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25 days agoBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the air

first_imgBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the airby Carlos Volcano25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to meet with defender Gerard Pique to clear the air after the latter’s recent comments.Sport says Pique has questioned the board twice in the last week. He said he did not like the team’s pre-season tours of Japan and the US, claiming “we did more travelling and less training and we’re feeling it.”Then he hinted that the board were planting stories in the media against the players.The objective of the meeting will be to smooth things over and stop Pique’s digs which in Madrid they are using to do more damage to Barcelona. About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Will not tolerate muscle flexing in state Mamata

first_imgBhatpara/Palta/Rajarhat: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to tell lies about Bengal’s development and do a bit of homework before addressing election rallies.Without naming Arjun Singh, BJP nominee for the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, Banerjee issued a stern warning and said she would not tolerate any kind of muscle flexing in the area. She addressed a mammoth rally at Bhatpara on Thursday afternoon. Later, she addressed two other meetings at Palta and Rajarhat respectively. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBanerjee also added that in the past eight years, massive development has taken place in Bengal. Through various schemes, people from all walks of life have benefitted. Over 60 lakh girl students are getting the benefits of “Kanyashree” and around one crore students studying in state-run and aided schools are getting cycles free of cost under the “Sabuj Sathi” project. Around 8 crore people are getting rice at Rs 2 a kilogram under the “Khadya Sathi” scheme. The newly introduced “Swasthya Sathi” project will benefit around 8 crore people and the card will be issued in the name of the senior most woman member of the family as a part of women empowerment. “During Dr BC Roy’s time, development projects had been carried out but after that everything got stalled in Bengal. The Trinamool-led government has carried out massive development in infrastructure,” she said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”But there are people who come to Bengal just to defame the state. Modi comes here and spreads lies. He said the government does not allow Durga Puja or Saraswati Puja. More than one lakh Durga Pujas and more than a crore Saraswati Puja are organised in Bengal. He should do a little bit of homework before telling such blatant lies.” Criticising the Prime Minister, she said: “He is so shameless that he does horse trading and says 40 TMC MLAs are in touch with him. Not a single MLA will join him,” she said and alleged: “BJP had banned high-value notes to fill up its own coffers.”last_img read more

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Football Ohio State stays at No 4 in latest AP Poll

The Buckeyes line up to sing “Carmen Ohio” after the game against TCU on Sept. 15. Ohio State won 40-28. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State stayed as the No. 4 team in the latest AP Poll after defeating TCU 40-28 on Saturday. The Buckeyes failed to earn a first place vote. Ohio State began the season as the No. 5 team in the nation according to the preseason AP Poll, but had failed to earn a first place vote after defeating both Oregon State and Rutgers in the first two weeks of the season. Ohio State did earn a first place vote in the USA Coaches Poll released Sunday, which had the Buckeyes as the No. 4 team in the nation as well. The Buckeyes defeated the Horned Frogs on Saturday, which fell to No. 17 after the loss. Ohio State is one of five teams from the Big Ten represented in the latest AP Poll along with Penn State (No. 10 along with Washington), Wisconsin (No. 18), Michigan (No. 19) and Michigan State (No. 24). The AP Poll: Week 41. Alabama (58)2. Georgia3. Clemson (3)4. Ohio State5. Oklahoma6. LSU7. Stanford8. Notre Dame9. Auburn10. Washington10. Penn State12. West Virginia13. Virginia Tech14. Mississippi State15. Oklahoma State16. UCF17. TCU18. Wisconsin19. Michigan20. Oregon21. Miami22. Texas A&M23. Boston College24. Michigan State25. BYU read more

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Trump names hate groups denouncing Charlottesville violence

first_imgWASHINGTON — Under relentless pressure, President Donald Trump on Monday named and condemned “repugnant” hate groups and declared that “racism is evil” in a far more forceful statement than he’d made earlier after deadly, race-fueled weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.Trump’s initial failure on Saturday to denounce the groups by name — instead he bemoaned violence on “many sides” — prompted criticism from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats. This time, the president described members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as “criminals and thugs” in a prepared statement he read at the White House.“Racism is evil,” he said, singling out the hate groups as “repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans.”“Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America,” he said.In his remarks he also called for unity.“We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans,” he said.Trump also, for the first time, mentioned Heather Heyer by name, as he paid tribute to the woman killed when a car plowed into a group of anti-racist counter-protesters in Charlottesville.The president left after his statement without acknowledging reporters’ shouted questions. At an event on trade later in the day, he was asked why it took two days for him to offer an explicit denunciation of the hate groups.last_img read more

