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LG Q6 release confirmed for US and Europe

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first_imgThose regions include the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe. Though the phone and its variants will be launching in Korea this week, LG only says that it will be launching in these other regions “in the weeks to come.” Beyond that, it says, it will make release date announcements on a local basis for each market.Even though LG is keeping silent on the Q6’s release dates around the world, Roland Quandt is giving us a good idea of when it will launch in Germany, at least. Quandt said on Twitter that the Q6 will arrive in Germany on August 21, sporting a price tag of €349 when it releases. Presumably, release in other European regions will follow shortly afterward, but we’ll just have to wait for confirmation from LG to find out if that’s actually the case. Though the LG Q6 is decidedly a mid-range phone, there are a few features that make it worthy of consideration. Undoubtedly the marquee feature is the Q6’s “Full Vision” display. The 5.5-inch screen offers a resolution of 2160×1080, giving it an aspect ratio of 18:9. The rest of the phone isn’t much to write home about, but the specs are solid nonetheless, with a Snapdragon 435, 2 to 4GB of RAM depending on the model you buy, a 13MP rear camera, and a 3,000mAh battery.The LG Q6’s retail run kicks off in just a few days, as it’ll be launching in Korea on August 2 for 419,100 South Korean Won (about US$374). We’ll likely get confirmation about a US release date shortly, but if Quandt’s claim of August 21 for Germany is accurate, then we can probably expect it by the end of August. Stay tuned, because we’ll undoubtedly be hearing more soon. Earlier in the month, LG announced the Q6, a new phone that attempts to offer high-end specifications at a mid-range price. Obviously, it isn’t as easy as that, but there are definitely a few features that will make the Q6 stand out in a sea of mid-range devices. Even though it was only announced for a Korea release at the time, LG today revealed that the phone will be coming to more regions around the world next month.last_img read more

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VSCO Messages feature connects users in a private space

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first_imgThese shares are kept in message threads that can be accessed by the user to view past messages/shares with the person, plus send new messages. The company’s VSCO X subscribers are getting access to the feature first; it’ll arrive for them, followed by everyone else in “coming weeks.”Digging into the FAQ a bit, we see that Messages is reserved for people who are following you. “By following you,” VSCO explains, “they have shown an interest in your content and creative conversation is a natural next step.” Users will be given various tools for controlling Messages, including the ability to block someone, report them, and leave a conversation. If necessary, the user can also unfollow a person, which will prevent them from messaging back altogether.SOURCE: VSCO Instagram may still sit on top of the mobile photography market, but VSCO continues to push out new features that make it a notable alternative. Newest among those features is Messages, enabling users to directly communicate with each other in a private space without leaving the app. While the feature can be used to send a text message directly to a user, it isn’t limited to just that type of messaging. VSCO announced Messages today, detailing the different ways it can be used. You can watch the video below to see it in action. In addition to sending a particular user a direct message, Messages can also be used to send someone a Journal entry, DSCOs, and images. Users can also forward a profile to another user.last_img read more

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Drunk drone operators face jail and a fine in New Jersey

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first_imgThe bill was signed into law earlier this week by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, according to Reuters, marking his last day in office. Under the law, anyone caught flying a drone who has a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater faces action. This is the same as the state’s drunk driving blood alcohol level.As drones become more popular, the government has moved to implement rules and restrictions to protect people and sensitive locations. Drones can’t be operated near airports, for example, due to the risk they pose to aircraft. More recently, the FCC banned drone operation near several nuclear energy sites to protect them from potential surveillance and other risks.The US government has been back and forth on whether drone operators need to be registered; in the most recent turn of events, that require was reinstated, though it had previously been reversed. Registering provides some level of identification in instances where a drone is caught being operated somewhere it isn’t allowed.AdChoices广告Still, illegal drone operation can be difficult to deal with, leading many companies and groups around the world to experiment with various anti-drone systems. One system that has become popular involves disrupting a drone’s wireless signal to its controller, causing it to automatically turn around and return to its operator.SOURCE: Reuters New Jersey has signed into a law a new bill that makes it illegal for drone owners to operate their UAVs while drunk. Assuming a drone owner is caught flying a drone with too much alcohol in their system, they face a $1,000 fine and up to half a year in jail. The law aims at protecting public safety, as drone operators may be less inclined to follow the rules or may recklessly operate the aerial vehicle.last_img read more

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Facebook to combat Russian election interference by mailing postcards

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first_imgAs the US continues to uncover the effects of Russian manipulation on its elections, Facebook has found itself desperately trying to fix its platform to eliminate interference and regain trust. Now the social media company has come up with one solution to improve its advertising during the US elections to come: physically mailing verification postcards. Story TimelineGoogle Russia ads buys found in 2016 Election InterferenceFacebook, Google and Twitter given furious ad ultimatumFacebook will soon alert users who liked a Russia-linked pageTricked by Russian 2016 election propaganda? New Facebook tool reveals allTwitter starts notifying users who followed Russian propaganda accounts The postcards will be used to verify the locations of anyone attempting to buy election-related advertisements; they’ll only be mailed to US addresses, and include a unique code that the advertisers must give back to Facebook. This system will be used for any advertising that makes specific mention of a candidate running at the federal level, meaning the verification postcards won’t be required for ads based on political issues or for state-level candidates.Unfortunately, it sounds like this verification system will do little to prevent those already operating in the US from buying advertisements, not to mention highly organized manipulation efforts overseas from simply relying on a single person with a US address.There’s no specific timeframe for when Facebook will start using the postcards, but Global policy program director Katie Harbath told Reuters that it will go into effect by the upcoming mid-term elections in November. The system “won’t solve everything,” Harbath admitted, but Facebook believes it could help prevent “casual” attempts by foreign nationals trying to influence US politics.SOURCE Reuterslast_img read more

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Sony a7 III fullframe mirrorless camera 4K BIONZ X record battery life

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first_imgSony has just introduced its anticipated Alpha 7 (a7) III full-frame mirrorless camera. This model sports the maker’s BIONZ X engine alongside a full-frame 24.2-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor. This camera improves upon the already excellent previous a7 model, adding things like the longest battery life of any mirrorless camera, new functionality and operations, and more. This is the third-generation of Sony’s Alpha 7 mirrorless camera, offering photography enthusiasts and professionals a high-end camera with a relatively compact size and mid-range price. Users get an expansive ISO at 100 to 51200, though it can be expanded to a huge 204800. Sony says that users can expect processing speeds that are, on average, 1.8 times faster than the previous a7 II model. This model also boasts a 15-stop dynamic range even at low sensitivities, plus there’s an AF system with 693 phase-detection AF points that, says Sony, cover 93-percent of the image area. Those are joined by 425 contrast AF points, plus Eye AF. Photographers have access to both Silent Shooting and Mechanical Shutter with Continuous Shooting up to 10fps, as well as Auto Focus and Auto Exposure.Sony packs on the features from there, boasting a 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization system with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage. The OIS is a key part of getting crisp, blur-free images when shooting in lower light scenes, as well as fast-paced subjects such as in sports photography. As far as videos go, there’s support for recording footage at up to 4K resolution with full pixel readout.Ultimately, Sony says the a7 III has the longest battery life of any mirrorless camera — it can snap 710 images before needing charged again, making it an excellent option for on-the-go photographers. Complementing that ultra-long battery life are dual SD card slots, plus there’s USB-C with this model and the addition of a joystick for focus point adjustment.Can’t wait to upgrade? The a7 III will be available starting next month for $1,999 USD body-only.SOURCE: Sonylast_img read more

