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ITB Berlin sets new records with increase in trade visitors

first_img175,000 visitors during the five-day show – an increase in trade visitors from abroad – the convention attracts more visitors – trade visitors and exhibitors remain longer at the show – exhibitors report higher turnover – falling energy prices and good economic prospects mean people are keen to travel – ITB Berlin 2015 cements its position as the world’s leading travel trade showDespite international crises and the risk of political conflict around the world, as the 2015 holiday season begins the economic prospects for the global travel industry could not be better for the months to come. As ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show, closes its doors the conclusion is as follows: boosted by falling energy prices, reduced interest rates, low inflation and positive economic forecasts for the Eurozone and North America, the travel industry has high expectations as the 2015 travel season beckons. In Germany in particular consumers are keen to travel. Wage increases and a consistently stable employment market coupled with the falling cost of living have significantly increased spending. More than ever, this is why people are willing to spend their money on holidays. The luxury travel segment in particular stands to benefit.ITB Berlin, which came to an end on Sunday, was able to cement its position as the world’s largest travel trade show. From 4 to 8 March 2015 10,096 exhibitors from 186 countries, more than two-thirds of whom were from abroad, were represented in 26 display halls which were fully booked. Overall, some 115,000 trade visitors (2014: 114,000) travelled to Berlin. The share of trade visitors from abroad increased to 43% (2014: 40%). These visitors also remained longer at ITB Berlin because they did good business, with the average duration of a stay rising to 2.4 days (2014: 2.1 days). According to estimates by Messe Berlin the volume of sales at the world’s leading travel trade show increased from around 6.5 billion euros in 2014 to 6.7 billion euros.Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin said, “More than ever ITB Berlin fulfils the function of the world’s leading think tank and a shop window for the travel industry. This is where the opportunities and risks are debated and the potential impact of the sharing economy on the international travel industry is analysed. Over the past few days ITB Berlin has provided further evidence of how important personal exchanges and meetings between people are for an industry that is increasingly dominated by the digital transition.“Trends at ITB Berlin 2015 included the massive rise in the use of mobile devices to book trips, a phenomenon that has now become the norm. Improved software means that travel websites are becoming more attractive and easier to use. Hotels are also witnessing the impact of digital trends. Smartphone functions are increasingly taking over from room keys. Travel apps are developing rapidly and becoming ever more widespread with the use of latest-generation smartphones. At the eTravel World numerous experts debated the latest developments in digital marketing, social media and mobile travel services. The 40% increase in papers and discussions held on the eTravel Stage and at the eTravel Lab showed how important these topics have become for the travel industry.Despite the internet having brought about lasting change to the travel world with new travel apps and meta search engines, tourists continue to entrust the task of booking the time of the year they enjoy most with their local travel agency. With their ability to offer personal assistance travel agencies are quite capable of positioning themselves as important sales channels in the face of online travel portals and social media and their relentless rise.According to Messe Berlin all the main travel destinations will benefit from the prevailing positive mood: big European cities, Mediterranean countries and faraway destinations. A fact particularly worth noting is that Germany as a travel destination continues to break all records. The tourism market in Germany has grown for the fifth year in succession in every single federal State, and this positive trend is set to continue in 2015. For North Americans the cost of travelling to Germany has fallen to unprecedented low levels due to the strength of the dollar. Other popular destinations include Egypt and Greece. Whereas Egypt’s economic revival has been slow, Greece reported double-digit growth for the third year running and despite the controversy surrounding its national debt continues on the path to recovery.23,000 visitors (2014: 22,000) attended the ITB Berlin Convention, another new record. Decision-makers and opinion-formers debated the key topics concerning the travel industry at a total of 200 events which took place in eight auditoriums. This year the focus was on the sharing economy which was the subject of numerous panel discussions and exclusive surveys. Marking its tenth anniversary, the ITB Hospitality Day had a success story to celebrate.Despite the warm spring weather around 60,000 members of the general public flocked to the display halls on the weekend to find out about the wide range of information available from exhibitors.Oyunkhorol Dulamsuren, Minister of the Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia said, “I would like to congratulate and thank you for a great ITB. I am very happy that ITB Berlin 2015 is wrapping up with full success.As the official partner country of ITB this year, we succeeded in showcasing Mongolia’s unique tourism products, destinations and nomadic lifestyle to the world. Also we showed you that Mongolia is an enigmatic, dynamic country with many natural and cultural resources.I am very positive that the results of ITB will bring Mongolian tourism a new boost.Mongolia will greet you with open arms when you come to explore its culture and nomadic way of living. As Mongolians say: ’Seeing once is worth more than hearing about it a thousand times’. Welcome to Mongolia to see and discover your roots as global nomads.”Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO said, “ITB Berlin is an increasingly important meeting point for the tourism sector. An occasion to foster businesses connections but more and more to learn about the changes shaping our sector and exchange knowledge and experiences on how to adapt to such changes. We, at UNWTO, are very happy to have ITB Berlin as a strong partner and trust our cooperation will go from strength to strength.”Dr Michael Frenzel, President of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) stated, “Once again, ITB Berlin was an all-round success and fills us with optimism for the coming months. For German citizens travel is and remains a favourite pastime and, if the surveys are to be believed, many will have already packed their bags and be waiting to go. We are therefore confident that the 2014 record of 1.6 billion days of private holidays undertaken by Germans will be surpassed this year. We are also certain that Germany will be even more popular as a travel destination, as it is extremely diverse, offers good value for money and great hospitality. As regards the aviation tax, minimum wage, the toll charge for foreign vehicles and other burdens, we appeal once again to political decision-makers: do not hamper the positive developments and destroy the positive image that Germany enjoys as a travel destination by imposing massive financial burdens and bureaucracy. Create conditions that do not leave a sour taste with holidaymakers and that make it possible for our industry to remain a strong economic factor and a driving force for employment.”Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association (DRV) informed, “The tourism industry got off to a good start in 2015. Accordingly, this year’s ITB Berlin went very well and once again proved itself to be an indispensable platform for tourism professionals from around the world. From the tourism industry’s point of view ITB 2015 went according to plan. Everything was perfect – the exhibitors present at the show, the quality of trade visitors, and the exceptionally high attendance by exhibitors and visitors from abroad.The stage is set for the travel industry to do good business in 2015 and for it to expand even further. The high numbers of early bookings taken by travel agencies in recent weeks for this year’s summer holidays are proof that Germans remain keen to travel. Sales are five per cent higher than they were this time last year. Destinations will benefit that are traditionally favourites with German citizens, including Greece, the Balearics and Egypt, which has risen in popularity again.”In addition to 127 foreign delegations three royal highnesses and 95 ambassadors travelled to the event. 47 ministers from foreign countries, 11 deputy ministers from abroad and a number of foreign state secretaries were also present. Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Heiko Maas, and Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller came to find out what the travel industry had to offer.The next ITB Berlin will take place from 9 to 13 March, 2016. Maldives will be the official partner country of the show.last_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