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Beckham backs North America World Cup bid

first_imgDavid Beckham has backed North America’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup and is adamant that it would be  “very special”FIFA have received a joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 tournament with Morocco being the other.The final decision will be taken next week and Beckham, who used to play for LA Galaxy in the MLS, believes that the football’s big increase in popularity in America over recent years justifies why it should host the World Cup.“A football competition as big as the World Cup deserves to be in great places,” he said, according to Sky Sports.“And if the US, Canada and Mexico get that, it will be very special.“I know the passion that runs through all three of those countries – I played in LA for six years and when we travelled to Canada, I have seen that passion.“And don’t get me started on Mexico! There are not many nations that are as passionate as Mexico.Opinion: De Bruyne is the best crosser since Beckham Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 13, 2019 We never thought we would see anything remotely like it, but now we can say that De Bruyne is the best crosser since Beckham.Nobody…“I went to a couple of games the last time America hosted the World Cup (1994) and it was incredible.“Now, there are more people who understand the game and get excited about the game.“The infrastructure will be there and, more importantly, the excitement and the passion will be there.“I think a joint bid is important and it is three places where football runs deep.“I have seen how much the game has grown in the last 10 years, people are really getting behind the game“If it does happen I know, as a fan, I will be going to that World Cup.”last_img read more

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech discusses Arsenal move

first_imgArsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has discussed the new planing style under new manager Unai Emery.The former Chelsea shot-stopper was in fine form against Manchester City on Sunday making some important saves despite struggling to help the team play out from the back.“They’re a team that’s full of confidence and last year’s champions, so obviously it will always be difficult, but I have to say that we came to the game with our objectives to grow up as a team, to learn our way, how we want to play and obviously we had the task of doing it against one of the best teams, so it was difficult. But at times we did really well, and we put them under some pressure as well. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find that final pass to finish the opportunities off,” Cech said as regards to City, according to the club’s official website.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.Cech also spoke about his struggles to play the ball from his pots, saying:“They pressed really well and obviously when you make one pass slower than it should be the player doesn’t have the time to use the ball quickly. Obviously you can be under pressure but at times we managed to get out pretty well. We didn’t want them to feel comfortable and have the ball always at their feet so that they could control the game.”Arsenal next travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea next weekend.last_img read more

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Simone Missiroli happy to be at SPAL

first_imgThe Italian midfielder played for six years with Sassuolo but then suddenly he had to find a new club after last season in the Lega Serie AItalian midfielder Simone Missiroli joined Lega Serie A club Sassuolo in 2012.Since then he scored 16 goals in 189 matches.But last season, he did not find his place into coach Roberto De Zerbi’s team, and he decided to leave the team to go to SPAL.“I really appreciated De Zerbi’s clarity,” Missiroli was quoted by Football Italia.Mazzarri believes the Serie A is unpredictable Manuel R. Medina – August 25, 2019 According to Torino coach Walter Mazzarri this year the Italian competition will be fascinating again as his team is ready to take on Sassuolo.“He came to me and he told me very honestly that I wasn’t part of his plans. He was sincere.”“Sassuolo was part of my life for years, and I’ll never forget my goal which won us promotion to Serie A and the dressing room that year,” he added.“It was superb, I’m still firm friends with everyone. I still play ‘Fortnite’ with [Domenico] Berardi, [Francesco] Cassata and [Andrea] Consigli. We have great battles.”“I have to say though that I’ve found almost the same climate here at SPAL,” he commented.last_img read more

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Hundreds gather for the service of San Diegos own Brandon Stapper

first_imgHundreds gather for the service of San Diego’s own Brandon Stapper March 16, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: March 16, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Hundreds of people showed up tonight to celebrate the life of a local entrepreneur who was killed in a tragic accident in Africa.Friends and family of Brandon Stapper gathered at the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park to remember the man they say was “extremely good at what he did.”33 year old Stapper and 2 other men from San Diego were among a total of 5 people killed when their sightseeing helicopter crashed in a national park in Kenya.Strapper was known as a successful businessman in San Diego last_img read more

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Digital Platform ePals Acquires Carus

first_imgIn order to aid its move into the home subscription market, educational digital platform ePals Corporation acquires Carus Publishing Company, along with its magazine, book and retail assets. Under terms of the deal, ePals will pay $5 million in cash and $10 million in stock and will merge Carus into an indirect subsidiary.Carus’ 2010 revenues were $16 million and EBITDA was just under $1 million. The company’s net loss in 2010 was about $270,000.Carus Publishing Company includes the Cricket Magazine Group, Cobblestone Publishing and Open Court Publishing divisions. The Cricket Magazine Group houses 14 titles for children aged up to 14 years. Consumer subscriptions total 300,000, with institutional subscriptions bringing in 80,000 subs. The acquisition also includes Carus’ Ladybug iPhone app, as well as a content licensing business with three localized Chinese publications.ePals, which went public earlier this year, will have ownership of 600,000 paid subscriptions upon completion of the acquisition; this in addition to 7 million registered users in classrooms and homes in over 200 countries and territories. The company’s current content partners include National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute. ePals’s digital Global Community is represent by brands like email program SchoolMail, communication and collaboration tool LearningSpace and e-mentoring program In2Books. Carus launched in 1887. Its flagship magazine, Cricket, debuted in 1973. In addition to its magazine and book sector, Carus’ portfolio also includes crafts, toys and gifts.More on this topic Printer Launches Updatable Mobile Magazine App Service Paste Returns? Music Mag Acquired, Set to Relaunch as Digital Edition Hearst Completes U.K. Portion of Lagerdere Acquisition Digital Newsstand Zinio.com Reports 154 Percent Growth in Transactions Over 2005 (posted 10/18) Quebecor Finalizes $55M Reader’s Digest Deal Former Meredith Exec Joins National Journal as PresidentJust In The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest RestructuringPowered bylast_img read more

