Sudanese forces storm protest camp nine people dead

first_imgUS, BRITISH CONCERNThe British Ambassador in Khartoum said he had heard heavy gunfire for more than an hour from his residence and he was extremely concerned.“No excuse for any such attack. This. Must. Stop. Now,” Ambassador Irfan Siddiq wrote on Twitter.The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum also described the attack on the protest camp as “wrong” and said it must stop.“Responsibility falls on the TMC. The TMC cannot responsibly lead the people of Sudan,” the embassy said on its Twitter account.The television footage showed black smoke rising from tents apparently torched by the raiding force.Protesters poured into the streets in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, on the opposite side of the River Nile, after news of the raid spread. Demonstrators blocked roads with rocks and burning tyres, witnesses said.Demonstrators, some waving Sudanese flags, hurled stones at security forces, who charged amid sounds of intense gunfire.A video posted on social media showed one protester collapse to the ground, crying in pain after being hit by what appeared as live fire.A Reuters witness saw troops wielding batons, including riot police and members of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, deploy in central Khartoum and close roads, apparently to try to block people from reaching the protest site.Bridges over the Nile have also been blocked.There were no signs of any security forces in Omurdam.Under Bashir, an Islamist former general who ruled for three decades and is wanted by international prosecutors for alleged war crimes in the Darfur region, Sudan was on a U.S. list of sponsors of terrorism. Various powers, including wealthy Gulf Arab states, and now trying to influence its path. Stability is crucial for the security of a volatile region struggling against Islamist insurgencies, from the Horn of Africa through Egypt and Libya. Footage broadcast by al-Hadath and Jazeera television showed chaotic scenes of people fleeing through streets as sustained bursts of gunfire crackled in the air. People rushed to carry away those who had been hit, the footage showed.The main protest group accused the ruling military council of trying to break up the camp, calling the action “a massacre”. But the council said the security forces had targeted criminals in an adjacent area.The protesters and Sudan’s military rulers had been negotiating over who should govern in a transitional period following the overthrow of Bashir after months of generally peaceful demonstrations, but the talks have become deadlocked. Sudan, Sudan protest, Omar al Bashir, Omar al Bashir Sudan, Sudan news, Sudan protest news, Khartoum attack, Sudan Khartoum attack, World news, Indian Express Sudanese protesters erect a barricade on a street and demanding that the country’s Transitional Military Council hand over power to civilians in Khartoum, Sudan June 3, 2019. (Reuters)The Transitional Military Council (TMC) has offered to let protesters form a government but insists on maintaining overall authority during an interim period. The demonstrators want civilians to run the transitional period and lead Sudan’s 40 million people to democracy.Thousands of young men and women have been taking turns to camp outside the Defence Ministry, the focal point of anti-government protests that started in December.The opposition’s doctors committee said nine people had been killed in Monday’s violence.“The protesters holding a sit-in in front of the army general command are facing a massacre in a treacherous attempt to disperse the protest,” the protest group said in a statement. Advertising By Reuters |Written by Reuters | Khartoum | Published: June 3, 2019 4:48:31 pm Sudanese man shot dead during protest as sides wrangle over transition It urged the Sudanese people to come to their aid.The military council’s spokesman, Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi, said the raid targeted criminals and that the protesters were safe.“The protest camp has not been dispersed,” Kabbashi said. “The security forces were trying to disperse unruly (elements) in the Colombia area, near the protest site, and some of these elements fled to the protest site and caused this chaos.”The council was still committed to a political settlement and was ready to resume talks on a civilian transition soon, Kabbashi added. Thousands demonstrate in Sudan to mark 40 days since deadly crackdown Best Of Express Sudan’s military rulers say coup attempt thwarted P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Advertising More Explained Related News Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising Sudan, Sudan protest, Omar al Bashir, Omar al Bashir Sudan, Sudan news, Sudan protest news, Khartoum attack, Sudan Khartoum attack, World news, Indian Express Sudanese protesters gather by a barricade on a street, demanding that the country’s Transitional Military Council hand over power to civilians, in Khartoum, Sudan June 3, 2019. (Reuters)Security forces stormed a protest camp in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday morning and at least nine people were reported to have been killed in the worst violence since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

India Pakistan exchange prisoners list

first_img Related News The matter was discussed during a diplomatic communication between the two nations on Monday where a list of prisoners was exchanged simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad.India handed over lists of 256 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen in India’s custody to Pakistan. Pakistan has shared lists of 209 fishermen and 52 prisoners in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians.Sources said it was a routine exchange in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged on January 1 and July 1, every year. Advertising ICJ verdict: Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence suspended, Pakistan told to review, grant access By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 2, 2019 7:06:09 am 0 Comment(s) Apart from this, the government has sought Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to the members of the medical experts team, proposed to visit Pakistan to assess the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian prisoners of unsound mind. India has asked Pakistan to organise early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee to Pakistan and organise early visit of the four-member team to Karachi in connection with release and repatriation of 22 Indian fishing boats. “Immediate consular access has also been sought for the remaining prisoners and fishermen with the request to facilitate their earliest release and repatriation,” an MEA statement said.“India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country. In this context, India has also asked Pakistan to expedite its response in the case of 88 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, who have completed their sentences and await repatriation for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan, ” it added. Advertising What next for Pakistan: how ICJ raises bar for Kulbhushan Jadhav’s due process Harish Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed India Pakistan exchange prisoners list As many as 124 of these prisoners are Indian fishermen while the rest are other civilians, sources said. (Representational image)India had asked Pakistan to expedite the release of 134 Indians lodged in jails of that country as their nationality has been confirmed, government sources said. As many as 124 of these prisoners are Indian fishermen while the rest are other civilians, sources said.last_img read more