Facebook is focusing its video efforts by triallin

first_imgFacebook is focusing its video efforts by trialling a new section designed to help people discover, watch and share videos on the service.The dedicated video destination marks Facebook’s latest attempt to take on the likes of YouTube and will let viewers watch videos from friends, pages they follow and other video publishers on Facebook.The new section will also give access to ‘saved videos’ – another new feature that Facebook is testing that lets users click a save button to watch videos later.Facebook said it is initially testing the feature with “a small number of people” and that it will be accessible via a ‘Videos’ icon at the bottom of the Facebook app on iPhone or in the ‘Favorites’ section on the left-hand side of News Feed on the web.The introduction of a video section on Facebook follows a recent suggested video trial for iPhone users, designed to make it easy for users to discover multiple related videos in a row after tapping a video from the News Feed.“While we’re still in the early days of testing, we’re pleased with initial results, which show that people who have suggested videos are discovering and watching more new videos,” said Facebook vice-president of product management, Will Cathcart.“We’ve now rolled out suggested videos to most people on iPhone globally, and are starting to test ads within the experience. We are also starting to test this on the web, and plan to test on Android phones in the coming months.”In an update about new video experiences on Facebook, the social network said it has also been working on a number of features to help publishers to better manage and control their videos on the site.“We recently began testing new video matching technology with a set of partners, with the long-term goal of providing a comprehensive video management system for creators,” said Cathcart.“We’ve also rolled out new video tools for Pages — like updates to Page Insights and video upload improvements — to help video publishers grow their businesses on Facebook.”Other recent video developments at Facebook include the rollout of 360-degree immersive video support in September. A month earlier, the company announced that public figures on the site can share live video with their fans on the site – a feature that has been used by celebrities like actor Vin Diesel and tennis player Serena Williams.In September 2014 Facebook said that for months it had been averaging more than 1 billion video views on the service each day. Cathcart said that since then video “has continued to grow on Facebook” and has become “an integral part of how people around the world discover, watch and share videos they care about every day”.This summer, a report by research firm Ampere Analysis said that Facebook is making a “serious play” for content owners and looks poised to take on YouTube’s dominance in video. It said that video views are “rocketing” and trials with content owners like NFL and Fox Sports “suggest it’s primed to become a plausible alternative to YouTube.”last_img read more