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Sonos Beam released today with some speaker deals

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first_imgIt’s also considerably cheaper. You can pick up the Sonos Beam for $399, in either white or black, either from Sonos direct or through Amazon. Unlike the previous TV speakers from Sonos, however, the Beam has some added smarts. Like the Sonos One it’s Alexa enabled, allowing you to ask the speakerbar questions, control smart home devices, and more. If you have an Amazon Fire TV plugged into your TV, meanwhile, you can use the Sonos Beam and Alexa to control what’s playing. Earlier this month, Sonos pushed out an update to support AirPlay 2, and as the company’s latest model the Beam has native support for Apple’s music streaming system. If you have older Sonos speakers which lack that native support, you can send music to them using AirPlay 2 by grouping them with the Beam as well. Later in 2018, Sonos says, the Google Assistant will arrive on the Beam too.AdChoices广告Beam is designed to be a standalone, all-in-one system, and as we found in our review it does a great job filling a small to medium sized room. If you want, however, you can link it up wirelessly to other speakers from the company. With a pair of extra speakers, for example, you can set up rear channels for surround sound. With a Sonos Sub you can add extra bass. Sonos has a few speaker deals that get those sort of configurations up and running a little cheaper, in fact. There’s a 3.1 Entertainment Set with Beam, for instance, which for $1,098 includes both the speakerbar and a Sub. A Surround Sound Set with Beam pairs the speakerbar with two Sonos Play:1 speakers, the latter stepping in as your rear surround channels. Alternatively, if you’d rather go smart speaker all the way, Sonos has a Two Room Set with Sonos One. That doesn’t include the Beam, which you’d still have to buy separately, but you do get a pair of Sonos One for $379. Normally, that would be $398. Sonos Beam, the company’s latest Alexa-powered speakerbar, is available today, along with a new set of bundles for those wanting to kick start their TV room audio experience. The Beam follows in the footsteps of the Sonos Playbar and Playbase, but with a far smaller footprint, being roughly 60-percent smaller than the Playbar. SlashGear uses affiliate links, and sometimes if you buy something we might get a small commission on the salecenter_img Story TimelineSonos One Review: When Alexa is the DJSonos One vs PLAY:1 – The 411 on the newest Alexa speakerSonos speakers and turntable bundle sets bring modest discountslast_img read more

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Leica M10D digital camera nixes LCD for analog experience

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Analog photography — that is, the kind that requires film and a non-digital camera — has experienced a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. Some companies have responded to the demands by launching instant printers, which allow people to easily print physical copies of digital images.Leica has gone a different route, offering digital functionality with an analog experience. The Leica M10-D features a viewfinder but not an LCD, meaning you’ll have to check out your digital images later on — this can be done via the Leica FOTOS app, which is available for iOS and Android.The FOTOS app provides a digital experience for times when the photographer wants or needs it. Though the M10-D features manual controls on the back of the camera, certain adjustments require the use of the mobile app, which provides a live view of the image, direct sharing of images, and the ability to trigger the camera’s shutter.AdChoices广告As far as specs go, the Leica M10-D features a 24-megapixel CMOS full-frame sensor, Maestro II processor, 2GB of internal storage, and an SD card slot for additional capacity. Images are saved as JPEGs and DNGs. Buyers can optionally get the Leica Visoflex electric viewfinder featured in the image above.The Leica M10-D is now available from the maker’s stores, boutiques and dealers for a hefty $7,995 USD. Leica has launched the new M10-D, a digital camera that brings an analog experience alongside wireless connectivity. The new camera was inspired by the M10-P model, boasting an almost silent mechanical shutter alongside a relatively minimalist body. Unlike most digital cameras, the M10-D doesn’t have a screen for reviewing photos. read more

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macOS 1015 will let Apple Watch do more than just unlock Macs

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first_imgThe Apple Watch can already be used to unlock Macs without a password. It might not be as secure but it is a compromise between security and convenience. After all, the Apple Watch does already authenticate for Apple Pay, so why not other things with Macs?Currently, users with Touch ID-equipped MacBooks can authorize a lot of things using the fingerprint scanner. It can autofill usernames and passwords, authenticate in the Terminal when using the sudo command, or even authorize Apple Pay transactions. And, of course, unlock the Mac.According to 9to5Mac’s sources, the Apple Watch may grow beyond that last use case in the upcoming major macOS release. They aren’t, however, clear on what those capabilities might be. It already does Apple Pay authorization, so it remains to be seen what others it can do.Some might question the security of such a method but Apple has already taken measures to prevent unauthorized use of the Apple Watch in some cases. A passcode is needed to pair the Apple Watch and a Mac and the smartwatch has to be worn on a (living) wrist for that to work. Users will most likely still have to tap on the watch to confirm the action, making it impossible to be used without user interaction. Biometrics-based security systems, be it fingerprints or faces, is the trend in computing these days but not all devices are equipped with such sensors. That’s especially true for desktop and even for the majority of laptops in the market. Apple has equipped some of its MacBooks with Touch IDs but that still leaves out most of the computers that it offers. Come macOS 10.15, however, that might not be an urgent need, that is if you have an Apple Watch on your wrist.last_img read more

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Fiscal Cliff Deal What Will The Compromise Look Like

