Opposition Congress members in Gujarat on Monday disrupted the Governor’s speech in the Assembly on the first day of the five-day Budget session that began in the State capital on Monday. The Congress members did not allow Governor Om Prakash Kohli to complete his speech, prompting him to leave the House midway. The Opposition raised slogans seeking farm loan waiver, amidst calls by the Speaker to maintain decorum.When Mr. Kohli began his speech, the opposition benches started shouting slogans seeking farm debt waiver. As the Governor continued with his speech amidst calls by the Speaker to maintain decorum, the opposition members became more aggressive and raised slogans. Finance Minister Nitin Patel will present the vote-on-account on Tuesday.
The investigation is continuing into how an inmate obtained a sheriff deputy’s gun and shot two law officers monday, killing one of them in Council Bluffs.Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker arrived at the county jail shortly after23-year-old Wesley Williams Correa-Carmenaty shot two deputies and stole the jail transport van, crashing it through the jail’s garage door:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/CBJAIL.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…….to walk into. ;19A 43-year-old deputy, Mark Burbridge, died at an Omaha hospital.The second deputy, 59 year old Pat Morgan, was shot in the lower torso and is in stable condition.Danker says there are cameras in the sally port that should help investigators learn how the deputies were attacked:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/CBJAIL2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……..what happened. :11Earlier Monday, Correa-Carmenaty was sentenced to 45 years in prison for killing a man in a 2016 robbery.Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber says Correa-Carmenaty showed no remorse in court for the man he killed:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/CBJAIL3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……..by it as well. :20After his escape, Correa-Carmenaty allegedly shot 30 year old Jerry Brittain of Council Bluffs in an attempted carjacking.He then allegedly kidnapped 31 year old Amy Kanger of Glenwood and forced her to accompany him in her car before releasing her outside of an Omaha liquor store.He was then captured in Omaha after a pursuit.
To read the article, please clink on the link below.http://www.news-mail.com.au/story/2009/05/04/bundy-scores-a-cup-touch-down/
Website – www.touchfootball.com.auFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (#TWC2015)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia Related LinksDay 2 Results After rain late on Day 1, the blue skies on the morning of Day 2 looked promising that the rain would hold off, unfortunately not. The rain started mid morning and only stopped for brief moments. Games were suspended at half-time of the 4:30pm time slot and no further play will happen today.In the very wet conditions, the Aussies started off strong with more impressive results, winning all bar two. Further details on what will happen to the suspended games as well as future games will be posted in due course.Congratulations to Leonard Ryan on playing his 50th World Cup game when the Australian Men’s 50 defeated Ireland 12 – 0.Day 2 ResultsMen’s Open: Australia (22) defeated France (0)Australia (15) defeated Samoa (0)Australia (6) defeated Fiji (2)Women’s Open: Australia (22) defeated England (0)Australia (13) defeated Japan (1)Australia v South Africa (Game Suspended)Mixed Open: Australia (13) defeated France (0)Australia (11) defeated Samoa (4)Australia v Papua New Guinea (Game Suspended)Women’s 27: Australia (10) defeated England (1)Australia (16) defeated France (1)Men’s 30: Australia (14) defeated Japan (0)Australia (14) defeated England (0)Australia (18) defeated Fiji (0)Men’s 35: Australia (4) defeated by New Zealand (9)Australia (10) defeated France (3)Australia v Japan (Game Suspended)Men’s 40: Australia (10) defeated Japan (3)Australia (15) defeated Wales (2)Australia v New Zealand (Game Suspended)Men’s 50: Australia (12) defeated Ireland (0)Australia v Italy (Game Suspended)Senior Mixed: Australia (12) defeated England (3)Australia (6) defeated by New Zealand (7)Australia v Netherlands (Game Suspended)Keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the Australian teams at the 2015 Touch World Cup:
Jim Harbaugh has wrapped up his first recruiting class at the University of Michigan. The Wolverines finalized their 2015 class on Wednesday, National Signing Day. Here’s everything you need to know about Michigan’s 2015 class: The class ranks No. 38 in the country, No. 6 in the Big Ten, by 247 Sports. There are 14 players in the class, three of whom are from the state of Michigan. The class includes six 4-stars and eight 3-stars. The players are from Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Alabama and Pennsylvania. Harbaugh thanked former Michigan coach Brady Hoke during a National Signing Day interview. Harbaugh referenced pickles and squirting while discussing his recruiting efforts. Here are some of the things Harbaugh had to say about his 2015 class: Harbaugh says Michigan’s class is “humble” but also winners.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) February 4, 2015Harbaugh: All freshmen “have the license and ability to” play right now. “There’s no guarantees, only opportunities.”— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) February 4, 2015Harbaugh on the QBs: “They have a desire to compete in the classroom and on the field … I really like those kind of guys.”— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) February 4, 2015Harbaugh says “it’s possible” more players could join Michigan’s 2015 class.— Josh Newkirk (@JoshNewkirk7) February 4, 2015And here’s Michigan’s full, 14-man class, courtesy of 247 Sports:
