Wes Morgan We were very sloppy

first_imgLeicester City captain Wes Morgan has urged his team to improve in breaking teams down in order to reach their target in the Premier League this season.Morgan slammed his team for being too sloppy in their 2-1 home defeat to ten-man Southampton at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.The visitors went one goal in the 11th minute, thanks to James Ward-Prowse who stepped up to convert a penalty after Nampalys Mendy’s clumsy challenge in the box.Southampton defender Yann Valery received his second yellow card and was sent off in the 45th minute of the game.But Shane Long doubled the Saints’ advantage in the stoppage time to make it 2-0 to the visitors going into the break.Wilfred Ndid pulled one back for Leicester to reduce the deficit in the 58th minute, but the Foxes failed to find the equalizer and the game ended in a 2-1 defeat.“At home, we want to pick up points and put in good performances, and especially the first half, we were very sloppy,” Wes Morgan told the club’s website.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“We were getting into good positions and the ball was breaking down for no reason. We conceded two very sloppy goals, which isn’t like us.“It’s obviously very frustrating to go in at half-time 2-0 down when we felt we should have done a lot better.“We tried and tried in the second half. I’m not sure what the possession stats would have been, but it was waves and waves of attack. We got one goal, but we couldn’t get the second and it’s difficult.“They had 10 men and they stayed in two solid blocks, which was very difficult to break down and we couldn’t get through. It’s very frustrating.“We shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. 2-0 down just gives us a very tough task and we’ve got to start looking at our performances and doing a lot better.”last_img read more

VW now offering 48hour eGolf test drives in the UK

first_img Volkswagen Tags 10 Photos Volkswagen VW’s adorable I.D. Buzz charms us on the California coast 3:28 Check out the VW ID 3’s clever camouflage 2020 Mini JCW Clubman first drive: A fast alternative for the crossover-averse 2020 Kia Soul review: Well-rounded box More From Roadshow 2020 Toyota 4Runner first drive: Same as it ever was — mostly Enlarge ImageGet ’em while the gettin’s good. Volkswagen With a brand spankin’ new electric hatchback soon to arrive, Volkswagen is ramping up its efforts to get people to embrace electrification, and its latest scheme should both accomplish that and help shore up some leftover supply for its outgoing EV.Volkswagen announced late last week that it will start offering extended test drives in the UK. These flexible test drives are, in essence, 48-hour loans that start and end at the dealership. In those 48 hours, though, people are free to do whatever, so long as they don’t leave the e-Golf dead by the side of the road or something equally silly. It’s a smart idea from an adoption perspective. You can theorycraft all you want about how well an electric vehicle will or won’t fit into your lifestyle, but you’ll never know for sure until you give it a whirl, and this allows everyone that opportunity without requiring an actual purchase. If it turns out the e-Golf’s 144-mile range (by Europe’s WLTP standard) fits into your life, there you go.It’s also likely a clever move that will help VW push remaining e-Golf stock through its doors. The car will become all but irrelevant when the ID 3 electric hatchback launches in mid-2020. With its shortest-range battery offering about 205 miles of range (again, by WLTP measurements) and its longest stretching north of 340 miles, the ID 3 has been built from the start as an EV, as opposed to the e-Golf, which runs on a variant of the MQB platform.The ID 3 is already forming a line. According to the automaker, it has now received more than 20,000 preorders for the ID 3, and it hopes to push that number to 30,000 by the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Share your voice 0 Post a comment Electric Cars Hatchbacks Now playing: Watch this: More about 2022 Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Preview • Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: Driving this concept gets us smilinglast_img read more

Finland police arrest 5 after stabbing spree

first_imgRescue personnel have cordoned off the area at the Turku Market Square in the Finnish city of Turku where several people were stabbed. Photo: AFPFinnish police arrested five people in a Turku apartment overnight in their investigation into a stabbing rampage that left two people dead, they said Saturday.Police shot and wounded a knife-wielding suspect on Friday, arresting him minutes after an afternoon stabbing spree at a Turku market square. Police on Saturday raised the number of injured in the attack from six to eight.“There was a raid and we have now six suspects in custody, the main suspect and five others,” detective superintendent Markus Laine of the National Bureau of investigation told AFP.“We are investigating the role of these five other people but we are not sure yet if they had anything to do with (the attack)… We will interrogate them, after that we can tell you more. But they had been in contact with the main suspect,” Laine said.Police have not confirmed the identity of the suspect, but Laine said investigators were “pretty sure” they knew who he was.Police have so far only described him as “a young man of foreign origin”, providing no other details except to say they were collaborating with the Finnish Immigration Service.The suspect is being treated in hospital in intensive care for a gunshot wound to the thigh.The motive for the attack was not yet known, and police have refused to confirm if it was terror-related.“We haven’t yet interrogated the main suspect because of his medical condition,” Laine said.Media reports in Finland said police believed the suspect had picked his victims at random, but Laine could not confirm that.Police have said it was likely the suspect acted alone, but added they were looking for “other possible perpetrators.”Central Turku was swiftly cordoned off after the attack, which occurred just after 4:00 pm (1300 GMT), although the area was reopened several hours later.Finland also raised its emergency readiness across the country after the stabbing, increasing security at airports and train stations and putting more officers on the streets.In June, Finland’s intelligence and security agency Supo raised the country’s terror threat level by a notch, from “low” to “elevated”, the second notch on a four-tier scale.It said at the time it saw an increased risk of an attack committed by the the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.last_img read more

