J&K youth who topped BSF examalleges threat from militants

first_imgClose on the heels of the killing of Lt. Ummer Fayaz in the Kashmir Valley, a BSF assistant commandant from Jammu, who had topped the recruitment exam, has written to the government alleging that militants were threatening him and his sister. Nabeel Ahmed Wani, the topper of the All India Examination for BSF Assistant Commandant (Works) last year, said his sister, a civil engineering student in Chandigarh, had been staying in a hostel but the college authorities now want her to move elsewhere. Mr. Wani wrote to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Sunday (May 14) asking her to arrange for hostel facility for Nida Rafiq. “She was worried that she would not get a place to stay as a Kashmiri, especially with my background. I didn’t want to involve the BSF in a personal matter, so I wrote to the Minister,” Mr. Wani told PTI over phone from the BSF Training Academy a Tekanpur near Gwalior.Request for armsMr. Wani said he has spoken to his seniors in the BSF requesting them to allow personnel to carry their arms when they go on leave, especially in militant-affected areas, and also to secure their travel plans home. He said he will go home for his cousin’s wedding in next two months. “People like me and my family members are always under threat from militants. After the murder of Lt Ummer Fayaz, I am scared about my family’s security. My mother lives alone in Jammu while my sister is in Chandigarh. I worry, especially now, as terrorists are targeting our families,” said Mr. Wani. He topped the exam last year around the time the Valley was on the boil following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. He had written the mail to Ms. Gandhi on May 14 and got a response the very next day. “The Minister immediately took it up with the college authorities, who have now allowed Mr. Nabeel’s sister to stay in the hostel,” a senior official of the WCD Ministry said.Disturbing trendMr. Wani said: “I am now worried for all those Kashmiris who are serving in the Army or paramilitary forces. We (Kashmiris) join the forces despite a lot of opposition and now, with this trend of killing Kashmiris serving as soldiers, a sword hangs on all of us. This is very disturbing.” As for his sister, he is now comforted she will remain safe in the security of her hostel room. “She is safe for now. Pray for her, she wants to become the first woman from Jammu and Kashmir to serve the Indian Army,” he said.last_img read more

What’s latest in the web?

first_imgKing of the Social NetworkMessage maniaModi has over four million followers. His tweet posted after BJP’s poll victory was retweeted over 70,000 times, a record for any Indian Twitter post. Selfie CzarNaMo courted controversy with his post-voting selfie, but redeemed himself by clicking a picture with his mother after his,King of the Social NetworkMessage maniaModi has over four million followers. His tweet posted after BJP’s poll victory was retweeted over 70,000 times, a record for any Indian Twitter post.Selfie CzarNaMo courted controversy with his post-voting selfie, but redeemed himself by clicking a picture with his mother after his poll victory.Here’s what makes Narendra Modi the most social media-savvy Indian leaderVictory Wall Modi’s website has a wall where any message with the hashtag #CongratsNaMo will be preserved forever.Facebook Fan clubWith over 15 million likes on his page, each of Modi’s posts gets a minimum of 100,000 likes.Social media’s reactions to the election resultsTop topics of discussion on TwitterNarendra Modi 722,910*BJP 322,596AAP 118,717Rahul Gandhi 47,054Varanasi 21,018From the first day of polling till now, Facebook ‘likes’ for leaders have increased. These are the top 5 politicos. Narendra Modi*Then 12,464,583Now 14,316,374Arvind KejriwalThen 5,024,162Now 5,434,351Kumar VishwasThen 2,060,566Now 2,152,542Vasundhara RajeThen 1,868,237Now 2,089,666Rajnath SinghThen 1,348,035Now 1,594,507Wurst of Both Worlds Conchita Wurst inspired the Web world with her confidence after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in a beard. Sporting high heels and butterfly eyelashes, the transgender became Austria’s first Eurovision winner since 1966.Parody PowerThe hashtag #RushdieExplainsIndia became one of Twitter’s trending topics on May 18. It now has its own account @RushdieExplains, featuring parody tweets that poke fun at the author’s tendency to drop names of celebrities in his tweets. Here’s an example: “It really was you Salman,” said Tina Brown about the Congress rout, “you wrote the Nehru-Gandhis into oblivion.”Save the Girlsadvertisement#BringBackOurGirls is a campaign started by Nigerian lawyer Ibrahim M. Abdullahi after militant organisation Boko Haram kidnapped 300 schoolgirls on April 14. The hashtag gained popularity after US First Lady Michelle Obama posted a photo in its support on Instagram.Top of the LotMaleficent Free Fall is Disney’s latest mobile game based on the forthcoming film Maleficent .Nuzzel is a social news service that recommends articles based on what your social media connections are reading and sharing.Dad’s Not the WayDad’s Not the Way A Delhi student, Prateek Verma, got beaten up by his father for playing a prank, announcing that his girlfriend is pregnant. The father stopped only when the teen told him that it was a prank and they were on camera. The video has got over a million views on YouTube.last_img read more