Producer Harvey Weinstein was honored this week by The Survivor Mitzvah Project (SMP) as the recipient of the 2015 TRUTH TO POWER AWARD honoring exceptional individuals who challenge prejudice, intolerance and injustice through the power of ideas.Presenters Frances Fisher, Ron Rifkin, Valerie Harper, Charles Grodin, Zane Buzby, David EigenbergCredit/Copyright: Picasa“This award is given to Mr. Weinstein for his body of work depicting WWII and the Holocaust in multiple award-winning films such as Life Is Beautiful, The Reader, and Inglorious Basterds. Among filmmakers, it stands alone as a remarkable achievement. In an age where we are witnessing books being burned and films being banned, it is important to honor individuals such Harvey Weinstein, who continue to tell the story of the darkest days of human history, while enriching our lives,” said SMP founder, television director and CNN Hero, Zane Buzby.The Survivor Mitzvah Project, a humanitarian effort, delivers emergency aid to thousands of elderly Holocaust survivors in urgent need. SMP promotes the ideals of free speech and tolerance, via its nationwide program, “The Stars Come Out For Survivors”, a series of readings of Holocaust testimony by award-winning actors, including Ed Asner, Elliott Gould, Charles Grodin, Frances Fisher, Valerie Harper, Ron Rifkin, David Eigenberg and others. In NYC, the SMP brought the Hollywood and New York creative communities together as actors, musicians, writers and filmmakers from Broadway, film, television and the music industry joined together to stand against genocide and intolerance, whether it be religious, racial or gender based.At the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, actor Elliott Gould, a west coast participant, said, “It’s a privilege to participate in The Survivor Mitzvah Project, to aid the remaining isolated and forgotten survivors, and to make sure we never forget the horror of the Holocaust.”Zane Buzby adds, “it is 70 years since the end of the war. Harvey Weinstein, through his extraordinary contribution to the world of film, makes us remember our humanity in the face of evil, and therefore impacts our lives.”See “The Stars Come Out for Survivors” here.You can donate online to help elderly Holocaust survivors at: www.survivormitzvah.org, or send checks to:The Survivor Mitzvah Project2658 Griffith Park Blvd., Ste. # 299Los Angeles, CA 90039.100% of donations go directly into the hands of an elderly survivor in need.Source:www.survivormitzvah.org
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is leading private-sector investments to support The Nature Conservancy in the world’s first debt swap aimed at ocean conservation and climate resiliency.The deal increases protection for the country’s waters from less than 1% to more than 30% and supports the creation of the second largest Marine Protected Area in the West Indian Ocean.This deal was made possible through a partnership with the Seychelles Ministry of Finance, support of debt-holding nations including France, and grants from private organizations led by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.The Nature Conservancy provided a low interest loan of $21.4 million and helped secure an additional $5 million in private grants from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation with additional support from the Waitt Foundation, Oak Foundation, China Global Conservation Fund, Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham and the Turnbull Burnstein Family Charitable Fund and others.The Seychelles government has committed to protect more than 400,000 square kilometers of ocean through marine resource management over the next five years, according to Matt Brown, The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Conservation Director. “This deal is a significant milestone towards that goal and is a model for ocean conservation commitments worldwide.”“I’m proud my Foundation is partnering with Seychelles and The Nature Conservancy on this innovative project that will protect this vital ocean habitat and fragile marine life,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “We champion projects like this one across the globe that use cutting edge methods in conservation and environmental protection. This deal will enhance food security for the local people of Seychelles, help mitigate the effects of climate change on their low lying island home, and protect the surrounding rich ocean ecosystems for future generations.”Under the leadership of Seychelles President James Michel, the country joins a growing group of countries that have made unprecedented commitments to ocean conservation. Over the past two years, the governments of Palau, New Zealand, Chile, Kiribati, the United Kingdom and the United States collectively protected several million square kilometers of the world’s oceans.“Our future is only as healthy as the ocean that surrounds us,” said Seychelles President Jean Michel. “All nations of the world – whether large or small – must take responsibility to better manage our oceans. Through this debt swap we are mobilizing additional resources to both protect the most sensitive and vulnerable marine resources while also embracing the full potential of our blue economy.”The transaction restructures approximately $25 million of Seychelles debt, reducing the country’s financial burdens and strengthening the integrity of its conservation programs. Under the terms of the deal, debt payments will be redirected to a new independent, locally-led organization called the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust, which will oversee the marine conservation and climate adaptation efforts.The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Western Indian Ocean that is vulnerable to sea level rise, as well as changing temperatures and ocean acidification. Seychelles is 99 percent ocean, and its “blue economy” is built on a productive tuna fishery and ocean-based tourism.
