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NFL Parity Is Creating Excitement — And Um Ties

BAL51.516.1TEN56.914.030.11539 CIN68.415.3PIT42.516.431.61554 IND5.53.4NYJ13.15.48.81419 NO73NO71NO 43, WSH 19-3.1– BUF22.99.5HOU11.96.716.21439 KC97.2%+/-1.9NE70.0%+/-11.713.61637 ARI3.62.9MIN51.010.313.21495 Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality DAL30.710.5JAX59.811.822.31530 Playoff %Playoff % KC68KC61KC 30, JAX 14-7.7– ATL22.79.8TB29.012.522.31509 DEN7.24.5LAR93.43.88.31513 The best matchups of Week 6Week 6 games with the highest average Elo rating using the harmonic mean plus the total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION CIN63CIN64CIN 27, MIA 17-1.2– GB22.08.3SF6.54.512.81445 CAR59.713.2WSH29.812.125.31521 LAC73LAC69LAC 26, OAK 10-3.9– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 5Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 5 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game Unlike college football, which is currently as imbalanced as ever, the pros have generally tended toward more competitive balance since the 1970s. That trend, though, largely leveled off once free agency and the introduction of a salary cap equalized each team’s spending, creating a parity machine that apparently only the New England Patriots — and conversely, until this year at least, the Browns — could resist. But even against that backdrop, this year’s Super Bowl race looks particularly wide open, with K.C. sitting nervously as tentative favorites.In that department, we might gain some additional insight after Sunday night’s Patriots-Chiefs matchup, which rates as the best of the week in terms of matchup quality (as determined by the harmonic mean of the two teams’ Elo ratings in each game): CLE3.22.7LAC51.712.315.01438 When Dak Prescott’s improbable pocket escape and 44-yard heave set up a field goal to tie Sunday night’s Cowboys-Texans game late in regulation, viewers were left with a familiar feeling: This game, like so many others this season, seemed destined for overtime. (Indeed, it did require OT — the Texans kicked a field goal in the extra frame to win 19-16.) It was the eighth overtime game of the 2018 season already — the most in the first five weeks of any NFL season since 2002, which also saw eight OT games. Along the way we’ve also gotten two ties, ensuring only the league’s fourth multi-tie campaign since it first introduced regular-season OT in 1974, and we narrowly missed three others thanks to game-ending scores in the waning seconds of the extra period.1Had the Titans not scored a walk-off TD against the Eagles in Week 4, they likely would have made a 27-yard field goal to seal up the tie. (Although we can’t say for sure.) While the NFL still faces plenty of big-picture problems — and some fans are even lamenting the renewed prevalence of those dreaded ties — this wave of close finishes has mainly made last year’s complaints about boring football seem like a distant memory.The spike in overtime contests is just one element of this year’s extra drama. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, 52 of the league’s 78 games this season have seen the trailing team sit within one score of the leader with five minutes left in the game — the second-most in any season through five weeks since 2001.2In 2011, 53 games met that criteria through five weeks. Furthermore, 47 games this season have been within a score with two minutes left to play in regulation. It’s a perfect recipe for wild endings like Sunday’s Panthers-Giants duel — which saw two lead changes in the final 68 seconds of play — or last week’s Raiders-Browns thriller, with its four separate game-tying or go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter and OT alone.Speaking of overtime: It took a season to produce an effect, but in combination with so many close games, the league’s recent tweaks to the OT format have finally started to generate more of those aforementioned ties. Back in May 2017, my colleague Ty Schalter predicted that the NFL’s switch from 15- to 10-minute overtime periods (on top of its earlier decision to modify the sudden-death rule, giving the coin-flip loser a chance to answer if the winner kicked a FG on its opening drive) would dramatically hike the rate of tied games once OT was reached. Although we went an entire season without a tie in 2017 — only 14 games went into overtime at all, below the seasonal average of 16 since 20013Excluding 2018. — this year has made up for lost time, with a quarter of OT games ending in a stalemate. And you thought draws were too common in the “other” version of football…Anyway, all of this mainly speaks to the rise in parity across the league as a whole this year. Through five weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs rank No. 1 in FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings (our pet way of gauging how well a team is playing at any given moment in time), though their 1657 Elo isn’t especially high for an NFL leader at this stage of the season.4It’s the eighth-lowest rating for a No. 1 team through Week 5 since the 1970 AFL merger. At the other end of the rankings, the No. 32 Cleveland Browns (1344 Elo) are a lot better than the typical last-place team. You might say the Browns deserve better than 32nd place (I happen to agree), but choose an alternative — the Bills? Cardinals? Giants?? — and each has at least shown some signs of basic competency at various times this season. All of which is to say: The gap between the best and worst teams is not as wide as we’ve gotten used to it being.And that shows up in the overall distribution of team performances this season. Since 1970, the standard deviation of teams’ Elo ratings through a season’s first five weeks has never been lower than it is right now: SEA50%LAR70%LAR 33, SEA 31+13.5– PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com PHI70PHI58MIN 23, PHI 21+12.8– BAL76BAL66CLE 12, BAL 9+11.3– DAL61HOU50HOU 19, DAL 16+9.6– SF66SF59ARI 28, SF 18+7.2– Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. CAR80CAR76CAR 33, NYG 31-3.4– NE83NE83NE 38, IND 24-2.0– Of course, the Chiefs have tempted us to overreact after beating the Patriots before, so maybe we won’t actually learn as much as we might hope on Sunday. But Week 6 also offers a number of matchups that could move the playoff-odds needle by at least 20 combined percentage points — including Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh, Baltimore vs. Tennessee and Carolina vs. Washington.Out of all these tightly contested games, surely some will flirt with overtime (or maybe even a tie!) again. But more than just giving us yet another chance to jokingly compare stalemates on the gridiron with those on the soccer pitch, it’s a real sign of how evenly balanced the league has become so far this season.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersWant another way to keep up with the league? Be sure to check out our constantly updating NFL prediction interactive, which uses Elo ratings to forecast the rest of the season. And if you think you’re smarter than Elo, now you can prove it: In our prediction game, you can pick against our model (and your fellow readers) for bragging rights and a place on our giant leaderboard.Using your picks from last week, here’s our regular look at where Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the field: OAK2.31.7SEA33.49.511.21468 CHI54.912.2MIA35.911.824.01490 NYJ56DEN56NYJ 34, DEN 16-14.3– PIT57PIT51PIT 41, ATL 17-7.9– BUF52TEN62BUF 13, TEN 12-17.8– DET60GB56DET 31, GB 23-17.4– NYG4.64.1PHI61.411.415.51488 Elo eked out another victorious week over the readers, winning by 24.3 net points on average. It’s been an unusually impressive start to the season for Elo, whose built-in lack of knowledge over the NFL’s offseason comings and goings hasn’t seemed to hamper it one bit. (Maybe this is a nice reminder that preseason NFL predictions are mostly useless.) In Week 5, Elo was too high on the Seahawks, Eagles and Ravens, all of whom fell short. But it made up for those bad picks by calling Buffalo’s win over Tennessee and Detroit’s victory over Green Bay, among other games.But Elo didn’t make all of our readers look silly. Congrats to reader Paul Diaz, who led all users in points for Week 5, and to Jevon Mallett, who leads all users on the season in total. Thanks to everyone who played last week — and if you didn’t play, get in on the game already! You can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo, even if you missed the first quarter of the season.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Embrace Commonwealth Ideals in Competition