Dawoods Pak aide in UK opposes US extradition citing depression NYs adverse

first_imgBy PTI |London | Published: July 2, 2019 3:46:12 pm Advertising Related News Best Of Express Advertising The trial is scheduled for a three-day period until Wednesday but is likely to spill over into a fourth day later this month in order to incorporate all the witness statements.Judge Zani was first asked to rule on the issue of identity to ascertain that Jabir Moti aka Jabir Motiwala aka Jabir Siddiq was indeed the person sought by the US authorities as part of their investigations.The judge did rule on the issue and it was agreed that the accused would be referred to as Jabir Siddiq when being addressed directly and as Jabir Motiwala during the course of the legal arguments.Moti, who appeared in the dock unshaven and in a scruffy T-shirt, has been lodged at Wandsworth prison – the same prison in south-west London where fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi is currently being held pending his extradition trial sought by India in relation to the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.Moti was arrested by the Scotland Yard from a London hotel in August 2018 in connection with a US grand jury indictment following an extensive FBI probe. The charges against him relate to a period between 2010 and 2014 and could carry a sentence of around 25 years behind bars in the US. India says Dawood Ibrahim’s location is ‘no secret’, Pakistan denies gangster’s presence in country Jabir Moti, 51, who was arrested by Scotland Yard last year, appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court here at the start of his trial.He faces extradition to the US after an FBI probe charged him with money laundering, extortion and conspiracy to import unlawful substances such as heroine.Moti, who is referred to during the court proceedings under different names like Jabir Motiwala and Jabir Siddiq, is accused of laundering around USD 1.4 million to date on behalf of the D Company, headed by Dawood — a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. “Mr Motiwala, a high-ranking member of D Company, travels extensively and conducts meetings for its head — one Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian Muslim who along with his brother Anis Ibrahim are fugitives from Indian justice,” said barrister John Hardy, appearing on behalf of the US government.In his opening statement, Hardy laid out details of the D Company as an international criminal organisation based in India, Pakistan and the UAE which carried out illegal activities in the US, including narcotics trafficking and extortion.He told Judge John Zani that the FBI’s investigations, dating back to 2009, involved a series of confidential sources who held undercover meetings and telephone and email interactions with Moti, which implicate him as a lead money launderer for the D Company.Moti’s legal team, led by barrister Edward Fitzgerald, raised the issue of “passage of time” as part of his defence, claiming that the alleged offences date back many years and the “long delay” between 2014 and 2018 had not been “explained” by the US authorities. 0 Comment(s) However, the crux of the defence case seemed to focus on Moti’s mental health condition, which they claimed would be exacerbated on being held in “adverse prison conditions in New York”.“He has a long and documented history of suffering from depression and has made at least three suicide attempts in 2008, 2011 and 2015 and has remained in the care of a psychiatrist in Pakistan since 2008,” Fitzgerald told the court, adding that given the “gravity of his condition”, Moti would be a high suicide risk if he were to be extradited.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the US government, submitted that while it is accepted the defendant has had mental health issues in the past, the issue for the court would be to determine what measures can be taken to mitigate any risk posed by that condition if he was to be extradited.Both sides are set to produce witnesses before the court to strengthen their arguments for and against. The charge of importing heroine into the US carries a life sentence, which will also be a focal point of the arguments. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 22 at 2.43 pm: ISRO Advertising Mumbai: Dawood ‘aide’ held in cheating case Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Taking stock of monsoon rain Dawood Ibrahim’s illegitimate activities from ‘safe haven’ posing real threats: India to UNSC More Explained His defence team has previously disputed allegations of him being a key aide of D Company as “obvious nonsense”, describing Moti as a “man of exemplary character” who is a tax paying, prominent businessman based in Karachi and accredited as a stock broker, with a family stock-broking business dating back to the 1950s in Pakistan. dawood ibrahim, dawood ibrahim aide, mumbai bomb blasts accused, pakistan, extradition, uk jail, uk prison, money laundering, extortion, depression, scotland yard, indian express news Moti, who is referred to during the court proceedings under different names like Jabir Motiwala and Jabir Siddiq, is accused of laundering around USD 1.4 million to date on behalf of the D Company, headed by Dawood — a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. (Source: File)Dawood Ibrahim’s top Pakistani aide, who is lodged in a UK jail awaiting extradition to the US, is suffering from depression and has made at least three suicide attempts in the past, making him unfit for deportation, his lawyers told a British court.last_img read more

Former Interpol chief admits guilt in China court hearing – state media

first_img Wife of ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei granted asylum in France China indicts former Interpol chief on bribery charges By Reuters |Beijing | Published: June 20, 2019 12:01:19 pm Wife of ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei granted asylum in France FILE – In this July 4, 2017 file photo, Interpol President, Meng Hongwei, walks toward the stage to deliver his opening address at the Interpol World Congress in Singapore. On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, China expelled former Interpol chief Meng from public office and the ruling Communist Party as he awaits trial on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)Chinese state media said former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei admitted his guilt during a court hearing on Thursday after prosecutors accused him of taking 14.5 million yuan ($2.11 million) in bribes. The court, in the northern city of Tianjin, will announce its verdict at a later date, the official People’s Daily said.It is not clear who Meng’s lawyer is and it was not possible to reach him or a legal representative for comment. His wife, who has been granted asylum in France, has said the charges against him are politically motivated. China says probing more people after former Interpol chief’s fall Related News Advertising Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Two NPCC officers held for seeking bribe to clear bills CBI

first_img Related News NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Gayatri mining scam: Ex-SP minister Prajapati, 4 IAS officers booked by CBI In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Once money landed in Delhi, Baid allegedly informed Kotwal to make arrangements for its pickup, who in return asked his relative Sunil Kumar to visit Delhi between July 13 and 15 and pick it up, they said.The pick up was arranged at a hotel in the Safdarjung Enclave, where the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team raided the location and arrested Sunil Kumar, who was receiving the bribe from Ramesh Kumar, an employee of Baid. It is alleged that Kotwal and Pasha had demanded bribe of Rs 33 lakh from Baid for passing the bills for construction of BSF outposts done by his firm, officials said.Baid assured Kotwal that the payment could be made once his bills are cleared. Kotwal suggested him to get the bills prepared and process them on a back date.Kotwal also asked Baid to allegedly pay Rs three lakh as initial payment to his office personnel posted at the NPCC Zonal Office, Silchar in Assam, who were processing his pending bills which was made by one Swapan Das, an employee of Baid, they said.On July 1, Kotwal further instructed Baid to transfer Rs 40 lakh as bribe to him in Delhi, the CBI alleged. Three days later, Baid allegedly arranged a transfer of Rs 25 lakh to Delhi through one Vinit Agarwal, a businessman based in Assam, through a ‘hawala’ channel, it said. Advertising Post Comment(s) The agency has arrested Rakesh Mohan Kotwal, NPCC zonal manager and Latiful Pasha, manager for alleged corruption. Sources said they are among seven people arrested in the case. The other five are private individuals, identified as Anish Baid, owner of Shree Gautam Construction Company, Binod Singhi, director in Baid’s company, Ramesh Kumar, an employee in the company, Sunil Kumar, Kotwal’s relative and one Dharmendra Kumar.Sunil Kumar, who allegedly received Rs 25 lakh, a part of the payment of bribe on behalf of Kotwal from Ramesh Kumar in a hotel in Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave area, was caught red-handed when CBI teams carried out a raid on Sunday.Others were arrested later on the basis of questioning of the accused and information received by the agency. The CBI had received information about the transaction and carried out the raids, officials said. Later, searches were carried out at 18 locations in Delhi, Silchar, Jalpaiguri, Guwahati and Gwalior, they said.center_img CBI searches three districts of UP in connection with illegal mining scam financial probes, corporate Affairs Ministry, financial sector, financial raid investigation, it department, saradha group, west bengal, cbi, sfio, india news, indian express The agency has arrested Rakesh Mohan Kotwal, NPCC zonal manager and Latiful Pasha, manager for alleged corruption. Sources said they are among seven people arrested in the case.The CBI has arrested two senior officials of National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) Limited for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 40 lakh for clearing bills pertaining to construction of BSF border outposts, agency sources said on Monday. Advertising Best Of Express Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook By Express News Service |New Delhi | Updated: July 16, 2019 4:18:27 am CBI raids: Opposition MPs write to PM accusing govt of ‘intimidation’ and ‘coercion’ last_img read more