Top Stories I have read rave reviews for the pick since the end of the first round. Tedy Bruschi labeled the Cards winners for the pick without even mentioning the trade to pick up an additional third-round selection. Pat Kirwin said he can do it all. Rick Neuheisel told our listeners that they will love Bucannon. Steve Keim said Arizona liked him before the combine and he blew everyone away at the combine.I’m sitting here on Friday knowing the Cardinals took a player at 27 that I thought should be taken 27 picks later. Then I hear very smart football people say two things: They didn’t see that coming and it was a great pick. That’s the mark of a pretty good general manager who impresses football people while fooling them.I have given Steve Keim high praise for a lot of his decisions. On Thursday night, I did not salute him. The way people are talking about Bucannon, that might have to change in two years. Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires OK. I get it. Someday I’ll have to say, “I was wrong.”I liked the pick of Deone Bucannon…for a Friday. Thursdays are first-round only. Fridays (for the time being) are the second and third round. When looking forward to Friday night at the beginning of the week, I hoped that Chris Borland or Kyle Van Noy might slip to the Cardinals. If that didn’t happen, Bucannon crossed my mind.A listener at our mock draft picked Bucannon and I scoffed that he’d be a first-round pick. I remember Bucannon very well on Halloween night when Washington State played ASU. He was the only one making plays. The problem for me in evaluating was the rest of the team was terrible. I struggled to tell if Bucannon was special or if making plays was all he could do because 10 other people kept screwing up. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
A plan to cut unnecessary regulations standing in the way of volunteer efforts to restore precious wetlands, spearheaded by Rep. Gary Howell and Rep. Joe Bellino, was signed into law by former Governor Rick Snyder as one of the last statutes he approved before leaving office.“Previously, the laws on the books treated volunteer organizations who wanted to restore our wetlands the same as big developers with plans to disrupt natural features,” Howell, of North Branch, said. “This plan removes the obstacles to good stewardship of our wetlands and encourages conservation volunteerism.”“Many of the regulations faced by volunteer groups simply don’t fit, and it made no sense to create needless complications and delays because the laws treated volunteers as though they were big development corporations,” Bellino, of Monroe, said. “I am pleased to see this plan to help restore our wetlands signed into law.”The plan laid out in House Bills 5854 and 5855, now Public Acts 561 and 562 of 2018 establishes a voluntary wetland restoration permit process that allows the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to better consider the effects of a proposed project as it relates to the health of the entire ecosystem.“This is a smart solution that will help restore more wetlands and benefit all of our fish and wildlife population,” Bellino said.“Public policy should reward and incentivize good stewardship of our natural resources, not serve as an obstacle, and that is exactly what this bill achieves,” Howell said. Categories: Howell News,News 03Jan Reps. Howell and Bellino: New law clears the way for wetlands restoration
State Rep. Julie Alexander’s plan to ensure victims and witnesses of sexual assault are not silenced was approved today by the Michigan House with overwhelming support.Alexander, of Hanover, said the measure is part of a comprehensive bipartisan plan to solve problems brought to light by the House’s inquiry into the handling of the Larry Nassar sexual assault investigation.“The Nassar case made it clear that very serious cases of sexual assault can go unreported,” Alexander said. “We must take steps to fix the problems brought to light and prevent sexual predators from preying on our children.”Alexander said current Michigan law only covers the use of physical force in preventing the reporting of sexual assault to authorities. House Bill 4374 would make it crime for an individual to intentionally use their professional position of authority to prevent such a report.“We must never allow someone to use their position of authority to convince a subordinate not to report a crime,” Alexander said. “People who try to silence survivors of sexual abuse must be held accountable.”The plan now advances to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Alexander News 19Jun House approves Rep. Alexander’s plan to protect survivors of sexual assault
Yahoo and Mediaset have struck an exclusive three-year deal for the sale of display, native and video advertising and content marketing on Yahoo’s Italian site.Mediaset said the deal would place its online advertising arm Mediamond immediately behind Google and Facebook in local measurement group Audiweb’s rankings, with a monthly reach of 21.2 million people and a daily reach of 5.3 million.Yahoo’s proprietary native platform Gemini wlll be available to Mediamond, while Mediamond and general ad sales arm Publitalia will be able to use social network Tumblr for cross-media projects, according to Mediaset.Mediaset CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi said that Yahoo was a brand with “extraordinary recognition and authority in the digital world”, which was playing an ever more important role in media strategy.