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first_imgRight now, news reports indicate that neither side shows much inclination toward making concessions, but a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll indicates that Americans want lawmakers and the White House to reach an agreement. Analysts predict a softening of positions as the deadline for automatic tax increases and spending cuts approaches.The Associated Press/Washington Post: ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Vexing Official Washington As Both Sides Show Little Inclination To CompromiseRepublicans still aren’t budging on Obama’s demands for higher tax rates on upper bracket earners, despite the president’s convincing election victory and opinion polls showing support for the idea. Democrats in turn are now resisting steps, such as raising the eligibility age for Medicare, that they were willing to consider just a year and a half ago, when Obama’s chief Republican adversary, House Speaker John Boehner, was in a better tactical position (12/13).Los Angeles Times: Boehner: Obama’s ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal ‘Mainly Tax Hikes’ Republican leaders kicked off Wednesday with a fierce critique of President Obama’s handling of “fiscal cliff” negotiations, part of the political posturing on both sides that has characterized efforts to avoid across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts before a January deadline (Little, 12/12).The Wall Street Journal: Democrats Confident They Have ‘Cliff’ LeverageThe Democrats’ buoyancy isn’t limitless, and there are signs it will soften as talks enter a more intense phase. With the end of the year approaching, more Democrats are saying they recognize they will have to agree to safety-net cuts to get a deal, and some on the party’s left worry that is what will happen (Bendavid, 12/12).The New York Times: News Analysis: Income Malaise Of Middle Class Complicates Democrats’ Stance In TalksMany Democrats have derided the expiring tax cuts as irresponsible since President George W. Bush signed them a decade ago. Yet the party is united in pushing to make the vast majority of them permanent, even though President Obama could ensure their expiration at year’s end with a simple veto. That decision reflects concern over the wage and income trends of the last decade, when pay stagnated for middle-class families, net worth declined and economic mobility eroded. Democrats who generally would prefer more tax revenue to help pay the growing cost of Medicare and other programs are instead negotiating with Republicans to find a combination of spending cuts and targeted tax increases for higher incomes (Lowry, 12/12).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Poll Finds Big Support For Compromise Deficit DealA large majority of Americans of all political persuasions says Congress should craft a compromise to reduce the federal budget deficit, even if that means making cuts to Social Security and Medicare and increasing some tax rates, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds (King, 12/12).Medpage Today: Docs A Powerful Voice In Nation’s Fiscal FuturePhysicians must decide whether they will support changes in healthcare policy that will help reduce government spending but may also hit their pocketbooks, according to one analyst. They can let lawmakers enact policies to cut healthcare costs, or stand in the way in order to save physician incomes even as care continues to be rationed informally, Arnold Milstein, MD, of the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford University, wrote online in a perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine (Pittman, 12/12).Kaiser Health News: Medicare Silver Bullets: What’s The Best Way To Control CostsKHN asked a range of health policy experts the following question: If you could make only one change to Medicare to control costs, what would it be and why? (12/12). Read edited excerpts of their answers.Politico: Getting Past Grudges To Fiscal Cliff DealThat said, the Jan. 1 tax increase is already baked in the cake. And while Washington is paralyzed by the big stare down, other crises are also piling up in these last weeks before New Year’s. Milk prices will spike after Jan. 1 without a farm bill deal. Medicare payments to physicians will fall, affecting the elderly. And there is the very real threat of across-the-board cuts hitting the Pentagon and domestic appropriations. In each case, bipartisan deals seem possible while moving toward House Republicans on key points — small building blocks but a potential path to progress. For example, Speaker John Boehner has proposed $200 billion in 10-year savings from adjusting the cost-of-living index for entitlement benefits and federal tax brackets. That $200 billion would come down once adjustments are made to protect low-income Supplemental Security Income recipients. But Obama could accept this change and use the savings to give the elderly a permanent solution to the Medicare physician payment crisis (Rogers, 12/12). ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal: What Will The Compromise Look Like? This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Longer Looks Parents Crusade On Rare Diseases Fighting Obesity

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first_imgEvery week reporter Ankita Rao selects interesting reading from around the Web.The Wall Street Journal: Trials: The Children’s CrusadeIn the beginning, Chris Hempel noticed the clumsiness. Her girls tripped over toys on the floor. Their grandfather said he couldn’t teach them to pedal their tricycles. … The Hempels learned of people who called themselves citizen-scientists. Many shared research papers and their day-to-day experience. Some talked of their willingness to try any promising drug. Others sought a role as equal partners with researchers. Scientists, while sympathetic, generally believe their work should be left to experts. Families are encouraged to raise money if they want to help, but the traditional view is that amateurs can’t shape research or find cures. The Hempels found a maddening gap between the search for scientific knowledge and the search for treatments (Amy Docker Marcus, 11/2013).Medium: Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future Penicillin was first discovered in 1928 and battlefield casualties got the first non-experimental doses in 1943, quickly saving soldiers who had been close to death.  … Penicillin-resistant staph emerged in 1940, while the drug was still being given to only a few patients. … In 2004, there were only five new antibiotics in development, compared to more than 500 chronic-disease drugs for which resistance is not an issue?—?and which, unlike antibiotics, are taken for years, not days. Since then, resistant bugs have grown more numerous and by sharing DNA with each other, have become even tougher to treat with the few drugs that remain (Maryn McKenna, 11/20). Marketplace: The New Math Of Health CareAbout This Collection [of stories]: The price tag for medical care, already big and getting bigger, looms over Americans. Retirees see their savings vanish. Families face tough and often bewildering choices, and uncertainties over Obamacare only add to the confusion. This special section … examines the soaring out-of-pocket costs of staying healthy, end-of-life care, and strategies for picking doctors and health plans. We also explore what doctors facing death can teach us about dying well (11/19). The New York Times: Planning For A Future In The Face Of Terminal Illness Patrick Skeldon, a commercial airline pilot, started having trouble walking in the autumn of 2003. His doctor thought he had a vitamin deficiency and prescribed supplements. When those didn’t work, the doctor referred him to a neurologist. The next year, he was told he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 59. … As people live longer with terminal diseases, the costs associated with their care rise. The risk is often not just that there will not be enough money to provide that care, but that a surviving spouse will be left alone and destitute. With advisers cautioning that terminal care expenses could easily rise to $1 million or more for the last years of life, they say there are simple and sophisticated strategies to make the most of the money at hand (Patrick Sullivan, 11/19).The New York Times: To Fight Obesity, A Carrot, And A Stick Childhood obesity, at long last, may have peaked — even among the poor, where the problem is most prevalent. Between 2008 and 2011, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 states and territories saw a small but significant drop in obesity rates among low-income preschoolers. … Attitudes are changing. Access to healthy food is increasing. But there’s another change that’s necessary, and it’s probably the most important one. … That’s cost. On a limited budget, people buy cheap and unhealthy food. Community groups and cities can’t solve that problem — not for more than a handful of people at a time, anyway. But the federal government can (Tina Rosenberg, 11/16).The Wall Street Journal: Experts Views On Alternative Medicine, Medicare Health industry experts answer questions about the misconceptions consumers have about alternative medicine, such as “Beware the Impurities in ‘Natural’ Supplements,” while others look at the proposals to change the eligibility age for Medicare (11/20).Al Jazeera: The Military’s Hidden Mental Health Crisis: Spousal Trauma Army wife Melissa Bourgeois hit her breaking point five years ago when she was living at a U.S. military base in Vicenza, Italy, with her husband, Eric, an infantryman. Eric was just back from a harrowing second deployment to Afghanistan marked by frequent firefights. Filled with an uncontrollable rage, he spent his nights self-medicating at bars with his war buddies. … Melissa, 25 at the time, with their two small children, felt isolated in a new country where she barely spoke the language. She needed to talk to someone about her situation, but she said each time she sought mental-health care on the base, she was given Valium and sent away. … In a U.S. military psychologically ravaged by 12 years of continuous war, troops’ family members, like Melissa, are the victims of a hidden mental-health crisis (Sarah Lazare, 11/15).  Longer Looks: Parents’ Crusade On Rare Diseases; Fighting Obesity This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Hospitals Surgery Centers Vie For Lucrative KneeReplacement Business

