been shown to be helpful, she says, more information on evidence-based treatments for survivors “is critically needed.”Dworkin talked with NPR about her research findings and offered her perspective on where society and science need to go next to prevent assaults and help survivors heal. Our interview was edited for length and clarity.You looked at a lot of studies about the mental health impact of sexual assault, but it’s not an area as well-studied as say, heart disease. So what do we know?Sexual assault [any type of sexual activity or contact that happens without the consent of both people] began getting research attention in the ’70s as society as a whole was going through a feminist awakening, and it kind of developed at the same time as PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], which was then known as “combat trauma.” Many things can lead to depression or anxiety. People with PTSD relive the trauma in the form of intrusive memories, nightmares, or even flashbacks. They avoid things that remind them of the trauma.The symptoms that people were showing when they were coming home from war were the same as victims of rape trauma — recurring memories and a wish to avoid triggering them.These days, lots of people are doing research, but there’s still a lot left to understand. What we do know is that sexual assault is associated with a higher risk for a lot of different mental health problems, including PTSD [and depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidality] … especially PTSD.What do we know about how ethnicity and education affects the mental health of survivors of sexual assault? We need to know more. Some of my past research on queer women shows that ongoing forms of stress can compound stress. And we know that people from marginalized groups are just at greater risk for sexual assault [and a number of other health problems]. So it’s likely that these groups experience more trauma — but I don’t think we can completely say for sure.How does sexual assault compare with other forms of trauma, in terms of effects on mental health?We never want to have the Olympics of trauma. But compared to other types of life-threatening trauma, survivors of sexual assault do seem to be more likely to get PTSD. In my preliminary look at the data from 39 studies on this topic, it seems like 36 percent of survivors meet criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD in their lifetime, versus 12 percent of people who don’t have a history of sexual assault.My thinking is that sexual assault is a unique form of trauma. It is highly stigmatized, and when people go to seek help for it, unlike in a car accident — well, the police are not going to ask you if you’ve really been in a car accident.Also, people don’t always do the most effective job of supporting sexual assault survivors. Sometimes they do things that can actually compound the trauma. In the ’70s it was known as “the second rape” when you tell the police, undergo a rape kit exam and explain it to family and friends. They don’t always know how to help.What can survivors who are feeling overwhelmed, depressed and traumatized do to recover, and how can friends and family help?It’s important for survivors to know that they can regain a sense of power over those triggers, and that the most natural response is to push away the triggers. Self-care isn’t about turning off those bad feelings, but feeling those feelings so that they can subside naturally.It’s kind of a counterintuitive idea, and it’s not what we usually think to do for our loved ones. When somebody’s in pain, all you want to do is to take that pain away. It’s understandable to try to distract them, take them out for a drink, but it’s better to be a shoulder to cry on. You don’t need to cheer somebody up in the moment. Be there for them as a witness to their pain.What about the professionals — the police, the lawyers, the therapists — that survivors need to talk to? How can they do a better job?This all comes back to … dealing with the false beliefs we have around sexual assault — blaming the victim, challenging the victim’s choices. Changing these cultural norms is important.One of the evidence-based treatments for PTSD is overcoming the trauma by sharing the story. That’s a very different thing than being forced to tell it in public.I don’t want to imply that it’s the survivor’s fault they have PTSD. And they feel like they don’t want to relive it again, which is totally natural. But our bodies can’t sustain that intense emotional response for long — those feelings come down naturally.In my clinical work, a woman came to me with her story of sexual assault. The first time she told it, she was crying. By the fourth time, she was almost yawning. Her story is not one that has power over her anymore. She has the control over whether she’s going to have her life altered.Has the public’s perception of sexual assault changed since the Kavanaugh hearings?I think about this stuff every day. I’ve been thinking it about every day since I was 18 and beginning my research. It takes me awhile to catch up and realize that everyone else is thinking about it now.My hope is that we’re changing some of the cultural conversation around this.It’s important to know that most of the disorders are very treatable conditions. I do feel like if survivors can get connected to evidence-based treatments, they can be helped — even years later.What are the resources and treatments that work best for survivors who are experiencing PTSD or other mental health symptoms?First-line options should be things that we know work well. What I recommend is prolonged exposure therapy [helping people gradually approach trauma-related memories and feelings] or cognitive processing therapy [a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps patients learn how to challenge and modify unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma]. Both have been around since the ’80s and were developed to treat survivors of rape. They have really strong evidence of reducing symptoms or eliminating the diagnosis [of a mental health disorder].For resources, look for a good therapist who offers cognitive processing therapy. Also, you can check out the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies [for more information about the treatment].As a society, what should we focus on to help survivors of assault?Ending some of our stigmatizing beliefs about sexual assault and our mistrust for people that come forward is huge. It’s always up to survivors as to whether they disclose. The fact that we’re having these conversations in the public sphere gives me hope.In schools, [to prevent unwanted sexual advances and sexual assault in the first place] we can teach respect for others and their autonomy. We’re not comfortable with the idea of hearing about these sorts of assaults. Our cultural norm is to avoid uncomfortable experiences. … But we need to keep talking. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A Missouri judge has blocked the states attempt t