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, July 20, 2017 – Nassau – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis urged the more than 1,300 athletes, coaches and officials attending the Commonwealth Youth Games 2017 to celebrate the Games in the ideals and values of the Commonwealth.   These include the values of peace, freedom and common purpose for progress and a better and more just world.Addressing the Official Opening Ceremony of the Games, July 18, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Prime Minister Minnis further encouraged the athletes, coaches and officials to celebrate the unity of the Commonwealth amidst the diversity of its nations and the vibrant bonds of fellowship and friendship being a part of the Commonwealth of Nations entails.“What a delightful sight this is. As I look across the Thomas Robinson Stadium, I can feel the exuberance of the athletes and the many thousands of spectators who will enjoy the thrill of competition,” Prime Minister Minnis said.“The Bahamas is pleased to host the more than 1,300 athletes and the coaches and officials who have come from around the world to celebrate the vibrant bonds of fellowship and friendship of the Commonwealth.“We are particularly pleased that we can celebrate the unity amidst the diversity of the Commonwealth of Nations. We celebrate the young people and athletic excellence in our community of nations,” Prime Minister Minnis added.Prime Minister Minnis said the Commonwealth Youth Games represents an opportunity for the participants to continue their pursuit of excellence.“For many of you, this will be but a first step to greater glory in the years ahead. Names that will resound around this stadium will, hopefully, be the names that we will hear for years to come.“Indeed this Stadium is named in honour of Bahamian sports hero Thomas Robinson, who won a gold medal in the 200-yard dash and a silver medal in the 100-yard dash at the 1958 British Empire/Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. He also won a silver medal in the 100-yard dash in the 1962 British Empire/Commonwealth Games and the 1996 British Empire/Commonwealth Games.“Athletes, you are here because of the sacrifices that you have made and because of your determination and discipline. This has already made all of you winners and deserving of praise and admiration.”Prime Minister Minnis said The Bahamas is emerging as a place for international sporting events.“This year, in addition to hosting the IAAF World Relays, we are proud to have hosted the FIFA Beach Soccer Competition, the CARIFTA Swimming Championships and now the Commonwealth Youth Games.“You are on a global stage. The world is your audience. Endeavour to do your best,” Prime Minister Minnis added before declaring the Games Open.Story by: Matt MauraPress Release: BISPHOTO CAPTION:  Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis addresses the Official Opening of the Commonwealth Youth Games at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, July 18, 2017.  (BIS Photo/Derek Smith) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