6 days agoAston Villa boss Smith warns Man Utd off McGinn

first_imgAston Villa boss Smith warns Man Utd off McGinnby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa boss Dean Smith has told Manchester United to forget about John McGinn.McGinn is believed to be on a shortlist of players United want to sign over the next two transfer windows.But Smith said: “The big clubs can come calling but they’ll get a short, swift reply! He’s a player we want here at Aston Villa.“His value shot up from the moment he stepped out onto the Villa Park pitch and showed just what a player he is.He has an unbelievable energy level and a big, big heart, but people don’t see the technical side of it as well – he’s got that in abundance.”McGinn is contracted to Villa until July 2024, so the midlands club are under no pressure to sell.Smith added: “He’s a really top player and pivotal to us getting promoted last season. He’s continued that form in the Premier League and his value would have certainly shot up.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Bill Simmons Blasts ESPN For Reporting False Information Regarding Deflategate

first_imgBill Simmons during a photo shoot.Bill SimmonsBill Simmons isn’t done ripping his old employer. Earlier this week, the former ESPN star accused Stephen A. Smith and other Worldwide Leader reporters of leaking anti-Tom Brady material to help the NFL in its Deflategate case. Now, he’s going after the network’s reporting.Saturday, Simmons criticized ESPN for publishing a timeline of Deflategate that includes Chris Mortensen’s report that 11 of the 12 balls used in the first half of New England’s contest against the Indianapolis Colts were “significantly underinflated.” Mortensen’s original report stated that 11 of the 12 balls were underinflated by 2 pounds per square inch – and it was later corrected after the Ted Wells report. The correction stated that 11 of the 12 balls were underinflated, ranging up to 2 pounds per square inch.Clearly, Simmons doesn’t think the piece of news should be included at all.ESPN’s DeflateGate timeline includes Mort’s 11 of 12 “significantly deflated” report like it was true. Hilarious.https://t.co/b1MuJrctYs— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 16, 2016At this point, it doesn’t look like Simmons is going to stop blasting ESPN any time soon.last_img read more

US judge returns foster mothers passport days after child abandonment charge dropped

first_imgHouston: The Indian-American foster mother of Sherin Mathews has got her passport back, nearly a week after charges were dropped against her in connection with the tragic death of her 3-year-old daughter, whose body was discovered in a culvert in suburban Dallas in 2017. Sini Mathews was charged with child endangerment after she left her adoptive daughter Sherin alone at home while she and her husband Wesley Mathews went out for dinner with their 4-four-year old biological daughter on the night before the toddler was reported missing from their house in Richardson, Texas. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping Sini had been jailed on a child abandonment charge, but the charge was dismissed after the district attorney said there was not enough evidence to move forward and released her from the Dallas County Jail. On Thursday, a Dallas judge ordered authorities to return Sini’s passport, WBAP, an AM News/Talk radio station in Dallas reported. Defence attorney Heath Harris said the judge had little choice but to return the passport which was taken when Sini was arrested. He said Sini had no plans to go anywhere, but can do so if she chooses so. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang “I am blessed,” Sini, a nurse, said after the charges against her were dropped and told the media that she was looking forward to meeting her biological daughter. “I want to thank the DA’s office for dismissing the case and I am looking forward to being reunited with my daughter,” Sini said. She had lost parental rights to her biological daughter who has been adopted by her relatives in Houston. Lawyers are now reviewing options to possibly return her to her mother, Sini, the WBAP report said. Sini’s husband Wesley is still in Dallas County Jail for capital murder linked to Sherin’s death. He will face trial in May this year and is presently being held on a USD 1.1 million bond. Sini and Wesley, who hail from Kerala, adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in July 2016. After Sherin disappeared, Wesley had first claimed that he had punished her by making her stand outside their home at 3 am for not drinking her milk. After Sherin’s body was found in a culvert a kilometre from their home in October, 2017, Wesley then changed his version to he had tried to feed her the milk and that she choked on it. Wesley was indicted for capital murder by a grand jury and for tampering with evidence. Wesley, if convicted, could face the death penalty or an automatic sentence of life without parole. An autopsy report in January 2018 showed that Sherin died of homicidal violence. Sherin’s case had attracted international attention and the Indian government had revoked the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) immigration status of Wesley and Sini.last_img read more