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Veteran Homelessness Resumes LongTerm Decline in 2018

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The number of homeless veterans fell 5.4 percent since 2017 according to an annual, one-night survey conducted in January, reversing the increase recorded last year after the figure had dropped steadily since 2010. The latest estimate found 37,878 veterans experienced homelessness, compared to 40,020 reported in January 2017. The 2017 figure represented an increase of more than 500 people over the previous year. Veterans advocates applauded this year’s improvement, but said the federal government could be doing more.“Down is always a good thing, especially given the affordable housing crisis we’re seeing in America today,” Kathryn Monet, CEO of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, told Military Times. “But we still have a sense that if leadership were more committed to this issue, we could have seen even bigger decreases.”Each year thousands of local communities conduct a one-night, point-in-time estimate of the number of persons experiencing homelessness — in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered locations, according to a Housing and Urban Development Department press release.Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Taylorlast_img read more

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Merkel condemns farright xenophobic attacks

first_imgGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a session at the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, 12 September 2018. Photo: ReutersGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned xenophobic attacks and the use of Nazi slogans in a robust speech to parliament on Wednesday after the most violent far-right demonstrations in decades exposed deep divisions in the country.In an unusually rowdy session in the Bundestag (lower house) later, far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) deputies stormed out of the chamber after a Social Democrat (SPD) accused them of being “unsavory” right-wing radicals.Protests by right-wing militants in the eastern city of Chemnitz two weeks ago after the fatal stabbing of a German blamed on two migrants have reignited a fierce debate about Merkel’s 2015 decision to let in more than a million refugees.”There is no excuse or reason for hunting people down, using violence and Nazi slogans, showing hostility to people who look different, who have a Jewish restaurant, for attacks on police officers,” Merkel told the Bundestag.”We will not allow whole groups in our society to be quietly excluded,” she said, adding that Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists all belong in German society, and stressing that human dignity was paramount.Before Merkel took the podium, the head of the AfD group in the Bundestag said Germany’s “domestic peace” was at risk.”As disgusting as Hitler salutes are, I would like to remind you that the really serious event in Chemnitz was the bloody deed (committed) by two asylum seekers,” said Alexander Gauland.He accused Merkel of spreading fake news about the protests and supported Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV intelligence agency who is under fire for questioning whether video footage showing rightist gangs hounding migrants were real.”The truth is, there was no hunting down of people in Chemnitz… The citizens who demonstrated were criminalised,” said Gauland.”Mrs Chancellor, you have nothing more to offer the people of this country than obstinacy, dogmatism and insults. Barricade yourself up in the chancellery away from reality!”After Maassen took questions from a parliamentary committee behind closed doors about his comments on event in Chemnitz, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he saw no reason to dismiss the BfV chief.But the SPD said that after examining a BfV report on the violence and hearing Maassen’s defence of his disputed views that he should resign, saying it remained unconvinced he was the right person to lead the agency.The centre-left SPD is the junior member of Merkel’s conservative-led coalition.The AfD, some of whose members joined right-wing militants in the Chemnitz marches, is the third biggest party in Germany. Its lawmakers’ presence in parliament, which they entered after the 2017 election, has generated a more confrontational climate.Senior Social Democrat Johannes Kahrs launched a verbal attack on the AfD: “Right wing radicals in parliament are unsavory. Hate makes you ugly – look in the mirror!”At that, all AfD deputies stood up and left the chamber. In a statement, the party said Kahrs had compared them to Nazis and described his insults as “unacceptable”.Earlier, former Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz also condemned the AfD, ending up by saying, “You belong on the dungheap of history,” to loud applause.last_img read more

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Microsoft open sources InferNET its popular modelbased machine learning framework