53 Million Awarded To Those Affected By 2016 Gulf Of Alaska Pink

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享An announcement was made on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the agency approved $53.8 million to restore losses for Alaska fisheries impacted by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery disaster. NOAA approved and transferred the funds to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the agency tasked with distributing the relief payments to fishermen and their deckhands, processors, and for salmon research in the affected regions. Alaska’s Congressional Delegation released a joint statement: “This funding has been a long-time coming. We are pleased that Alaskans who have been waiting for this economic relief that was promised to them will finally receive it. By restoring losses incurred during the 2016 pink salmon disaster, our federal government is following through not only on the commitment we made to Alaska’s commercial fisherman, but also to their families, processors, and coastal communities who were hit hard by this disaster.” In January 2017, the Secretary of Commerce declared the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery disaster due to disastrously low returns. The following Alaska areas were included in the disaster declaration for poor pink salmon harvests in 2016: Prince William Sound, Kodiak Management, Chignik Management, Lower Cook Inlet Management, Yakutat, South Alaska Peninsula, and Southeast.last_img read more

Microsoft Surface Headphones are 100 off

first_img Microsoft Surface Headphones Now playing: Watch this: $349 Share your voice Microsoft Surface Headphones from all angles Preview • Microsoft Surface Headphones: Hands-on with Microsoft’s new Bose-buster noise-canceling headphones Amazon CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 35 Photos $243 See It Abt Electronics Best Buy Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See It Amazon Bose Microsoft Sonycenter_img 0 $349 $240 Tags See it See It Enlarge ImageMicrosoft’s Surface Headphones are available in only one color. David Carnoy/CNET When Microsoft released its Surface Headphones last year, I thought it might have trouble selling its first noise-canceling headphones for the same price — $350 — as highly regarded competing products from Bose and Sony. Well, now Microsoft has chopped the price on the Surface Headphones by $100, bringing them down to $250.It’s unclear how long the deal will last but the headphones are $250 at both Amazon and at the Microsoft Store. They’re great headphones, but I gave them a 3.5-star rating partially because they cost a little too much. You can read my full review here.Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.Read more: CNET’s Best Headphones for 2019See it at Amazon Mentioned Above Microsoft Surface Headphones Post a comment Microsoft Surface Headphones: The surprise noise-canceling… Review • Surface Headphones review: Microsoft’s first noise-canceling headphones are almost great 2:38 Mobile Accessories Headphones News • Microsoft Surface Headphones are $160 off for Prime Daylast_img read more

Bidders emerge for Tata Steels UK assets

first_imgTwo groups signalled their interest in buying the British assets of Tata Steel on Tuesday, offering hope that thousands of jobs could be saved after weeks of uncertainty.Sanjeev Gupta’s metals group Liberty House and a management buyout team called Excalibur said they had submitted an initial expression of interest in buying the assets ahead of a 1600 GMT deadline.The two groups had been racing to submit their interest after India’s Tata Group announced plans in March to sell its entire UK steel operation, which had been hit by cheap Chinese imports, soaring costs and weak demand.Keen to avoid the loss of 10,000 jobs, the government has offered hundreds of millions of pounds in support to potential buyers and said it could take a 25 percent stake in the firm.Britain’s Business Secretary Sajid Javid also postponed a major trade visit to Iran to focus on the future of the steel industry at home.Liberty’s Executive Chairman Gupta was the first businessman to express an interest in Tata’s loss-making assets which include the Port Talbot steel plant in Wales, and on Tuesday the firm said it had submitted a bid.”Liberty believes the UK steel industry can achieve long-term viability if based on an agile, sustainable, non-cyclical model,” the company said a statement.Liberty confirmed that Macquarie Capital and the State Bank of India had been appointed as financial advisers for the deal.Indian-born Gupta, who established Liberty House while a student at Cambridge in the early 1990s, has said Port Talbot and its jobs could be saved if the giant blast furnaces were replaced with facilities to process imported slab steel instead.Excalibur Steel UK, led by Tata’s UK strip products director Stuart Wilkie, also confirmed its interest, saying it had made huge progress in pulling together a plan that would enable the management and staff to take a stake in a strategic British industry.”We believe we have a large number of the pieces in place required to make this a success, including a management team with vast experience of steel making and processing,” he said in a statement. “We are confident we can turn the business around.”Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron visited Port Talbot and said any sale of Tata’s British assets would have to cover the whole of the business.Britain’s government has also offered help in lowering the cost of energy for steel works and with workers’ pensions to try to save the industry but says its efforts are not linked to the EU referendum on June 23.Those campaigning to leave the bloc have seized on the crisis, accusing the EU of not doing enough to stop Chinese imports and have blamed the bloc’s rules on state aid for preventing government intervention.last_img read more