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first_imgHospitals, Surgery Centers Vie For Lucrative Knee-Replacement Business Other hospital-related reports include staffing challenges for Kansas’ state-run psychiatric hospitals; allegations about a California hospital’s patient infections and worker conditions; and other news. Kaiser Health News: Hospitals And Surgery Centers Play Tug-Of-War Over America’s Ailing Knees The New York Times: Trading Hospital Rooms For Hotel Suites This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Five years ago, Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum, an orthopedic surgeon in the Bronx who replaces more than 200 knees each year, would have considered it crazy to send a patient home the same day as a knee replacement operation. And yet there he was this year, as the patient, home after a few hours. A physician friend pierced his skin at 8 a.m. at a Seattle-area surgery center. By lunch, Kirschenbaum was resting at his friend’s home, with no pain and a new knee. (Jewett, 12/21) State officials say conditions for staff and patients at Kansas’ two state-run psychiatric hospitals are improving but still need work. Representatives from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, Osawatomie State Hospital, Larned State Hospital and the Kansas Organization of State Employees spoke Monday and Tuesday to a legislative committee overseeing the hospitals. (Wingerter, 12/20) When out-of-town patients used to travel to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, some would find that their best option for staying close to the hospital for early-morning surgery involved a trip over the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey. Enter the Edge Hotel, a 54-room property that opened in the fall of 2015 in Upper Manhattan, an area with few other lodgings. (Hughes, 12/20) center_img Los Angeles Times: Hospital Employees Deliver Gifts To More Than 400 Cerritos Elementary Students About 400 students who attend Cerritos Elementary School were surprised Tuesday when each of them received a gift, resulting in some shocked looks and cheers. “Each of you is so precious to us,” said Cassie McCarty, director of mission integration at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital. Leading up to the gift delivery, hospital employees, including physicians, board members and staff as well as volunteers, bought a gift for each of the 409 students who attend Cerritos. (Corrigan, 12/20) Los Angeles Times: Pomona Hospital Workers Say They Were Pressured To Stay Silent About Dirty Conditions Kansas Health Institute: Staff Vacancies Down But Still A Concern At State Psychiatric Hospitals  Six workers at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center say management tried to keep them from speaking out about possible patient infections and unsafe working conditions by asking them to sign confidentiality agreements. The hospital had requested interviews with the workers after they spoke to The Times about their fears that patients were being sickened by dirty conditions that management had ignored. (Petersen, 12/20) last_img read more

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Looking to take a bite out of its competitors market share Sobeys

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first_img Reddit Sponsored By: Twitter Aleksandra Sagan Email Featured Stories Facebook ← Previous Next → Sobeys manages 95 discount grocery stores in Canada, whereas Metro and Loblaw operate a combined total of about 716.Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS Share this storyLooking to take a bite out of its competitors’ market share, Sobeys brings FreshCo to British Columbia Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Join the conversation →center_img What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Sobeys opened its first discount grocery store in Western Canada on Thursday as it works to catch up to competitors in the chase for frugal shoppers.The FreshCo store in Mission, B.C., is the first of a dozen shops under that banner promised by Sobeys Inc. by the end of this year in an effort to grow market share in the west following a years-long fallout from its troubled acquisition of the Safeway chain.“Sobeys is far behind our competitors in terms of having a presence in discount,” said Mike Venton, general manager of the discount format at Sobeys, a subsidiary of Empire Co. Ltd.Sobeys operates more than 1,500 retail shops under a number of banners. Eighty-seven per cent of these are full-service stores, like Sobeys, Farm Boy or IGA locations, said Venton — only 95 shops fall under the FreshCo or other discount banner names and they’re all located in Ontario.By comparison, Canada’s largest grocer, Loblaw Companies Ltd. operated about 488 discount food stores at the end of its 2018 financial year and more than 390 locations under a number of other banners in its market division, according to its most recent annual report. ‘We’ve never had a weapon like this’: Farm Boy is key for urban expansion, Sobeys parent says Loblaw looks to leverage loyalty data with online advertising business Metro reports profit and sales up from a year ago, boosted by Jean Coutu chain Metro Inc., which operates primarily in Ontario and Quebec, operated 228 discount food stores out of a total 947 food locations at the end of its 2018 financial year, according to financial filings.“If you look at Western Canada, we have zero presence,” Venton said.The company said growing that figure would be one of its strategic priorities for its 2019 financial year. Sobeys first announced plans to convert up to one quarter of its existing Safeway and Sobeys stores in the Western provinces to the FreshCo banner in 2017.Mission is the first of a dozen announced locations in B.C. and Manitoba. Two Winnipeg locations will open in early May, with two Richmond, B.C., ones to follow later that month.Those 12 stores will start to shift the company’s ratio of full-service to discount stores, though “it will be a long time before we move that number significantly,” Venton said.The company believes changing that ratio is strategically sound.“The key to us is to make a big splash when we go in and then compete and grow market share,” said Empire CEO Michael Medline during the company’s most recent quarterly call with analysts.Shoppers increasingly look for value, making Sobeys discount division the part of the national business that’s growing, Venton said.“I would expect this won’t change for quite some time either,” he said.Sobeys aims to avoid cannibalizing its business by choosing spots that had two or more full-service locations in a small region and converting one of those locations to the lower-priced FreshCo brand.Meanwhile, it believes it can lure shoppers away from its competitors’ through price guarantees and its ability to tailor its stores to individual communities, Venton said.“We feel real good about our ability to attract customers and delight them with what we’re going to put in those stores.”The plan to gain market share through discount offerings in Western Canada comes just as the company is starting to regain its footing after a period of losing ground to competitors following its acquisition of Safeway in 2013 for $5.8 billion.Empire upset Safeway shoppers after it cancelled a popular loyalty program, failed to keep certain items in stock and made other significant missteps. Same-store sales plunged as customers turned to other chains.Empire launched Project Sunrise, a three-year transformation plan, to help turn the company around and Medline said recently that it has gone from losing a lot of market share to stabilizing to starting to gain some back.The company seems confident it won’t slip again as it brings this new brand to the west.“We have a tried and tested model that we’re very successful within Ontario,” Venton said.The Canadian Press Looking to take a bite out of its competitors’ market share, Sobeys brings FreshCo to British Columbia The company plans to open 11 more across the country, all of them in B.C. and Manitoba April 25, 20193:44 PM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing 0 Comments More Comment advertisement The Canadian Press last_img read more

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New Renault ZOE To Get 250 Miles Of Electric Range

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first_img Renault Sold Record 7,000 Electric Cars In December Renault ZOE to follow the Nissan LEAF upgrade path.According to L’Argus, Renault will introduce in the second half of this year its second-generation ZOE, based on the new Renault Clio V.The changes will concern the exterior (but mainly in front, inspired by the Zoe e-Sport concept), interior (instrument cluster, infotainment) and core components (motor, battery, charging).Renault news The motor power will apparently increase a little bit to about 95 kW, the new lithium-ion cells should increase the range to 400 km (250 miles) under the WLTP test cycle, while the charging system will be now compatible with CCS Combo DC fast charging of up to 100 kW (the 22 kW three-phase AC charging will remain).Starting price of the new ZOE is expected to be lowered by a few percents to around €30,000 ($33,830).Renault expects that sales will increase substantially in the second half of this year and prepares the Flins plant to produce up to 440 ZOE per day (compared to 220 per day now). In 2018, sales amounted to about 40,000, which means that at least in theory, 80,000 should be possible in 2020.Upcoming improvements:about 95 kW electric motor, compared to current 80 kW version (R110)range of 400 km (250 miles) under WLTP, compared to 400 km (250 miles) NEDC in case of current Z.E. 40 (41 kWh) versionfast charging up to 100 kW using CCS Combo or 22 kW three-phaseSource: largus.fr via Electrek Renault Group Sold 200,000 Electric Vehicles Source: Electric Vehicle News Renault Tests ZOE Prototype With CCS Combo Charging Inlet Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 11, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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Ridsdale takes £1m as Cardiff losses mount