Gadget Ogling Apple at Home

first_imgWelcome to the latest edition of Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that mines the latest gadget announcements in search of the latest and greatest gizmos… or at least the ones that provoke enough interest to discuss.And what do you know? With another Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote in the book, there are plenty of Apple products over which we can cast our beady eye: Apple HomePod, a refreshed iMac Pro, and a new iPad Pro.These are not reviews, in part because some of these items are months away from hitting shelves. The ratings relate only to how much I’m interested in trying each product. It’s more powerful, of course, and it has the same cameras as the iPhone 7. I’m not sure I’ll ever come to terms with people taking photos with their tablet, but this seems a way to prepare for an increase of interest and use cases in augmented reality. The latest model has refresh rates of up to 120Hz, which should make the visuals more fluid while the display is the brightest yet on an iPad.With the incoming iOS updates for iPad, including a way to centralize your files across cloud services, it seems like Apple is getting closer to completely replacing laptops. It’s not there yet, and as much as I’m eager to try this new iPad, I can’t see it supplanting my computer any time soon.Rating: 4 out of 5 Smoother Videos The iMac Pro can wield an absurd 18 core processors, 4 TB of SSD storage, and 128 GB of memory. It can handle 22 teraflops of graphics computation. That’s far beyond what most people will need, and the US$4,999 starting price suggests it’s not for casual users who want to edit photos now and again.I am certain, however, that it would make my time in Overwatch look utterly stunning.What is most welcome about the iMac Pro, at least for me, is the exceptionally pretty space gray finish, which is a far sleeker look than the atypical white. Long-time readers will note that I’m a Windows user, but boy would I welcome having that system with its 27-inch Retina screen plonked on my desk.Rating: 4 out of 5 Showoffs Mac in Black The battle for your home just got a little more intense as Apple pulled back the curtain on HomePod (pictured above), its smart speaker that seeks to hold dominion over your home empire and all the gadgets that reside within.HomePod holds a 4-inch woofer and seven tweeters, and it has six microphones to pick up your voice commands for Siri, wherever you happen to be in the room. Apple powers it with an A8 processor, and it adapts the acoustics based on the surrounding environment.While it can play podcasts, provide news and weather updates, and change settings on HomeKit-connected devices like your smart bulbs or thermostat, the focus here is on music.HomePod can remember your playlists and tastes, and answer questions about the musicians on a track. You can queue up your next song or album in a pinch. The sound quality far exceeds that of Amazon and Google’s smart speaker offerings, based on some early reviewers’ impressions.Apple is launching HomePod in the U.S., UK, and Australia for US$349. That’s significantly more expensive than Amazon’s Echo line and Google’s Home.What’s more, there’s little indication that Apple will open its walled garden to allow users to control non-Apple services with their voice. Certainly, there’s all manner of commands you can ask Siri to perform with Apple Music, but third-party music services like Spotify are locked out for the time being, just as Siri treats them on iOS.If HomePod truly is to take off, embracing rival services is the way to go, even if it means a potential reduction in Apple Music subscriptions.It being a major new product release from Apple, I’m naturally intrigued to try it out. However, as someone who is not completely invested in the Apple ecosystem (I’m a heavy Spotify user, for instance), I have doubts over how much value I’d derive from this at the minute.Rating: 4 out of 5 Drop the Beats Kris Holt is a writer and editor based in Montreal. He has written for the Daily Dot, The Daily Beast, and PolicyMic, among others. He’s Scottish, so would prefer if no one used the word “soccer” in his company. You can connect with Kris on Google+.center_img The iPad Pro is getting a makeover too, with the latest incarnation increasing the smaller version’s screen size from 9.7 inches to 10.5 inches. Apple reduced the bezel by 40 percent to cram in that screen while keeping the weight to 1 pound. I can’t complain about packing in more screen on the same size device. Open the HomePod Doors, Siri Screen Takeover Along with the HomePod, Apple announced more new hardware, including a refreshed iMac Pro.Naturally, this machine is better, faster and stronger than previous iterations, with an updated operating system to boot. There’s not a ton I can say about a new personal computer without delving into the inner workings of macOS High Sierra, which will be released in the fall and will affect more than just this system. If you know what Macs are about, you know the score: It’s high performance, with a price tag to match.last_img read more

Razer Debuts CuttingEdge Mobile Gaming Phone

first_imgRazer on Wednesday unveiled its Razer Phone, a handset that clearly targets gamers. It boasts the world’s first 120 Hz Ultramotion display, which has the potential to deliver fast refresh rates and provide the smoothest graphics available on a mobile smartphone.”It’s common knowledge that I’m obsessed with my smartphones. I play a ton of games on them, and they’re my go-to for streaming content,” said Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan.”We have wanted to make a phone with gaming-level tech for years, and the Razer Phone delivers in every way we imagined,” he said. Sharp Display, Cinematic Sound Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, the Razer Phone features 8 GB of RAM. Its thermal design reduces throttling to maximize the handset’s power and performance. It comes loaded with Google’s Android Nougat but will support Android Oreo when the new OS comes out in the spring of next year. It also comes with Nova Launcher Prime with Google Assistant integration. It is selfie-ready, with dual rear 12-MB cameras.As gamers are its target market, the Razer Phone further offers a 5.72-inch, Quad HD IGZO LCD display, as well as a front-firing Dolby Atmos technology-powered speaker with dual dedicated amplifiers. It has a THX-certified USB-C adapter with a 24-bit digital audio converter for use with audiophile-grade headphones.The Razer Phone gets enough juice from its 4,000 mAh battery to last all day, while still providing crystal clear graphics and cinematic level audio, the company said. Further, it can enable Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ for rapid charging so users can get back in the action.The Razer Phone, which features the company’s iconic triple-headed snake logo, is now available for pre-order at a recommended retail price of US$699.99. Gaming and More Given the size of the market — not to mention the fact that most smartphones already support many popular casual games — it’s questionable whether hardcore gamers will pay a premium for the Razer Phone.”It’s an optimization exercise, not a new product,” explained Blum.”It would have been really interesting if Razer had done something radical, like developing a mobile-specific graphics chip, but they’re not in that league,” he noted.A sensible proxy for the Razer Phone’s sales potential is gaming tablets’ share of total tablet sales, a market that Razer itself has dabbled in, suggested Harding-Rolls.”Other players in that sector include Nvidia, with its Shield tablet,” he said.None of those gaming-specific products have sold in great numbers, and many eventually were discontinued.”It will be interesting to see if Samsung or Huawei or another big consumer electronics company wants to go hard after the gaming sector — they’ll be watching Razer carefully,” said Blum.In the meantime, Razer will need to pull out all stops to be successful.”Razer is entering a highly competitive market, where deep pockets are needed and where profits are often hard to come by,” said Harding-Rolls. “Overall, I think Razer is undertaking a significant commercial challenge to make an impact with this device.”center_img Game On? Razer partnered with multiple gaming companies, including Tencent and Square Enix, to develop content that will take advantage of what the hardware has to offer.Among the announced titles for the Razer Phone are Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition from Square Enix, Gear.Club from Eden Games, Tekken from Bandai Namco, and World of Tanks Blitz from Wargaming Group Limited.”Razer is aiming to tap into the trend of more core game experiences on mobile and has built a product which will appeal to a small segment of gamers who like the idea of a phone with a display with a high-refresh rate, a bigger battery, and active cooling that allows it to be used for longer periods of time,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS Markit.”However, I think the audience for a high-end gaming phone is niche — certainly when compared to other smartphones,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The Razer Phone is a good try at optimizing a smartphone for gaming,” said Steve Blum, principal analyst at Tellus Venture Associates.”It would have no particular appeal to nongamers, although it wouldn’t necessarily turn them off either,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It’s first and foremost a phone. Razer took a standard Android phone with a standard high-end processor, and tweaked it with a better screen and better audio processing.” Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and Peter.last_img read more