Protesters Disrupt City Council Meeting

first_imgProtestors disrupt a Baltimore City Council meeting on May 4, 2015, holding a banner and chanting. (Screenshot from CharmTV YouTube video)On May 4th about a dozen protesters stood up during a regularly scheduled City Council meeting and unfurled banners demanding people arrested during the protests last week be freed from jail. About 20 minutes into the meeting the group began chanting, “Drop the charges, drop the bail, protesters shouldn’t go to jail,” while holding a white banner that read, “Free All Protesters Drop The Charges” On the second floor viewing gallery  the group hung a banner reading, “Locked In, Locked Down, Locked Out.” The entire episode can be viewed on the City Council’s YouTube channel CharmTV.As the protesters continued to chant a visibly annoyed City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who was leading the meeting, banged his gavel several times and said, “I’m going to ask you to respect the council and move out of the chambers, please.” As the chants continued he repeated, “This is not the way to do it.”Hundreds of people were arrested during the riots and protests following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray on April 19th while in police custody. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan extended the amount of time a person could be held in custody before seeing a judge. Bails have been set as high as $500,000, an astonishing amount given that the police officers charged in Gray’s death had bails ranging from $250,000 to $350,000.After a recess the protesters were removed by police but not arrested. They refused to give their names to reporters who were at the meeting. Young then took a few moments to address the audience. “I apologize to those who came here for a peaceful council meeting. I understand the frustration of the people but this is not the way to do it. I think that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has done her job and justice has to take its course. For people to come in here and be disruptive to what we’re trying to do here–and that’s to take care of the business of the city of Baltimore—is really troubling to me. You can protest. But do it in the right way. This was not really the right forum to do it in. We’re not the justice system. We’re the legislative body of the City Council of  Baltimore,” he said.last_img read more

HC asks DU not to treat law centre in stepmotherly way

first_imgThe Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi University not to treat its the three law colleges, which have been in controversy recently for alleged non-compliance of the Bar Council Of India (BCI) norms, in a “step-motherly” way.A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said that the Delhi University’s (DU) law schools are very much part of the varsity and closing down will affect the future of the students. “The three law centres are very much part of the DU,” the court said, adding that they should not be treated in a a step-motherly way. The court said this when it was informed that the BCI inspection committee that had visited and reported on the state of affairs was of the firm view that the DU’s three law schools should be closed down. The inspection committee has recommended that the DU’s law centres failed to comply with 17 conditions listed and it should not be allowed to admit new batches of students. The court was hearing a PIL filed by Tarun Narang seeking setting aside of a notification barring fresh law graduates of the DU from being enrolled as lawyers.last_img read more

Asthana asks CBI IOs to complete probe of pending cases by year

first_imgKolkata: The Special Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Rakesh Asthana, directed investigating officers (IOs) to take necessary steps to complete probe of all the pending cases by the end of 2018.Asthana held a meeting with CBI officers, including IOs of all the ongoing cases, at Nizam Palace on Wednesday. The meeting started at around 11 am and continued till around 1.30 pm. There was also a second round of discussion after the lunch. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSources said that Asthana took stock of the presentsituation of the cases and directed the concerned officers to take necessary stepsto expedite the process, so that the final chargesheets of the cases can be filed by the end of 2018.It may be mentioned that the ongoing cases include the Saradha Group scam, Narada sting operation and Rose Valley Group’s case.It has been learnt that the direction to expedite the process of completing the probe was given, as the new cases are getting piled up one after the other. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSources said that he directed the officials to be technologically advanced and also stated that there would be recruitment of new staff. This came at the time when the IOs have also stated about the total number of cases they are handling at present.He has also stated that officers from Revenue Service will also be providing necessary assistance to the CBI officers, in the probe against financial irregularities.Asthana also went to the house of former CBI officer Upendranath Biswas on Wednesday morning, before heading towards Nizam Palace. He left Kolkata in the evening itself. It may be mentioned he had come to Kolkata on Tuesday.last_img read more