Competition is supposed to make competitors stronger, but when it comes to the battle between coal and shale gas for supremacy as the United States’ power-generating fuel of choice, the rivalry instead has each commodity holding the other down. Coal is the reigning champ is this competition, having provided at least 50% of the electricity consumed in the United States for many decades. Coal and nuclear plants have long worked together to provide the nation with its all-important baseload power; natural gas and renewables contribute to help meet peak-demand needs, but neither has come close to challenging coal’s grip on power. But then horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracturing unlocked trillions of cubic feet of natural gas from shale formations across North America. Suddenly the continent was flooded with gas; and as supplies overwhelmed demand, a commodity that traded as high as $13 per MMBtu just four years ago saw its value drop as much as 85%. At the same time, international demand kept coal prices pretty strong. Faced with a choice, utilities started to switch from coal to natural gas. Coal’s grip on US power-generation supremacy started to fade – from a high of 57% in 1985, coal’s contribution to US power needs slipped to 42% last year. Today coal is providing only 37% of US electricity. As demand for coal dropped, coal prices started to lose ground. In the past 12 months, prices for Appalachian coal have fallen 24% while coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming has lost 45% of its value. It’s become a race for the bottom. Ultracheap gas started to displace coal, coal prices fell to remain competitive, and now the two are fighting to simply tread water. The Switch to Gas As gas flooded the continent and prices plunged, it only made sense for US utilities to take advantage of this inexpensive alternative fuel. Southern Co., Xcel Energy, American Electric Power, and Dominion Resources are among the US power-generators that have taken advantage of low natural-gas prices to displace some of their coal-fired generation. Some of these companies simply started making more use of gas-fired plants that had previously only been used to serve peak-power demand. Others operate combined cycle coal-gas plants, which can burn either fuel. And some actually built new gas-fired units to replace older, less efficient facilities, some of which were being forced to close because of increasingly stringent environmental regulations. Southern’s switch to gas makes for a good example. Southern ran its combined cycle gas turbine fleet at a near-record 70% of capacity during the first quarter of the year, doubling the plants’ typical use. This degree of transition has the utility on pace to consume more gas than coal this year for the first time in its 100-year history. As a result the company expects to derive 47% of its power from gas and only 35% from coal. Five years ago the company relied on coal for 70% of its generation; gas provided just 16% of its power. No matter how you look at it, utilities are using a lot more gas than they used to. Barclays Capital estimates that 7 billion cubic feet of gas is being burned each by US utilities that used to burn coal to generate those watts. US Energy Information Administration data show power companies consuming 34% more gas this February than a year earlier. Credit Suisse estimates power plants ate up 5 billion cubic feet more gas each day in the first three months of the year compared to Q1 of 2011. However, the switchover phase is almost complete. Utilities have transitioned their combined cycle plants, restarted their idled gas capacities, and committed as much to new gas plants as they are probably willing to commit, given natural gas’ tendency for extreme price volatility. And utilities will only start to make a dent in America’s massive stockpiles of natural gas if the trend to increased gas consumption can continue through this year. Credit Suisse figures the power industry will need to burn at least 4.5 billion cubic feet more per day above 2011 levels to create a notable drawdown in gas inventories, something that analysts peg as unprecedented but not out of the question. So the switch is barely easing the gas-supply glut…but it is definitely hurting coal prices. What Happens Next As utilities switched to gas, demand for coal started to decline, and with declining demand comes falling prices. By January coal producers could no longer ignore the trend and started idling mines. Patriot Coal idled its Big Mountain mine, Alpha Natural Resources closed four mines, and many other companies cut back on production volumes. Coal production in the United States is now down 8% compared to this time last year. Shares of Peabody Energy, the biggest coal producer in the United States, have dropped from $70 to $29. Arch Coal shares have fallen from $35 to less than $10. Several coal producers have announced losses in the hundreds of millions. I like to say that the cure for low prices is low prices. Low commodity prices force production cuts, which reduce supplies and help to define a pricing floor based on the cost of production. Eventually, reduced supplies fall behind building demand, and prices are forced back up again. The interesting thing about this situation is that there are two commodities competing to define the pricing floor. It’s like a manufacturing battle, where two companies keep undercutting each other’s prices until one goes under and the survivor gets all the business. In this case, neither fuel is going to go under – both will undoubtedly play important roles in electricity generation in the United States for many years. Instead, the competition will simply keep a tight lid on prices for years. For example, in the last month natural gas prices posted an impressive rally, gaining as much as 40% after bottoming below $2 per MMBtu. That rally has now stalled, blocked from continued ascent by two serious obstacles: coal prices and shut-in gas production. Coal prices matter because natural gas needs to remain competitive with coal. Utilities only switched to gas because it was cheaper, but with gas’ rally that economic edge is wearing thin. In fact, our calculations show that the two fuels are almost equivalent in terms of energy economics. Since April 20 Central Appalachian coal has been priced at US$60.90 per ton. Each pound of Central Appalachian thermal coal generates 12,500 Btu, or 0.0125 MMBtu. With that information we can calculate that this