Apollo Endosurgery to distribute cold Ensizor Flexible Endoscopic Scissors in select markets

first_img Source: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 9 2018Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. (“Apollo”) (Nasdaq:APEN), a global leader in less invasive medical devices for bariatric and gastrointestinal procedures, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Slater Endoscopy, LLC to distribute the cold Ensizor® Flexible Endoscopic Scissors in the United States, Europe, and select other markets.The Ensizor Flexible Endoscopic Scissor is indicated to cut and dissect tissue and sutures during endoscopic procedures. The innovative Edge Flex™ technology greatly enhances the cutting performance of endoscopic scissors by offering a very thin, yet rigid blade construction. The rigid armature provides unparalleled strength while the flexible blades ensure constant cutting contact providing physicians reliable and consistent cutting performance.Related StoriesScientists discover weakness in common cold virusResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemWalking and muscle-strengthening activities associated with reduced risk of cirrhosis-related death”The Ensizor scissors are complementary to OverStitch™ endoscopic suturing procedures. As the OverStitch user base expands and as physicians explore more uses for suturing, it is important for us to meet the need for cutting and removal of sutures,” said Todd Newton, CEO of Apollo Endosurgery. “We have been very impressed by the Ensizor technology and our customer base will find Ensizor to add value for their therapeutic endoscopic needs.””We are excited to work with Apollo Endosurgery, in order to bring the Ensizor scissors to broader adoption in the growing area of therapeutic endoscopy,” said Charlie Slater, CEO of Slater Endoscopy.The Ensizor Flexible Endoscopic Scissors are available for sale immediately through Apollo in the United States and select European countries.last_img read more

Combination of Opdivo and Yervoy shows fouryear survival benefits in patients with

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 22 2018Bristol-Myers Squibb Company today announced four-year data from the Phase 3 CheckMate -067 clinical trial – the longest follow-up to date – which continues to demonstrate durable, long-term survival benefits with the first-line combination of Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab), versus Yervoy alone, in patients with advanced melanoma. With a minimum follow-up of 48 months, four-year overall survival rates were 53% for the Opdivo plus Yervoy combination, 46% for Opdivo alone, and 30% for Yervoy alone. Additionally, the percentage of patients experiencing a complete response have continued to increase with complete response rates of 21% for Opdivo plus Yervoy, 18% for Opdivo alone, and 5% for Yervoy alone.Related StoriesNew clinical genomic testing helps identify mutations that drive childhood melanomaStudy identifies possible way to predict which melanomas are hot and coldBacteria from seawater provide new leads to treat malignant melanomaIn addition, results of an analysis of patients who were alive at the time of the four-year analysis showed that a higher proportion of patients were treatment-free (i.e., off study treatment and free of systemic subsequent therapy) in the combination group (71%) compared with the monotherapy groups (50% for Opdivo and 39% for Yervoy). The safety profile for Opdivo plus Yervoy in CheckMate -067 at four years was consistent with prior findings, with no new safety signals and no additional treatment-related deaths.Data from CheckMate -067 (Presentation #LBA44) will be featured in an oral presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany, October 19-23, with simultaneous publication in The Lancet Oncology.”These four-year results from CheckMate -067, which represent the longest follow-up to date for patients receiving combination therapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab, enhance our understanding of the potential long-term survival benefits of combination therapy, regardless of PD-L1 expression levels, to combat this aggressive form of melanoma,” said CheckMate -067 investigator F. Stephen Hodi, M.D., director of the Melanoma Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and investigator at the Ludwig Center at Harvard. “To the best of our knowledge, we have not seen a 53% overall survival rate with any available treatment at four years of follow-up in a randomized setting.””These latest results from CheckMate -067 provide further support of the long-term scientific rationale for combining Opdivo and Yervoy for the treatment of advanced melanoma,” said Arvin Yang, M.D., Ph.D., development lead, melanoma and genitourinary cancers, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “This study advances our mission of understanding how we can best harness the body’s immune system to fight this aggressive form of cancer and provide healthcare professionals and patients with a durable and safe treatment option.”last_img read more

Mechanism underlying impaired allergic inflammation in children may explain hygiene hypothesis

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 9 2019The hygiene hypothesis says increased sanitation in industrialized countries has led to increases in asthmaThe hygiene hypothesis may explain why asthma and other allergic airway diseases have dramatically increased over the past decades in industrialized countries. The hypothesis suggests that decreased exposure to microbial products in our cleaner homes and environments — due to improved sanitation or no longer growing up on farms — is the main driver of increased allergic airway disease.But how could less exposure to infectious agents or parasites lead to more asthma? Research published in the journal Immunity by Beatriz León, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests an answer. León and colleagues describe a mechanism in a mouse model of asthma that supports the hygiene hypothesis — they found that infant mice need a higher exposure to a bacterial endotoxin, compared to adult mice, to avoid developing asthma-like reactions to house dust mites.Without the higher levels of the microbial lipopolysaccharide, or LPS, the infant mice developed allergic airway disease after repeated exposure to house dust mite, or HDM, allergen, and this window of susceptibility for allergic airway disease was open only while the mice were the equivalent ages of human infants and toddlers. The UAB researchers have detailed the mechanism underlying this window of susceptibility, which may then inform research into human disease.”When we know the mechanism, then we perhaps can intervene,” said León, assistant professor in the UAB Department of Microbiology.About 10 percent of U.S. school-aged children now have asthma, and almost all began developing the disease in very early childhood, before age 5. Asthma is marked by inflammation, spasms of the muscles around the airways and excess mucus secretion that obstruct the airways and make breathing difficult. The most common form, atopic asthma, is triggered by inhaled allergens like house dust mites, animal dander, fungal spores, and plant or tree pollen.In the mouse model, airway exposure to HDM triggers the disease. Interestingly, it was known that if HDM was given simultaneously with a dose of bacterial LPS — one of the most immunogenic substances known — the mice did not develop asthma-like disease.León and the UAB researchers took that observation further. They found that the amounts of LPS needed to prevent HDM asthma differed greatly between very young mice and adult mice. A low dose of LPS, in combination with the HDM, was sufficient to prevent asthma in adult mice; but that low dose did not prevent asthma in infant mice. Instead, very young mice needed 10 times as much LPS to prevent the HDM asthma. These different thresholds for suppression of disease by LPS led the researchers through a long series of experiments to unravel the mechanism causing this difference.Related StoriesStudy finds slime and biofilm hidden in hospital sinks, faucetsScientists study immune molecules inside mycetoma grainsCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentThe story is complex because immune responses in mammals involve a complicated chain of cell-to-cell contacts among immune cells, migration of some of those immune cells throughout the body, and intricate “cross-talk” among cells using small protein signaling compounds called cytokines that interact with cell receptors.The end point for HDM asthma is the activation of naïve T-cells into pathogenic T helper 2 cells that cause inflammation in the airways. However, the researchers found that the different infant and adult responses to LPS was not due to any difference between the T-cells of the infants or adults. Instead, the different response was located upstream.In adult mice challenged with HDM and a low dose of LPS, migratory dendritic cells — immune cells that process the antigens from allergens or infectious microbes and present them to T-cells — was associated with upregulation the transcription factor T-bet in the dendritic cells, which caused production of the signaling compound interleukin-12. As a consequence of the interleukin, naïve T-cells interacting with the migratory dendritic cells in the adult mice upregulated the transcription factor T-bet, and that step precluded differentiation of the T-cells into inflammatory T helper 2 cells and thus prevented a subsequent pathogenic allergic response.In contrast, the migratory dendritic cells from infant mice failed to upregulate T-bet and interleukin-12 in low-LPS conditions. Thus, the naïve T-cells interacting with the migratory dendritic cells in infants failed to receive the suppressive interleukin-12 signals and did not upregulate T-bet. Without the T-bet, the T-cells fully differentiated into pathogenic T helper 2 cells.The different responses of the migratory dendritic cells turned out to be due to another cell signaling protein — tumor necrosis factor alpha. Adults rapidly produced that cytokine in response to the low-dose LPS sensitization, while infant mice had an impaired ability to produce the tumor necrosis factor alpha in response to LPS. The source of the tumor necrosis factor alpha was not specified in the UAB study, but indirect evidence points to some type of white blood cells in the lung.”Collectively,” León said, “our data demonstrate that LPS prevents T helper 2-dependent allergic responses with different thresholds in adults and infants; as such, a high content of LPS in airborne house-dust is required to mediate protection from allergic airway disease, specifically during infancy. Our data, therefore, provide a plausible mechanism underlying the higher susceptibility to allergic airway inflammation observed in children raised in uber-clean and sanitized environments.”Source: read more