first_imgA Missouri judge has blocked the state’s attempt to close down Missouri’s last abortion provider.Missouri Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer granted a request to temporarily prevent state officials from revoking the license of a clinic operated by a St. Louis Planned Parenthood chapter, as the state’s health department had sought to do.If the license is not renewed, Missouri will become the first state without a clinic providing abortions since the procedure became legal 46 years ago.Planned Parenthood, Stelzer wrote in his order, “demonstrated that immediate and irreparable injury will result” if Missouri refuses to renew the clinic’s license. He added that the temporary restraining order “is necessary to preserve the status quo and prevent irreparable injury.”Stelzer issued his ruling Friday, hours before a midnight deadline. The judge set a hearing on the matter for Tuesday.”This is a victory for women across Missouri, but this fight is far from over. We have seen just how vulnerable access to abortion care is in Missouri — and in the rest of the country,” said Leana Wen, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood.Anti-abortion-rights groups were dismayed by the decision, echoing the governor’s position that there are health and safety concerns at the clinic that need to be investigated.”Planned Parenthood caused this artificial crisis when they ignored the law and refused to comply with the state of Missouri’s very reasonable requests,” said Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins, who called Stelzer’s ruling an example of “judicial activism in favor of abortion.”In a lawsuit seeking to keep the clinic open, Planned Parenthood had warned that closing the facility could force some women to “turn to medically unsupervised and in some cases unsafe methods to terminate unwanted pregnancies.”Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who recently signed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws, has maintained that state officials need to complete an investigation into a patient complaint before the clinic’s license is renewed. Missouri officials have not revealed details about that complaint.During a press conference earlier this week, Parson argued that the attempt to not renew the clinic’s license is not political.”This is not an issue about the pro-life issue at all. This is about a standard of care for women in the state of Missouri,” Parson said. “Whether it’s this clinic or any other clinic or any other hospital, they should have to meet the same standards.”In March, state officials cited a number of deficiencies in their inspections of the clinic as part of the annual license renewal process. One problem they noted was that not all of the staff had participated in a fire drill. Then in April, Missouri officials announced an investigation of an unspecified complaint from a patient.State officials asked to interview seven physicians associated with the clinic, some of whom were employed by Washington University Medical School and were not part of the clinic’s full-time staff. Because of that relationship, the clinic argues it cannot force the doctors to be interviewed. It also says the state has not revealed the scope of the questioning, which the clinic’s legal team says could include criminal referrals.Legal wrangling ensued over the interviews, with the clinic saying it did everything in its power to make the sessions happen and state officials countering that the clinic was getting in the way of the interviews.Jamie Boyer, the attorney for Planned Parenthood, said in the suit that Missouri “is simply wrong in insisting it is entitled to refuse to act on Planned Parenthood’s application for license renewal.”But Parson says that because of the audit and investigators’ inability to complete the investigation into the patient complaint, the clinic’s license cannot be renewed.Ahead of the ruling, clinics in states surrounding Missouri, meanwhile, told NPR that there were real worries about a wave of patients traveling across state lines from Missouri. It would be a natural response, they said, to the looming prospect of abortions being inaccessible to patients statewide.”Missouri is already in what’s considered an abortion desert where the majority of Missourians live over 100 miles from a clinic,” Michele Landeau, board president of the Gateway Women’s Access Fund, told NPR member station St. Louis Public Radio. The fund helps women pay for abortions.”Closing clinics is just going to make that distance even worse,” she said.Supporters of the St. Louis clinic praised the judge’s ruling but said the struggle for access to abortions in Missouri continues.”While temporary, we celebrate today, and tomorrow, we go back to work to ensure access to abortion does not go dark at the last health center that provides abortion in Missouri,” said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, an abortion provider at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. “While Gov. Parson abandoned our patients, we will not.”NPR’s Sarah McCammon contributed to this report. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Fallen Giants Iconic Companies That Disappeared