mainstay US thermal coal is currently priced at US$2.436 per MMBtu. Natural gas is priced per MMBtu, so we can now compare our two fuels on a dollars-per-energy-produced basis: over the same time frame, the Henry Hub natural gas spot price has averaged US$2.188 per MMBtu. So gas is cheaper than coal, but not by much. In fact, on May 25 the Henry Hub spot price was US$2.67 per MMBtu, making gas slightly more expensive than coal on an energy-equivalent basis. And the price to generate each unit of energy is the only thing that matters to energy producers. We contend that gas’ price rally is over because if a rising gas price renders the two fuels economically equivalent, the shift to gas will end. Remember, coal was entrenched as America’s power-generation mainstay for many years, and that tenure leaves behind a legacy that favors a return to coal – if the economics allow it. For example, many US utilities are sitting on growing coal inventories. These utilities are being forced to continue buying the fuel under long-term take-or-pay contracts and will start burning it as soon as it makes sense to do so. And limited storage space is making these stockpiles problematic: GenOn Energy (NYSE:GEN), for instance, has declared force majeure on coal receipts due to a lack of storage space. The other, longer-term barrier to a natural-gas price rally is the huge resources locked up in shut-in shales. As prices fell gas producers reduced output, starting with the fields that generated the lowest margins. The first on the chopping block: dry shales, which are formations that produce only dry natural gas (also known as straight methane), without much in the way of other byproduct fuels. Wet shales or liquids-rich shales, by contrast, produce significant volumes of heavier fossil fuels, like propane, butane, pentane, and even crude oil. Low natural gas prices have rendered many dry gas wells uneconomic, but the bonus production of natural gas liquids is keeping many wet gas wells in the black. While producers may not be tapping into these dry shale resources right now, the resources themselves haven’t disappeared. Instead, these unloved dry shales have created a cap on natural gas prices. As soon as prices move up enough to render dry-gas production profitable, gas companies across the US will put their dry shales back into production, creating another glut of supply that will limit prices once again. Coal is facing a similar situation. Coal prices have to remain depressed in order for coal to remain competitive. In short, the price of thermal coal in the United States is going to be constrained – perhaps even controlled – by the price of natural gas for the foreseeable future. The Bottom Line In the United States, shale gas production will keep gas prices low for years. Even a decline in stockpiles will do little to help – if prices climb, producers will return to their shut-in wells, and supplies will ramp up again. The massive volumes of natural gas sitting on reserve books across the continent simply will not let prices rise very much for a long time. Constrained natural gas prices will keep a lid on thermal coal prices. Once the king of America’s power generation machine, coal now has to compete with natural gas at every turn; and to be competitive, it has to carry about the same price per MMBtu as gas. Coal and natural gas are very different, but in fact the two fuels are more intertwined than one might think. The shale gas phenomenon has changed the natural gas world fundamentally; the result has been that coal and natural gas now compete for the same market. With abundant resources of both available in North America, instead of making each other stronger, coal and natural gas are holding each other down. Unbelievable as it may seem, there are ways to play this rivalry for handsome profits. In fact, the entire energy sector appears poised to be the bull market of the 21st century. Don’t let that opportunity pass you by. By Marin Katusa, Casey Research
Add to Queue Guest Writer Opponents of marijuana legalization have sincere, but largely debunked, concerns. Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. –shares Just to Keep an Open Mind, What Are Some Arguments Against Legalizing Marijuana? Free Green Entrepreneur App Image credit: Sebastian Kopp | EyeEm | Getty Images Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Legal Marijuana Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. 3 min read Large sections of the U.S. population still oppose marijuana legalization. To understand where they are coming from, here are some of the major reasons they still stand in opposition even in the face of growing acceptance of marijuana.Making money off heavy users.When it comes to alcohol and tobacco, big companies make much of their profits off those with serious addiction to their products.For example, according to the Washington Post, 30 percent of people in the U.S. don’t drink at all. Another 30 percent have one drink per week. So, there’s 60 percent of the market bringing in little money for alcohol companies. The next 20 percent drink around six drinks per week or less.It’s the high-volume users in the final 20 percent that drive sales. The top 10 percent of users consume almost 74 drinks per week – more than 10 per day. The 10 percent below them consume 15 drinks per week.Would this play out the same with marijuana? Perhaps. The obvious counter argument is that those who have a glass of wine with dinner aren’t penalized because someone else is drinking two bottles, so why do the same with marijuana?Also, cannabis is still not proven to be physically addictive like alcohol or cigarettes.Related: New Study Confirms What Many Already Know: Cannabis Helps Treat InsomniaThe “gateway drug” myth.Some people — most notably anti-marijuana Attorney General Jeff Sessions — argue that marijuana can open the door to the use of more powerful drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), studies have found that in some cases, the use of marijuana made people more likely to have an alcohol abuse problem within three years.But marijuana opponents don’t always note the “however” part. The NIDA goes on to report that:The majority of marijuana users do not go on to use “harder” drugsAlcohol and nicotine — both legal for adults — can prime the brain for moving on to drug abuseMany factors contribute to drug abuse problems, especially a person’s social environmentRelated: Yet Another Study Finds Marijuana Reduces Opioid UseUse by teenagersNo one on either side of the marijuana legalization debate argues that teen use of marijuana is acceptable. Studies have found that issues related to cannabis use by teens include memory loss, chronic cough and long-term learning problems, according to the NIDA.However, there is disagreement on whether legal cannabis leads to more teen use. A recent study showed that teen use of marijuana has not increased in states where marijuana was legalized. Another study from Columbia University this year also found no increase in adolescent use in states where medical marijuana is legal.These issues rank among the top reasons marijuana legalization opponents have taken their position. While most of the population is aligned against them, expect these arguments to continue as long as marijuana laws are the subject of debate.Follow dispensaries.com on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. August 14, 2018 dispensaries.com Download Our iOS App