first_imgLast week, Microsoft open sourced Infer.NET, the cross-platform framework used for model-based machine learning. This popular machine learning engine used in Office, Xbox and Azure, will be available on GitHub under the permissive MIT license for free use in commercial applications. Features of  Infer.NET The team at Microsoft Research in Cambridge initially envisioned Infer.NET as a research tool and released it for academic use in 2008. The framework has served as a base to publish hundreds of papers across a variety of fields, including information retrieval and healthcare. The team then started using the framework as a machine learning engine within a wide range of Microsoft products. A model-based approach to machine learning Infer.NET allows users to incorporate domain knowledge into their model. The framework can be used to build bespoke machine learning algorithms directly from their model. To sum it up, this framework actually constructs a learning algorithm for users based on the model they have provided. Facilitates interpretability Infer.NET also facilitates interpretability. If users have designed the model themselves and the learning algorithm follows that model, they can understand why the system behaves in a particular way or makes certain predictions. Probabilistic Approach In Infer.NET, models are described using a probabilistic program. This is used to describe real-world processes in a language that machines understand. Infer.NET compiles the probabilistic program into high-performance code for implementing something cryptically called deterministic approximate Bayesian inference. This approach allows a notable amount of scalability. For instance, it can be used in a system that automatically extracts knowledge from billions of web pages, comprising petabytes of data. Additional Features The framework also supports the ability of the system to learn as new data arrives. The team is also working towards developing and growing it further. Infer.NET will become a part of ML.NET (the machine learning framework for .NET developers). They have already set up the repository under the .NET Foundation and moved the package and namespaces to Microsoft.ML.Probabilistic. Being cross platform, Infer.NET supports .NET Framework 4.6.1, .NET Core 2.0, and Mono 5.0. Windows users get to use Visual Studio 2017, while macOS and Linux folks have command-line options, which could be incorporated into the code wrangler of their choice. Download the framework to learn more about Infer.NET. You can also check the documentation for a detailed User Guide. To know more about this news, head over to Microsoft’s official blog. Read Next Microsoft announces new Surface devices to enhance user productivity, with style and elegance Neural Network Intelligence: Microsoft’s open source automated machine learning toolkit Microsoft’s new neural text-to-speech service lets machines speak like peoplelast_img read more

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In This Issue Draghis comments boost the euro