Axed Catalan president to stay in Brussels

first_imgOn Monday Joan Escanilla from the CSIF civil servants union said: “For now everything is very quiet. People have returned to work as normal.” Catalonia`s dismissed leader Carles Puigdemont along with other members of his dismissed government address a press conference at The Press Club in Brussels on 31 October, 2017. Photo: AFPCatalonia’s deposed separatist leader Carles Puigdemont said Tuesday that he would stay put in Brussels after being dismissed by the Spanish government, but denied he would seek asylum to avoid possible rebellion charges. “I am not here in order to demand asylum,” Puigdemont, sacked by the Spanish government on Friday after Catalonia’s parliament declared independence, told a packed news conference in Brussels.He said he was in Belgium “for safety purposes and freedom”, without detailing how long he would stay.After being axed, the 54-year-old reportedly drove hundreds of kilometres from Catalonia to Marseille in southern France with several members of his dismissed cabinet and then flew to Belgium.His departure is the latest twist in the saga over semi-autonomous Catalonia’s drive for independence that has presented Spain with its biggest political crisis in decades.On October 1, Catalonia held a referendum organised by Puigdemont’s administration which it said saw a large majority vote in favour of seceding from Spain, although turnout was just 43 percent.Puigdemont said this gave the Catalan parliament a mandate to declare independence on Friday, a decision beamed onto big screens to cheering crowds in regional capital Barcelona.But the same day Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government in Madrid invoked a never-before-used article of the constitution to dismiss Catalonia’s leaders and impose direct rule.The international community including the European Union, struggling with Brexit and other challenges, has largely spurned the independence declaration and has united behind Madrid.- Rebellion -On Monday Spain’s chief prosecutor said he was seeking charges including rebellion — punishable by up to 30 years in prison — and sedition against Puigdemont and fellow leading separatists.Jose Manuel Maza said they had “caused an institutional crisis that led to the unilateral declaration of independence carried out on October 27 with total contempt for our constitution”.A court now has to decide whether to bring charges.Separately, Spain’s Civil Guard police force on Tuesday searched the headquarters of Catalonia’s regional police in a probe centred on the independence referendum, a spokesman said.Meanwhile, Spain’s Supreme Court summoned the former speaker of the Catalan parliament to charge her, a judicial source said.- Elections -With its own language and distinct culture, Catalonia accounts for a fifth of the eurozone country’s economy.It had a high degree of autonomy over key sectors such as education, healthcare and the police.Rajoy also called snap elections for December 21 to replace the Catalan parliament in a drastic bid to stop the secessionist drive.Puigdemont said on Tuesday that he accepted the “challenge” and that he would “respect” the result whatever it is.”I want a clear commitment from the state. Will the state respect the results that could give separatist forces a majority?” he nevertheless asked reporters in Brussels.- Business as usual -There had been speculation that Catalan leaders and civil servants might seek to disrupt Madrid’s move to impose direct rule but in the event it passed off without major incident.Catalan police, now under orders from Madrid, were told Monday they could allow the dismissed leaders to enter the government headquarters in Barcelona, but only to clear their desks.But in the end, apart from one regional minister who tweeted a photo of himself at his desk, there was no major resistance.last_img

Potential Deportation Of Food Truck Operator Spreads Fear In Southwest Houston

first_img Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /01:10 Listen Al OrtizArmando ‘Piro’ García used to operate the Taquería Gómez food truck, but ICE agents detained him on February 8th and he is now waiting for his removal from the United States.The recent detention of an undocumented man who ran a popular food truck in southwest Houston has some immigrants in the area worried.Armando García, known as Piro by his friends, used to operate the food truck Taquería Gómez, but he is not doing it anymoreAgents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained him on February 8th.A statement from ICE says García had originally been deported to Guatemala in 1994.He re-entered the country and was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2002.He remains in ICE custody, waiting for his removal from the United States.Yazmin, who declined to give us her last name, works at the food truck and says they have had fewer Latino customers since García was detained.Al OrtizJosé, a Mexican immigrant who used to buy his lunch from Armando ‘Piro’ García, says the topic of deportation keeps now coming up in everyday conversations since ICE detained him on February 8th.“People got scared about what happened and it’s gone down a little bit,” Yazmin noted, speaking in Spanish.José, who didn’t want to use his last name either, usually bought lunch from García.Originally from Mexico and undocumented, he notes the fear of deportation is spreading in this part of town.“It wasn’t like that before. Now, you just go out, talk a little bit and that topic comes up,” explained José, also speaking in Spanish.José adds that he is now sending more of his money to his home country because he doesn’t want to lose his savings if he also ends up deported.García’s common law wife Rosie told Houston Public Media immigration lawyers she has consulted with have told her there are few chances García will be allowed to stay in the country.A campaign has been launched on Gofundme.com to raise funds to pay for García’s legal defense.last_img read more

Harris County Will Buy Riverside Turn It Into Mental Health Facility

first_imgMORE: UH Professor And Students Work To Preserve Former HospitalAlan Bruton, director of interior architecture at the University of Houston, and his students have been working closely on preservation efforts with the former Riverside General Hospital. He tells Houston Matters about their work and the property’s significance. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Ed UthmanThe former Riverside General Hospital will get a new lease on life. Harris County will purchase the building in Houston’s Third Ward, to revive it as a mental health facility.Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to purchase Riverside out of federal bankruptcy. That’s the first step in what’s expected to be a seven-year process. Houston Endowment will help raise the $18 million the county will need to refurbish the building.In its new incarnation, Riverside will house a clinic for the underserved Third Ward. It will also let Harris County divert some mentally ill individuals out of the jail system. Judge Ed Emmett said, though, that this will do little to relieve the pressure on the jail, considered one of the largest mental health providers in Texas.Riverside opened in 1927 as the Houston Negro Hospital. The hospital was plagued by mismanagement and scandal in its final years. Former Riverside president Earnest Gibson III, his son, and two of his colleagues were convicted of Medicare fraud in 2014. The hospital declared bankruptcy two years later, after an audit proved Riverside misused a $32 million Hurricane Ike recovery grant from FEMA. 00:00 /04:44 X X Listen Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:51last_img read more