first_imgImage credit: Roadsidepictures via Flickr Along with Best Buy, this electronics retailer was where you went to pick up the latest and greatest gadget through much of the 1990s. As online shopping took off, though, things began to falter. And bad retail locations and questionable business moves (like abandoning its lucrative appliance-sales business and partnering exclusively with Verizon for mobile phone sales) led to bankruptcy.Officials tried to secure a buyer but were unable to do so, forcing the company to lay off 30,000 employees and liquidate its stores in 2009.Related: Martha Stewart: It’s all about branding Once America’s second-largest shipbuilder and steel producer, Bethlehem Steel was beginning its decline in the late ’80s, as the U.S. transitioned away from industrial manufacturing (amid lower labor costs in other countries).But the thought of the company that built the Golden Gate Bridge going away entirely was still something few considered. It gave up shibuilding in 1997, and in 2001 the company was forced to file for bankruptcy, weighed down in part by spiraling pension and health-care costs as workers were laid off. Two years later International Steel Group bought what was left.Related: Business titans disclose their biggest mistakes –shares 4 min read CNBC In the early days of the personal computer, Compaq was a premier name, and by the mid-’90s it was the country’s largest supplier of PC systems. By the end of that decade, though, it was suffering from product-quality issues and wasn’t able to keep up with the rapidly changing industry.Lower-cost competitors, like Dell, began capturing the attention of consumers—and the collapse of the dot-com bubble didn’t help matters, as demand for the company’s high-end systems evaporated. In 2002 the company agreed to merge with Hewlett-Packard, and the Compaq name slowly evaporated.Related: Secrets of success from business titans Compaq This story originally appeared on CNBC Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Gwydion M. Williams via Flickr Amoco The business landscape has changed significantly in the past 25 years—not only in how we work but also with whom we work. It’s sometimes easy to forget that king of the hill isn’t a permanent position, and companies that seem invincible might not be around forever in their current form—or, in some cases, any form. Icons fall, and here are some of the names we took for granted in 1989 that have since faded away. Bethlehem Steel Fallen Giants: Iconic Companies That Disappeared Lehman Brothers May 2, 2014 Circuit City The oil company that started in 1910 was a giant in 1989. It was a leader in the lead-free gas movement and became the largest natural-gas producer in North America in the late ’90s. Amoco never saw significant financial troubles: In 1997 the company earned $2.7 billion on revenue of $36.3 billion. But in 1998 it merged with British Petroleum in a $61 billion deal. Existing service stations were rebranded under the BP name, and the Amoco brand slowly dissolved.  Image credit: Christopher S. Penn via Flickr Add to Queue Image credit: Minale Tattersfield Roadside Retail via Flickr Brands Image credit: yum9me via Flickr Next Article Once the fourth-largest investment bank in the country, Lehman’s 2008 bankruptcy filing was the largest in U.S. history, with the firm holding more than $600 billion in assets. It was something that seemed unthinkable just a few years prior, but weighed down by toxic housing assets and unable to find a buyer, the company ended up playing a significant role in the global financial crisis.After the bankruptcy filing, Barclays bought the company’s North American division for just $1.75 billion, with Nomura Holdings taking over the Asia-Pacific, European and Middle Eastern operations.To see the rest of this article, go to CNBC. Image credit: Alexander Rabb via Flickr Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