Image credit: Shutterstock David Meyer Add to Queue April 28, 2016 Science –shares Apply Now » Why Microsoft Just Bought 10 Million Strands of DNA Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2 min read Microsoft just bought 10 million strands of DNA from a San Francisco company called Twist Bioscience. Why? Data storage.When you think about DNA and data, chances are you’re thinking about all that genetic information that can help further medical research, and tell people more about themselves. This isn’t about that, but rather about dealing with the increasing amounts of data being generated these days.DNA is, according to companies such as Twist, extremely promising as a storage medium, because of its lifespan (measurable in millennia) and the density at which it can hold information (almost a trillion gigabytes per gram, Twist claims).Twist makes silicon-based synthesized DNA strands that, according to CEO Emily Leproust, “offers unmatched scale and product quality that vastly accelerates the ability to write DNA at a cost enabling data storage.”“As our digital data continues to expand exponentially, we need new methods for long-term, secure data storage,” said Doug Carmean of Microsoft’s technology and research organization. “The initial test phase with Twist demonstrated that we could encode and recover 100 percent of the digital data from synthetic DNA.”As Leproust said in a recent IEEE Spectrum interview, it’s not that hard to synthesize DNA strands, but the trick is being able to automate the process to build scale.Twist’s technology is based on the same etching techniques that computer chip manufacturers use. Rivals include Zymergen, another Californian biotech outfit. This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine
Next Article June 9, 2016 Register Now » –shares Add to Queue 1 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. This story originally appeared on Reuters Tesla Tesla Motors Introduces Two Less-Costly Model S Versions Reuters Tesla Motors Inc. said on Thursday it would offer two less-costly versions of its electric Model S sedan, starting at $66,000 in the U.S. market.The current Model S starts around $76,000 and is often delivered to customers at a price of about $100,000.Prices are before tax incentives are applied.The new versions, the Model S 60 and the Model S 60D, will have slightly less range and a smaller battery pack than the Model S.The S 60 and S60D battery pack provides 60 kilowatt-hours, compared with the S’s 75 KWh.The newer models will have a range of more than 200 miles, Tesla said in a statement.(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn) Image credit: Reuters | Lucas Jackson
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 7 2019Backed by a $5.1 million grant, University of North Carolina and University of Malawi College of Medicine physicians and scientists will launch a multi-pronged effort to combat cervical cancer in Malawi, a country in sub-Saharan Africa where cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women.The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, will fund a total of $12 million for two new programs to prevent cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, including the project in Malawi and one in Mozambique.”By screening women, we are able to detect and treat precancerous changes before they develop into cervical cancer,” said Jennifer Tang, MD, MSCR, co-principal investigator of the study for UNC, associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology’s Division of Global Women’s Health and a member of the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases Malawi site. “Because women in Malawi weren’t getting screened, they were getting diagnosed very late. A late cervical cancer diagnosis is usually a death sentence in Malawi. That is why we’re trying to screen as many women as possible using a highly sensitive test, and to treat the women with evidence of precancerous lesions the same day. This increases the number of women screened and treated, and decreases loss to follow up.”Globally, the majority of cervical cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. The disease is linked to the sexual transmission of HPV, or human papillomavirus.Malawi has the second-highest cervical cancer rate of any country in the world, according to 2018 estimates from the HPV Information Centre. That is due to high rates of HPV as well as HIV, and low population-level screening and vaccination, said Satish Gopal, MD, MPH, member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, cancer program director for UNC Project-Malawi and an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology.In 2004, the Malawi Cervical Cancer Control Program set a target of screening 80 percent of eligible women for cervical cancer. Yet, less than a third had completed this screening as of 2015, according to data from the program.”Progress is being made, but there is a tremendous amount still to do to stem the cervical cancer epidemic,” said Gopal. “We need to understand how to most efficiently deliver the preventive services to the highest number of women, and avert these unnecessary cancer deaths.”With the new funds, UNC-Chapel Hill and the Malawi College of Medicine will evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of integrating self-collection HPV testing into voluntary family planning clinics and community-based sites in Malawi. The researchers also are planning to investigate the effectiveness of treating precancerous lesions using a method known as thermocoagulation in a “screen-and-treat” strategy.”We couldn’t be more proud of this team of U.S.