Triggerhappy boy killed three within a week arrested

first_imgNEW DELHI: A 19-year-old boy, accused of killing three persons including his own grandfather within a span of 7 days, has been arrested by Delhi Police. According to police, Vikas, a resident of Rohtak in Haryana was nabbed by Dwarka police after the cops were on a security alert due to elections. Police said that the accused is wanted by Haryana police for three murders in their state. One pistol and some cartridges has also been recovered from his possession. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plastic”During interrogation, he disclosed that he belongs to Sandeep alias Kala Jathedia Gang of Haryana and he had committed three murders within a short duration of seven days along with his associates. He also disclosed that on March 7, he along with two accomplices shot dead his real grandfather Ram Pal in his Village Gaddi Kheri, Rohtak,” said Anto Alphonse, DCP Dwarka. The Delhi police was also shocked when he disclosed that he also committed two more murders one on March 9, two days after he killed his grandfather. This time he along with his accomplices murdered a bus driver, in Sonipat. Five days later, on March 14, he along with his eight accomplices, all armed with deadly weapons, committed the horrible murder of one liquor contractor Narender @ Nanda at Bhalgarh, Sonepat by firing multiple rounds on him. Sources said that these two murders were part of a gang rivalry between his group and another. The Haryana police has been informed by Delhi police about the arrest and soon they would move court to take the custody of the accused. “He murdered his grandfather because of the property dispute as his grandfather wanted to sell the property and the accused felt it belonged to him. All the murders were committed by shooting the victims, the accused is also wanted in six other cases including Haryana and Delhi,” said an officer privy to investigation.last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jeremy Cash (52) leaves the field after being injured during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Pro Football Focus gave Cash the second-best rating among Cardinals who played at least 10 snaps. Cash’s 91.7 was just below guard Mike Iupati, who had a 93.8 rating but was subbed out quickly with the first unit.Related LinksArizona Cardinals linebacker Jeremy Cash injures knee, carted off fieldCardinals’ win offers little insight on key questionsNo clarity yet in Cardinals’ No. 2 receiver raceCash was a candidate to make the 53-man roster, according to Rapoport, and was listed as Deone Bucannon’s backup at weak-side linebacker on the Cardinals’ first unofficial depth chart.Hodges has been in the league since 2013. After playing for Minnesota and earning some starting time beginning in his second season, Hodges was traded to the 49ers in year three. There, he started 16 of the 25 games, intercepting two passes, forcing a fumble and getting three sacks in 2016.Hodges played for the Saints in 2017 but did not start a game. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 5 Comments   Share   Top Stories Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jeremy Cash was waived Monday after his knee injury was reported to be season-ending, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.In a corresponding move, the team signed linebacker Gerald Hodges.Cash was injured in the Cardinals’ preseason game against the Chargers on Saturday.Prior to getting injured, Cash recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown in the game. He also had two tackles.last_img read more

Reps García and Lilly commemorate public service of former Ottawa County Commissioner

first_img HOLLAND – Reps. Daniela García and Jim Lilly today presented a tribute in recognition of the dedication conveyed by retired Ottawa County Commissioner Stu Visser.After three two-year terms serving as an Ottawa County commissioner, Visser retired in December 2016.Stu Visser began his career in public service in 1987 as Park Township supervisor where he committed countless hours to improving the community for its expanding population.  In 2009, Visser stepped down as supervisor with the intention of retiring. That same year, Visser was drawn back to the lure of aiding his community through public service as an Ottawa County commissioner.In his many years of service to the people of Ottawa County, Stu facilitated many worthy endeavors such as increasing waterfront access to the Grand River, expanding public utilities to facilitate a growing population, and doubling the amount of parkland in his township.“Stu’s unwavering commitment to improving our community and serving its inhabitants is inspiring,” said Rep. Lilly. “His example of public service and steadfast leadership in Ottawa County is one I strive to live up to during my time in Lansing.”“The vision Stu set forth to improve Ottawa County will have a resounding impact on the community,” said Rep. García “His legacy as a county commissioner, and previously as Park Township supervisor, will not be forgotten. I know I stand with all Ottawa County residents when I express my deep appreciation of his service and dedication to our community.”Francisco García, who was recently elected to fill Visser’s county commission seat, and Greg DeJong, the Ottawa County Commission chairman, were both in attendance of the commemoration as well.“I have big shoes to fill in serving our community, but I look forward to continuing the strides Stu made on the Board of Commissioners,” said Commissioner García. 10Feb Reps. García and Lilly commemorate public service of former Ottawa County Commissioner Stu Visser Categories: Garcia News,Newslast_img read more

Google is updating the hardware for its Chromecast

first_imgGoogle is updating the hardware for its Chromecast platform according to filings with the FCC placed by the company. The filings do not appear to indicate that a substantial feature upgrade is planned, however. US reports cite Google Chromecast team members as saying that there are no plans for new user features as part of the upgrade. The first generation Chromecast was launched in the summer of 2013.last_img