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first_imgChampionship Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Tue 1 Jul 2008 19.01 EDT Peter Ridsdale picked up £1m in salary and bonuses from Cardiff City in the 12 months to the end of May last year, a period in which the club made operating losses of almost £5m. Those losses tipped the club’s overall debts to more than £35m, a figure that dwarfs a turnover of £10.7m. But in two separate notes to the accounts Ridsdale’s award – paid to the WH Sports firm of which he and his wife, Sophie, are the sole directors – is laid bare.”During the year WH Sports Limited provided consultancy services, in relation to Mr RP Ridsdale [sic] role as director, totalling £534,490,” reads note five to the accounts, pointing out that in the previous year he had received £201,745.”In addition WH Sports Limited were paid £500,000 as a bonus for successfully renegotiating the size and terms of the loan notes and achieving unconditionality on the new stadium project.”The accounts point out that Ridsdale “immediately reinvested” the bonus he received in January 2007 into shares in Cardiff, meaning that overnight he controlled 10.7% of the issued share capital in the Welsh club. “I was asked to join a football club that was absolutely bust – losing £9m a year and £30m in debt – and to resurrect a stadium scheme that hadn’t got a cat in hell’s chance of being built,” said Ridsdale last night. “If I was successful, I would be paid a one-off bonus. At that time I thought I’d just get that done and go but the circumstances are now such that I am a salaried employee.” Topics Championship 2008-09 Share via Email Shares00 Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Championship Share on Messenger Cardiff City Share on Facebook Ridsdale received a bonus of £500,000 on top of his £534,490 in consultancy fees. Photograph: James Davies/PA First published on Tue 1 Jul 2008 19.01 EDT Ridsdale takes £1m as Cardiff losses mount Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Matt Scott Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Primary Election Final ResultsGeorge Armed Robbery Suspects SoughtElway Poll Show Leads For

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first_imgClick on the following links for the latest vote count in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Grant Counties and the Washington Secretary of State.last_img

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Paradox and Elder Awareness

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first_imgby, David Goff, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShare6ShareEmail6 SharesThere is a change in one’s mind that accompanies the process of getting older. This change doesn’t occur in all cases, but it is indicative of a new outlook on life. With the ripening that comes, when one isn’t looking, when gray and wrinkles seem to be breaking out everywhere, something else, something far more mysterious is happening.The world is both growing more complex and simple. How can that be? How can things get so solidly more complex and, at the same time, those same things become more fluid and melt into each other?The world has fairly dripped with paradox for a long time, and it is only becoming evident now, during these latter years.There is something fluid about consciousness. It changes as one ripens. What consciousness perceives, the perceptions that look like the world morph as one grows into a truer experience of the whole. For many people this is so troublesome, confusing, and demanding that they close their minds and shut out what they cannot deal with.Fewer stick with it and are rewarded, if you could call it that, with a sight that is always moving around, with things — including less palpable, inside things — becoming their opposite, and shining with a new light. All of this is quite disturbing and heralds a new phase in the growth of human awareness, the advent of elder awareness.To be fair, I think it is good to point out that this kind of awareness can pop up at any age. It isn’t exclusively a phenomenon of age, but it is more usually accompanied by a long lifetime of experience.This development is more commonly the product of a lifetime of plot twists, some of which have left people breathless, like those organisms that first came out of the water onto dry land. Yes, evolution is behind this change, too. Some people are busy integrating this new perspective, which comes with growing into the world.Paradox is a sign on the trail. What trail? The one left by the Mystery of what breathes us. Following this two-faced guide, one enters deeper into the wilderness. Here things have a nature that changes, a vitality that merges with the whole (giving an impression of unity) while maintaining a discreteness that conveys the creativity and unique profusion that makes it all even more o a miracle than one can imagine. There is a holoscopic beauty embedded in reality — like a pointillist painting with each point reflecting the whole, while simultaneously being the unique point that is needed for the pattern of the whole to reveal itself at a larger level. Strangely, the humbled mind embraces it all.Such a change doesn’t happen overnight. An older person begins to realize that the more they know, the more they know they don’t know much. This dawning, paradoxical awareness reduces certainty and arouses humility. In fact, if you are looking for a way to distinguish elders from the merely old, look for humility. When an old person begins to see paradox everywhere, they tend to no longer give advice. Now, they prefer to listen.One of the qualities that makes this kind of awareness more likely amongst the aged is loss. Life softens many up. By blowing certainty away, and forcing the practice of “letting go,” Life sets the scene for new awareness. Those who know the humbling effects of the rollercoaster called Life, have a greater likelihood of becoming aware of paradox. They have learned, often the hard way, that Life sets one up by knocking one down. Pruning may seem harsh, but only to those who haven’t experienced the new life that follows. No one knows the freeing power of aging like someone who is growing older, like someone who has been aged for just this awareness.Does it sound like I am ascribing a kind of personal relationship with Life? I don’t know if I am or not, but what I seem to think is that the old are drying out — about to shed their rheumy and watery eyes, stooped bodies, intermittent attention, loopy memories and thin voices — like an old, dry, wrinkled husk. There is a seed forming inside some old folks, a seed that reflects another possibility. That possibility is more paradoxical than most of us are accustomed to.The longevity revolution is revealing that human life is probably only a stage in a greater arc of Life. What assails us here, and what we make of it, prepares us for another, more complex and simpler stage, one where paradox is the coin of the realm. Lao-Tzu said “the way to do, is to be.” Paradox says, “the way to live, is to die,” pass from one form into another, become the life-form that is capable of becoming something else.Elders are doing just this. Elder awareness goads them on. They live, knowing they’re going to die; and, luckily for all of us, they are spiritually energized. What they are at the core, is what we all are: potential — set free, alive in a new way.Related PostsRipeningThe idea that I am being ripened, that I could be the seed pod for some, as yet undefined, new life form, intrigues me.You’re Perfect The Way You AreI am becoming more capable of something I could only dream of before. Instead of seeing everything in terms of either/or, I am much more capable of both/and awareness. I am ripening into a more complex awareness, that lets me see that I (like everyone else) am like Creation.ActivismTo some extent I have identified as a social and environmental activist myself. One part has come out of my time as a park ranger, and another out of my passion for community. Both of them have grown with me, ripening as the years have passed. So that, the activism…TweetShare6ShareEmail6 SharesTags: Elderhood Slow Lanelast_img read more