UC team designs new naloxonedispensing smart device

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 23 2019Like many cities across the country, Cincinnati has been rocked by the opioid epidemic, with an ever-fluctuating range of 50 to 80 overdoses per week across the Tristate. Many of those victims are revived by the overdose reversal medication, naloxone, which has proven to be a crucial lifesaving tool during this crisis.Claudia B. Rebola, graduate studies coordinator in UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), designed a device to make naloxone more accessible to those in need. Her intent is to bring a model she helped create first in Providence, Rhode Island, to spaces in Cincinnati by spring.An associate professor in DAAP’s Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design, Rebola has worked with graduate students to create AntiOD, a naloxone-dispensing smart device installed in semi-public places with step-by-step instructions for bystanders. Looking at a broader view of educating the public, Rebola’s team has also created an informational campaign to train the public on signs of overdose and how to help.The research is just one prime example of the university’s commitment to urban impact, one of the pillars of UC’s strategic direction, Next Lives Here.For Rebola, combating this crisis isn’t just a concern for emergency responders, people who use opioids or their family and friends — it’s something that affects everyone.”Our 911 is oversaturated to the point where it’s becoming the new normal,” Rebola says, “so I find value in this project. We are trying to empower bystanders to take a role in this crisis by educating them, by empowering them: Be a good citizen. We can do this together for a healthier Cincinnati.”Rebola first designed a naloxone dispenser — known as NaloxBox — while working at the Rhode Island School of Design. Nearly 50 units were installed across the Providence area, in places like homeless shelters, providing the lifesaving drug to at-risk populations and saving a number of lives. The rights to NaloxBox were later transferred to a nonprofit organization that continues to produce, install and manage the dispensers in Rhode Island.When Rebola started working at UC in 2017 and learned of the crippling opioid crisis in this region, she knew she needed to implement a similar project in Cincinnati.”Whoever overdoses could be next to us, and we don’t recognize it and we don’t do anything about it,” she says. “It’s ubiquitous. It goes across gender and class — it could really be anyone. I find it surprising that people are not taking ownership of this problem. So I’m fascinated that with this, to my eyes, simple design intervention, we are taking ownership.”Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchOpioid overdose deaths on the decline says CDC but the real picture may still be grimAfter receiving a grant from UC’s Communication in the Urban Environment initiative, she and her team of graduate students researched how to improve on the NaloxBox — now AntiOD — from design and awareness to training and efficacy.”One of the methodologies that we have in research through design is that we can deploy something, learn from it, then redesign it,” Rebola says.From a visual standpoint, AntiOD is a much more design-driven project with eye-catching graphics and messaging, accessible packaging and smart functional product design. And in order to make it a more user-centered product, the team worked with focus groups to better understand how people react in stressful emergency situations. They learned that some in the group — particularly international students — weren’t even aware of how bad the crisis is, particularly in Hamilton County. Creating an educational campaign around AntiOD, informing the public on signs of overdose, where to access naloxone and how to administer it, soon became just as crucial as redesigning the dispenser.”We are trying to make AntiOD a three-step process where we are designing access, giving knowledge and creating the empowerment of how to go about it,” says Swati Chopra, second-year master of design degree student and graphic designer, who works alongside team members Norberto Sanchez and Sebastian Ramirez.AntiOD and its campaign are set to debut this spring. Rebola is working with Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI), a nonprofit dedicated to building a dynamic city center, to locate strategically the dispensing units in areas of high risk, like the public libraries and convenience stores. DCI trains ambassadors stationed around downtown to help make the city safe, clean and accessible to residents and visitors — they may soon carry AntiOD on patrols. Rebola is also working with Cincinnati Bell to make AntiOD training and messaging available via text and has entered the design in Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas competition. Rebola likens AntiOD to fire extinguishers and defibrillators — emergency response tools that are made readily accessible to the public.”Many projects that we do through our program, they may end in the classroom or as a research paper,” she says. “With AntiOD, we’re not just designing something, we’re designing it for a good cause — something that is going to be implemented, something we can see, measure and have an impact on our city.” Source: read more

Gut microbes could be linked to depression

first_img Source: Gut microbes Coprococcus and Dialister are markedly lower among those suffering from depression, 3D illustration. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDFeb 4 2019The human gut contains trillions of bacteria that form the gut microbiome or microbiota. A new research has linked the composition of this gut microbiome and depressive disorder. The study titled, “The neuroactive potential of the human gut microbiota in quality of life and depression,” was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Microbiology this week.center_img The study led by M. Valles-Colomer used DNA sequencing to look at the composition of microbes in the gut. They analyzed the gut microbiota of over 1,000 people from their feces samples. The participants were part of the Belgium’s Flemish Gut Flora Project. The team then connected the microbiome composition of the participants with the quality of life and other factors in the participants. They used self reported and physician supplied diagnosis of depression among the participants and associated it with the gut microbial picture. The data was then validated from another cohort of 1,063 participants of the Netherlands’ LifeLines DEEP project. The final results from all the data collected was used to connect the microbiome of the gut and the functions of the central nervous system.Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingLead researcher Jeroen Raes, from the department of Microbiology and Immunology at Flanders Institute for Biotechnology and the Catholic University of Leuven said, “The notion that microbial metabolites can interact with our brain — and thus behaviour and feelings — is intriguing… Until now, most of the studies were or in mice or in small-scale human studies, with mixed and contradictory results.”Results revealed that presence of two groups of bacteria, Coprococcus and Dialister were markedly lower among those suffering from depression. Both these groups of bacteria have anti-inflammatory properties. Raes said, “We also know that neuro-inflammation is important in depression. So, our hypothesis is that somehow these two are linked.”They noted that the gut microbiome indeed played a role in breaking down the metabolic product of the neurotransmitter Dopamine. This product is called 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid. This is one of the strongest evidence that connect gut microbiome and human brain function says the researchers. Although they agree that only a correlation has been found and not a cause and effect relationship. More research is needed to come to conclusions they add.According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 300 million people diagnosed with depressive illness across the globe. If a connection between gut microbiome and depression could be established, new avenues of therapy and management could open up believe experts. Raes said, “This paves the way for treatments in depression. One option is novel, next-generation probiotics. I really think there is a future in this: using cocktails of human-derived bacteria as treatment? – bugs as drugs, as they say.”last_img read more