Middle East satellite operator EshailSat plans to

first_imgMiddle East satellite operator Es’hailSat plans to launch its Es’hail-2 bird by the end of this year, and discussions are underway with customers and stakeholders to define the requirements for a third satellite, Es’hail-3, according to the company.The operator plans to place Es’hail-2 at the 26° East hotspot to enable it to continue to provide premium DTH television content across the Middle East and North Africa.Exhibiting this week at Cabsat in Dubai, Es’hailSat has anlso unveiled plans to build its own teleport in Doha, scheduled for completion in the second half of next year.The facility will provide satellite TT&C and capacity management together with a range of teleport services such as uplink, downlink, contribution, multiplexing, encoding, playout and broadcasting.  The high-tech teleport will also provide back-up studios for TV channels and serve as a disaster recovery facility for broadcasters, and will be linked with key media broadcasters by a redundant, dedicated fibre optic link.At Cabsat, Es’hailSat is showcasing its first satellite, Es’hail-1, which broadcasts channels including Al Jazeera and beIN Sports from the 25.5°/26° East position.“It is a pleasure to be exhibiting once again at Cabsat.  With Es’hail-2 and our new teleport coming online in 2016, we believe we have the optimum solution for broadcasters in the MENA region and beyond, not only in terms of technical capabilities and performance but also in terms of security of content,” said Ali Al Kuwari, president and CEO of Es’hailSat.“Cabsat is an important occasion where Es’hailSat can confirm its position as key player for satellite communications in the region.  We see this exhibition as an important element in our strategy to attract customers who value broadcasting independence, quality of service and market penetration”.last_img read more

What Do You Get with the Alert Service A lot

first_img What Do You Get with the Alert Service? A lot. It’s really a 3-in-1 deal, because you’ll get free and unlimited access to the Casey Energy Report (a $995 value) and Casey Energy Dividends (a $79 value) with your Casey Energy Confidential subscription. More importantly, though, you will get timely alerts on the very best investment ideas in the junior resource sector. So far in 2014, I have sent out 29 alerts and have been averaging more than one alert a week. You will get all the up-to-date field reports of my site visits, all the behind-the-scenes stories, and the most timely investment recommendations. Also, the alert service provides the opportunity at participating in private placements in some of the companies we are recommending if you’re an accredited investor. As you see, this alert service is not for the average investor and not for the faint of heart. It’s for the investor who wants more—among other things, his cut of the oil fortune. And right now, you can get a package deal that we’ve never offered before and may not ever offer again. For just a few weeks, you can get the Casey Energy Confidential AND the Casey Investment Alert for the price of one. As you probably know, the Casey Investment Alert is my colleague Louis James’ baby, and he is just as prolific in putting out alerts as I am. The precious metals juniors have been on a tear recently, and the early-stage stocks are the best bargains with the most potential for exceptional gains. As with my alert service, all the metals newsletters—the International Speculator (a $995 value) and BIG GOLD (a $149 value)—come free with your alert subscription. And, as an aside, if you’re already a subscriber to any of these energy or metals newsletters, we will credit your existing subscriptions to your new alert membership. You have 90 days to decide whether or not these exclusive services—our cream of the crop—are for you. If not, simply cancel for a full refund, and that’s it. It really doesn’t get any better than that. Click here to learn more about this special 2-for-1 opportunity… or click here to go straight to the order form. You don’t have to travel 300+ days a year to discover the best energy investments in the world—we do it for you. Additional Links and Reads Marin Katusa Interviewed by Newsmax Summed up in 6½ minutes… a thorough and chilling interview with Marin about the new Axis of Energy emerging between Russia, China, and Iran. “We are willing to supply any shortage which may arise,” said Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi. The “we” in the statement above is OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Don’t be fooled, though, OPEC is not your friend, and if you believe OPEC will come to your rescue when your oil runs out, I have some magic beans to sell you. OPEC is made up of 12 oil-producing nations, including, Iran, Algeria, Angola, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Libya—and many of them are quite hostile toward the US. Ironically, most of the oil produced within the OPEC nations was originally discovered and developed by American companies. “One hundred dollars is a fair price for everybody—consumers, producers, oil companies. It’s a fair price. It’s a good price,” said Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi. Fair price? How does OPEC determine US$100 is a fair price? In a 2009 issue of the Casey Energy Report, we stated