- and African-trained investigators receiving such a large award to better understand the global burden of cervical cancer,” said Myron Cohen, MD, director of the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. “UNC faculty and staff from across the campus have worked hard over the past 25 years to build a self-sustaining model of clinical care, research and training in Malawi for health professionals from the United States and in-country to succeed and improve health for all. This grant exemplifies this mission.”Recent technological advances have made the project possible, Tang said. HPV testing can now be completed rapidly to determine if a woman has a strain of the virus that is high-risk for causing cervical cancer. With the results, providers can determine which women might need same-day treatment of precancerous cervical lesions. Thermocoagulation involves using a portable, battery-operated device that can easily be used in settings with limited resources, she said.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds study”Transportation is one of the biggest barriers to treatment for women in Malawi, along with cost,” she said. “We’re trying to save women from having to come to the clinic multiple times, spending money and time they don’t have. As soon as we find a problem, we are treating it immediately.”UNC physicians and researchers have been collaborating with Malawian health leaders since 1990 to provide clinical care and research for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. This partnership led to the establishment of the UNC Project-Malawi site in Lilongwe. As prevention and treatment interventions have improved the survival rates of people living with HIV in Malawi, cancer has emerged as a growing health problem in the country. In 2014, the Malawi Cancer Consortium was launched with funding from the National Cancer Institute to help fight cancer, and HIV-associated cancers in particular.Last year, Malawian leaders traveled to UNC-Chapel Hill to meet with Carolina leadership, physicians and scientists to prepare for the opening of Malawi’s first dedicated cancer center, which is expected this year and is being built adjacent to UNC Project-Malawi.The newly funded cervical cancer project builds on the results of a pilot study led by Lameck Chinula, MMED, FCOG, who is co-principal investigator for this project and the first Malawian-trained obstetrician and gynecologist at UNC Project-Malawi. During the pilot study, more than 400 rural women were screened for cervical cancer using a community-based screening approach, and then treated with thermocoagulation if they were found to have precancerous lesions.Chinula, who is also a research assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was trained in South Africa through funding from the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases partnership with the Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program and the Gilead Training Fellowship. To address another critical need, he was also trained to perform the surgical procedure used to treat invasive cervical cancer – radical hysterectomy – by two U.S. gynecologic oncology specialists. Chinula now strives to educate other clinicians, and Malawian women in general, to stop cervical cancer before it becomes deadly.”We would like to see providers maximize any contacts they have with women and use the most efficient, culturally-sensitive screening test available to identify patients needing treatment for cervical pre-cancer,” Chinula said. “By allowing women to self-collect specimens for HPV testing, we hope to empower and increase the number of women screened. As a clinician-researcher who has had to deliver the bad news of an incurable cervical cancer diagnosis in Malawi, I can look to the future with hope that a day will come when these diagnoses will be a rare occurrence.”According to the USAID, this is the first time the agency has funded programs to prevent cervical cancer in the context of broader women’s health, other than under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These new programs in Malawi and Mozambique will coordinate closely with PEPFAR investments in both countries.”Women who aren’t screened and treated for cervical cancer have a higher risk of dying of this preventable disease,” said UNC Lineberger’s Jennifer S. Smith, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “We need to do all that we can to increase cervical screening rates globally. We’re testing a self-sampling technology that should increase screening coverage dramatically, but we do have unanswered questions about implementation within existing health care systems and cost. Study findings will inform future policy and implementation, not only for self-collection tests in Malawi, but other countries.”Source: http://unclineberger.org/news/unc-led-team-awarded-5-1m
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 6 2019There’s no doubt that surgically implanted medical devices can improve lives.Hip and knee replacements can help people regain their mobility. Drug pumps can deliver doses of pain-relieving medicine on demand. And metal rods can stabilize spines and broken bones.But implanted devices can also do serious damage, as happened to Mechel Keel, who lives in Owosso, Mich.To fix her leaky bladder, an OB-GYN stitched a flexible mesh strap inside her pelvis in 2004. But within months, the mesh hardened and started cutting her insides.The pain kept her from returning to her job as a hairdresser. The injuries and scar tissue that developed required multiple surgeries to correct and also resulted in chronic infections.Keel said she understands why her doctor in Tennessee thought the high-tech mesh would help. But she also now feels she was treated like “a guinea pig.”