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 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

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

Nutritional supplement can slow cancer growth and enhance effects of chemotherapy

first_imgAlthough these results are very promising for the future of some cancer treatments, this is very early research and has not yet been tested in humans. Patients should not self-prescribe mannose as there is a real risk of negative side effects that haven’t been tested for yet. It’s important to consult with a doctor before drastically changing your diet or taking new supplements.” Mannose is sometimes used for short periods to treat urinary tract infections, but its long-term effects have not been investigated. It’s important that more research is conducted before mannose can be used in cancer patients.Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head nurse, said: Our next step is investigating why treatment only works in some cells, so that we can work out which patients might benefit the most from this approach. We hope to start clinical trials with mannose in people as soon as possible to determine its true potential as a new cancer therapy.” Tumors need a lot of glucose to grow, so limiting the amount they can use should slow cancer progression. The problem is that normal tissues need glucose as well, so we can’t completely remove it from the body. In our study, we found a dosage of mannose that could block enough glucose to slow tumor growth in mice, but not so much that normal tissues were affected. This is early research, but it is hoped that finding this perfect balance means that, in the future, mannose could be given to cancer patients to enhance chemotherapy without damaging their overall health.” Source:https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/ The researchers first examined how mice with pancreatic, lung or skin cancer responded when mannose was added to their drinking water and given as an oral treatment. They found that adding the supplement significantly slowed the growth of tumors and did not cause any obvious side effects.To test how mannose could also affect cancer treatment, mice were treated with cisplatin and doxorubicin – two of the most widely used chemotherapy drugs. They found that mannose enhanced the effects of chemotherapy, slowing tumor growth, reducing the size of tumors and even increasing the lifespan of some mice.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyLiving with advanced breast cancerSeveral other cancer types, including leukemia, osteosarcoma, ovarian and bowel cancer, were also investigated. Researchers grew cancer cells in the lab and then treated them with mannose to see whether their growth was affected.Some cells responded well to the treatment, while others did not. It was also found that the presence of an enzyme that breaks down mannose in cells was a good indicator of how effective treatment was.Professor Kevin Ryan added: Nov 21 2018Mannose sugar, a nutritional supplement, can both slow tumor growth and enhance the effects of chemotherapy in mice with multiple types of cancer.This lab study is a step towards understanding how mannose could be used to help treat cancer.The results of the study, which was funded by Cancer Research UK and Worldwide Cancer Research, are published in Nature, today (Wednesday).Tumors use more glucose than normal, healthy tissues. However, it is very hard to control the amount of glucose in your body through diet alone. In this study, the researchers found that mannose can interfere with glucose to reduce how much sugar cancer cells can use.Professor Kevin Ryan, lead author from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, said:last_img read more