what the price of oil needs to be for the members of OPEC to balance their budgets. We dug deep into their budgets and determined that for the governments of the OPEC countries to fund all of their social programs, they would need US$80 per barrel of oil. The fair price of oil changed in 2011—the Arab Spring transformed the input values for “fair price.” The end result of the Arab Spring presented a harsh reality: all of a sudden, it cost the OPEC nations more to fund their social programs and prevent another social uprising. Take Saudi Arabia, for example, which committed over US$35 billion to education and housing subsidies, jobless benefits, and debt write-offs. The government even created a sports channel with those funds to keep all the unemployed guys occupied watching sports, rather than scheming another uprising. Don’t expect another Arab Spring this summer, as the Saudi population now has access to the Soccer World Cup. My money is on Messi and the Argentines, but that’s a whole different issue. Other OPEC members have followed the Saudis’ subsidization program, which they finance through higher oil prices. So, back to the topic of oil. OPEC countries produce over one-third of the world’s oil, and most of the world has become addicted to OPEC oil—but there is one thing we have that they don’t. I mentioned earlier that most of the oil and gas deposits whose fruits OPEC is reaping today were originally discovered and developed by American companies. Again, let’s take Saudi Arabia as an example. The crown jewel of Saudi Arabia is the gigantic Ghawar oil field, which was discovered in 1948 by Americans working for a company called Arabian American Oil Company (now Saudi Aramco), but the American companies involved that did all the exploration and development are known today as Exxon and Chevron. By 1980, Saudi Arabia essentially “nationalized” and purchased a 100% interest in Aramco. The American Dream There is a lot wrong with the United States of today, starting, in my humble opinion, with the president. But even Obama’s awful leadership can’t kill the power of the American Dream. America is still a nation of freedom where everyone has the opportunity to prosper, succeed, and move up the social ladder—through hard work, not your birth right or who your father is. Sure, there are many fortunate sons in the US, but they usually lose out to you and me, the disciplined, hardworking, smart people wanting more out of life. You are reading my missive because you know what I know: There is a fortune to be made from oil, and you want your cut. But you also know nothing comes easy. Saudi Arabia is the leader of OPEC and has been for years. The Saudi oil minister has come out and stated: “There is no reason for a change. Absolutely no reason.” He’s referring to the “perfect” price of US$100 per barrel for their oil. OPEC believes, and is correct to believe, that the global economy has accepted that US$100 per barrel. That’s what OPEC members need to prevent any further uprising and to stay in power. But the Americans haven’t been twiddling their thumbs… Unlocking the American Dream There is a lot America can do with US$100 oil, because that price suddenly makes alternative oil extraction methods economical and opens up brand-new avenues for profit. The next big thing in shale, for example. There is an onshore oil and gas basin in North America that is about to turn the oil and gas world upside down. This isn’t some maverick junior explorer’s pipedream. In fact, it’s taking the industry insiders by storm. They’re pulling out their checkbooks to play, and so are we. Last month, we took profits on a stock in our premium alert service, the Casey Energy Confidential, that—if you had invested in the open market according to our recommendation—would have given you +400% gains at current prices. And this is just early days in one of North America’s best shale oil and gas formations. In fact, just this past week, management of one of the largest pure gas producers came out on their investor conference call saying their results were almost 300% better than they anticipated. Insiders in the oil patch already label the potential of this shale formation as world class. Profit from the Oil Cartel I learned long ago that investing in the oil sector, “You can either be a contrarian or a victim,” as my friend Rick Rule likes to say. If you’re the average American hoping for OPEC to rescue you, you will suffer from US$100 oil. But if you’re reading my missive, I know you’re not the average American. You’re smarter—and you know there is a windfall profit to be made from this situation. Play to win and try out the Casey Energy Confidential. This unique email alert service has no fixed publishing schedule. Alerts and special reports are issued when the most profitable and unusual early-stage energy opportunities present themselves—such as the special report I am putting together about the world-class shale formation I mentioned earlier. This is the first time in over a year that we opened up the Casey Energy Confidential to new subscribers. The stocks we recommend in it are often micro-cap and so thinly traded that we have to limit membership in the service to a few hundred to avoid excessive buying or selling that would itself affect the stock price. How is my track record so far in 2014?last_img read more