Cannabisbased medication helps tackle dependency on cannabis

first_imgThe cannabis concentrate, which comprises equal proportions of cannabidiol (CBD) and the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is sprayed under the tongue and avoids the health impacts associated with smoking cannabis such as respiratory issues.Nabiximols has been primarily used to treat pain symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and is licensed in Australia. Alternative medical cannabis products exist but these are only available through special access schemes and unlike the trial medication, also require Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval.This large 12-week outpatient clinical trial of 128 participants taking nabiximols medication followed an earlier study by the same research team that had previously shown nabiximols reduce withdrawal symptoms in a short-term hospital treatment program. “The latest study published today is even more important in that it shows that nabiximols can be effective in helping patients achieve longer term changes in their cannabis use,” Prof Lintzeris explains.Related StoriesUCR biomedical professor to investigate how body’s cannabis-like molecules influence obesityCannabis ingredient shows promise as potential antibiotic for superbugsCreating a physical and genetic map of Cannabis sativaCo-author of the paper Professor Iain McGregor, the academic director of the University’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, noted: “Worldwide we are seeing medicinal cannabis patients transition away from the traditional smoked route of cannabis administration; this new study… complements this trend by showing that an oral spray can be an effective substitute for smoked cannabis in heavy recreational users seeking treatment for their cannabis use.”Professor Lintzeris said an important element of this National Health and Medical Research Council-supported trial was that only cannabis users were recruited who had previously unsuccessfully tried to curb their use.”Our study is an important step in addressing the lack of effective treatments – currently, four in five patients relapse to regular use within six months of medical or psychological interventions.”Trial and medication snapshot: Source:University of SydneyJournal reference:Roffman, R A. et al. (2019) Cannabis dependence: Its nature, consequences and treatment. JAMA Internal Medicine & JAMA Oncology. . Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 16 2019An Australian study has demonstrated that cannabis-based medication helps tackle dependency on cannabis, one of the most widely used drugs globally.A paper about the University of Sydney and NSW Health clinical trial provides the first strong evidence that so-called cannabinoid agonist medication – which targets receptors in the brain – could reduce the rate of relapse.The paper published today in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine.Lead author Conjoint Professor Nick Lintzeris – of the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health and Director of Drug & Alcohol Services, South East Sydney Local Health District – said the study should give hope to people with dependency on cannabis, which is a leading cause of drug treatment episodes in Australia. We’ve never had the evidence before that medication can be effective in treating cannabis dependency – this is the first big study to show this is a safe and effective approach.The principles are very similar to nicotine replacement; you are providing patients with a medicine which is safer than the drug they’re already using, and linking this with medical and counselling support to help people address their illicit cannabis use.”Professor Nick Lintzeris, University of Sydney -During the clinical trial, participants had an average dose of about 18 sprays a day, with each spray of 0.1mL comprising 2.7mg of THC and 2.5mg of CBD. -Participants treated with nabiximols used significantly less illicit cannabis than patients randomly allocated to placebo medication. -The medicine was combined with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic support for a holistic approach. -Health and behavioural benefits of cannabis replacement include that patients are taken out of their usual patterns of use. -This first large outpatient randomised controlled trial of the cannabis extract medication noted suppression of withdrawal and cravings, with improvements in physical and psychological well-being.last_img read more

New therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injury

first_imgRed and yellow areas show sites of cell death in the mouse brain. The brain at left has no traumatic brain injury (TBI). The brain at center is post-TBI. The brain at right is post-TBI and treated with the novel therapy; cell death is nearly abolished. Image Credit: Mark S. Shapiro, Ph.D., UT Health San Antonio By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSNJul 16 2019Nearly three million people in the United States experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year, and there are no pre or post-TBI treatment options available. Now, a new novel therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injury.A team of researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio may have invented a promising experimental treatment provided for mice after traumatic brain injury (TBI). After the treatment, there was reduced damage nearly to the levels of mice that never had a TBI.Published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, the study shows that brain damage can be prevented after TBI, which can open the doors for effective and simple treatments to be implemented in emergency rooms or by first aid responders shortly after a brain injury. No current treatment for TBIToday, there is no known treatment for traumatic brain injury, which is caused by a blow, jolt, bump, or penetration to the head disrupting normal brain function. After a TBI, the brain may have dangerous inflammation, causing nerve cell death. Moreover, the blood-brain barrier, which is important in maintaining normal brain function, starts to break down.Usually, patients with TBI manifest any period of loss of consciousness, loss of memory especially of events before or after the injury, and neurological deficits such as loss of coordination and balance, change in speech, muscle weakness, and altered mental state.In worse cases, patients may have seizures and they may die if the condition is left untreated or if immediate care isn’t provided. In the long term, patients who had TBI may suffer from complications such as paralysis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of dementia.TBI contributes to a considerable number of deaths, including many cases of permanent disability. About 2.5 million TBI cases occurred in 2010 alone, and each day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries, including TBI. Approximately 53,000 people had died of TBI-related injuries in the same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionAt present, there are no current treatments for TBI to prevent brain damage. Medications and surgery are usually done to minimize additional damage to brain tissues. Emergency surgery is performed to remove clotted blood, repair skull fractures, and relieve pressure in the skull. However, a TBI treatment to prevent brain damage right after the injury hasn’t been developed yet, not until now.The novel therapy for TBIAfter the mice suffered TBI, about 40 percent experienced a seizure within one week of the injury. Many of the mice models continued to experience seizures for years, leading to epilepsy disease. What happened to the mice is like what happens in humans. After TBI, humans may also experience changes in emotional state and cognitive dysfunction. “KCNQ2-5 voltage-gated K+ channels underlie the neuronal “M current”, which plays a dominant role in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Our strategy towards prevention of TBI-induced brain damage is predicated on the suggested hyperexcitability of neurons induced by TBIs, and the decrease in neuronal excitation upon pharmacological augmentation of M/KCNQ K+ currents,” the researchers explained in the study. To prevent abnormal electrical activity in the brain, the new therapy boosts the activity of “M-type” KCNQ potassium ions channels, which are proteins that can stop sudden and uncontrolled electrical currents in nerve cells.After a TBI, abnormal electrical currents start even before the occurrence of seizures. The new therapy aims to stop and counteract the occurrence of abnormal currents in the brain, hence, stopping the chain of events that might lead to brain damage.After the treatment of mice models who had TBI, there were no observed seizure bouts. “We need treatments that alter some of the disabling consequences of TBI. Current antiseizure medications don’t prevent the development of post-traumatic epilepsy,” Dr. Jose E. Cavazos, an epilepsy specialist at UT Health San Antonio, said. “Our study examined this critically important therapeutic gap and proposes a novel pharmacological intervention shortly after TBI that might prevent post-traumatic epilepsy,” he added. The new therapy, if developed for humans, it’s a breakthrough treatment not only for TBI patients but also for those who have seizure disorders. In fact, about 6 percent of all epilepsy cases are triggered by trauma to the head.  “Think about the possibility of taking medication shortly after the injury and preventing disabling epileptic seizures months to years later,” Dr. Cavazos added.At present, experts are evaluating the new therapeutic approach for its development for humans. They will test the therapy’s suitability in humans, which include examinations for its stability, safety, chemical properties, and effects on the other organs of the body, including the heart. Journal reference:Vigil, F. A., Bozdemir, E., Bugay, V., Chun, S. H., Hobbs, M., Sanchez, I., … Shapiro, M. S. (2019). Prevention of brain damage after traumatic brain injury by pharmacological enhancement of KCNQ (Kv7, “M-type”) K+ currents in neurons. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism., read more