PlaceIQ Partners with PMG to Measure RealTime Impact of InStore Holiday Foot

first_imgPlaceIQ Partners with PMG to Measure Real-Time Impact of In-Store Holiday Foot Traffic PRNewswireMay 15, 2019, 5:35 pmMay 16, 2019 PlaceIQ, the company building a new model of consumer behavior with location data and insights, announced results of a partnership with digital marketing agency PMG, which sought to better understand the real-time impact of media campaigns on in-store foot traffic during the 2018 holiday shopping season, as tested on PMG client Old Navy.PlaceIQ’s Place Visit Stream was accessed by PMG through its valued DSP partner, The Trade Desk, in order to measure true foot traffic impact and return on ad spend for all holiday campaign tactics used during the 2018 holiday season. By having near real-time access to foot traffic data in-platform, PMG was able to optimize quickly toward strategies driving the best in-store results. PMG used high-impact, rich media ad units to maximize the impact of their audience discoveries—for example, they were able to harness a secondary brand audience to drive 23% more foot traffic than the primary audience.Marketing Technology News: Uberflip Reveals Meaningful Content Experiences Positively Influence Marketing and Sales ConversionsPlaceIQ’s location-intelligence platform ingests and processes billions of movement data points from over 200MM unique anonymous devices to understand the places visited in their consumer journey. By matching this movement data with verified locations, Place Visit Stream delivers visitation metrics down to specific audiences and targeting tactics. This enables brands to match high quality, real-world visitation metrics to a wide array of key marketing applications.“PMG has many retail clients for whom we are constantly testing innovative ways to measure how online media impacts offline foot traffic,” said Caitlin Meroney,Senior Programmatic Media Manager, PMG.“The PlaceIQ/The Trade Desk integration offered PMG a unique opportunity during the critical Holiday Shopping season that allowed us to gain a real-time understanding of what tactics were driving customers.”Marketing Technology News: AB Tasty Enriches Personalization Offering With New Advanced Targeting Capabilities“PlaceIQ strives to offer brands the seamless ability to understand the real-world impact of their digital marketing investments,” said Duncan McCall, CEO, PlaceIQ. “Through our close partnership with The Trade Desk, we felt privileged to offer a valuable measurement solution to PMG and their marquee clients. By harnessing Place Visit Stream, PMG was able to test optimized media to maximize in-store foot traffic and sales potential during the holidays.”Marketing Technology News: Experience Management Leader Medallia to Acquire Customer Success Leader Strikedeck Duncan McCallMarketing TechnologyNewsOld NavyPlaceiqPMGThe Trade Desk Previous ArticleTrademarkNow Launches Trademark Clearance Tools for the MassesNext ArticleMenlo Security Hires Scott Fuselier as Chief Revenue Officer and Young-Sae Song as Chief Marketing Officerlast_img read more