CU declares Part III results

first_imgKolkata: The pass percentage of Arts Honours students in Part III of Calcutta University stands at 97.67, which is much higher than the pass percentage of Science Honours students, which stands at 94.15.The result of B.A/B.Sc Part-III (Honours/Major) Examination, 2018, was declared by CU on Thursday. A total number of 15,428 candidates had appeared in Humanities Honours, out of which 15,030 managed to pass. The pass percentage in Arts also saw a slight rise, in comparison to the results of 2017. The pass percentage of 2017 was 97.67. The number of students who have achieved first class is 578. “The highest number of first classes (127) has been achieved in Bengali,” a senior official in the CU examination department said.The pass percentage of B.Sc Honours has risen from 92.21 in 2017 to 94.15 this year. 8,597 students had sat for B.Sc Honours examinations, out of which 8059 have passed.last_img read more

WestJet launches nonstop YYCNashville brings back HalifaxGander route

first_img Posted by Share WestJet launches nonstop YYC-Nashville, brings back Halifax-Gander route Tags: Calgary, Halifax, Nashville, New Routes, WestJet Travelweek Group center_img CALGARY — WestJet has announced brand new nonstop service between Calgary and Nashville and the reintroduction of its Halifax-Gander route as part of its busy summer schedule.Service between Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Nashville International Airport (BNA) begins on May 4 and runs twice weekly. With the launch, WestJet will become the first Canadian carrier to offer nonstop service between the two destinations.The airline began service to Nashville from Toronto last year and currently flies six times weekly on WestJet Encore. Flights from Calgary to Nashville will be operated on Boeing 737 aircraft.“WestJet continues to boost our flight network out of our Calgary hub,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development. “Just as the route out of Toronto has been embraced, we expect that Western Canadians will be thrilled to have the only nonstop access from Calgary to one of the most popular and happening cities in the U.S.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTAs part of its 2017 summer schedule, which was announced on the same day as the new Nashville route, the airline also revealed it will once again fly its route from Halifax to Gander, Newfoundland. The year-round service starts daily on April 30, with one-way fares starting at $164.59.“A convenient afternoon departure will provide travellers access to Halifax and connections to WestJet’s robust network beyond, without the early morning rise,” said Reg Wright, President and CEO, Gander International Airport Authority. “Passengers have clearly told us they wanted more afternoon departures, so this is welcome news for Central Newfoundland residents.”WestJet’s 2017 summer schedule also includes new nonstop additional flights from Toronto to Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Montreal and Moncton, as well as four new weekly flights between Vancouver and Hamilton and the addition of a daily flight to San Francisco. Service from Calgary will increase with six additional weekly flights to Toronto, and a once-daily flight to both Winnipeg and Regina will be added. Service from Edmonton to Kelowna will increase by 12 weekly flights and by one additional weekly flight to Las Vegas, while service from Kelowna to Winnipeg will increase by one weekly flight for a total of four times weekly. Lastly, existing winter service has been extended through the summer, including six daily flights between Vancouver and Kelowna, and five daily flights from Vancouver to Prince George.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesFor more information go to westjet.com. Tuesday, January 31, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

WestJet pilots union to also represent Swoop pilots says arbitrator

first_img CALGARY — A federal arbitrator has ruled that WestJet’s unionized pilots will also fly its new ultra-discount carrier Swoop that’s set to launch next week.Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of WestJet’s Air Line Pilots Association, says the decision means the airline can no longer outsource Swoop flying, a major disagreement in recent negotiations.Swoop will recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining agent for all Swoop pilots, who will be on the airline’s one seniority list and fly aircraft at Swoop terms and conditions.WestJet and the union will now make a joint application to the Canada Industrial Relations Board to amend pilots association’s bargaining certificate to include Swoop flying.The parties also agreed that WestJet and Swoop are common employers.The two sides scheduled mediation/arbitration dates over the summer to address all remaining issues.The threat of a strike by pilots was averted two weeks ago when the airline and union agreed to a settlement process and, if necessary, to use final and binding arbitration.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?WestJet CEO Ed Sims said it recognizes and respects the interim order that WestJet pilots should be able to operate Swoop aircraft.The Air Line Pilots Association is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 60,000 pilots at 34 airlines in the United States and Canada, including about 1,500 WestJet pilots and approximately 500 at WestJet Encore. WestJet pilots union to also represent Swoop pilots, says arbitrator Tags: ALPA, Swoop, Union, WestJet Tuesday, June 12, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Share By: The Canadian Presslast_img read more