Netflix CFO leaving TV streaming titan

first_img Explore further Citation: Netflix CFO leaving TV streaming titan (2018, August 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Netflix chief financial officer David Wells on Monday announced plans to hand his job off to a successor and then focus on philanthropy. © 2018 AFP Wells has worked at the online television streaming titan for 14 years, the last eight of those as its top financial executive.Wells has been with 21-year-old Netflix as it has grown into the world’s first global television service and changed viewing habits with the introduction of “binge-viewing.””I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished,” Wells said in a release.”After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed, we agreed that with Netflix’s strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company.”He noted that he would remain at Netflix until a new CFO is in place, intending the next phase of his life to focus more on philanthropy.”David has been a valuable partner to Netflix and to me,” said co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings.”He skillfully managed our finances during a phase of dramatic growth that has allowed us to create and bring amazing entertainment to our members all over the world while also delivering outstanding returns to our investors.”US households are dropping their traditional pay TV packages at a faster rate than in the past amid a rise in streaming video services like Netflix, a survey showed in July.The report by the research firm eMarketer found the number of “cord-cutters” who have cancelled pay TV service will climb 32.8 percent this year to 33 million.The drop comes with more households turning to online services like Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Hulu for on-demand video.Netflix shares plunged last month after the leading streaming television service said subscriber growth fell short of expectations in the recently ended quarter.Membership in the quarter grew 5.2 million to a total of 130 million, matching the same period last year but a million shy of what Netflix had forecast, according to a letter released along with earnings figures.Netflix shares lost a fraction of a percent more to $343.34 in early afternoon trading on Monday.center_img Netflix chief financial officer David Wells is stepping down Netflix effect: Cord-cutting accelerates in US market This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

The scandals bedevilling Facebook

first_img © 2018 AFP The scandals bedevilling Facebook Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said engineers discovered the breach on Tuesday, and patched it on Thursday night.”We don’t know if any accounts were actually misused,” Zuckerberg said. “We face constant attacks from people who want to take over accounts or steal information around the world.”Facebook reset the 50 million breached accounts, meaning users will need to sign back in using passwords. It also reset “access tokens” for another 40 million accounts as a precautionary measure.Here is a roundup of the scandals dogging the social media giant.Cambridge AnalyticaIn Facebook’s telling, everything goes back to 2013 when Russian-American researcher Aleksandr Kogan creates a personality prediction test app, “thisisyourdigitallife”, which is offered on the social network.Around 300,000 people download the app, authorising access to information on their profile and also to the data of their Facebook friends.In 2015 Facebook makes changes to its privacy policy and prevents third-party apps from accessing the data of users’ friends without their consent.The same year the social network discovers Kogan has passed on the information retrieved via his app to the British company Cambridge Analytica (CA), which specialises in the analysis of data and strategic communication. In 2016 CA is hired by Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign.Facebook says it was assured by CA in 2015 that the data in question had been erased. But it estimates the firm could have had access to the data of up to 87 million users, most in the United States, without their consent, and mined this information to serve the Trump campaign.Cambridge Analytica, which denies the accusations, has since filed for voluntary bankruptcy in the United States and Britain. Facebook is accused of having been lax in its protection of user data, slow to intervene and consistently vague on its privacy settings.In 2011 it signed a consent decree with US consumer protection agency the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settling charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then allowing it to be shared and made public. Citation: The scandals bedevilling Facebook (2018, September 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain Facebook is at the centre of controversy yet again after admitting that up to 50 million accounts were breached by hackers. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In March this year the FTC said it had opened an inquiry into Facebook’s privacy practices, including whether the company violated the earlier agreement, which would incur hefty fines.Beyond the CA scandal, Facebook estimates the data of nearly all its users may have, at some time, been retrieved without their knowledge.Political manipulationFacebook and sites like Google, Twitter and Tumblr are also accused of having allowed the spread through their networks of “fake news”, including to manipulate public opinion ahead of the US election in favour of Trump.The sites have acknowledged finding on their platforms messages, accounts and pages associated with the Internet Research Agency, a Saint Petersburg operation that is alleged to be a “troll farm” connected to the Russian government.It is accused of spreading disinformation and propaganda including via postings—often in the form of sponsored ads that target users based on their personal data—that could influence opinion, for example over immigration. According to Facebook, more than 120 million users had seen such content.Facebook is in particular accused of not having been vigilant enough on monitoring the content and authenticity of pages and political ads that it carries.It announced this year that it will require that the sponsors of political ads are identified and verified.Earlier this month, Zuckerberg said Facebook was better prepared to defend against efforts to manipulate the platform to influence elections.”We’ve identified and removed fake accounts ahead of elections in France, Germany, Alabama, Mexico and Brazil,” Zuckerberg said.”We’ve found and taken down foreign influence campaigns from Russia and Iran attempting to interfere in the US, UK, Middle East, and elsewhere—as well as groups in Mexico and Brazil that have been active in their own country.”last_img read more

Intel announces Israel expansion government values at 10 bn

first_img Citation: Intel announces Israel expansion government values at $10 bn (2019, January 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Intel, which already employs nearly 13,000 staff in Israel, either directly or through its autonomous technology subsidiary Mobileye, has announced a major expansion the government values at some $10 billion dollars Intel to pump $6 bn into Israel Explore further © 2019 AFPcenter_img Intel said Tuesday it is expanding its operations in Israel, where government ministers said the US computer chipmaker will invest some 10 billion dollars in a new plant. “Intel today announced it will submit a business plan to the government of Israel for continued investment in the company’s Kiryat Gat manufacturing site,” a statement from Intel’s Israeli representatives said.Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said late Monday he was informed by Intel of their decision “to invest another 40 billion shekels, an unprecedented decision expected to bring thousands of jobs to the south.”Economy Minister Eli Cohen said Intel had chosen to “build its most advanced plant here in Israel.”Last year, Intel had already decided on a $5 billion upgrade to the site in Kiryat Gat, a small city in southern Israel. In 2017, Intel closed a $15 billion deal to buy Israeli autonomous technology firm Mobileye, the country’s biggest cross-border high-tech deal ever.The Silicon Valley giant currently employs 11,700 people in Israel in its Kiryat Gat plant and development centres across the country, in addition to 1,170 Mobileye staff.Intel’s exports from Israel reached $4 billion in 2018, according to the company. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Teen video app Musically agrees to FTC fine