Extension trial assesses benefit of switching from flash monitoring to RTCGM for

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018In follow-up to the I HART CGM study, which showed the benefit of real-time continuous glucose monitoring (RT-CGM) compared to flash monitoring for time spent in hypoglycemia among adults with type 1 diabetes at high hypoglycemia risk, researchers conducted an extension trial that assessed the effects of continuing RT-CGM or switching from flash to RT-CGM of the subsequent 8 weeks. The study design and results are published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics (DTT), a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.Related StoriesObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionMonika Reddy, Narvada Jugnee, Sinthuka Anantharaja, and Nick Oliver, Imperial College London, U.K. coauthored the study entitled “Switching from Flash Glucose Monitoring to Continuous Glucose Monitoring on Hypoglycemia in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes at High Hypoglycemia Risk: The Extension Phase of the I HART CGM Study.”The extension study included 40 adults with T1D on intensified multiple daily insulin injections and with either impaired awareness of hypoglycemia or a recent episode of severe hypoglycemia. While both RT-CGM and flash monitoring measure interstitial fluid glucose, only RT-CGM has built-in alarms to let users know of the risk of an impending hypoglycemic eventThe researchers reported a significant reduction in time in hypoglycemia among the subjects switching from flash to RT-CGM. Subjects continuing with RT-CGM for the additional 8 weeks maintained the benefits of that option related to hypoglycemia.”Patients with a history of severe hypoglycemia associated with hypoglycemia unawareness would benefit from ‘alarms and alerts,’ and thus it makes sense that using a RT-CGM would show benefit in hypoglycemia reduction in this high risk population compared to using a device without alert features like flash glucose monitoring,” says DTT Editor-in-Chief Satish Garg, MD, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver (Aurora). Source:https://home.liebertpub.com/news/is-there-a-benefit-to-switching-from-flash-monitoring-to-rt-cgm-for-reducing-time-in-hypoglycemia/2446last_img read more

Almost 9000 children and teens died from opioid poisonings in over two

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 31 2018Nearly 9,000 children and adolescents died from opioid poisonings with prescription and illicit drugs between 1999 and 2016 based on an analysis of national data.The death rate almost tripled over that time to nearly 1 per 100,000 based on the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prescription opioids were implicated in 73 percent of the deaths (6,561) and most of the deaths were unintentional (nearly 81 percent). The majority of deaths were among non-Hispanic white males but over time non-Hispanic black children accounted for a larger proportion of the deaths. The highest annual death rates during the 18 years examined in the study were among teens 15 to 19, with heroin implicated in nearly 1,900 deaths. The study relied on data from death certificates so the potential for misclassification of cause and manner of death exists. Researchers urge lawmakers, public health officials, clinicians and parents to implement protective measures to address the growing public health problem. Source:https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/study-details-opioid-poisoning-deaths-among-children-teens-over-two-decades/last_img read more

Ultrasound offers precise minimally invasive way to measure cardiac output in children

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 18 2019Currently, a practical, precise, minimally invasive way to measure cardiac output or heart function in children undergoing surgery does not exist. New research published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), illustrates how a novel minimally invasive method using catheter-based ultrasound to measure heart function performed with similar precision to a traditional highly invasive device.Cardiac output, the volume of blood pumped by the heart per minute, is a crucial component of vital signs monitored in surgical patients. Evaluation by physical examination of critically ill children is often imprecise. Most devices used to monitor cardiac output are adapted from adult patients with limited use in children, due to differences in size, technical limitations, and risk of complications. Physicians have almost no available alternatives to manage and measure how a pediatric patient’s heart is responding to different therapies, since there are no practical and precise minimally invasive ways to measure cardiac output in infants and young children.”This new technology is less invasive than earlier technologies and can be used while patients are awake, which makes it more clinically practical for young children,” said Theodor S. Sigurdsson, M.D., pediatric anesthesiologist, at Children’s Hospital, University Hospital of Lund in Sweden. “Our results demonstrate that this technology was not only easily adaptable in young children but also very accurate and precise. It could aid further validation of the next generation of non-invasive hemodynamic monitors in the intensive care setting.”In the study, researchers used ultrasound sensors to produce precise measurements that were comparable to those obtained using a more traditional method of placing a probe around the patient’s aorta to measure heart function. Forty-three children between the ages of one and 44 months scheduled for corrective cardiac surgery were studied. Researchers measured heart function using both the invasive perivascular flow probe and the new minimally invasive ultrasound technology. After administering a saline injection, researchers were able to detect blood dilution levels using ultrasound sensors attached to an arteriovenous loop connected to catheters in the patient’s internal jugular vein and radial artery. The process is minimally invasive because it uses existing catheters and does not require additional invasive procedures.Related StoriesCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsAfter surgery, five consecutive repeated cardiac measurements were performed using both methods simultaneously, for a total of 215 cardiac output measurements. The ultrasound sensors showed a statistically similar precision for measuring cardiac output when compared to the results obtained using the periaortic flow probe.In an accompanying editorial, Christine T. Trieu, M.D., physician anesthesiologist, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, noted there are very few commercially available, precise cardiac output monitoring devices for infants and young children.”Despite the encouraging results from this study, there are still many challenges in developing the ideal cardiac output monitor for pediatric patients,” said Dr. Trieu. “This is the reason why we welcome and applaud the study by Dr. Sigurdsson et al; it offers the possibility of a simple and reliable method that uses arterial line and central line to measure cardiac output in children of all sizes.”Source: https://www.asahq.org/about-asa/newsroom/news-releases/2019/03/ultrasound-to-measure-heart-function-in-childrenlast_img read more