first_imgIn This Issue. * Draghi’s comments boost the euro… * Chuck’s thoughts from Vancouver… * US data surprises on the upside, or does it??? * Aussie set for further appreciation… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A bit of verbal intervention seems to do the trick… Good day. And good Friday morning to everyone. This has been a long week for me, as I seemed to be playing catch up for most of the past few days after taking last week off. Sometimes I wonder if taking a week off is really worth it, as I tend to increase my pace the days leading up to vacation and then it takes several days after you get back to finally get caught back up. I think the Europeans have something with their one month vacations! The markets took a bit of a vacation from the European debt crisis this week as the euro looks like it is going to end the week with over a 1% gain. In fact, the Swiss franc, Euro, and Danish Krone are going to end the week as the best performing currencies vs. the US$, posting a 1.17% gain. I wrote about Mario Draghi’s comments yesterday morning, when he said the ECB stands ready to ‘do what it takes’ to support the common currency. We got an initial ‘bounce’ after his comments yesterday morning, and typically we would see these knee jerk reactions reverse as the trading day wears on. But Draghi’s words really carried some weight with currency traders yesterday, and the euro rally held even after his thoughts had been fully digested by the markets. Chuck sent me a note late last night with his thoughts on yesterday’s euro rally, so here is Chuck: I watched the euro rally yesterday, that was fueled by the comments by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi yesterday… You know, as much as I would like to believe the dollar rally is over, I also know in my heart of hearts that this is what we call in the financial world as a dead cat bounce… For all you cat lovers out there, no cats were harmed, it’s just a saying! I doubt seriously that the euro has the legs to run with the rally that began yesterday on the Draghi comments… The psychological gloom and doom hanging over the euro now is pretty heavy… and opposed to the Hollies… He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother… it will continue to weigh on the euro… But at the same time, don’t get caught up in the dollar index hype either… the dollar index, which we’ve explained many times in the past is so heavily weighted with the euro as one of the components of the index… It does not contain the Aussie dollar, New Zealand dollar, the Chinese renminbi, etc. So, to get caught up in the dollar index hype, is like turning down the wrong street… it’s not going to get you where you want to go! I can tell you that here in Vancouver, most of the analysts that have gotten up to talk about world economies, etc. believe that the dollar is set for a steep downward move, once we get past this bear market rally by the green/peach back… So… that’s all from here… wheels are up on my plane Friday morning, as I head to my summer vacation… I won’t be filing any reports next week, and hopefully, I don’t even turn my laptop on… that’s my challenge for next week! The euro rally was helped by US data released yesterday which showed the US economy is doing a bit better than expected. Durable goods orders increased 1.6% during the month of June (economists had predicted a .% increase). And the weekly jobs numbers also came in better than expected, with 27,000 less first time claims last week than economists had expected. But digging into the numbers shows things may not be as rosy as initially indicated. The durable goods orders increase were largely due to a surge in aircraft orders. The ex-transportation number showed business actually placed 1.1% fewer orders for long lasting manufacturing goods in June. And digging a bit deeper into the report uncovered even more worrying data. Orders for so-called core capital goods, which are a very good indication of business investment plans, dropped 1.4% during June, the third decline in four months. And the weekly jobs number stayed above 350k for another week, coming in at 353,000. We have not seen initial jobless claims below 350k since March of 2008. And the pending home sales number which was the last piece of data released yesterday showed the housing market is almost having as tough a time recovering as the labor market. Pending home sales showed a 1.4% decrease during June after a 5.4% increase the month before. Today the US will release its first of three estimates for second quarter growth. GDP is expected to have increased 1.4% during the second quarter, a slight decrease from the first quarter growth of 1.9%. But the disappointing durable goods numbers could indicate even the 1.4% estimate is optimistic. The weaker Euro has helped manufacturers in Germany, but perhaps at the cost of manufacturing here in the US. Europe has been winning the global race for weaker currencies during the first half of the year, and the manufacturing and export numbers will suffer here in the US because of the stronger dollar. Another report due out today here in the US is predicted to show consumer sentiment fell to the lowest level this year. The U of Michigan Confidence report will be released later this morning and is expected to have fallen to 72 in July from a level of 73.2 last month. Bernanke and the Fed stand ready to take action if the US economy shows any more signs of weakness. The FOMC will announce its rate decision on August 1st, but there isn’t much they can do as far as moving the rates lower. The markets are instead going to focus on what ‘other’ tools the Fed decides to use; QE III? TWIST III? Or will it be some new idea dreamed up to try and get things moving in the right direction? With this being an election year, I can guarantee the administration is going to be putting pressure on the members of the FOMC to try and do something to stimulate the US economy. The problem is that there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of fuel left for the Fed to use to juice this anemic economic recovery here in the US. Interest rates remain at historic lows, and funds are flowing freely through the credit markets. Unfortunately there are a lot of similarities to where the US economy is sitting and where Japan is. Both of our economies seem to be mired in the muck of slow growth, weak investor confidence, and relatively strong currencies. Europe has taken much of the spotlight off of the US and Japan, but there are still real questions concerning the future of these two global powerhouses. The commodity currencies had another good day yesterday as global investors seemed to be more confident on the recovery prospects. Currency traders have been moving funds out of the safe haven parking spot of US treasuries and back into higher yielding currencies of South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. The New Zealand dollar built on yesterday’s good performance and pushed back above 80 cents. The South African rand gained for a third day and is set for its first weekly advance. The Australian dollar remained higher than $1.04 for a second day in a row after rebounding from a low of $.9582 set back at the beginning of June. The technical charts indicate the Aussie dollar may not be done climbing. The head of fixed income strategy at UBS said the Aussie dollar may climb to $1.0558 in the coming days. Apparently the ‘stochastic oscillator’ which is a momentum indicator shows the Aussie dollar is set for further appreciation (I have absolutely no idea what a stochastic oscillator is, but I will take his word that it is a good thing!). Another story I came across this morning said China’s currency had advanced to a one week high on Draghi’s verbal defense of the euro. The Renminbi also got a boost from stimulus measures enacted by local Chinese governments. The Chinese renminbi has been falling in value since the end of April, but recent trading indicates this downward trend may be reaching a bottom. Something I find even more interesting than the direction of the Chinese currency is that it is actually moving in both directions and that it seems to be reacting to global events. Just five years ago the currency was totally controlled by the Chinese government, and any movement was the result of Chinese officials moving the ‘peg’. Now the renminbi is actually starting to react to global macro-economic events, which is a very positive change! Then There Was This… Ty Keough sent the desk a note yesterday pointing out the fact that Chuck Butler got a mention in the 5 Minute Forecast yesterday. The ‘Five’ as it is known on the desk, is a favorite read of many of us here as it condenses much of what happened during the trading day into a smartly written summary. Here is what the 5 had to say about our fearless leader: “What appears to be evident may not be imminent,” cautions EverBank World Markets president Chuck Butler. That is, just because something is bound to happen doesn’t mean it’ll happen right away. Mr. Butler noticed the U.S. government racking up debt at a precipitous rate starting in 2001. But it didn’t show up in the form of a falling dollar index until the following year. Now? The debts have become far larger, and even more unsustainable. But with fear abounding over Europe, it’s not showing up in a weakening dollar. Not now. But it will. That gives you time to carry out the most important diversification Chuck believes you need in your portfolio — currency diversification. Make sure you’re exposed to currencies other than the U.S. dollar, while there’s still time. EverBank offers a host of innovative products to that end. You can read the entire 5 Min. Forecast by going here.To recap: Draghi’s comments continued to keep the value of the euro higher, but Chuck warns us that this rally may not be a trend reversal. US data released yesterday looked good on the outside, but wasn’t so positive after we dug a bit deeper into the numbers. Today we will get the GDP estimate for the 2nd quarter, and the markets are expecting a slowdown here in the US. If we do slowdown, the pressure will be increased on Bernanke and his team to do something about it at their meeting next week. Commodity currencies are posting their first positive week in a while, and the Chinese renminbi is beginning to look like it will reverse its recent slide. Currencies today 7/27/12. American Style: A$ $1.0436, kiwi .8051, C$ .9923, euro 1.2302, sterling 1.5740, Swiss $1.0249, European Style: rand 8.2290, krone 6.0530, SEK 6.8862, forint 230.24, zloty 3.3617, koruna 20.564, RUB 32.235, yen 78.09, sing 1.2509, HKD 7.7571, INR 55.3463, China 6.3807, pesos 13.3913, BRL 2.0213, Dollar Index 82.793, Oil $89.67, 10-year 1.46%, Silver $27.77, Gold. $1,627.50, and Platinum $1,418.75. That’s it for today. I want to wish my Lucy good luck as she heads into the doctor for an operation today. Lucy is my 10 year old yellow lab and is having a couple of ‘growths’ removed. I know many of you readers are probably wondering why I would be writing a good luck wish to a dog, but my wife reads the Pfennig, and I’m sure she will pass along my good luck wishes to Lucy. My kids will tell you our two dogs, Lucy and Murphy get more attention than the rest of the family! Lucy is really a sweet girl, and I do hope she pulls through without any complications. We got a break from the 100 plus temps yesterday but didn’t get any of the rain they promised. I hear the triple digits will be back today, so the relief was short lived. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading the Pfennig!! Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