first_imgIn this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby holds her phone and logs into the lip-sync smartphone app, in Wethersfield, Conn. The operator of the video-sharing app popular with teenagers has agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle federal allegations it illegally collected personal information from children. The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, it’s penalty against lip-syncing app, now known as TikTok, is the largest ever obtained in a children’s privacy case. The FTC says the app violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requiring kid-oriented websites to get parents’ consent before collecting personal information from children under 13. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The operator of a video-sharing app popular with teenagers agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle federal allegations it illegally collected personal information from children . The Federal Trade Commission said the Wednesday penalty against lip-syncing app, now known as TikTok, is the largest ever obtained in a children’s privacy case.The FTC said the app violated the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires kid-oriented websites to get parents’ consent before collecting personal information from children under 13.The app changed its practices in 2017 to officially ban kids under 13 from joining, but it wasn’t hard to find children as young as 8 or 9 sharing short videos of themselves on the platform.”Just because you say it’s intended for over-13 doesn’t mean that it is,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a conference call, founded in 2014 and registered in the Cayman Islands, grew rapidly and operated out of offices in Shanghai and California. The FTC said the app has been downloaded by more than 200 million people worldwide, and 65 million in the U.S.It built a devoted community of self-described “musers” who regularly shared lip-syncing, dancing, gymnastics or comedy videos. But the app also raised concerns among many parents, especially after news reports of adult predators using the app to contact children.Smith said that along with failing to adequately seek parent’s permission, the operators of didn’t honor parents’ requests for personal information to be deleted. Smith said the company deleted some under-age accounts but didn’t delete their videos and profile information from its own servers.Profile information often included email addresses as well as a child’s name, age, school and picture. Until October 2016, one of the app’s features allowed users to find nearby users within a 50-mile radius.Beijing-based ByteDance Technology announced it was acquiring the platform in late 2017, and last summer folded into its own popular video app, TikTok, which is based in Los Angeles.TikTok said in a blog post Wednesday that in conjunction with the FTC agreement, it’s starting a separate app for younger U.S. users with stronger safety and privacy protections. Children using the new app will be able to watch videos but won’t be able to share their own videos, make comments, maintain a profile or message other users.TikTok’s intention to start a new app for children was troubling to Josh Golin, who directs the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.”TikTok should be nowhere near children and children should be nowhere near TikTok,” Golin said.Golin and other privacy advocates were also underwhelmed by FTC’s record fine, arguing that big companies like ByteDance will see it as merely the cost of doing business.Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, who authored the decades-old privacy law the FTC’s complaint was based on, said in a statement Wednesday that the fine “is not high enough for the harm that is done to children and to deter violations of the law in the future by other companies.”Children’s advocates have pushed the FTC to investigate whether other companies, including Google’s YouTube, are similarly violating children’s online privacy.The FTC said its investigation was sparked in part by a referral from the Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit, a group set up by industry to regulate itself. Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Teen video app agrees to FTC fine (2019, February 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Congressmen question Google over kids’ privacy on YouTube This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

No Signs of Aliens in the Closest 1300 Stars Hunt Funded by

first_imgWhile the truth might be out there, technological aliens don’t seem to be — at least not yet. New results from the most comprehensive Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program ever undertaken — which surveyed 1,327 nearby stars for signals from intelligent beings — have turned up empty. “There’s certainly nothing out there glaringly obvious,” Danny Price, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of a paper about the results, which were published in The Astrophysical Journal, told Live Science. “There’s no amazingly advanced civilizations trying to contact us with incredibly powerful transmitters.” While the team didn’t find anything this time around, Price said that there could be many explanations for the lack of alien signals. Perhaps the search was conducted at the wrong frequencies, or those signals were hidden by radio interference from Earth. Any such undertaking is limited by the methods and discoveries that humans happen to have made in the course of our own history. [9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  “In a lot of ways, SETI is a bit of a mirror back on ourselves and our own technology and our understanding of physics,” Price said. The search was conducted as part of the Breakthrough Listen initiative, a 10-year, $100-million endeavor funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner that aims to scan the skies for technosignatures: transmissions or other evidence created by technological creatures on other worlds. The initiative, which kicked off in 2015, relies on two of the world’s most powerful telescopes — the 328-foot-diameter (100 meters) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the 210-foot-diameter (64 m) Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia — to try to eavesdrop on alien communications. In their latest data release, researchers analyzed 1 petabyte (or 1 million gigabytes) of data in both radio and optical wavelengths, looking at more than a thousand stars within 160 light-years of Earth. Several thousand interesting signals appeared during the search, though all turned out to originate from mundane sources, like human-made satellites. The entire gargantuan information catalog will be publicly available on Breakthrough’s Open Data Archive, making it the largest publication of SETI data in the history of the field. Jason Wright, an astrophysicist at Pennsylvania State University who was not involved in the work, told Live Science he was impressed with the researchers’ commitment to public release of their data. “Anyone who thinks the team might have missed something can go over their results and see for themselves,” he said.  Wright has previously calculated that all SETI searches conducted to date amount to combing through the equivalent of a little more than a hot tub’s worth of water in all of our planet’s oceans. The latest addition increases that by 50% in radio wavelengths, he said, or roughly another bathtub’s worth. Price was optimistic that in the future his team will be able to put more stringent limits on the prevalence of life in the universe. The researchers intend to use the upcoming MeerKAT telescope in South Africa, an observatory that will consist of 64 separate 44-foot-diameter (13.5 m) arrays, to search more than a million stars in our galactic neighborhood for extraterrestrial transmissions. While any signal that appeared would have to be carefully scrutinized to ensure it was genuine, Price said such a finding would be truly revolutionary. “I think it would be one of the most important discoveries humankind would ever make,” he said. 10 Interesting Places in the Solar System We’d Like to Visit 11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy 15 Amazing Images of Stars Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoThe Legacy ReportMan Who Called NVIDIA Rise Makes New 5G PredictionThe Legacy ReportUndolast_img read more

The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

first_img A September 2013 image shows the then-brand new island. Credit: Newscom Cosmic, cosmic, cosmic, cosmic, cosmic chameleon, you come and go. [Read more about the theory.] Dancin’ Bones More than 200,000 Facebook users say they’re interested in joining a raid on Nevada’s infamous Area 51 air base this summer. [Read more about the raid.] Big Appetite The universe is full of “runaway stars” trying to escape their home galaxy (including the reddish-blue dot in the bottom-right corner of this NASA telescope image). A new study suggests that some of these stellar renegades may in fact be rare supernova survivors. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Olive python feeding on a wallaby. Credit: Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock Tiny ripples called magnons could lure even a fleeting, lightweight dark matter particle out of hiding. [Read more about the particles.] Twin Faults An onlooker views newly ruptured ground after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck on July 6, 2019, near Ridgecrest, California. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images An excavation in a peculiar place — under the foundation of a dance floor in Russia — has uncovered the remains of one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite generals: a one-legged man who was killed by a cannonball more than 200 years ago, news sources report. [Read more about the remains.] Vanishing Island A supercomputer simulation of a disc galaxy. The right-hand side of the image shows the gas density within the disk galaxy, while the stars twinkle as bright dots. The left side of the image shows how forces change inside the gas according to Chameleon Theory, which could explain a discrepancy in our measurements and models of dark energy. Credit: Christian Arnold/Baojiu Li/Durham University Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are some of the coolest stories in science this week. Big Turnout The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B robotic space plane in orbit, as photographed by satellite tracker Ralf Vandebergh. Credit: © Ralf Vandebergh A portrait of Charles Etienne Gudin, who fought in Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Credit: Photo12/UIG/Getty Images Four stars that seemingly survived a massive supernova explosion are now lighter, speedier and anxious to leave their home galaxy. [Read more about the renegade.] Dangerous Dark Energy A mud-volcano island that burst from the waters off the coast of Pakistan during a deadly earthquake in 2013 has disappeared beneath the waves. [Read more about the disappearance.] Moon Landing Explained Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module Eagle during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Credit: NASA Scientists know very little about the faults that ripped apart during the massive SoCal quakes. [Read more about the oddity.] Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoDermalMedixDoctor’s New Discovery Makes Foot Calluses “Vanish”DermalMedixUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryMeal Kit Wars: 10 Tested & Ranked. See Who WonTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryUndo It’s been half a century since the magnificent Apollo 11 moon landing, yet some people still don’t believe it actually happened. [Read more about the reasoning.] Unmasking Dark Matter? Teeth and scales didn’t stop an Australian olive python from getting a meal. [Read more about the snack.]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  No Secrets Revealed As this sign outside of Nevada’s infamous Area 51 military base reminds would-be visitors, guards are authorized to respond to trespassers with deadly force. Credit: Barry King/Getty Images We still don’t know what the X-37B is doing up there, however. [Read more about the rare sight.] Rebel Wreaking Havoc Could quasiparticles called magnons unmask a lightweight dark matter particle? Credit: Shutterstock last_img read more