The Trump administration moved forward on Wednesda

first_imgThe Trump administration moved forward on Wednesday with its plan to lower prescription drug prices by requiring drugmakers to display the list price “in a legible textual statement at the end of the advertisement.”Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said today that when it comes to changing prescription drug prices, “putting prices in TV ads may be the most significant single step any administration has ever taken.” But patient advocates are not convinced it will have an immediate impact on drug pricing. The rule would apply to prescriptions that cost more than $35 per month or courses of treatment, which are covered by Medicare. The rule is very specific, requiring that the price be displayed, “for sufficient duration and in a size and style of font that allows the information to be read easily.” Industry groups have fought this move since it was announced in October. They adopted voluntary rules, that would have directed ad viewers to a website with more detailed cost information. Today, in a statement, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) wrote that the list price is confusing since that’s not what most people pay. The rule addresses that by requiring an additional statement that reads, “If you have health insurance that covers drugs, your cost may be different.” PhRMA also said that the rule raises “First Amendment and statutory concerns.”Court challenges may be coming. The legal authority given by the White House is based on the laws that require Medicare and Medicaid to be run in a cost-effective manner, according to the rule. Rachel Sachs, an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in drug-pricing regulation, told NPR and Kaiser Health News in October that could be a weak legal argument since most drugs are marketed to the broader public, not just Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.Consumer and patient advocates generally hailed the move as a step towards greater price transparency, but questioned whether it would do much to lower high prices. “We don’t believe that disclosing list prices will shame drug corporations into lowering list prices,” says Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients for Affordable Drug Prices. “Drug companies have been shamed about their price increases for years. They appear to be completely comfortable with the shame as long as it is bringing them in the billions of dollars a year that they make from their outrageous prices.”He gives the government credit for trying to do something on health prices, noting “taking action on this issue is hard.” But he thinks some of the administration’s other ideas to lower prices — announced in a plan released last May — might have a bigger impact.Critics have pointed out the government’s plan for enforcing the rule is weak, as NPR reported last fall. The plan for enforcement involves competitors policing each other by bringing legal action against competitors who aren’t compliant, Azar said in Wednesday’s press briefing. He calls it “a quite effective mechanism of enforcement.” Azar defended the government’s authority to issue the new rule. “This is not without precedent,” he told reporters. “We have for over 50 years required that car manufacturers and car dealers post the sticker price of cars on the windows of their cars and be transparent about — even though there are negotiations and everything else — because it’s a starting point that’s an important part of consumer fairness.”The car-buying analogy doesn’t work very well for drugs, notes Adrienne Faerber, a lecturer at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. “When you go to the car dealer and you see that sticker price and you can negotiate a better price that can fit your budget directly with the car dealership,” she explains. But, she says, drug prices are negotiated through layers of middlemen: “So you don’t get to negotiate based on these prices like you would with a car.”In other words, car shoppers have a lot more choices that sick patients do, and a lot more bargaining power. Faerber says certainly displaying the list price won’t “magically flip a switch and cut a percentage or two off of the total drug costs.” But she says it will be interesting to see how patients react to high list prices on their TV screens. “Consumers are going to start wondering what are people getting for that money,” she says. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA 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… The government has been asked by campaigners from across the world why it blocked the “meaningful” involvement of user-led and survivor organisations in this week’s high-profile global mental health summit in London.Two open letters have criticised the way the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit was organised, and the hypocrisy of it being hosted by a UK government that was heavily criticised over its record on disability rights by a UN committee a little over 12 months ago.One letter, spearheaded by the National Survivor User Network, was signed by more than 100 organisations and individuals, including mental health service-users and survivors, user-led networks, academics and mental health professionals from more than 20 countries, including Argentina, Peru, India, Chile, Columbia, Japan, Kenya, Estonia and Hungary.The letter says there was little or no involvement of user-led organisations in planning the event, in a blatant breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.It criticises the attempt to position the UK government as a world leader on mental health when the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities had raised such significant concerns about its breaches of disability rights, both last year and in a 2016 inquiry report which found it guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of the convention.It also points to the discrimination within mental health services faced by black and minority ethnic communities in the UK, including “high levels of misdiagnosis, compulsory treatment, over-medication, community treatment orders and culturally inappropriate treatment”.And the letter warns that mental health survivor and service-user groups in the global south have objected to attempts – led by the UK – to import “failed western models of mental health care” into their countries.The letter compares the UK government’s “hypocritical” attempt to take the lead in creating a “global declaration on political leadership in mental health” with the decision by the UK to host its Global Disability Summit in July, which also saw an “intolerant government posing as the upholder of the rights” of disabled people.Those signing the letter asked the UK government to commit to putting forward any declaration that comes out of this week’s summit for consultation and ratification by a wide range of international user-led organisations and disabled people’s organisations, a request it looks likely to ignore.And they asked the government to promise to “lead by example” by changing its “discriminatory laws that threaten the lives of mental health service-users”, including social security policies.The second letter was coordinated by the national service-user network Shaping Our Lives (SOL) and was signed by NSUN and user-led grassroots groups including the Mental Health Resistance Network, Disabled People Against Cuts and Recovery in the Bin, all of which also signed the first letter.This letter raises concerns that the summit would “seriously misrepresent the issues and problems of mental health and mental health service users globally” because of the “systematic exclusions” of representatives of user-led and survivor organisations.This exclusion, the letter says, was a clear breach of the UN convention.It says that the summit’s organisers side-lined attempts by the European Network of (Ex) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP) and the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), both of which signed the letter, to secure invitations for representatives of their organisations.Disability News Service (DNS) has seen a letter from ENUSP to a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) civil servant, sent last month, after both ENUSP and WNUSP failed to receive invitations to take part in the summit.ENUSP suggested a string of elected representatives from member organisations across Europe who could attend the summit and pointed out that it was “the only grassroots, independent representative organisation of mental health service users, ex-users and survivors of psychiatry at a European level since 1990”.It stressed the importance of having “representative people with lived experience at the Summit”, but the civil servant turned down the offer and said there were only spaces left for representatives to take part in the area of finance and investment at the summit.This is a specialist area where the ENUSP representatives would not have been able to make a meaningful contribution.The SOL letter says: “This failure to enable involvement also reflects wide and growing concerns about the inadequacy of and crisis in UK mental health policy and provision and the failure to listen to service users, their families, communities and organisations in both mental health and welfare reform policy, both of which are having catastrophic consequences for many service users, their families and communities.”Asked to comment on the two letters, a DHSC spokeswoman said: “All dialogue on mental health is key; we have invited a range of people from those with lived experience, to civil society, academics and policy makers who represent more than 65 countries from around the world.“We have ensured that the involvement of people with lived experience ‎has run throughout our work on the summit, with their experiences at the heart of our advisory panel and in every workstream.“Those with personal experience attending were nominated by representative groups of people with lived experience – this group of consultees include the convener of this open letter and the signatories include people who are attending the summit.“We recognise there is further work to do for all countries on mental health which is exactly why this summit is such a vital step.”She declined to say whether any declaration from the summit would be put forward for consultation and ratification by user-led organisations and DPOs, or whether the UK government would promise to lead by example by changing its discriminatory laws.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said: “Consulting people is one thing, but we know that taking any notice of what they say may be another.”He said this would “explain the strong divergence between the claim to involve service-users and the amazingly broad-based criticism there has been from them and their organisations”.Jasna Russo, a survivor-researcher from Germany and a member of ENUSP, who helped draft the SOL letter, was invited by the UK government to attend the summit as an individual with lived experience, but after she asked if she could attend as a representatives of ENUSP her request for funding was rejected.She told DNS: “Regardless of how many countries they come from, there is a big difference between inviting persons with ‘lived experience’ and representatives of international grassroots organisations who are working on the summit’s topic for many years putting forward independent advocacy for users/survivors and people with psychosocial disability.“This gathering was simply not interested in such perspectives. As in many other involvement initiatives – people subscribing to medical model of mental illness are far more attractive partners than those bringing in political and socio-economic issues.“Even though this summit talks about poverty in relation to mental health it seems much more focused on how to make the Western biomedical psychiatry go global.”Picture: Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock speaking at the summitlast_img read more