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Tech Giants Form Group to Pressure US Over Surveillance

first_img Apply Now » Seven of the nation’s largest technology companies have teamed to pressure the U.S. to scale back its government surveillance programs, demanding five changes in the way the U.S. compiles and uses the data of private citizens.“We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens,” the companies wrote in an open letter on the website for their coalition. “But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.”The companies involved are Who’s Who list of the American Internet: AOL, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo. In one way or another, all were involved in the National Security Agency’s surveillance of Americans and people abroad. The companies have publicly objected to government access to data – in some cases directly through the companies’ own servers. They have also lamented that they were not able to communicate their communications with the government itself, for fear of violating the law. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer went so far as to suggest she could be accused of treason if she made disclosures to the public.Related: Amid Surveillance Concerns, Two Companies Shut DownWhile the companies’ letter focuses on individual rights, there is also a big business implication at stake. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation earlier this year suggested U.S. companies could lose as much as $35 billion over the next three years as businesses and individuals move their data to countries with better data protection.Indeed, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, is quoted on the site saying as much. “People won’t use technology they don’t trust,” he wrote. “Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.”The business coalition wants five key changes:1. Limits on surveillance. In short, the companies are looking for changes in the law that make it harder for the government to force businesses to give up data.2. Better oversight. The coalition is seeking reform to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves subpoenas. The group wants that court to be more open and have an adversarial process, like the rest of the federal court system.3. Transparency to customers. A key problem for companies has been their inability to tell customers – and investors – that requests for data had been made by the NSA. The coalition wants more flexibility in disclosing subpoenas to the public.4. Data flow. The group wants the government to allow transfer of data across borders, without having to worry that the NSA will tap data centers overseas.5. Better government coordination. All of the companies operate internationally, and so are subject to different surveillance laws in different countries. The coalition wants a treaty or agreements to standardize practices.Related: Can This Company Save You From The NSA’s Prying Eyes?  3 min read 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Next Article Ray Hennessey The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Technology Tech Giants Form Group to Pressure U.S. Over Surveillancecenter_img December 9, 2013 –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Editor-at-Large Add to Queue Image credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel Guest Writerlast_img read more

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World Leading AI Chatbot Provider Bespoke Announces US Launch

first_imgWorld Leading AI Chatbot Provider Bespoke Announces US Launch PRNewswireMay 9, 2019, 4:50 pmMay 9, 2019 Chatbot Technology Used by World-Famous International Travel Destinations Now Available for US-based HotSpots at Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Hotels, Airports and MoreBespoke, a leading developer of multilingual Artificial Intelligence solutions serving travel and tourism industries throughout Japan, announce the company’s US launch, providing advanced AI-powered chatbot solutions to US restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, airports, municipalities and more.  Bespoke’s unique natural language processing technology provides superior accuracy and performance, resulting in increased customer usage and satisfaction. In addition, Bespoke is announcing their first U.S. product availability:  ChatConnect, an easy-to-implement offering enabling businesses to run customizable, chat-based surveys or promotions as their branded company WiFi sign-on landing page.“A company’s WiFi sign-on page provides a perfect, yet untapped, opportunity to engage with important customers who are at a given location, allowing business owners to capture real insight, improve customer loyalty and more,” said Akemi Tsunagawa, founder and CEO of Bespoke. “We created ChatConnect to allow businesses to quickly engage with and learn from their customers with our friendly, familiar and compelling chat experience that customers actually want to use.”Marketing Technology News: Introducing Pardot Business Units: Powering Personalized Enterprise B2B Marketing at ScaleTo get started, businesses simply sign up, enter the information to display to customers, and update their existing WiFi redirect URL. After a straightforward 15-minute onboarding, a business is ready to begin benefiting from chat-based surveys and promotions – all administered to customers through an engaging and familiar chat interface.Marketing Technology News: Streaming TV Viewership up 72% Yoy, Advertisers Shocked at 47% Fail RateBased in Tokyo, Bespoke Inc. is a world-leading developer of multilingual Artificial Intelligence solutions serving travel and tourism industries. With a focus on providing accessibility and uncovering local resources for users from over 100 countries, one of the company’s most popular products is the Bebot AI travel concierge. Bespoke custom AI chatbot customers include Holiday Inn, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts and Narita International Airport. As of Q1 2019, over forty-thousand travelers interact with Bespoke Chatbot technology daily.Marketing Technology News: SAP Offers New SaaS Solution to Onboard Millions of Partner Users, Granting Access to Sensitive Data Without Regulatory Risk Akemi TsunagawaArtificial IntelligenceBespokechatbotMarketing TechnologyNewsWiFi redirect URL Previous ArticleMINDBODY Acquires Bowtie.aiNext ArticleCGI Influencers: The Rise (and Eventual Fall)last_img read more