Louisville Defeats Illinois State 51

first_imgStory Links Match Notes:Illinois State 12-8Louisville Men’s Tennis 14-9Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,2,4,3,5)T-2:18  A-134  Print Friendly Version Louisville 5, Illinois State 103/31/2019 at Louisville, Ky.(Bass-Rudd Tennis Center)Singles1. Fabien Salle (LOU) vs. Igor Kolaric (ILS) 4-6, 6-3, unfinished2. Brandon Lancaster (LOU) def. Pol Rius Botifoll (ILS) 6-4, 6-13. Sergio Hernandez (LOU) def. Aleksa Lazarevic (ILS) 7-5, 6-14. Federico Gomez (LOU) def. Jorge Quispe (ILS) 6-4, 6-45. Diego Herrera (ILS) def. David Mizrahi (LOU) 7-5, 6-06. Alex Wesbrooks (LOU) def. Egehan Sertkaya (ILS) 6-4, 6-1Doubles1. Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff/Fabien Salle (LOU) def. Egehan Sertkaya/Aleksa Lazarevic (ILS) 7-52. Federico Gomez/Marcus Sulen (LOU) def. Jorge Quispe/Diego Herrera (ILS) 6-33. Brandon Lancaster/Alex Wesbrooks (LOU) vs. Igor Kolaric/Zacharias Rasmusson (ILS) 6-5, unfinished Matchup History The matchup at No. 1 between freshman Fabien Salle and Igor Kolaric was suspended after each player won and set and the match was already decided. In singles action, freshman Alex Wesbrooks quickly added to the lead with a 6-4, 6-1 decision against Sertkaya on court six. Senior Brandon Lancaster brought the match score to 3-0 when he beat Pos Rius Botifoll 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 2 spot. Gomez clinched the victory on court four where he defeated Quispe 6-4, 6-4. Freshman Sergio Hernandez posted a 7-5, 6-1 win over Lazarevic at No. 3 to push the Cardinals’ lead to 5-0. The Redbirds got on the scored on court five where Herrera defeated freshman David Mizrahi 7-5, 6-0. Preview “We had a slow start in doubles but we got through it,” said UofL head coach Rex Ecarma. “-Then we had a little bit of a slow start in singles, and we just pushed through it. It’s always a battle with them. Their guys fight really, really hard. They don’t give us an inch. You just have to win in a slow grind like that.center_img The Cardinals (14-9) grabbed the doubles point to start the match. The duo of senior Federico Gomez and freshman Marcus Sulen gave Louisville an early edge by beating Jorge Quispe and Deigo Herrera 6-3 on court two. Senior Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff and freshman Fabien Salle secured the point with a 7-5 victory over Egehan Sertkaya and Aleksa Lazarevic at the No. 1 spot. Federico Gomez Post Match Interview Full Schedule Roster Coach Rex Ecarma Post Match Interview Up next, Louisville will hit the road for a pair of ACC matches at Clemson on Friday and No. 29 Georgia Tech on Sunday. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville men’s tennis team defeated Illinois State 5-1 Sunday evening at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. Next Match: at Clemson 4/5/2019 | 4:00 p.m.last_img read more

Chads Historic Day Leads Louisville Past Ohio State

first_img Box Score (PDF) Story Links Teeter/Players Postgame Video center_img LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tessa Chad scored nine goals and tallied two assists, setting a program record for points in a single game, to lift University of Louisville women’s lacrosse team past Ohio State 19-7 on Tuesday afternoon.Chad’s nine goals also tied her own program record for goals scored in a single contest and allowed her to earn both her 200th career point and 100th point as a Cardinal.”My teammates found me a lot today when I was open, I couldn’t score without my teammates,” said Chad. “Our offense had a good flow today and I think we’re finding a groove out there.”With the victory, the Cardinals snap a four-game losing streak and improve to 5-10 on the season, while the Buckeyes drop to 8-6.Ohio State opened the game with two goals in the first two minutes, but the Cardinals quickly countered as Chad converted on two free position attempts to even the score at 2-2.The Buckeyes responded with a pair of goals before the Cards fired off six unanswered goals to secure an 8-4 lead heading into halftime.Louisville continued its run with five more goals to start the second half and overall used an 11-0 spurt to take a 13-4 lead with 24:19 to go.Ohio State scored two straight to pull within 13-6, but the Cardinals scored six of the final seven goals to cruise to a 19-7 win.”We sputtered coming out of the gate a little bit, but we responded and played an excellent game in all areas,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “We competed for draws, went after 50/50 balls and really limited them defensively.”Chad’s nine goals tied her program-record for goals in a game, which was set earlier this year against Duquesne. Her 11 points broke her own program-record of 10 points in that same game vs. Duquesne.She now has 107 points in her two years at Louisville and 209 points in her four-year collegiate career.Ally Hall also finished with a hat trick for the Cardinals, while Paige Richbourg added two goals and two assists. Louisville finished with 37 shots, while limiting Ohio State to just 14. The Cardinals return to ACC action when they play at Virginia on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Google Discontinues Works With Nest Program Tightens Smart Home Privacy Rules