China Southern recruits Australian pilots

first_imgChina Southern Airlines has welcomed 10 new Australian pilots to its international ranks in recent months, joining eight compatriots in a growing contingent of international aircrew.The airline now has 14 serving Australian pilots and a further four in training, just some of about 90 China Southern pilots enlisted from outside China.Each has been recruited as part of a program to increase the diversity and international experience of the airline’s pilots, coming from countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada.China Southern regional general manager Australia and New Zealand Henry He said the introduction of Australian pilots highlighted the growing importance Australia played in the airline’s success.“Australian pilots are very highly regarded internationally and we consider Australia a key part of our international network, it’s important to us that Australian experience and expertise is represented in the crew we have aboard China Southern aircraft worldwide,” Mr He said.In addition to recruiting Australian pilots, China Southern Airlines has invested heavily in pilot training at the China Southern West Australian Flying College at Jandakot Airport in Perth.From its hub at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, China Southern flies to almost 200 destinations in 35 countries including more than 150 Chinese cities on the world’s most extensive domestic network.China Southern is a proud member of the SkyTeam Alliance, which offers passengers a worldwide system of more than 19,000 daily flights spanning more than 1000 destinations in 187 countries.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

November 26 2014HAPPY THANKSGIVING to family and

first_imgNovember 26, 2014HAPPY THANKSGIVING to family and friends near and far.Much to be grateful for! Here are a few snapshots by photographer Ivan Pintar of the very early years at Arcosanti. Ivan was part of the Cosanti Foundation from the early 1960’s until his death at Cosanti in 1994. The Soleri Archives at Arcosanti houses his enormous slide collection.Here we see silt preparation of the panels for the South Vault.The side panels of the Vaults are in place, also the foundations of the Ceramics Apse.The South Vault.This photo is by Annette Del Zoppo.View from the top of the Vaults to the Ceramics Apse and Foundry.Silt work on the Foundry Apse.The Foundry Apse roof pour.Paolo Soleri on the silt for the Foundry apartment roof.last_img

Rep Yaroch to host spring listening tour

first_img20Feb Rep. Yaroch to host spring listening tour State Rep. Jeff Yaroch of Richmond will host a ‘Spring Listening Tour’ to connect directly with people throughout the community. Rep. Yaroch will also be visiting local boards and councils.“Talking to my neighbors and listening to their concerns about state government continues to be one of the most important parts of my job,” Yaroch said. “This listening tour is a great opportunity to directly hear your thoughts and questions about state government and I hope that you will join me.”Rep. Yaroch will be available at the following times and locations:Saturday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to noon at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;Monday, March 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Richmond City Hall, 36725 Division Road in Richmond;Wednesday, March 27 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;Tuesday, April 2 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Memphis City Hall, 35095 Potter St. in Memphis;Monday, April 22 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;Monday, May 6 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Lenox Township Hall, 63775 Gratiot Ave. in Lenox Township; andMonday, May 13 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend or who have questions related to state government may contact Rep. Yaroch’s office by calling (517) 373-0820 or by email at JeffYaroch@house.mi.gov. Categories: Yaroch Newslast_img read more

Use of catchup services and legal pay VOD service

first_imgUse of catch-up services and legal pay VOD services in France grew by over a quarter between January 19 and January 31, following the closure of the MegaUpload website, according to a study by the Hadopi, the commission set up to implement the law of the same name to counter illegal filesharing.Use of catch-up TV grew by 25%, while use of pay VOD jumped by 35%, according to the Hadopi, which also noted that visits to illegal streaming sites fell by 19.5% over the same period.The Hadopi based its findings on Mediametrie/NetRatings’ survey of 50 sites and a number of other studies including the TV Online barometer.last_img