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NIH awards 35 million to continue development of robotic system for treating brain

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 13 2018Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Albany Medical College, along with corporate partners GE Global Research and Acoustic MedSystems Inc., have received a five-year, $3.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the National Cancer Institutes’ (NCI) Academic-Industrial Partnership program, to continue development of an innovative robotic system that, operating within an MRI scanner, can deliver a minimally invasive probe into the brain to destroy metastatic brain tumors with high-intensity therapeutic ultrasound under real-time guidance.The grant, the second major NIH award for the system’s development, will enable the research team to model the behavior of the ultrasound ablation system, implement thermal monitoring to provide real-time feedback on dose delivery, optimize and verify the effectiveness of the system, and certify its readiness for human clinical trials. The research team is led by principal investigators Gregory S. Fischer, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering and robotics engineering at WPI and director of the Automation and Interventional Medicine Laboratory, and Julie G. Pilitsis, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics and professor of neurosurgery at Albany Medical College.Fischer and Pilitsis will work closely with the two corporate partners. Acoustic MedSystems in Savoy, Ill., will design, build, and validate the needle-based therapeutic ultrasound (NBTU) probe and provide the software to visualize and control it. GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., will implement thermal imaging capabilities to monitor, in real time, the ablation of tumor tissue, and will collaborate on integrating the robotic system with its clinical MRI scanner.Brain metastases, which are among the most common type of brain tumors, occur when primary cancers in other organs spread to the brain. About 170,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in North America. Currently, the only treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, all of which have limited success and can harm unaffected brain tissue; in addition, surgery is possible only when tumors are in accessible locations.The system being developed with the NIH award takes a different approach to treatment. It uses a thin (2 mm in diameter) probe that can be inserted into the brain through a small hole drilled in the skull and placed within the tumor. By adjusting the probe’s orientation and power output, doctors will be able to deliver doses of high-intensity ultrasound energy that are lethal to tumors, while minimizing damage to surrounding brain tissue. High-intensity ultrasound energy kills tissue by heating it (called thermal ablation), making it possible to use an MRI scanner’s ability to detect thermal emissions to monitor the dose delivered to the tumor.”Thermal ablation has shown potential as an effective treatment,” Pilitsis said, “but the available devices for using this therapy have severe limitations and can’t treat all shapes, sizes, and locations of tumors. Our hope is that this integrated robotic system will one day be able to provide all brain tumor patients with a safer, more accurate treatment.”The probe will be inserted into the brain with a robotic system developed by a WPI research team led by Fischer. The core of the system is a robot capable of operating inside an MRI scanner. It will position and align the probe before it is inserted into the brain and then adjust its depth and rotate it during the procedure to conform to the shape of the tumor. To ensure that the probe is precisely targeted at the tumor, the robot’s alignment must be based on real-time MRI scans, rather than pre-operative images, since the brain can shift as the patent is being prepared for the surgery. Real-time scans are also needed to verify the position of the probe in the brain, while live MRI-based thermal imaging will be used to monitor and provide feedback on the effects of the ultrasound ablation.”Our system is designed to provide very precise, closed-loop control,” Fischer said. “We will use live MRI images and thermal imaging to control the pattern of the ablation and monitor and adjust it in real-time to confine the thermal effects to the area within the tumor boundaries and to ensure that we are maximizing the odds that we are removing the entire tumor, while minimizing the chances of damaging non-malignant tissue.”Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injurySince this control depends on live images, the WPI robot has been carefully designed to work within the tight confines of the MRI scanner and to operate effectively despite the presence of other technology, including anesthesia equipment, imaging coils, and patient monitoring apparatus.In addition, because MRI scanners use a powerful magnet, the robot must be made without ferrous metals. It will be constructed mainly from plastics and ceramics and will use innovative piezoelectric motors and custom motion-control electronics that generate very low levels of electrical noise to avoid interfering with the MRI imaging system. In addition, the robot must be designed so that any parts that come in contact with the patient can be sterilized and so that the system can operate reliably and safely within a surgical environment.In addition to the robot, the WPI team, which includes PhD candidates Paulo Carvalho and Katie Gandomi and research scientist Christopher Nycz, PhD, is also developing a modular controller to operate the robot and will work to integrate the robotic system with multiple other systems, including the MRI scanner, the software that controls the Acoustic MedSystems probe, and 3D navigation software. Fischer said the goal is to deliver a system that can be easily integrated into the work flow inside a surgical suite. “When we get to clinical trials we won’t be able to have an army of engineers on site,” he said. “So we need to get to the point where everything runs very, very smoothly.”Some of this work will be conducted at WPI’s PracticePoint R&D facility for medical cyberphysical systems, a membership-based research, development, and commercialization alliance founded to advance healthcare technologies. Now under construction at WPI’s Gateway Park campus, PracticePoint, which in 2017 received a $5 million matching grant from the Massachusetts Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, will have point-of-practice clinical case scenarios–a hybrid operating room, a medical imaging suite, a reconfigurable patient care suite, a rehabilitation lab, and a residential setting–where smart medical devices and systems can be researched, developed, and tested. The surgical imaging suite will include a 3-Tesla MRI scanner made by GE Healthcare, a core industry partner in PracticePoint.”We will be leveraging the facilities at PracticePoint to do a lot of our system testing, MRI compatibility validation, and system integration,” Fischer said. “Having the ability to conduct this work here in Worcester, using a scanner comparable to the technology in which our pre-clinical studies will be conducted, will be a huge advantage.”The robotic system being developed with the current NIH award is an evolution of a system designed and tested by the WPI-Albany Medical College team with an earlier five-year, $3 million award from the agency. “In the first phase of the project, we developed a proof-of-concept system and demonstrated that it worked as expected,” Fischer said. “With the new award, we can optimize and fully characterize the system, verify it with pre-clinical studies, and get it ready for clinical use.”While their current focus is delivering a system for treating brain tumors with ultrasound ablation, Fischer said the research team is also considering other applications for their technology. “We are creating a versatile stereotactic neurosurgery delivery device,” he said, “one with much broader potential applications. For example, we could use it to deliver other ablation technologies, to do biopsies, to do electrode placement for deep-brain stimulation, and even to deliver therapeutics such as gene therapy. This research has opened up a world of exciting possibilities.”Source: https://www.wpi.edu/news/wpi-and-albany-medical-college-developing-robotic-system-treat-brain-tumorslast_img read more