first_img YouTube Yanks 210 Channels for Spreading Propaganda Against Hong Kong Protests ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in 2014. Best known for its smart thermostat at the time, Google let Nest operate as an independent entity, a structure that was reinforced when Google formalized its corporate structure under the Alphabet umbrella back in 2015. However, Nest’s standalone brand and product group struggled to live up to expectations, ultimately leading to the departure of founder Tony Fadell. A year ago, Nest officially was brought back under Google’s hardware division.As part of the now-announced brand integration, Google also renamed its 7-inch Home Hub smart display, which will be branded Nest Hub going forward. Existing products like the Google Home smart speaker and the Google Home Mini won’t be renamed, but Google vice president Rishi Chandra told Variety that the company will launch all successor products under the Nest brand. “It will take some time,” Chandra said about the brand integration.But Google doesn’t want to just use the rebranding as a marketing exercise. Chandra argued that existing smart home programs had been much too iterative, and not responsive enough to the requirements of communal device usage.This especially includes privacy, an area where Google aims to differentiate itself from the competition. Consumers have to have clear expectations of the way devices capture and share data, he argued, no matter whether they’re the ones who install a device in a home, whether they’re a family member, or even a visitor. Google tried to encapsulate the gist of its new approach to privacy in a set of commitments published Tuesday, which include the promise to explain how all of the sensors in any of its devices work.To adhere to this newly-strengthened commitment to privacy, Google also changed some of the ways its own products work. One example: Nest’s existing home security cameras have a green light that turns on when video is captured. Up until now, Nest owners could disable this light when they wanted to covertly surveil their home. Following its new guidelines, Google will disable that capability. As Google is further integrating the Nest brand, it is also introducing some significant changes to the way Nest products will work. The most notable one: The company will discontinue its Works With Nest program this summer, which has the potential to break a number of existing smart home integrations. Google is justifying this step with a new focus on privacy, which includes reducing data sharing to a much smaller number of pre-approved partners.Google announced that it is phasing out “Works With Nest” in conjunction with its Google I/O developer conference. The company also used the event to announce a new Nest-branded product, the Nest Hub Max, a 10-inch smart display with integrated camera.“Nest is a long-established brand,” said Google vice president Rishi Chandra in a recent conversation with Variety about the reasons the company chose to re-brand its smart home hardware. “We want Google Nest to represent the helpful home.” ALL NEW! HOT LIPS 2 11 lipstick shades inspired by 11 incredible icons Ad by Charlotte Tilbury See More AdChoices Popular on Variety center_img Related News Corp Is Developing Knewz, a News-Aggregation Service to Counter Google That Would Present Content Without ‘Bias’ Face Match for instance is powered by on-device AI. And as such local AI processing increases, so does the reliance on specialized chipsets, which may not necessarily be available to other companies. Said Chandra: “We do believe (the market is) being more and more verticalized.” But the biggest change is the discontinuation of “Works with Nest,” a program that allowed device makers and app developers to build things that would interact with Nest products. Google is replacing it with a more restrictive “Works with Google Assistant” program later this summer, and Chandra said that it would give a small numbers of thoroughly vetted partners access to additional data if customers explicitly allowed such data sharing.One impact of these changes, according to Chandra: “It will break IFTTT.” IFTTT, short for “if this then that,” is a web-based service that allows users to build a wide variety of custom integrations for smart home products. It’s especially popular with early adopters, who use the platform to fine-tune specific tasks across multiple devices.IFTTT can for instance be used to change the temperature on a user’s thermostat when they leave the office, or operate obscure smart home devices not officially supported by Google with voice commands from a Google smart speaker. Chandra said that the company planned to replace much of IFTTT’s functionality with its own Google Assistant routines.Google’s integration of the Nest brand comes at a time of uncertainty for the consumer electronics industry as a whole. Not only are hardware makers under pressure because of the U.S.’s escalating trade conflict with China, high prices and a maturing market have also led to a slow-down in phone sales. Apple saw iPhone sales decline by 17% last quarter. Google got hit by a notable hardware revenue decline during the quarter as well, prompting some analysts to question whether the company should stop making devices altogether.Chandra dismissed those concerns. “The commitment to hardware hasn’t changed at all,” he said. However, his remarks also suggested that Google’s approach to hardware may be evolving as it introduces new devices like the Nest Hub Max.Case in point: Google launched Assistant-powered smart displays in partnership with companies like Lenovo, Sony and LG, only to later release the Home Hub as a Google-made device. With the Home Hub Max, the company is now starting to introduce new features that may not necessarily find their way to some of those third-party devices.last_img read more

Crowd sourcing project to allow 3D scantoprint web app

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Crowd sourcing project to allow 3D scan-to-print web app (2013, August 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-crowd-sourcing-3d-scan-to-print-web.html Explore further Technology to allow for printing three dimensional objects is evolving rapidly, making it difficult for some to keep up. It’s also still relatively expensive. Currently, people who wish to print such an object have but two choices—buy (or borrow) a 3D printer or contract out with a company that prints 3D objects for a price. Both options require software and a depth camera. Now it appears a third option is about to make its debut—one that might make the entire process both cheaper and far easier to carry out. BotObjects announces first full color 3D printer— ProDesk3D Volumental, a company that is currently accepting image data captured via depth camera, printing 3D models and shipping them back, is now looking to create a web based app to replace the software portion of the process. That would mean anyone with a depth camera (which includes Kinect devices) could scan an object, have it rendered onscreen and then sent to a 3D printer of their choice. If successful, a new way to print 3D objects could become as common as printing text and images on a piece of paper. The company has set up a Kickstarter project with a goal of reaching $20,000 to finish writing the web app code—pledges so far are just over half that amount.As depth cameras (those with two or more lenses) become more common, demand for 3D printing grows, though currently printers able to do so are still quite expensive. If, however, consumers that have already purchased a Kinect device for gaming can use their existing equipment along with what is essentially free software to capture the object data, then half the process of producing 3D models is covered. An added advantage to such a system would be a reduction in difficulty in capturing the 3D image. Users could conceivable load the browser scanner, spin slowly in place in front of their Kinect device, place an order with Volumental (or have the data sent to another site, such as the local 3D printer at work) and wait for the full color model to arrive at their home. Objects captured would be limited only by the range of the camera—users could conceivably scan every object in their living room, including furniture and have it printed in a size limited only by the ability of the printer to which it is sent. As printer technology improves, so too will the range of materials that can be used as “ink” opening up the door to some pretty amazing possibilities. 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