Judge vows to rule on Medicaid work requirements by end of March

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 14 2019The federal judge who shot down a Medicaid work requirement plan last June remained deeply skeptical Thursday of the Trump administration’s renewed strategy to force enrollees to work.U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who last year blocked Kentucky’s work requirement, heard testimony on a revised federal approval. He also had a hearing on Arkansas’ Medicaid work requirement — which took effect last July and has led to 18,000 Medicaid enrollees losing coverage.After the court hearings in Washington, Boasberg said he would rule on both states’ programs by April 1, which is when the next round of Arkansas enrollees could be kicked off the program. Kentucky plans to implement its work requirement this summer.A ruling against a work requirement would have vast repercussions in more than a dozen other states that have been approved for new work requirements in Medicaid, the federal-state health program, or are seeking them from the Trump administration.Throughout the two-hour-long hearings, Boasberg questioned Justice Department lawyer James Burnham on whether the work requirement plans approved by the Trump administration were helping to achieve Medicaid’s goal of promoting health coverage.When Burnham argued that work requirements would give people incentives to find work and improve their lives, Boasberg interjected: “That is not the purpose of Medicaid.”On Capitol Hill, Democrats grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about the work requirements. Azar testified this week before three separate committees, two in the House and one in the Senate, on the administration’s budget request for the department.Addressing the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, Azar disputed the idea that everyone who lost Medicaid in Arkansas was now uninsured. “Only 1,000 of those 18,000 people appealed” their loss of Medicaid, he said. “Only 1,452 of those 18,000 even reapplied for Medicaid when open enrollment came again.”Azar said that “seems a fairly strong indication” that the rest of those cut from the program “got a job and insurance elsewhere.”Top health officials for the Trump administration have said getting people on Medicaid into jobs will make them healthier — which they call a key goal of the program.States can implement work requirements since Congress has given the HHS secretary permission to approve their experiments with the Medicaid program, the administration asserts.But advocates for the poor say an experiment that leaves thousands of people without coverage runs counter to Medicaid’s aim to improve access to health care.In his ruling last year, Boasberg, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, said Azar’s approval of Kentucky’s plan failed to consider whether the strategy would “help the state furnish medical assistance to its citizens, a central objective of Medicaid.” He said promoting health generally or helping someone get a job was not the point of the state-federal program created in 1965.Kentucky last year became the first state to win federal approval for its proposal requiring that certain Medicaid recipients work, go to school or fulfill community service. After Boasberg’s ruling last June, the state filed a new waiver application seeking to meet the judge’s requirements, and the Trump administration approved it.Federal officials have approved work requirement proposals in seven states — Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. In each of those states, the requirements would apply only to people who gained Medicaid coverage under the expansion promoted by the Affordable Care Act. Ten other states — Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia — also have requested approval. Some of those states have not expanded Medicaid and are seeking to add work requirements to their regular programs.Related StoriesExperts release scientific statement on predicting survival for cardiac arrest survivorsJohns Hopkins experts release digital health roadmapGender inequality bad for everyone’s health finds researchKentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, has threatened to scrap the Medicaid expansion unless his state is allowed to proceed with the new rules, a move that would cause the more than 400,000 new enrollees to lose their coverage. He said the work requirement will help move some adults off the program so the state has enough money to help others on the program.Boasberg questioned whether the state has proven its case to the federal government that it needs work requirements to keep its Medicaid program financially sustainable. “At the end of the day, isn’t the centerpiece of your case the fiscal sustainability argument?” Boasberg asked the Trump administration’s lawyer.Burnham argued neither Kentucky nor Arkansas was kicking people off their programs and causing them to lose benefits. He said people were just choosing to not comply with the state’s new reporting requirements to show they were working, doing volunteer work or meeting one of the states’ exceptions.Ian Gershengorn, a lawyer representing the National Health Law Program and other plaintiffs trying to overturn the work requirements, said Kentucky’s financial sustainability argument “seems absurd” because the federal government this year is paying 94 percent of the costs for the Medicaid expansion population.He said HHS should not be approving Kentucky’s waiver based on the governor threatening to kill the entire Medicaid expansion if he doesn’t get work requirement authority.Gershengorn said Azar cannot argue in approving Kentucky’s waiver that he has no idea how many people would lose coverage since the Arkansas experience already shows thousands lost Medicaid coverage.The Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that 1.4 million to 4 million Americans could lose their coverage if work requirements were imposed nationwide. Most of the coverage losses would result from enrollees failing to report their compliance to the state, not because they were failing to fulfill the work or job search criteria. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)The Justice Department attorney tried to show the difference between the first Kentucky approval in January 2018 and the second one made last November was that the HHS secretary analyzed what effect the experiment would have on health coverage. He said keeping the Kentucky program would ensure the expansion stayed in place as well as give adult enrollees access to vision and dental coverage.But Gershengorn argued the difference between the two approvals is that the state and the federal government now know the implications work requirements can have on enrollees.”There is massive harm,” Gershengorn said. “It is not speculative.”KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner contributed to this report. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Painkillers taken by pregnant mothers unlikely to cause asthma in the child