SibFU scientists create multilayer gilded nanodisks for medical applications

first_imgApr 24 2019Young scientists from SibFU together with their colleagues from FRC KSC SB RAS are developing a technology for creating multilayer gilded nanodisks for targeted drug delivery and treating malignant tumors using dip pen nanolithography (DPN).”Magnetic nanodiscs coated with gold are in high demand in Biology and Medicine. They can be successfully used for magnetically induced apoptosis (the process of programmed cell death) and mechanical destruction of cell membranes. Nanodiscs can be “programmed” to deliver drugs exclusively to diseased organs and tissues, and they can also mechanically destroy target cells (for example, malignant tumor cells). To place the nanodisks into the human body, they need to be “dressed” in a special coating that will reduce the toxicity of our agents, prevent their early degradation in the body and allow them to “increase” the aptamers on them for targeted delivery of medicines. Therefore, the structure of the disks is multi-layered and consists of a ferromagnetic metal coated with gold. Nowadays, a high-vacuum deposition method is used in combination with lithography methods and chemical etching processes to obtain such nanodisks, which determine the shape and size of the final product,” — says Anna Lukjanenko, the assistant of the specialized department of Solid State Physics and Nanotechnology at Siberian Federal University, scientist of Kirensky Institute of Physics SB RAS.Related StoriesNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell healthExciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionTo produce nanoparticles with a large variety of shapes and sizes and strict control of their parameters for manufacturing disks for the needs of medicine, university scientists are developing more economical and flexible technology compared to the existing one.”We want to improve the technology of dip pen nanolithography so that multilayer thin films of metals can be used as substrates. Then, dip pen nanolithography will help us produce precisely those nanodisks which are required by the medical research groups involved in introducing new treatment methods (for example, researchers from Krasnoyarsk State Medical University named after Professor V.F.Voino-Yasenetsky). Also, this method can be implemented in almost any production such as a plant and or a research center,” — the scientist states.As of today, the project working group is determining the optimal parameters in the chamber of the device NanoInk, Ink. DPN 5000 to create nanoscale objects on the surface of a gold film. A comprehensive study of the obtained thin films is being carried out, along with the selection of chemical reagents and the calibration of etching rates. Testing with biological objects are scheduled for 2019.Source: http://www.sfu-kras.ru/en/news/21350last_img read more