LG Chem turns to stepped curve and cable batteries

first_img Explore further There are three types of batteries on the LG Chem product map, and these are the stepped battery, the curved battery and the cable battery, the latter to be ready in the next few years. What they all share in common is the company’s eye on innovative product opportunities that will spring up all over the place once flexible displays take hold in the marketplace, to be applied toward phones and a wide range of wearables including watches and glasses. In turn, LG Chem has worked up alternatives to the rectangular-shaped battery.The curved battery packs are to power mobile devices with curved screen or flexible designs such as smart phones, watches and glasses. Using a”Stack and Folding” technology, the company’s batteries achieve a curved design. They will power LG Electronics’ next phone lineup.The stepped battery refers to an approach where two batteries are added on top of each other in the form of a step design. The battery takes greater advantage of available space in the device, filling up dead space to fully power the handset and increase battery capacity. LG Chem plans to take the approach further, stacking up more batteries depending on customer requirements.The cable battery travels into more ambitious territory, to be adapted for innovative devices that are not only bendable and wearable but can even be tied into a knot. The cable battery will also have waterproof features.According to a report in The Korea Times, LG Chem is preparing to sell curved batteries to other smartphone vendors than just LG Electronics.Researchers see the flexible display market as set to grow quickly with the upcoming launch of innovative, curved devices. Curved displays can accommodate bendable designs, in turn to expand beyond phones into automotive displays, tablets and wearables. Credit: LG (Phys.org) —Stories have been rolling in from technology news sites this week about vendors in a race to debut curved smartphones and flexible OLED panels for smartphones. Also making news on Tuesday is Seoul, South Korean-based chemical company LG Chem, which has curved batteries in production. The company, which is a major lithium-ion battery manufacturer, on Tuesday said it has curved batteries in mass production, and in fact has been producing curved batteries since July this year, at a plant in China. Curved batteries are being used to power G2 smartphones manufactured by the company’s affiliate, LG Electronics. More information: www.lgchem.com/ Galaxy Round: Samsung to debut smartphone with curved display © 2013 Phys.org 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. Citation: LG Chem turns to stepped, curve and cable batteries (2013, October 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-lg-chem-cable-batteries.htmllast_img read more

Tale of two cities

first_imgThe evening started with the short introduction by Ashok Vajpayee, followed by short word on Kraków and literature by Prof  Piotr Klodkowski.Piaskowski took the audience through a presentation on Krakow City of literature. Urvashi Butalia made contemporary remarks on the literature of both the cities. Michal Rusinek gave an insight into the Krakow literature. The event was concluded with an interactive discussion with the audience.After a three-year wait, Kraków become the UNESCO City of Literature,  21 October 2013. Kraków is the seventh city to be granted this honour, following Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City, Dublin, Reykjavík and Norwich. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Kraków receiving the title of UNESCO City of Literature bears testament to the cultural heritage of our ancient city and the wealth of its artistic life today.Kraków has long been an academic and intellectual centre of Europe and a cradle of language and literature; it was the first Polish city to hold scriptoriums, libraries and printing houses, and it is the birthplace of scores of literary masterpieces. It was also home to the authors of Polish modernism – Stanislaw Wyspianski, Stanislaw Przybyszewski and Józef Mehoffer – and more contemporary artists including Karol Wojtyla, Tadeusz Kantor, Stanislaw Lem, Slawomir Mrozek and Andrzej Wajda. It was here that Czeslaw Milosz (awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980) returned after many years in exile, and it was the home of Wislawa Szymborska (Nobel Prize in 1996) throughout her long life until her passing in 2012.last_img read more

February 15 2002 The siltcast tile making seminar

first_imgFebruary 15, 2002 The siltcast tilemaking seminar is a part of the monthly workshop program wehave been conducting since 1970 at Arcosanti. One-day to one-weekintensive Siltcast programs are also offered for thosecrafts-oriented. [T] Randall Schultz,Siltcast coordinator, gives instructions to the participants who areabout to have “hands-on” experience. [T] Students prepare thesilt by sifting and adding some moisture to give the right consistencyfor the medium to work. [T] The silt is placedin the form, impressed and painted. Then, the plaster is cast on thedesigned silt bed. Later the silt is washed away when the plasterhardens and the reversed patterns appear on the finished tile surface.The whole process takes only a few hours. [T]last_img

France Télévisions is going to stop distributing c

first_imgFrance Télévisions is going to stop distributing complete programmes on YouTube, following director-general Delphine Ernotte’s earlier move to no longer distribute content on Netflix.Delphine ErnotteTaking part in a discussion on the future of television at an event organised by Les Echos and France Info – and sponsored by Google – at the end of last week, Ernotte said that the pubcaster is “going to stop putting complete programmes on YouTube” after describing the revenues gained from distributing content on the platform as little more than “a tip”.Ernotte was speaking after YouTube spokesperson Justine Ryst, speaking at the same event, had spoken about “the logic of complementarity and opportunity with media groups” and the “sharing of value” with the latter.While she conceded that YouTube was “a formidable tool” and the video consumption experience of choice for young people, Ernotte said that she would only engage in discussions when there is a greater choice of platforms and a “slightly less violently monopolistic situation”.Also present at the event, Gilles Pélisson and Nicolas de Tavernost, CEO of commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 respectively, joined Ernotte in lambasting the unequal competition faced by broadcasters from internet giants and calling for changes in the rules to create a more equal playing field.Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada, meanwhile said that the best response to the likes of Netflix was to create a compelling rival digital offering. Saada said that Canal+ would launch a new low-cost on-demand offering at the end of the first quarter of next year to replace its failed CanalPlay SVOD service.Revealing that CanalPlay’s base had collapsed from 800,000 to 200,000 at a French Senate committee hearing in July, Saada blamed restrictions placed on it by France’s competition regulator preventing it from effectively competing with the likes of Netflix.France’s free-to-air broadcasters – France Télévisions, TF1 and M6 – are collaborating to create a rival joint on-demand offering, Salto to take on the might of the likes of Netflix, despite skepticism from a number of quarters. Ernotte had already called for French broadcasters to join her in retaining rights to their content rather than sell them on to third-party platforms such as Netflix.last_img read more