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 Easiest First Step Its crucial to place some

first_img The Easiest First Step It’s crucial to place some of your savings beyond the easy reach of your home government. It keeps that government from trapping your money if and when it implements capital controls or outright asset seizures. Any government can do either without warning. The ultimate way to diversify your savings is to transfer it out of the immediate reach of your home government and into something tangible. Something that cannot be easily confiscated, nationalized, frozen, or devalued at the drop of a hat or with a couple of taps on the keyboard—while retaining as much privacy as legally possible. Something whose value is recognized around the world and is not controlled by any government. Gold (and silver) fit the bill perfectly. There is nothing particularly American, Chinese, Russian, or European about gold. Different civilizations have used it as money for millennia. It’s always been an inherently international asset. Buying gold is perhaps the easiest step you can take towards diversifying your savings. When you buy gold, you trade in paper money—which the government can devalue and confiscate at will—for a hard asset that’s been a stable store of value for thousands of years. Gold is universally valued. Its worth doesn’t depend on any government. In other words, simply buying gold is the easiest way to lessen the political risk to your savings. Freedom Insurance Somehow, someway, your home government will keep squeezing your pocketbook harder. It will keep subjecting you to escalating, arbitrary, and burdensome regulations and restrictions. Expect more government and less freedom all around. With each passing week, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more. Fortunately, you don’t need to be hostage to a desperate and out-of-control government. International diversification is a time-tested route to freedom. Wealthy people around the world have used it for centuries to effectively protect their money and their families. Buying gold is an important first step. Regards, — Less than 10 people in the world know about this True breakthroughs rarely happen in the world of market trading… But this is one of them. Developed in secrecy over five years, it’s a never-before-seen indicator of short-term stock profit opportunities. Only a handful of people know about this data-proven 93.5%-accurate way of picking future market wins… But now we’re throwing back the veil on it — so that YOU can get rich. Discover it now by clicking here. Justin’s note: As longtime readers know, owning gold for the long term is one of our core recommendations here at Casey Research. And it’s now more important than ever. That’s because every day, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more. Today, we’re handing the reins to Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno to explain why… By Nick Giambruno, editor, Crisis Investing It’s predictable… A government in need of cash will turn to destructive “solutions.” Money printing, higher taxes, and more regulations often come first. Unfortunately, these are just the hors d’oeuvres before a 10-course meal. As they become increasingly desperate, governments implement increasingly destructive policies. This might include capital controls, price controls, people controls, official currency devaluations, wealth confiscations, retirement account nationalizations, and more. — Nick Giambruno Editor, Crisis Investing P.S. Buying gold is where to start. But there’s much more to do… The US government gets bigger, more invasive, and more aggressive by the day. But you can take concrete steps to protect yourself from this hostile giant. That’s why New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and I just released an urgent video that explains more about the crisis that’s about to hit America…and why it’s so important that you take action today. You can learn more right here.center_img [EXPIRES MIDNIGHT] Today is your last chance to get the top pick of one of the most successful analysts in Bill Bonner’s network… and lock in a free year of one of his most popular research services. Click here for all the details. Recommended Link The same pattern has played out again and again around the world and throughout history. The worse a government’s fiscal health gets, the more destructive its policies become. This is the root of political risk. It’s no secret that political risk is snowballing in many parts of the world. This is especially true in the US and Europe, where welfare and warfare spending continues unabated. It doesn’t matter which party is in power. But no matter where you live, international diversification can greatly reduce the threat your home government poses to your personal and financial well-being. You know the benefits of diversifying your investment portfolio. If you put all of your asset eggs in one basket, you could lose your entire portfolio if that basket breaks. The same idea applies to political risk. If your home country “breaks”—and turns to the destructive policies I just mentioned—you could lose everything. Most people have medical, life, fire, and car insurance. You hope you never have to use these policies, but you have them anyway. They give you peace of mind and protect you if and when the worst does happen. International diversification is the ultimate insurance policy against an out-of-control government. Think of it as “freedom insurance.” It frees you from absolute dependence on any one country. Achieve that freedom, and it becomes very difficult for any group of bureaucrats to control you. The results can be life-changing. Recommended Linklast_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