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Aging Equals Growth

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first_imgby, Dr. Bill ThomasTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesOver the past few weeks my team and I have been lining up cities for the Age of Disruption 2016 World Tour. We hope to visit 40 cities next year (including 10 overseas!) and we’re working with our friends and partners to settle on the final lineup, to be announced imminently.Since wrapping up the 2015 Tour last month I’ve been thinking hard about the core message we are trying to deliver. The more I think about it, the simpler it gets, and I think I can sum it up in just three words: aging equals growth.This is a truth I’ve always embraced, but to be honest it’s not until recently that I have grown old enough to experience it personally.As I get older I find that my emotional state gets a bit easier to manage. From my earliest memories onward I have always been subject to powerful if in-artfully expressed feelings. When I was younger, I would often call to mind a storm-tossed sea and a person clinging to a wooden raft– just holding on. Age seems to be smoothing this out for me. Now it seems that maybe that raft has a keel and a sail and a hand on the tiller. I feel less exposed, less vulnerable and more comfortably confident.I mention this internal evolution because it is precisely the kind of age-related growth experience that our culture dismisses and denies. I am getting older and the older version of me really is demonstrably better than the younger version of me. How is this possible? I trust what my experience is telling me. I trust my own sensations far more than I trust the story of aging that my culture has foisted upon me. When millions of people can see aging only as a state of decline, the result is a self-fulfilling, self-mutilating narrative of fruitless struggle and inevitable loss. Who needs that?I’ve got a better idea. How about if we kick the old story of aging to the curb. Does anybody out there want to share a story of how your aging has helped you grow as a human being?Related PostsJoin Me in the Age of DisruptionOur culture tells us that the virtues of youth will always reign supreme and that aging is and must always be equal to decline. Looking back at my career, I have spent too much time insisting that it really isn’t all that bad if we all just look at the…Fighting Ageism, Millennial StyleErica Girgenti’s appointment as director of a senior center in Western Massachusetts was met with some skepticism because of her age. Yes, her age. Not because she is older, but because she is younger—a millennial, in fact.Wise Up: Study AgingI am certainly not blind to how fortuitously my interest in aging aligns with the needs of an aging world—and I certainly don’t need additional convincing that my decision to forgo law school was in equal measure, wise and slightly prescient. But maybe you do.TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Age of Disruption DisruptAging growth wisdomlast_img read more

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New guidelines outline criteria for stroke centers offering ischemic stroke interventions to

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first_img Source:http://snisonline.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 7 2018The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) today joined 12 other neurointerventional societies to release new guidelines outlining the criteria for Level 1, 2 and 3 stroke centers that provide acute ischemic stroke interventions (AISIs) to stroke patients. The standards are published in the September issue of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.Acute ischemic stroke caused by emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) is the leading cause of adult disability in the world. Recent studies have shown that neuroendovascular stroke surgery significantly improves outcomes in ELVO patients, especially if the patient receives the surgery in a timely fashion. To ensure positive patient outcomes, it is critical to ensure that facilities can provide the proper care to stroke patients in a safe and timely manner.Related StoriesStem cell stimulation shows promise as potential stroke treatmentStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsFor the first time, the societies have specified criteria for Level 1, 2 and 3 stroke centers–terminology they believe will help health providers and the public better understand the capabilities of stroke treatment facilities. Level 1 centers need to offer the full spectrum of neuroendovascular services, including neuroendovascular stroke surgery. In addition to other requirements, these centers need to treat a minimum of 250 stroke patients per year and perform a minimum of 50 thrombectomies per year.”ELVO patients should be taken to Level 1 stroke centers. Establishing guidelines for Level 2 stroke centers gives patients a chance at the best possible outcome in underserved regions,” said Dr. Adam Arthur, president of SNIS and a neurointerventionalist at the Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. “These guidelines, issued by this eminent group of organizations, will help facilities around the world maintain the highest standard of care for stroke patients.”The guidelines recommend that Level 2 stroke centers see a minimum of 100 stroke patients per year and perform a minimum of 50 thrombectomies per year. Each neurointerventionalist in a Level 2 center should perform a minimum of 15 acute intracranial thrombectomies per year.The guidelines recognize the challenges that newly created Level 2 stroke centers could face in meeting the minimum volume criteria for procedures. They allow for these centers to operate below the minimum threshold numbers as long as they expect to hit their volumes within 12 to 24 months.The purpose of these guidelines is not to serve as a substitute for existing national and regional guidelines, but rather to outline the best recommendations based on expert opinions and the most current evidence available in stroke care around the world.last_img read more

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In search of Kenyas elusive wild dogs