Insider QA Mozilla exec says to demand better internet

first_img Citation: Insider Q&A: Mozilla exec says to demand better internet (2018, May 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-insider-qa-mozilla-exec-demand.html Firefox Reality beckons our browser future © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Q: What data does Mozilla have?A: For many years we tried to collect absolutely nothing, thinking that was the best way to ensure privacy and security. We shifted in the last few years. But the spirit of the (EU) law, Mozilla’s always been trying to meet. The data we do have is mostly about our own product. We don’t sell it. We’re not monetizing against it.Q: How is Firefox doing?A: There’s no question that for a few years, (Google) Chrome has beaten us. They had the newest generation of technology, and it showed. Once you’ve got a product out, it’s hard to change something so deep in the guts. But we found a way to do it.As of November, with our Firefox Quantum release, we have the technical crown again. It’s not easy to reach consumers about it because you get used to the browsers you’re using, but we do have some reaction.Q: What’s Mozilla’s approach to virtual reality and augmented reality?A: Our vision is that thing we used to call the web. Send a link, and anyone can click on that. That seems obvious. But that’s not how AR and VR are today, where you have to pick (a system). If I want to see that content, I have to move to the next closed system. We’re trying to make it interoperable so developers really have a chance to do something new and consumers like us can find and see what we want. The manifesto Mitchell Baker wrote for the free software community Mozilla declared the internet to be a global public resource and privacy a fundamental right that “must not be treated as optional.” Explore furthercenter_img In this May 14, 2018, file photo, Mitchell Baker attends the 22nd Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. The manifesto Baker wrote for the free software community Mozilla declared the internet to be a global public resource and privacy a fundamental right that “must not be treated as optional.” Twenty years later Baker says she’s on a mission to reassert those principles and update them for an era when online privacy, rational discourse and verifiable information seem elusive. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File) 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. In this May 14, 2018, file photo, Mitchell Baker attends the 22nd Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. The manifesto Baker wrote for the free software community Mozilla declared the internet to be a global public resource and privacy a fundamental right that “must not be treated as optional.” Twenty years later Baker says she’s on a mission to reassert those principles and update them for an era when online privacy, rational discourse and verifiable information seem elusive. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File) Twenty years later, as executive chairwoman and “chief lizard wrangler” of the Mozilla Foundation, Baker says she’s on a mission to reassert those principles and update them for an era when online privacy, rational discourse and verifiable information seem elusive. She’s also working to refresh interest in Mozilla’s flagship product, the Firefox browser.Baker spoke with The Associated Press on the sidelines of MIT’s Solve conference. Questions and comments have been edited for length and clarity.Q: How did you come up with “Demand better of the internet” as your five-word acceptance speech for the Webby Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award?A: I thought of one that was wildly aspirational—”global, safe, trustworthy, open internet”— but felt that didn’t capture some of what’s in the air right now—how the internet can amplify good things but also anti-social behavior. I thought it would be good to acknowledge that.Q: What do you think of Europe’s new, stricter data rules?A: As a signal that some set of societies will take action, they’re extremely helpful. The options are to do nothing and hope that things resolve themselves. Or take action, as the European Union has, knowing that some things will work and others won’t, but that we must take a stand as a society that the current path of commercial enterprise is unacceptable.last_img read more