Oil 9171 9536 7968

first_imgOil91.7195.3679.68 Silver34.8532.1028.69 One Month Ago Dear Reader,With gold back up within reach of its nominal record high last year, a lot of new investors are thinking about gold mining stocks.With this in mind, today we take a peek at one of the issues that confuses some metals investors: cash mining costs. It’s simple in a way, but also nuanced and subject to misinterpretation. I’ll let Andrey Dashkov explain.The point, for now, is no surprise; be careful, think things through, be thorough in your due diligence. But there are opportunities out there, and more coming.Sincerely,Louis JamesSenior Metals Investment StrategistCasey Research TSX Venture1,344.981,246.271,413.65 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)24.8222.0328.22 Gold1,784.001,690.001,617.00 Silver Stocks (SIL)25.3921.8020.99center_img Cash Cost Figures: Are They For Real?By Andrey Dashkov, Research AnalystWhen you read about mining companies, you’ll often see “cash cost” figures given for production. “XYZ Gold Corp. produced 25,000 ounces of gold from its mines this quarter at a cash cost of $676 per ounce.” This is a non-GAAP figure similar to the general idea of “cost of sales” – what it takes to calculate a gross margin.Why would anyone report something so near the top line when it’s the bottom line that’s, well, the bottom line? Because it’s useful. The bottom line can be subject to major fluctuations from quarter to quarter, even in large companies if they get hit with one-time write-downs, changes in taxes, changes in accounting, etc. that are separate from the actual profitability of mining operations. By looking at cash costs, we can make our own estimations of how rich a company’s mines are, and hence how much abuse a company can take on non-mining costs and still deliver to the bottom line over time.For exploration and development companies, of course, there is no EBDITA, and the bottom line is almost always negative. Reasonable cash cost projections can give us a basis for evaluation when normal metrics don’t apply.With rising costs, we’ve been hearing industry talk about shifting away from reporting cash costs, which can make mining companies seem more profitable than they are to the financially illiterate – like politicians. Political leaders in some countries are pursuing windfall profit taxes, higher royalties, etc., because they see higher metals prices and relatively low cash cost figures, when in reality there may be little or no windfall profits to be taxed.At a recent meeting at the Denver Gold Forum sponsored by the World Gold Council, the idea of moving away from the traditional cash cost reporting figures was proposed. A more standardized, “all-in” cost figure has been proposed, to include operating costs, sustaining capital expenditures, and general and administrative costs. If adopted, this figure would provide a more accurate and definitive picture of actual mining costs.Here at Casey Research, we aggregate our own “all-in” costs when not reported by a company, so such a change would not impact the way we look at companies much. However, for others who are used to looking at cash costs, the “all-in” figures could come as a bit of a shock, and could result in negative investor reactions toward companies that make the change. That’s probably just as well; the smart money will be back – it already knows there’s much more to the picture than cash costs.More on this shortly. First, let’s have a quick look at cash costs for gold producers today.Cash Cost UpdateThe latest update to the Thomson Reuters GFMS Gold Survey reports that in the first half of 2012, average cash costs for gold producers increased to a new high of US$727 per ounce. However, higher year-on-year gold prices have seen producer margins increase by 11%. Still, GFMS also points out that “on a quarterly basis, margins have in fact declined for the last three quarters.”The chief reasons cited for cash costs increasing are declining ore grades, labor cost increases, higher energy prices, and other input factors. Our expectation is that on average, these costs will continue to rise throughout this year and beyond.However, profit is not a one-variable calculation. With the underlying commodity – gold – rising faster than cash costs for over a decade now, many mines that were previously unprofitable have become profitable.Sharp investors have noticed that many profitable mining companies aren’t seeing fatter margins. Why? Because mines with higher-grade material start processing previously uneconomic lower-grade ore while they can do so at a profit, adding to the life of their mines and total cash flow while maintaining their bottom lines today. In other words, what was once waste becomes ore, leading to increases in overall production and profit. It’s a good business strategy, but it also contributes to the rise in average mining costs.Still, while costs have risen in nominal terms, gold has continued upward as well. As a result, average operating margins, based on the spot gold price, have gotten wider in recent years. The below quarterly comparison of the average cash cost vs. the average price of gold over the past seven years shows this quite clearly.(Click on image to enlarge)A real eye-opener, however, comes from another chart we built using the same data set. Here you’ll see that wider margins mean that cash costs – stated as a percentage of the price of gold – were at multiyear lows earlier this year.