The government has announced a fresh review into p

first_imgThe government has announced a fresh review into prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation of people with learning difficulties and autistic people in hospitals, more than 70 years after concerns were first raised by civil rights campaigners.Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock announced this week that he had asked the care regulator to launch an immediate review into “the inappropriate use of prolonged seclusion and segregation” and said that some disabled people had been “treated like criminals”.His call came following a series of media investigations into conditions in privately-run assessment and treatment units (ATU), facilities that are supposed to be used for short-term care if someone with autism or learning difficulties is in crisis and community-based services cannot cope.The media reports have included allegations of widespread abuse, cruelty, physical restraint, poorly-trained staff and wrongful use of medication, as well as the frequent use of lengthy periods of solitary confinement.In a letter to the chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Ian Trenholm, Hancock pointed to one teenager, Beth – whose case was exposed by BBC Radio Four’s File on Four – who has been kept in solitary confinement and fed through a hatch in the door in a privately-run ATU for nearly two years.Hancock said he had asked NHS England to carry out a serious incident review into Beth’s care.But he said he also wanted CQC to carry out a review into “prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation for children and adults with a mental illness, learning disability or autism in secondary care and social care settings”.The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is also set to act. It is considering which of its enforcement powers – such as launching an investigation or an inquiry – it can use “to fix the current system”.David Isaac, EHRC’s chair, said the current inpatient care system for people with learning difficulties had led to “some horrific situations at a number of assessment and treatment units where people’s fundamental human rights are being disregarded”.The children’s commissioner for England has also written to NHS England to raise concerns about Beth’s treatment, and to raise a series of questions about how many ATUs are used by NHS England, how many children they have as inpatients and their use of restraint and segregation.Anne Longfield, the commissioner, has asked for an update on the government’s Transforming Care programme, which was launched in the wake of the 2011 Winterbourne View scandal.She said: “The NHS must work with councils to be more transparent about what is going on in these units and be proactive about making sure every child receives the support and treatment they deserve.”Transforming Care aimed to “transform services so that people no longer live inappropriately in hospitals but are cared for in line with best practice, based on their individual needs, and that their wishes and those of their families are listened to and are at the heart of planning and delivering their care”.But successive governments appear to have achieved little to fulfil those aims.In 2012, a year after Winterbourne View, there were an estimated 3,400 people in NHS-funded learning disability inpatient beds.The latest figures, published last month, show 2,315 people with learning difficulties and/or autism in England are still being detained in mental health hospitals.Calls to address the scandal of people with learning difficulties living “inappropriately” in long-stay institutions date back at least as far as the 1940s – more than 70 years – to when the National Council for Civil Liberties launched a campaign against eugenicist laws that led at their peak to the institutionalisation of more than 50,000 people in long-stay hospitals.A series of scandals through the late 1960s and 1970s highlighted concerns similar to those raised by File on Four, with inquiries reporting cruel ill-treatment, inhumane and threatening behaviour towards patients (at Ely Hospital), the “harmful over-use of drugs” (Farleigh Hospital) and the use of tranquilisers and “side-rooms” – or solitary confinement facilities – at South Ockendon Hospital.Disabled activist Simone Aspis (pictured), director of the consultancy Changing Perspectives, who campaigns to free disabled people from ATUs and other institutions, welcomed the CQC review but said there needed to be a “proper root and branch review of legislation”, and that it needed to lead to “action”.She said: “It is the legislation that allows ATUs to exist and oppress and treat disabled people as inhuman and treat them like animals.“Feeding people through a hatch. What is that if not treating someone like an animal?“It is the existence of ATUs, the power entrusted within them by the state.”She said that whether the review had an impact would depend on “how much are they really going to listen to the voices of people with autism”.She pointed out that poor practice and the institutionalisation of disabled people had persisted, seven years after Winterbourne View, allowing “easy detainment of people with learning difficulties and autism”.Aspis, who is a member of EHRC’s disability advisory committee, but was speaking in a personal capacity, said she hoped EHRC would do something at a “much more fundamental level, with much more robustness” than she believed CQC would be able to.She pointed to EHRC’s draft strategic plan for 2019-22, which has as one of its “priority aims” improving the rules on “entry into detention and conditions in institutions”.Aspis said: “You can welcome [the CQC review] but is it going to say anything more than we know already?“What we need is some serious action around closing these places down.“As long as there are alternatives there, there is always an alternative to providing homes for people in the community.“So the government has to say that these places need to be shut down and that the intensive care and support needs to be provided in people’s homes.”She added: “Often people with learning difficulties end up being institutionalised because of the inadequacy of the support provided for people with learning difficulties and autism within the community.”Aspis is currently working with two disabled people who are trying to secure their release from ATUs.She said: “A lot of patients feel scared of speaking out and seeking support because they are concerned about the implications. There are a lot of disempowered people.”Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and its lead for mental health, said: “There is understandable public concern about the use of prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation on people with mental health problems, learning disabilities or autism. “It is vital that services minimise the use of all forms of restrictive practice and that providers and commissioners work together to find alternative, and less restrictive, care arrangements for people who are subject to seclusion or segregation. “Failure to do this has the potential to amount to inhuman and degrading treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.“The secretary of state for health and social care has requested that the Care Quality Commission undertake a thematic review of this issue and we are now considering how we will take forward this important work.” A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…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