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 18 2019Paracetamol or other painkillers taken during pregnancy are unlikely to cause asthma in the child, according to a large study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Queen Mary University of London. The study, which is published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that there is another factor linked to use of these drugs that increases the risk of asthma.The analysis includes prescription data on painkillers for almost 500,000 Swedish mothers. The results support earlier findings that women taking paracetamol during pregnancy are more likely to have children who develop asthma. However, they also suggest that the painkillers are not the cause of this increase.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsData collected by ESHRE show rise in use of IVF in infertility treatmentChildren born to mothers who had been prescribed paracetamol during pregnancy had an increased risk of asthma, but the risk was similar when women had been prescribed different types of painkillers that work in different ways, such as opioids or migraine medication. For example, the increase in risk for asthma at five years of age was 50 per cent for paracetamol, 42 per cent for codeine and 48 per cent for migraine medication.The results suggest that another factor linked to use of these drugs is responsible for the increase in asthma risk. One explanation could be that women who are taking prescribed painkillers are more likely to suffer from chronic pain or anxiety, or have a propensity to seek health care.”Severe pain, and the stress that it causes, have profound effects on the body, including on levels of some hormones, and there is evidence for a link between high levels of mothers’ stress in pregnancy and increased risk of asthma in the offspring,” says Professor Seif Shaheen at Queen Mary University of London, UK, who led the study in collaboration with Professor Catarina Almqvist Malmros and colleagues at Karolinska Institutet.Researchers say their results should give women reassurance to take painkillers during pregnancy when they are prescribed by a doctor.Source: https://ki.se/en/news/painkillers-during-pregnancy-unlikely-to-cause-asthmalast_img read more

UK watchdog fines child care company for selling data

first_img 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. Britain’s information watchdog has fined a firm that offers advice on pregnancy and child care 140,000 pounds ($180,000) for illegally collecting and selling personal information that ended up being used in a database for the Labour Party. Citation: UK watchdog fines child care company for selling data (2018, August 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-uk-watchdog-fines-child-company.html The Information Commissioner’s Office said Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd, also known as Emma’s Diary, sold the information on 1 million people to Experian Marketing Services. Experian created a database to help the Labour Party profile new mothers before Britain’s 2017 general election.The case is part of ongoing investigations into the use of data for political purposes.”Even though this company was not directly involved in political campaigning, the democratic process must be transparent,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement. “All organizations involved in political campaigning must use personal information in ways that are transparent, lawful and understood by the UK public.”The Information Commissioner’s Office said the company’s privacy policies didn’t disclose that the data would be used for political marketing or by political parties. Lifecycle Marketing said it “never previously provided data to a political party” and would “never do so again.””We are sorry that on this isolated occasion our interpretation of the Data Protection Act has not been in line with the ICO’s,” the company said. UK regulator investigating Facebook over political campaigning © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Video gaming fiends with an itch hit Twitch