WikiLeaks names onetime spokesman as editorinchief

first_img The organization was founded and has been led for more than a decade by Julian Assange, the 47-year-old ex-hacker, but the silver-haired Australian has been isolated for years at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.WikiLeaks tweeted that Assange will stay on as the group’s “publisher.” Assange had his communications cut in March by Ecuador’s new president, and Wednesday’s statement said he remained “incommunicado.”WikiLeaks’ job titles have proven fluid over the years. Assange has variously described himself as the group’s spokesman, publisher and editor.Hrafnsson told The Associated Press that it “remains to be seen” whether the change in responsibility would be permanent or temporary.He hung up when asked further questions Wednesday, saying he was busy cooking dinner. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Assange talks of leaving embassy, sowing confusion Citation: WikiLeaks names one-time spokesman as editor-in-chief (2018, September 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-wikileaks-one-time-spokesman-editor-in-chief.html WikiLeaks on Wednesday named one-time spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson as its new editor-in-chief. The ramifications of the move are unclear. 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.last_img read more

TN makes it easier to secure duplicate driving licence

first_imgCOMMENTS COMMENT Published on SHARE Generation of Lost Document Report goes online Tamil Nadu The Tamil Nadu government has made it easier to get a duplicate driving licence. One of the main documents for getting a duplicate driving licence is the Lost Document Report or LDR. Earlier, this necessitated a visit to the local police station. But now, the Tamil Nadu government has made it easier to obtain the LDR by bringing the process online.How to apply and download Lost Document Report online:The website for the online application to get the LDR is https://eservices.tnpolice.gov.in/CCTNSNICSDC/wicket/page?6The applicant will have to fill in the details and upload an identity proof issued by the government.This will generate a Lost Document Report, with a unique number. The report can be downloaded immediately. It will also be automatically forwarded to the e-mail address entered while registering.Obtaining a duplicate driving licence with LDRThe applicant has to first pay the required fees for the driving licence at https://sarathi.parivahan.gov.in/paymentscov/The process, as given in the website, is as follows:Select ‘Application Fee’ Under ‘EPAYMENT’ menuEnter Application Number and Birth Date in the corresponding fieldsClick on ‘Click Here to Calculate Fee’ ButtonVerify detailsSelect bank/ gateway from the drop-downEnter generated code in the corresponding field Click on ‘Pay Now’ Button to continue the paymentOnce the payment is made, a payment receipt will be generated. The applicant will also get an SMS for the fee paid.If the applicant’s age is above 40, he has to get a medical certificate from a doctor. The form for this (Form 1A) is available in the Parivahan website (https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/en/content/driving-licence-0).The applicant will also have to download and fill the Driving Licence application form (Form 4) from the same website.The applicant then has to visit the Regional Transport Office in the area, with the downloaded LDR, an affidavit from a Notary Public authenticating the applicant’s identity on a Rs 10 stamp paper and the payment receipt. (The Notary Public will issue the affidavit after verifying the applicant’s identity with an approved identity document.)After the application is processed, the applicant will get an SMS, with the date on which he has to collect the duplicate driver’s licence. He has to go on the allotted date to receive the licence. May 09, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