“We were the testers,” she said. “There was no animal testing done. We were the animals.”Thousands of cases of complications from surgical mesh have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration. More and more ailments are being treated these days with medical devices, including implants. And most of these medical devices, unlike pills in a medicine cabinet, don’t go through human testing before being offered to patients.But some devices break down or malfunction in people’s bodies, and reports about sometimes debilitating injuries have led the FDA to rethink how it assesses medical devices before allowing them to be sold.For devices in which failure is obviously life-threatening, regulators have required some sort of human testing as part of the most stringent path — known as premarket approval. But most medical devices enter the market after manufacturers provide technical information and show that the devices are similar to others that have been legally sold previously.The FDA has acknowledged that some seemingly safe devices have caused major problems, and the agency has elevated the risk level of those products following reports of injuries, as it did with urogynecologic surgical mesh for some uses in 2016. “Unfortunately, the FDA cannot always know the full extent of the benefits and risks of a device before it reaches the market,” the agency said in a recent statement.“We have things like metal-on-metal hips,” said health journalist Jeanne Lenzer about a kind of orthopedic implant. “Outside the body, [they] seem to function just fine. They put them in little machines, rock them back and forth — they don’t break. [But] put them inside people, and something very different happens.”There have been massive recalls of hip implants, for example, due to devices causing swelling and pain. And there have been problems with weakened bones in patients who received hip implants that contained plastic.Lenzer wrote a scathing book, “The Danger Within Us,” about the device industry and said she was “dumbfounded” to find out how many devices never went through human testing the way drugs do.That’s in part because of a regulatory review process known as 510(k) for a section of the FDA law covering medical devices. Manufacturers typically show their product has “substantial equivalence” to a “predicate device” that has already been legally marketed.That standard can perpetuate problems. “You just say your device is like an old device, and the old device was never tested, nor was your device,” Lenzer said.In practice, sometimes the basis for a whole family tree of devices turns out to be defective. Pelvic mesh is a relevant example, with much of what’s on the market being based on mesh that was around prior to implementation of FDA regulations for medical devices in 1976. One study found that 16 percent of mesh on the market was designed like products that had been pulled from the market because of safety concerns.Thousands of women have filed suit — or reached settlements — with medical device companies that manufacture pelvic mesh.“I would want nothing if you could just give me my life back,” said Gloria Jones of Hillsdale, Mich., who is one of thousands who have settled with device manufacturers over faulty mesh. “They could have given me millions, but all I needed was my life back.”Jones, who has struggled to continue working through crippling abdominal pain as a middle school special-education teaching assistant, has had four surgeries to remove pieces and continues to require intravenous drugs to control infections.Related StoriesLipid-lowering drugs are underutilized for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseaseBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitNew technology to harvest energy from the human knee“It seems like I get off one antibiotic, and three days later I have another one,” she said. “I would beg anybody who is even thinking of putting mesh in their bodies to stop and get a second opinion.”In response to problems reported with mesh, the FDA started requiring human testing for some of these products in recent years. The agency held an advisory committee meeting on Feb. 12 to discuss the safety and effectiveness of mesh and how it should be regulated.Manufacturers by and large have said they don’t oppose what the FDA is trying to do, calling the changes reasonable. But they have pushed back against calls to bring regulation of medical devices in line with that of pharmaceuticals.“If you’re treating someone for high cholesterol, the testing that you go through to ensure safety and effectiveness on a chemical that’s going to be used in your body to control your cholesterol is just very different than it would be for the implantation of a heart valve,” said Scott Whitaker, CEO of AdvaMed, a trade association for medical device companies. “Honestly, it’s apples and oranges.”Whitaker dismisses the idea that devices, which range from tongue depressors to surgical robots, should all go through human trials.“Testing should be as complete and as thorough and as ethical and as appropriate as possible. But it doesn’t all fit the same and can’t all fit the same standard,” Whitaker said. “And while we always strive for 100 percent, there are times when something might not go according to plan. It could also be because the surgery didn’t go as was planned.”The FDA declined NPR’s request for an interview. But the agency has released some written justification for the regulatory revamp.“We believe firmly in the merits of the 510(k) process,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a November statement, noting that applications have more than doubled in size to an average of 1,185 pages. “But we also believe that framework needs to be modernized to reflect advances in technology, safety and the capabilities of a new generation of medical devices.”In the same statement, the agency addressed some specific shortcomings and charted plans to make changes to the process over the next few months: Dr. Michael Matheny, a Vanderbilt University professor who tracks medical devices, approves of the FDA’s incremental approach and calls it thoughtful.“It would really be unfortunate if patients wouldn’t consider any medical devices at all to be used in their bodies,” Matheny said. “But I do think being aware that there’s nothing without risk is also important.”Matheny notes, though, that in some ways the risks can be more profound for devices than medication. If the FDA recalls pills, a patient can at least stop taking them immediately, he said. With implanted devices, patients are sort of stuck, at least for a while — and that’s if surgeons can even safely remove them.This story is part of a partnership that includes Nashville Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Pushing back on manufacturers that base any new device’s marketing application on one that’s more than 10 years old; More actively watching how devices perform once they’re on the market, rather than relying on patients to report problems; Scrapping the 510(k) name for something more descriptive, such as the “Safety and Performance Based Pathway.”