first_img“I don’t think watching video games is all that different from watching grown men kicking a ball around a field or someone cook a pie.”Spectators can take part on the sidelines by sending up comments and emoticons as ‘play’ unfolds as well as make donations to favourite players.Shear, who says Twitch wants to help highlight budding gaming talents, says the platform’s main revenue streams—advertising and subscriptions for ‘privileges’ such as VIP ‘badges’ and access to special emojis—enable gamers to make cash from their content.Even so, the vast majority will not come close to “Fortnite” legend Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who recently told sports multimedia group ESPN his gaming nets him a monthly revenue in seven figures and who boasts more than 12 million Twitch followers.Whereas technical quality was the initial priority for Twitch, today it is offering visibility to ‘small streamers’ which is key in the hope they will eventually earn greater popularity and with it more revenue.Regarding how to ‘make it’ in revenue terms “it’s very complicated to do it for the money—that only works for very few people,” says communications specialist and Twitch player Mylene Lourdel.”Often it’s just a bit of extra cash to allow you to invest in material.”But for Shear, “we really think it’s the most important thing to do, to help small streamers make it and go full time and maybe find a way to make a living.”He says an ideal game “enables audience interactivity, when you have enough downtime in between matches or during a slow part in the match that you get a chance to interact with the audience—or even better if the game itself engages people to interact with you.”Although big ticket events such as League of Legends or Fortnite dominate, those so inclined can follow fringe offerings such as cooking channels who may emulate South Korea’s Mokbang or broadcast “social eating” trend.Beyond gaming, but chowing down online in front of virtual dining partners helps bring Twitch full circle in harking back to the early days of Justin.tv. 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. Seven years on from the rebranding of its original incarnation Justin.tv, video game live-streaming platform Twitch boasts more than a million people tuned in at any moment and interest is rising. Citation: Video gaming fiends with an itch hit Twitch (2018, November 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-video-gaming-fiends-twitch.html Today’s top “streamers” are celebrities who can earn fame and a healthy living from competitive video gaming—but co-founder Emmett Shear says his lightbulb moment came back in 2010, four years before Amazon swooped to net Twitch for a cool $970 million.”In 2010, I realised the content I loved, that I was watching on Justin.tv, was all gaming content,” says Shear.”(I) loved the streamers, so I decided we would start focusing on just gaming, and there was a huge opportunity there,” Shear told AFP.So Twitch came into being—the name alluding to a player’s action response time.Twitch brands itself as a global community showcasing “unique, live, unpredictable experiences created by the interactions of millions,” the entertainment ranging from “casual gaming to world-class esports to anime marathons, music, and art streams.”China blocking the platform last September was a bump in the road but the company was already going strong on 2017 revenues of $1.7 billion—54 percent of a gaming content sector cake worth $3.2 billion, according to data from market intelligence agency SuperData.SuperData says the platform of net giant Google held a mere 22 percent market share in 2017 as “despite having half the GVC (gaming video content) audience of YouTube, Twitch’s audience is more engaged and willing to spend on their favourite broadcasters”.”Twitch has been conceived for video game spectators, unlike other platforms,” says Laurent Michaud, director of study for France’s IDATE digital think tank.Today, some 670 million people watched at least one video game in 2017—watching as streamers shoot at zombies, cast spells or construct their own imaginary universe.Shear draws a parallel with watching television. Twitch, which Amazon bought in 2014, grew out of Justin.tv, an early 24/7 “lifecasting” channel YouTube eyes streaming game star Twitch Twitch CEO Emmett Shear, speaking to AFP at the annual Web Summit technology conference, saw streaming video games as a “huge opportunity” to be seized © 2018 AFP Explore further “If you understand watching TV, maybe you like watching cooking, travel, talk show. It’s fun in all of those cases to watch people who are the best in the world at what they do…last_img read more