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Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Credit: Elizabeth PennisiHer purple sneakers leave a footprint in the dust on the hood. The dogs seem to be on the right side of the road, back a little ways, so she turns around and looks for a place where the banks are low enough to breach.We bushwhack, stopping frequently to take another reading. But Strebel no longer gets out of the car and instead sticks the antenna out the roof hatch. The animals let cars come really close, but they shy away from people on foot. The tree density thickens and we reach a point where no amount of obstacle course driving will help. Strebel wiggles the car back toward the road and tries twice more from two different directions to get to the source of the beeps. Her frustration is palpable. Her nostrils flare, and she shakes her head. “Usually they are such good dogs and don’t go into difficult places to get to,” she apologizes. “They are right in front of us.”Blocked on all sides with bushes and trees, Strebel decides we should hike the rest of the way. We’ve now been searching for 3 hours. We soon hear a short, deep bark and a lot of twittering. They know we’re here, and they quickly leave. There are 24 adults in this pack, 10 of them pups, but all I catch is a fleeting glimpse of the side of one pup and the legs of one adult as they take off. We’ve driven 70 kilometers total. Eventually a pack was tracked down for the tourists to see, but for me, it was a wild dog chase.At Mpala, these elusive animals seem to be doing better. “They appear to be in better shape now than I would have thought 20 years ago,” Ginsberg says. Yet there’s still a lot to be learned about what makes them thrive, as there are many places in Africa where they are still missing or are in dire straits, say Robbins and McCreery: “Some key challenges are to get researchers to start thinking in novel ways to address wild dog conservation questions and the people that live with them to understand we are all part of the great web of life.”If that happens, many wild dogs won’t be so hard to find.Postscript: Two weeks later, driving through Tsavo East National Park, I did finally see wild dogs—twice by the side of the road. They were in the bushes when my husband and I and a Kenyan scientist drove by in the morning and then resting in the road as we returned that afternoon. The scientist said we were quite lucky, as they were a rare sighting in that park.For more on man’s best friend, see the Science News team’s latest coverage of doggy science. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Mohammed Boru, Zeitz Foundation Elizabeth Pennisi Credit: Elizabeth PennisiBut at last, Strebel hears beeping coming from the radio, so she stops the car and pulls out a directional antenna, circling with it held high. The dogs are still down the road, and as she drives, the signal gets stronger, then weaker. She pulls over, hops onto the roof, and tries the directional antenna again. Today’s mystery: locating one of the numerous packs that roam the 20,000-hectare Mpala ranch and research center grounds. It should have been an easy task. For the past 3 months, Stefanie Strebel, project manager for the Kenya Rangelands Wild Dog and Cheetah Project, based at the Mpala center, has monitored the movements of these animals, continuing an effort begun in 2001. Wild dogs had disappeared from that part of Kenya in the early 1980s. But one day in 1999, three females jumped out of the bush onto the road in front of Rosie Woodroffe as she was driving back to the center. “I burst into tears,” recalls Woodroffe, a conservation biologist at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).At the time, she was studying how people coexist with lions, but 2 years earlier she had co-authored a species survival plan for wild dogs, and the prospects hadn’t looked promising. “Wild dogs are victims of their own wide-ranging behavior—they wander so far that most reserves are too small to contain them,” she explains. When she realized wild dogs were back in the area, she and her colleagues immediately began to look into how these carnivores might coexist with people outside reserves. “By working on a community conservation area rather than a centrally protected national park, they have extended our understanding of wild dog ecology,” says Scott Creel, a behavioral ecologist at Montana State University, Bozeman.In contrast, Creel and his wife, Nancy Creel, and independently Robert Robbins and Kim McCreery, who founded the African Wild Dog Conservancy in Tucson, Arizona, have studied wild dogs in reserves. During their 9 years watching wild dogs in Zimbabwe, Robbins and McCreery tracked known individuals to learn how packs formed and changed through time and cataloged the range of vocalizations. “Wild dogs sound like birds, cats and dogs,” they say. “They are complex social carnivores very similar to human families.”In 1990, very little was known about why wild dogs were always found at low densities—averaging between 300 to 1200 square kilometers per pack—and the Creels spent 5 years in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania trying to find out, leaving only after their infant daughter got very sick. They wrote a book about wild dogs, and ultimately concluded that the animals were rare when lions and hyenas were common, as those larger predators could steal the wild dogs’ prey and sometimes prey upon them as well. Today, they study wild dogs and other large carnivores in reserves in Zambia.Another team, led by J. Weldon “Tico” McNutt, has a similar long-term project in Africa’s Okavango delta called the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust.”Surprisingly, we do not yet have good, reliable estimates of the size of many important wild dog populations,” Creel says. Nor do researchers know what controls wild dog numbers in many places.All of these researchers are awed—and challenged—by the nomadic life of these animals. “There’s very little you can do to predict where they are going,” says Joshua Ginsberg, incoming president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Over 24 hours, they can roam many or few kilometers, depending on how hungry they are. During the day, they settle down for 4 to 6 hours of napping in the shade of an acacia tree, staying within 300 meters of each other. Email Stefanie Strebel Credit: Mohammed Boru, Zeitz FoundationAlthough the wild dogs can be a menace to livestock, they represent a draw for tourists and, in the end, the herder comes to realize there are steps he can take so he can coexist with these animals.The play reflects the changing view of wild dogs. “Also, 25 years ago, they were not considered something tourists would want to see, says the Cary Institute’s Ginsberg. “That is not true anymore.” Tourists are charmed by the doglike nature of these animals. And researchers find them extraordinary. “Watching a wild dog move is to see the perfection that arises from eons of natural selection to perform an exceptionally difficult task,” Scott Creel says. “Everything unnecessary has been whittled away, leaving only a perfect running machine.”But first one needs to find them. At one point we get stuck in a traffic jam of camels, kept as livestock on the ranch. MPALA RESEARCH CENTRE, KENYA—Most visitors to Africa come for the lions, elephants, and rhinos. But for the tourists who helicoptered into this somewhat remote region of central Kenya last month, wild dogs topped their list. Once so common in Africa that they were shot as vermin, the elusive canines are becoming poster children for conservation: Fewer than 7000 are left in Africa, their native range.A reporter visiting the center, I love dogs and so jumped at the chance to track some down in advance of the tourists’ arrival. It was a dusty, bumpy ride into the bush, for a fleeting view of animals that aren’t really dogs after all. But along the way, I came to appreciate their incredible story. They are full of wanderlust, and their packs show camaraderie and coordination to rival the best military unit. Yet they are quite vulnerable, and even though several teams of researchers have dedicated large chunks of their lives following these animals, much about them remains mysterious.Despite the name, Lycaon pictus is a distant relative of household canines. Dogs, wolves, and coyotes can all interbreed but not with wild dogs, which are sometimes called painted wolves because of their colorful and variable coat patterns. Compared with their domesticated namesakes, wild dogs have bigger ears, lack the fifth dewclaw on the front feet, and have a distinctive musty smell like the badger that they are distant cousins with. Dogs take a long time to mate—wild dogs do it in a minute or less. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Elizabeth Pennisi Credit: Stefanie StrebelTypically, siblings will sleep with each other; the top male will rest with his head on the alpha female. “They don’t like to be alone,” Strebel says, and this close proximity seems to reinforce the cohesiveness of the pack.As sunset approaches—about 5:30 p.m.—young dogs will start to chase each other and they and others begin to twitter, sounding like a flock of birds instead of a pack of dogs. A romp and greet session ensues. As young dogs race around, older ones nuzzle. There’s lots of licking of noses and mouths (as in this video). They set out, the direction often determined by the alpha female, first trotting and then running full speed when prey are spotted, silent until a prey is killed, often through the coordinated action of the pack. Then they “hoo” as a dinner call. Older dogs ensure that pups eat first, then they chow down. If there’s nothing left, the latecomers beg food from the well-sated, who may regurgitate some. Once it gets dark, they settle down for a few hours, regrouping just before sunrise for a hunt that lasts until about 9 in the morning.ZSL’s Woodroffe discovered that given the right circumstances, wild dogs can thrive in human-dominated landscapes. “This was a huge surprise and a rare piece of good news,” she says. Coexistence worked in Laikipia, the local county, for three reasons. The local Maasai and Samburu people focused on raising sheep, goats, and cattle and rarely hunted antelope and other ungulates, leaving them fair game for the wild dogs. At the same time, shepherds kept close watch on the livestock, protecting them from wild dogs and therefore reducing the likelihood that people would kill wild dogs in retaliation for livestock losses. Finally, these communities often set aside the hillier and less accessible land for dry-season grazing, leaving the areas free for wildlife to use. Wild dogs prefer these areas, further reducing contact between them and people and their dogs. Today, the area supports the sixth largest wild dog population in the world.By the time Strebel joined the Mpala project, Woodroffe was following eight packs including three with radio-collared individuals, of the 30 in Laikipia and the surrounding region. Strebel is systematically photographing each wild dog in those packs, so the researchers can pick out coat color patterns and other characteristics that enable them to identify each individual. In this way, they can build a more detailed picture of their movements. She knows her animals well. “If you love dogs, you associate with them right away,” she says. With their big ears, “they look pretty goofy.”To track down the pack this morning, she climbs into a dusty Toyota Land Cruiser equipped with an omnidirectional antenna on the roof. Strebel attaches a radio to the antenna so she can hear any beeps indicative of contact with a radio-collared animal—each pack has one or two animals with tags. As she goes to leave the research center compound, a security guard comes up, and there’s an excited exchange in Swahili. She beams as she translates: Two wild dogs were sighted running past the nearby campsite. She heads that way first but soon decides they belong to one of the packs without a collared animal and so will be hard to track down. She turns on to a different bumpy road.We speed at 30 km per hour or less along dirt tracks that wind around the countryside, past giraffes, zebras, and tiny antelopes called dik-diks. We’ve traveled 40 kilometers, but so far, there’s only static on the radio. She frets that perhaps the two wild dogs spotted earlier this morning may have been a better quarry. But by now, they are well out of range.Because the wild dogs do not respect boundaries, they often cross from conservation areas to community land, where children tending goats tend to run away from the wild dogs, leaving the animals vulnerable. Strebel and Woodroffe spend a lot of time trying to convince locals that adults should care for the animals and that when they stand their ground, the wild dogs will move on.As part of their community outreach, the Kenya Rangelands Wild Dog and Cheetah Project has teamed up with the Zeitz Foundation, which has programs to encourage sports in developing nations. During halftime at Zeitz-sponsored soccer tournaments, a theater group performs a play about the dilemmas presented by wild dogs and cheetahs. The play begins with a herder who loses several goats to wild dogs and wants retribution. A meeting of the elders ensues in which the herder’s, dogs’ and cheetahs’ points of views are aired. read more