(Click on image to enlarge)This year we have observed rising costs, so it will be interesting to see how this chart looks going forward. If gold continues trading sideways, the window of profitability will shut down for marginal operations. However, if gold heads much higher – as we expect it to – the trend in the chart above could keep margins fattening.CapExCapital expenditure – “capex” – is also a cost of doing business for mining companies, but as the name implies, it’s capitalized. That means it’s subject to depreciation and not treated as an expense, and doesn’t show up in operating costs. You still need to pour this money into the ground to build and operate your mine, of course, so it does affect the bottom line, where depreciation, taxes, and other costs are all taken into account. For exploration and development companies, you look for the impact of capex in internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV) figures.Capex has been ballooning of late, due to higher labor and material costs and much greater regulatory burdens. There’s nothing new in this trend, but it seems to be accelerating substantially, especially for larger projects. We don’t have updated industry-wide average figures for this, but one of most striking recent examples of skyrocketing capital costs is Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project on the Chile-Argentina border.Business News Americas reports: “A previous cost estimate for Pascua Lama was US$3.3bn-3.6bn, but this was revised up to US$4.7bn-5bn after a review in 2011.” The current cost estimate is about US$8 billion.Barrick’s situation is a vivid example of why capex has become a significant detriment to building new mines – more so than rising operating costs. When it comes to calculating a project’s IRR, the size of the initial investment has a huge impact. So, in spite of the rising gold price, we’re not seeing as many new mines being built as we might expect.Indeed, the relatively low pace of mergers and acquisitions among mining companies this year may be principally due to concerns about rising capital costs. Many of the larger companies that might have been snapping up successful exploration companies while they were on sale over the summer had their plates full with huge projects they were already committed to.That will change at some point; the majors must replace depleting ounces or cease to be major mining companies. However, that tipping point does not seem to have been reached yet.ConclusionOperating costs are rising, but on a yearly basis over the last ten years, production margins have been rising faster. The industry, recognizing problems with cash cost reporting, is considering a new metric that would provide a more accurate picture. However, many in the industry hesitate: some executives want to keep using the cash cost figure since it reflects how much it costs to mine right now.We don’t know how that issue will turn out, but unless and until the industry does adopt a more comprehensive and accurate figure, we’ll keep using our own “all-in” estimates. All investors in the sector need to remember that the real cost of any mining is going to be higher than what companies report as cash costs.And – obviously – there’s much more to evaluating a precious metals producer than just costs. Does its management team have a track record of success? Does it have enough money (or access to it) to move its projects forward? Is the company likely to be taken over by a major producer?That last point is particularly important, because when juniors are bought out, their investors usually get big windfalls. Right now Louis has identified seven companies that are especially ripe for takeover.Gold and Silver HEADLINESRupee Aids India’s Gold Buying Ahead of Festivals (The Economic Times)An appreciated Indian rupee pushed local gold prices to a five-week low, providing an opportunity for gold importers in that country to stock up on bullion for upcoming festivals. The world-famous Indian festival and wedding seasons start in late October, a time when people traditionally buy gold for gifts and dowries.The rupee rose to its highest level against the dollar in more than five months, which kept prices of the precious metals in rupee terms subdued, even as dollar-priced gold hit an 11-month high above $1,795 last week.“There is heavy demand, because the rates have come down on rupee appreciation,” said Ganesh Agarwal, director of Shiv Sahai and Sons India Limited, a Chennai-based wholesaler, noting that investors were also among recent gold buyers.It is unlikely that the autumn festivals and revived demand will offset the considerable decline in India’s gold consumption that we’ve been seeing during the year. A weak rupee and higher import duties on gold imposed by the government in an attempt to cut the deficit were among the main reasons for demand decrease from Indian customers.$2,200 Is a Realistic Target for Gold in 2013 (Mining.com)In a recent interview, Kitco’s head of precious metals, Peter Hug, said gold prices could hit the $2,200 level next year. However, he doesn’t expect to see gold reaching such lofty highs prior to the year’s end.Hug observes the market as constructively bullish, given aggressive stimulus plans by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. But he says gold prices could dip short-term on profit-taking, providing a buying opportunity for investors.These expectations are in line with our own. For more information, read an exclusive Kitco interview with BIG GOLD‘s Jeff Clark.For Both Gold and Apple Fans: A 24-Karat Gold-Plated iPhone 5 (Mining.com)London jeweler Gold & Co. has hit the market with a 24-karat gold-plated iPhone 5 that costs “only” $4,380 (£2,695).“This stunning iPhone is uniquely crafted. Best quality crystal stones are added to its own mounted 24ct gold logo and home button. Like the diamond setting process, each stone is individually set into cut clasps adding seductive detail.”We like gold, but we also know it’s a soft metal. Somehow, this plating doesn’t seem very practical – but, we suppose that’s the point.Striking South Africa Miners Fired by Platinum Producer (Toronto Star)Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has embarked on a massive layoff of striking miners. The company reported that “approximately 12,000 striking employees chose not to make representations, nor attend the hearings, and have therefore been dismissed in their absence.” The company representatives said that a more detailed statement would be issued soon.80,000 miners – about 16% of the country’s mine workforce – are on strike, causing mine stoppages and political complications. The country’s president called for “constructive social dialogue,” but the turmoil continues.We’re keeping a close eye on the situation in South Africa. The current crisis may present interesting investment opportunities – and our subscribers will know about them first. Rock & Stock StatsLast Copper3.793.533.10 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)12,418.9911,990.1411,457.22 One Year Ago Gold Producers (GDX)53.6547.9354.88last_img read more