Olympic broadcasters gear up for the biggest show on earth

first_img Citation: Olympic broadcasters gear up for the biggest show on earth (2018, December 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-olympic-gear-biggest-earth.html London 2012 to be broadcast in 3D © 2018 AFP Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of the OBS, says the Olympics were becoming a burden for host broadcasters “During the games we employ a team of more than 7,000 professionals coming from 90 different countries, we have 1,000 cameras, hundreds of thousands of kilometres of cables,” says Exarchos.”This started to become a big burden for the organising committee as the Games grew bigger and more complex. “As early as the Games of Atlanta (1996), it was made clear that the IOC should do something to support the cities.” One hundred and sixty people work at the OBS headquarters in Madrid For most people, it is not actually a particularly significant milestone but for 160 people of 35 nationalities beavering away in a building overlooking a highway in Madrid, the pressure of organising the biggest television show on earth just went up a notch.These are the people of the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), a wing of the International Olympic Committee responsible since 2008 for providing the pictures of every competition which are beamed around the world.The size of the audience is phenomenal as is the money that is generated. Over five billion viewers tuned in for the last Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 as opposed to 3.4 billion for this year’s football World Cup.Television stations from around the world have dished out more than six billion dollars for the rights to the Games in Tokyo—broadcasting the event is a complex, lucrative business managed from the Spanish capital.”Preparing and planning for the games is an ongoing function, so as we speak we are obviously very close to the finalisation of our plans for Tokyo,” says Yiannis Exarchos, the imposing Greek boss of the OBS.”But we have already started quite detailed planning for the winter games in Beijing (2022) and we have already started engaging with Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028).”A ‘burden’ on host citiesThe first time pictures were beamed live from the Olympics was Berlin in 1936. It wasn’t until the 1964 Games, also in Tokyo, that pictures went live around the world.Back then it was the responsibility of the host nation to provide the coverage and that is how it stayed until 2008. The Olympic Broadcasting Services are close to finalising plans for Tokyo 2020 Explore further Clock-watching is an integral part of any Olympic Games but even the most eagle-eyed sporting anoraks might be forgiven for missing the fact that Sunday marks 600 days until the start of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. So it was that the IOC created OBS in 2001 to provide coverage of all Olympic and Paralympic Games.InfrastructureBeijing 2008 marked the OBS’ first outing and it comes as no surprise to discover that Sotiris Salamouris, who is in charge of technology at OBS, was back in Beijing last month to discuss the next Winter Olympics in 2022. “We need to have a good number of discussions with the organising committee in terms of the infrastructures they need to make available for us,” says Salamouris. “The IBC, that is the priority.” The IBC is the International Broadcast Centre, a bustling hub set up in each host city where television channels from all over the world get the signal from OBS to broadcast back home.”We need to work quite early with the organising committee to find this facility, to secure it, to agree about timelines, additional works necessary.”This is what we have begun with Paris,” says Salamouris looking ahead already to the Summer Olympics of 2024.Given that the IOC is based in Lausanne, it may raise an eyebrow to see that the OBS is centred in Madrid. “It does not come from heaven, it comes from (Manolo) Romero,” jokes IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs whose father served 21 years as president of the IOC.A Spaniard and in charge of radio and television coverage of the Games since Mexico in 1968, Romero was appointed head of OBS when it was created and insisted on the headquarters being in Madrid, where he lived.’Lifeline’ for sport”Major sports events remain the holy grail of broadcasting,” says Exarchos.Demand for television rights is constantly on the increase, and this, he points out, will continue with the emergence of new digital players in the market.”Ninety percent of the TV rights go for the support of the Olympic movement and the development of sport,” he says.The IOC keeps the rest.”The funding that comes from the television rights of the Games is a lifeline for the support of sports.” “The vast majority of the sports which are in the Olympic programme would have a hard time surviving if it were not for revenues coming from the rights.”And with that, Exarchos returns to work, ticking off another day on the road to Tokyo. 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

Tamil Nadu govt school denies admission to HIVpositive boy

first_imgTamil Nadu govt school denies admission to HIV-positive boyThe boy had been asked to come for admission to the school in Kolakkanatham in neighbouring Perambalur district about a week ago, but was turned away on Wednesday.advertisement Press Trust of India Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu)July 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 13:35 IST There was allegedly a quarrel between the headmaster and the boy’s relatives over denial of admission “due to poor academic performance of the student”. (File Photo)An HIV-positive boy was allegedly denied admission to a government high school in Perambulur district, prompting the Tamil Nadu Education Department to order an inquiry.School Education Director S Kannappan has sought a report from the chief educational officer of the district regarding the denial of admission to the boy, sources said.The boy had been asked to come for admission to the school in Kolakkanatham in neighbouring Perambalur district about a week ago, but was turned away on Wednesday.The sources Friday said the director of school education wanted to know why the boy was denied admission and what transpired during a meeting between the parents and the school headmaster, K Kamaraj.There was allegedly a quarrel between the headmaster and the boy’s relatives over denial of admission “due to poor academic performance of the student”.The headmaster, however, said he did not deny admission to the boy nor did he have the power to do so.The headmaster and the Perambalur chief educational officer, Arul Rangan, said the boy would be given admission if he approached them.ALSO READ | HIV patients denied treatment in city hospitals in ShillongALSO WATCH | Kolkata Couple thrashed & evicted by landlords for being HIV+For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Nextlast_img read more

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