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Positive results for Ebola drug upsets plans for trials

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first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Just last week, the Wellcome Trust, a charity in the United Kingdom that is funding several Ebola trials, announced that the Liberian trial of brincidofovir, an antiviral developed by Chimerix of Durham, North Carolina, would be canceled because the company withdrew support. “It was rather a surprise to us and a bit of a mystery,” says Peter Horby, an investigator at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who headed the study. Chimerix said it made the decision after discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), noting that the trial was also having trouble recruiting patients.  Horby says his group was planning to open a second trial site in Sierra Leone, where the numbers are far higher. FDA’s Luciana Borio says Chimerix also refused the agency’s request to make public its correspondence with the company. Chimerix said it was concentrating on completing trials of the drug to treat other infections: cytomegalovirus and adenovirus.Although one trial is canceled, others are about to go forward. Horby says his group hopes to start evaluating an RNA inhibitor called TKM-Ebola soon. The drug, made by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals of Burnaby, Canada, worked well in monkeys but has been in short supply.Testing is also about to begin on the antibody cocktail ZMapp. Seen by many researchers as the best shot at treating Ebola because of promising monkey studies, ZMapp was used on nine patients last summer before the company behind it, Mapp Biopharmaceutical of San Diego, California, announced it had no more supplies. Now, the company says, it has enough doses to start a clinical trial in Liberia as early as this week. But there may be too few patients in that country for the experimental drug to prove its worth, says Clifford Lane, head of clinical research at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is launching the study in Monrovia with the Liberian Ministry of Health & Social Welfare.So far, Guinea and Sierra Leone, where Ebola is still infecting dozens of people a week, have refused invitations to join the study. Their main stumbling block is trial design. ZMapp will be the first Ebola treatment that will be tested in a randomized, controlled study. “I think that’s the only way to tell whether these drugs are safe and effective,” Lane says.The governments of Guinea and Sierra Leone, as well as Doctors Without Borders, which runs Ebola centers in those countries, have for ethical reasons been reluctant to participate in treatment trials that use a randomized, controlled design. Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, also objects to the randomized, controlled trial design for Ebola drugs, given the high mortality rate of the disease. “Given the data we have from animals and individual patients, I would not feel comfortable being randomized,” he says. Lane notes that the trial may not need many participants: If the drug is 100% effective and Ebola kills 50% of the people it infects, he says, as few as 30 people will need to receive ZMapp to determine whether it works. And even if there are not enough patients to provide a clear answer on efficacy, Lane says scientists might still get valuable data by looking at parameters like the blood levels of Ebola virus in those treated with the drug and those in the control arm.The favipiravir study in Guinea illustrates the complexity of discerning clear answers without a robust control and the difficulties of communicating them. The trial data are reviewed every 20 patients by an independent monitoring board. On 26 January they evaluated the data from 80 patients. Because they detected a signal of efficacy, they asked the researchers to share the information with regulatory agencies in Guinea and France, Levy says. The INSERM researchers won’t make their data public until 25 February, at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington. “It is important to have a scientific debate about what these results really mean,” says Levy, noting that the meeting organizers insisted the data be embargoed. A researcher who had seen the data and asked not to be identified told Science that favipiravir did not help all of the patients treated with it at two trial sites in Guinea. In a subset of trial participants who had low levels of Ebola virus in the blood, however, the mortality was just 15%. In similar patients who entered the centers earlier and did not receive favipiravir, mortality was 30%. Marie-Paule Kieny, an assistant director-general at WHO, says it is difficult to make sense of the data at this point. “You can say it doesn’t mean anything or you can say it is promising. More research is needed to find out what really happened.”Meanwhile, the study in Guinea is continuing and has now enrolled more than 100 patients. “The final result may still be different,” Levy says. But the preliminary data have already led Guinean authorities to expand the numbers of sites where favipiravir is to be used.Other trials could prove harder to organize and interpret if favipiravir is distributed widely. A study testing the use of convalescent serum started in Guinea this week. “If there is a decision now to use favipiravir everywhere, what happens with that trial?” Kieny asks. The ZMapp trial may also be affected. That trial is designed to compare ZMapp with the standard of care. “If the standard of care changes, so does the control used in the trial,” Lane says. But he has not seen any results, he says. “The only data I have seen from that study are what was in The New York Times.”*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicinehave made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.*Correction, 13 February, 11:05 a.m.: This story incorrectly referred to a trial of ZMapp, an Ebola antibody cocktail, as being a placebo-controlled trial. As the story reports, ZMapp will be tested in a trial that, for the first time, uses a randomized, control group. But the control group will not receive a placebo. People in the control arm will receive the current standard of care, which includes providing intravenous fluids, balancing electrolytes, maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure, and treating other infections if they occur. Even the researchers whose trial of a potential drug for Ebola made headlines last week worked hard to downplay the glimmer of efficacy it showed. “It is a weak signal in a nonrandomized trial,” Yves Levy, director of the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris told Science about the data, which INSERM has not released. Weak or not, the report in The New York Times that favipiravir, a Japanese flu drug, had halved mortality in one group of Ebola patients in Guinea was one more piece of good news that is complicating prospects for trials of other Ebola drugs.The Guinean government has already announced it wants to make favipiravir available to more people, and if the results hold up to greater scrutiny, they could force a change in the design of other clinical trials going forward. Meanwhile, the decline in new cases has investigators revamping or even canceling trials at a time when manufacturers finally have enough supplies to test some of the most promising experimental drugs. The toll of the outbreak ticked up last week, as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—the three most affected countries—counted 124 confirmed cases, up from 99 cases the week before. As the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Bruce Aylward said at a press conference on 5 February: “The virus has told us this week, loud and clear, ‘I am not going to go away the way you’re expecting me to.’ ” Yet the numbers represent a sharp drop from the height of the epidemic in September when there were more than 700 cases reported in a single week in West Africa. center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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