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Biosense Webster treats first patient in US IDE study of HELIOSTAR RF

first_imgThe STELLAR study is an important step forward in expanding treatment options for atrial fibrillation patients in the United States. The burden of atrial fibrillation on quality of life, morbidity and mortality is significant and we are committed to developing innovative and life-enhancing technologies that fill important clinical needs, improve care and reduce this burden.”Uri Yaron, Worldwide President, Biosense Webster, Inc. The HELIOSTAR catheter design has the potential to overcome the limitations of current balloon ablation catheters, result in fewer catheter exchanges and, most importantly, shorter procedure times. HELIOSTAR is an exciting technology and we look forward to seeing the final study results,”Andrea Natale, M.D., F.H.R.S., F.A.C.C., F.E.S.C., cardiac electrophysiologist and Executive Medical Director, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center “This new balloon catheter is unique because it conforms to any pulmonary vein anatomy and allows me to control electrodes individually to deliver tailored energy when ablating around pulmonary veins,” said cardiac electrophysiologist Rodney Horton, M.D., who treated the first patient in the study with Dr. Andrea Natale at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center. Related StoriesDePuy Synthes launches nerve assessment platform for spine proceduresBiosense Webster enrolls and treats first AF patient in clinical study of new RF balloon catheterJohnson & Johnson announces FDA clearance to expand indication for Acclarent AERA deviceThe HELIOSTAR RF Balloon Ablation Catheter has 10 electrodes, which allows electrophysiologists to deliver different levels of energy depending on the tissue during lesion creation. In addition, the balloon design makes it possible to achieve pulmonary vein isolation with a single application of RF energy. The device is compatible with the Biosense Webster CARTO 3 Mapping System, an advanced imaging technology that enables creation of real-time 3D maps of a patient’s cardiac structures. The use of the CARTO 3 System during an ablation procedure can reduce exposure to radiation from fluoroscopy.It is estimated that 33 million people worldwide are living with AF, or an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.center_img Dec 4 2018Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies announced today that Biosense Webster, Inc., a worldwide leader in the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias, has enrolled and treated the first patient in its STELLAR U.S. Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study. The study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of HELIOSTAR Multi-electrode Radiofrequency (RF) Balloon Ablation Catheter in treating symptomatic drug refractory recurrent paroxysmal (intermittent) atrial fibrillation (AF). Up to 640 patients will be enrolled in as many as 40 clinical sites worldwide. Source:https://www.biosensewebster.com/last_img read more