China hails Trumps ZTE olive branch ahead of trade talks

Citation: China hails Trump’s ZTE olive branch ahead of trade talks (2018, May 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-china-hails-trump-zte-olive.html Trump pledges to safeguard Chinese telecoms jobs (Update) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “The two sides will work together to ensure a positive and constructive outcome during the upcoming consultations,” Lu said.The Washington Post reported late Sunday that the White House and senior Chinese officials are discussing a deal that would relax the severe penalties on ZTE in exchange for unspecified demands from Trump.It said ZTE has become a bargaining chip as Washington seeks trade-related concessions while pushing for cooperation on sanctions against North Korea and Iran.The daily reported that a high-level Chinese delegation was in Washington on Friday and raised the issue of whether the US could relax its stance on ZTE.The newspaper also cited a veteran lobbyist as saying the high-powered Hogan Lovells law firm, which has represented ZTE, has been asking people close to the Trump administration for ways to alter the US position.There has been an intense rivalry for supremacy in emerging technology fields such as artificial intelligence and 5G, the next-generation superfast wireless system.Cybersecurity ‘threat’Against that background, the Pentagon cited security risks in banning personnel on US military bases from buying equipment from ZTE and fellow Chinese smartphone maker Huawei.Trump’s conciliatory move quickly came under fire domestically.”Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat,” said Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.”You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs,” he wrote on Twitter.David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, said Trump was sending mixed signals after scrapping the Iran nuclear deal and threatening sanctions on European countries that continue to do business with Tehran.The US president earlier this year cited security concerns when he took the unusual step of blocking the proposed takeover, by a firm then-based in Singapore, of US chipmaker Qualcomm.That case highlighted growing concerns about the rise of Chinese competitors.”China and the United States are working well together on trade,” Trump said on Sunday. “But past negotiations have been so one sided in favor of China, for so many years, that it is hard for them to make a deal that benefits both countries,” he tweeted. “But be cool, it will all work out!” © 2018 AFP China on Monday hailed President Donald Trump’s offer to prevent Chinese telecom giant ZTE from collapsing due to a US technology ban, as the two sides prepare for new negotiations this week to avert a trade war. In an apparent olive branch, Trump announced on Twitter that he had discussed how to save ZTE with Chinese President Xi Jinping.The fate of ZTE has become a key part of the talks between the top two world economies, with Chinese officials protesting at the ban during discussions with top US officials in Beijing earlier this month.”We highly commend the positive remark from the US on the ZTE issue and now we are communicating with the US side on the details,” foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a regular press briefing.ZTE, which employs 80,000 people, said last week its major operations had “ceased” after being banned for seven years from buying crucial American technology, raising the possibility of its collapse.Its fibre-optic networks depend on US components and its cheap smartphones sold en masse abroad are powered by US chips and the Android operating system.”President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.”Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”Trump’s concern for Chinese workers comes despite his repeated vows to bring back US jobs which he complains have been lost to other countries, particularly China.”How about helping some American companies first?” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in response to Trump’s tweet.Trade war fearUS officials imposed the ban because of what they said were false statements by the firm over actions it claimed to have taken regarding the illegal sale of goods to Iran and North Korea. ZTE pleaded guilty to the charges in March last year and was hit with $1.2 billion in fines.Trump has insisted that relations between Washington and Beijing have never been better and has been working closely with Xi to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme.At the same time, threats of mutual tariffs have sparked fears of a trade war after Trump accused China of unfair practices that have cost American jobs.China’s top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, will be in Washington for a new round of trade talks from Tuesday until Saturday, the foreign ministry said, confirming the dates of the previously announced trip. Explore further read more

Microsoft launches monthly Xbox subscription fee to buy new game consoles

first_imgMicrosoft is launching a two-year Xbox subscription plan that lets gamers pay for a console and two online streaming services with one monthly fee, rather than buying hardware upfront. Explore further Xbox adds Netflix-style video game subscriptions The Xbox All Access pass will cost either $21.99 or $34.99 per month, depending on the console chosen, and will include access to game-streaming service Xbox Game Pass and online multiplayer service Xbox Live Gold for one price. At the end of two years, the renter will fully own the console. The subscription option is cheaper than the usual separate purchase of a console and both online services.The subscription plan, which is unique to Microsoft and has been rumored for some time, offers a lower barrier to buy gaming consoles, which carry somewhat hefty price tags.It’s also a way for Microsoft to get gamers to sign on for its online gaming services, which encourage two growing trends in gaming—streaming games, rather than buying them, and playing with others online.There are constraints in the subscription plan, however: It’s available only in the U.S., you have to go to a physical Microsoft store to sign up (and there isn’t one in every state) and sign-ups will end after an unspecified “limited time.”But the savings could amount to more than $130, Microsoft says. The Xbox One S plan, which offers the standard console, a subscription to multiplayer-service Xbox Live Gold and a subscription to Xbox Game Pass to stream games without buying them, will cost $21.99 per month, or at least $130 less than buying those three items separately for two years.Getting the two monthly services with the higher-end Xbox One X console will cost $34.99 per month for two years, still a savings of about $20 over two years when factoring in the cost of all three items.The Xbox One X usually carries a $499 price tag, the Xbox One S is about $299 and each streaming service costs $9.99 per month, though the costs can vary depending on promotions and sign-up deals. Citation: Microsoft launches monthly Xbox subscription fee to buy new game consoles (2018, August 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-microsoft-monthly-xbox-subscription-fee.html ©2018 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. 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