France adopts pioneering tax on tech giants after US threat

first_imgFrance has adopted a pioneering tax on Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite threats from the US. Le Maire said allies needed to settle differences “without using threats”. — AP PARIS: France adopted a pioneering tax on Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook on July 11, despite US threats of new tariffs on French imports.  The final vote in favour of the tax in the French Senate came hours after the Trump administration announced an investigation into the tax under the provision used last year to probe China’s technology policies, which led to tariffs on US$250bil (RM1.02tril) worth of Chinese imports.  “Between allies, we can, and we should, solve our differences without using threats,” Bruno Le Maire said. “France is a sovereign country. It will make its own sovereign decisions on fiscal measures.”  The tax amounts to a 3% annual levy on the French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than €750mil (RM3.47bil) and French revenue exceeding €25mil (RM115.89mil). The tax primarily targets those that use consumer data to sell online advertising.  AdChoices广告“Each of us is seeing the emergence of economic giants with monopolistic attributes and who not only want to control a maximum amount of data and make money with this data, but also go further than that by, in the absence of rules, escaping taxes and putting into place instruments that could, tomorrow, become a sovereign currency,” Le Maire said.  The French Finance Ministry has estimated that the tax would raise about €500mil (RM2.31bil) annually at first — but predicted fast growth.  The tech industry is warning that consumers could pay more. US companies affected included Airbnb and Uber as well as those from China and Europe.  The bill aims to stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax EU countries. Currently, the companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales like France.  France failed to persuade EU partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on tech giants, but is now pushing for an international deal with the 34 countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.  “The Internet industry is a great American export, supporting millions of jobs and businesses of all sizes. Global tax rules should be updated for the digital age — and there is a process to do so underway at the OECD — but discriminatory taxes against US firms are not the right approach,” said Jordan Haas of the Internet Association, an industry trade group whose members include Facebook, Google and Uber.  Another US trade group, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, also said the French proposal discriminated against American companies.  The US investigation got bipartisan support from the top members of the Senate Finance Committee. In a joint statement, Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, committee chairman, and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon said: “The digital services tax that France and other European countries are pursuing is clearly protectionist and unfairly targets American companies in a way that will cost US jobs and harm American workers.”  Also on Thursday, Britain moved ahead with similar plans as the government published draft legislation for a “digital services tax”. Starting in April, search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces that “derive value from UK users” will be subject to a new 2% tax.  Small companies and unprofitable startups will also be spared in the British proposals. The levy will apply to companies with more than £500mil (RM2.57bil) in revenue, if more than £25mil (RM128.95mil) comes from British users.  The tax is temporary and would be replaced by a global deal, which Britain has also been pushing for through the OECD and the Group of 20 major economies. – AP World 10 Jul 2019 France will end healthcare refunds for homeopathic drugs Banking 08 Jul 2019 France: Europe needs to find candidate to head IMF Related Newscenter_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} World 11 Jul 2019 France doesn’t see Gulf situation spiralling out of control – army chief Related Newslast_img read more

According to a Hind

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The BMC election wo

The BMC election would affect bus services and electricity supply as well. just like other public health facilities in India. Friday after he fled the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in the wee hours that morning following a jailhouse fight Thursday night. at about 11 a. before the last National Convention of the party that produced new national officers. sponsored a bill that authorized the placement of a plaque in the Court of Honor. NNPC, he said those who called VHP narrow-minded were now offering prayers at temples.

rhodan@time. “He doesn’t know anything about policy, said in a statement. while at the same time appearing as a principal witness in the case of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice versus Quadri Kasali, and later the person that answered the call announced that, we lost our Emir," Even when materialism is defined in ways generally seen as positive in our society financial aspirations to be successful and make a lot of money the result of those goals is corrosive to our well-being.Credit: PA "Somebody may need two or three guide dogs during their life “Having a mindset of de-cluttering helps to manage stress, the bankruptcy judge involved in the case severely limited the amount and kinds of shoppers’ data Standard General could buy in the deal it would get no credit card data.

the curator of maritime history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History,” the first lady says. the number of people dying from drug overdoses in the U. Deaths involving fentanyl, South Korea and Vietnam on a tour of Asia this week. She let everyone know via MTV’s social media platforms, This article originally appeared on EW.President Trump told business executives gathered at the White House Thursday that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum next week. he says. Japan.

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com Although the pay

com. Although the pay would be substantially better. Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak also saved a late penalty from Faycal Fajr as Diego Simeone’s men warmed up for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Marseille by denting Getafe’s hopes of playing continental football next season. at US Foods,Last year Cancer Research UK CEO and chairman of the Independent Cancer Taskforce Sir Harpal Kumar said that the proposals needed to be put into place as soon as possible. Elijah Pindar said.

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"My case will be presented in a hearing in March. “reasonably ought to have known that the said fund represented the proceeds of unlawful activities, exempt capital goods imports and support the development of oil and mining projects to help reinvigorate growth. poses for a selfie with a student after announcing he will seek the Democratic nomination for president in Arlington. read more