Sticking with fact versus selfserving fiction th

first_img Sticking with fact versus self-serving fiction, the Centre for Ocean and Ice plotted the daily mean temperature for the Arctic (you know, where the warming is supposedly causing widespread ice melting and a die-off of polar bears) for the period between 1958 and 2013. It, too, found no statistically meaningful deviation from the mean in 2013. Here’s the link. So, let me ask again… what the hell is wrong with Obama? Why would he use the powers of the executive to unleash yet another bungling army of bureaucrats and foist yet another expensive body of regulations upon the nation – and do so at such a precarious time for the economy… a period when businesses need help, not hindrance? I can only assume he is doing so not because he is ignorant about the science, but because he is pandering to the “progressives” (a misnomer that, corrected, would read “regressives”) and others his party needs the support of in order to prevail in the next election. Fortunately, slowly and steadily the truth will come out. My favorite recent public turnaround was delivered by the mayor of London, the straight-talking Boris Johnson, in an article he penned for the Telegraph titled, The Weather Prophets Should Be Chucked in the Deep End. A relevant quote: For more than 20 years now, we have been told that this country was going to get hotter and hotter and hotter, and that global warming was going to change our climate in a fundamental way. Do you remember that? We were told that Britain was going to have short, wet winters and long, roasting summers. It was going to be like 1976 all over again, with streakers at Lord’s and your Mr Whippy melting before you could even lick it, and Hyde Park scorched into a mini Kalahari. They said we were never going to have snow again, and that we should prepare for southern England to turn gradually into a Mediterranean world. There were going to be olive groves in the Weald of Kent, and the whole place was going to be so generally broiling in summer that no one would be able to move between noon and 4pm, after which people would come out to play boules and sip pastis, to the whine of a mandolin, in the dusty square that had once been a village green. That’s what they said: the BBC, and all the respectable meteorologists – and I reckon there were tens of thousands of people who took these prophecies entirely seriously. Omigod, they said to themselves, we are all going to fry. He goes on to suggest, tongue-in-cheek, that every English homeowner who anticipated taking advantage of the pending warmer climate by building a swimming pool should be able to file a claim against the government for reimbursement. In that same vein, I would propose that the tab for hundreds of billions in wasted taxpayer funds on electric cars, solar, and so forth be divided up and sent for payment to Obama, Al Gore, and anyone else found to have profited – financially or politically – from climate alarmism. Some of the money collected could be spent trying to deprogram a generation of state-schooled students who now unquestionably accept the bad science of manmade climate warming, despite the huge body of science pointing to the contrary. Weekend Reads Save Us from the Meddlers… this from the always excellent Reason.com: Starting this fall, high school students in New Jersey who taunt each other during games will be subject to investigation not only by the state’s athletic association, but the state’s government. “The days of taunting, baiting and trash-talking during high school sporting events are over,” reads a press release from the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Thanks to collaboration between NJSIAA, the New Jersey Attorney General, and the New Jersey Civil Rights Division, “discriminatory conduct will also be reported to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and may result in further investigation.” Oh, and the regulation applies to off school grounds as well. The Making of a Global Security State. Terry Coxon forwarded me an excellent article on the topic by Tom Engelhardt that appeared in the Asia Times.  Here’s the link. Despicable He – If you want to confirm just how degraded the US government and its various corporate quislings have become, check out this story about the IRS Deputy and the $500 million contract he awarded to a buddy… then refused to testify about it. And with that, I will leave you for the week by thanking you for reading, and for being a Casey Research subscriber. I hope I didn’t come off overly pessimistic in today’s musings – I am actually quite optimistic, but that may only be because I don’t have my head stuck in the sand about where things are likely heading. As a result, I continue to take the steps I feel are personally necessary to weather the storms ahead. Then I go about living the best life I can manage. If you’d like a bit of help in making your own plans, I’d highly recommend taking a risk-free trial to our flagship publication, The Casey Report… and signing up for our October 4 – 6 Casey Research Summit in Arizona before it sells out. These are tough markets to be going alone. And here’s a link to another analysis by a serious scientist that shows just how far off the predictions of global warming have been when compared to actual temperatures. Thou Shalt Not Fail to Rebalance After Big Run-Ups. The sector in which he is so heavily invested, US equities, has already had a big run-up. As you can see from the chart here, it is looking perilously close to a near-term top. As an aside, the pattern evident in the chart suggests a trading pattern you might want to use to your advantage. It should continue for awhile – maybe even until the entire Fed-led Ponzi scheme collapses the economy. Underscoring the global warming purportedly caused by excessive carbon, a clearly overheated Obama dramatically wiped his face with a white hanky during his out-of-doors announcement. Given that summer in Washington DC is famously hot and humid, maybe some staff member should have scheduled an air-conditioned room for the announcement… oh, wait… silly me, the whole sweating thing was staged! Duh! (Do these people really think that the public consists entirely of gullible morons?) Quoting Bloomberg on the president’s announcement… Saying that science had put to rest the question about whether the planet was warming, Obama vowed to use his executive powers to act, arguing that limiting emissions would spur technological advancement and new jobs. “I don’t have much patience for anyone that denies that this challenge is real,” Obama said in the speech at Georgetown University. “Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.” The irony here is that, at least as far as I can tell, the science tells us nothing of the kind. In fact, for the last seventeen and a half years – a period over which the climate alarmists tell us the planet has been dangerously warming – the planet has shown no warming. Quoting a recent article by Christopher Monckton on the always excellent Wattsupwiththat.com site… Superimposing the temperature curve and its least-squares linear-regression trend on the statistical insignificance region bounded by the means of the trends on these published uncertainties since January 1996 demonstrates that there has been no statistically significant warming in 17 years 4 months: The rapid increase in social spending reflects the unintended consequences of the “chicken in every pot” promises that have become the basis of every election campaign for decades now. This is a picture of what happens when you train the masses to look to the government, and not the free markets, to solve every problem, water every plant, kiss every boo-boo. Thanks to the surge in socialism, this pattern is mirrored the world over. It’s now projected that Italy will need a bailout from the EU within six months – again due to its unfunded and non-payable social obligations. Since the latest crisis began, we have seen governments around the world “socialize” the bad debts of failing financial institutions by transferring those debts from private balance sheets to those of the governments (and the central banks). This has only exacerbated an already impossible situation, requiring the widespread adoption of global monetary madness. Seriously, who in their right mind could possibly think creating trillions in new monetary units in order to support virtually unchecked government spending is a sound and sustainable policy? Yet that’s exactly the operating model of the leadership in most of the world’s largest economies. I suspect this is so only because they simply don’t see any other way to delay the inevitable. Flash riots in places like Brazil only encourage these governments to continue acting like monetary sluts in order to keep the public slops flowing. And to the extent that it helps even temporarily mollify the expectations of the masses, expect other equally counter-productive measures as well. In the case of Brazil, its government is seriously levying yet another tax on the successful to pay for the social spending being demanded by the rioters. And the global economy continues to spiral around the drain. When might the hard truths become unavoidable? For an answer, I turn to Ayn Rand’s classic Atlas Shrugged… “Do you wish to know when that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.” –Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged, p. 385 (1957) If Rand is right, we’re getting close. Meanwhile, for those of you deluded enough to believe the US government will someday soon get its fiscal house in order, the social and political consequences of doing so be damned, here’s a quick snippet from USA Today last week… WASHINGTON — The U.S. House failed to pass a sweeping five-year farm bill with sharp cuts to food stamps, a surprising development that sets the stage for an uphill fight in Congress to craft a new law. The Republican-led House soundly rejected a $500 billion measure by a vote of 195-234, failing to muster enough support from conservative Republicans concerned about costs and Democrats and concerned about deep cuts to the country’s popular food stamp program. Of course, per the above parable, when it comes to keeping hogs and people happy, a steady supply of food is essential. So, do you really think the US government is going to cut back the food stamps now being provided to 1 in 5 households (approximately 50 million people)? Hardly. The simple reality is that “We the people” took the slops, and the consequences of passing our personal responsibilities to the nation-state are yet to be paid in full. As the nation-states have no path open to them to continue to meet their obligations – at least no path that doesn’t end in widespread pain – expect things to get very, very bizarre in the months and years just ahead. Remain vigilant. Friday Funnies A Lesson in Irony… Apropos to the Above Article The Food Stamp Program, administered by the US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever, to 46 MILLION PEOPLE. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the US Department of the Interior, asks us, “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is: “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.” THUS ENDS TODAY’S LESSON IN IRONY. Leno on the Scandals “I was going to start off tonight with an Obama joke, but I don’t want to get audited by the IRS.” On NSA surveillance: “We wanted a president who listens to all Americans – now we have one.” On a new IRS commissioner: “He’s called ‘acting commissioner’ because he has to act like the scandal doesn’t involve the White House.” On closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorists: “If he really wants to close it, turn it into a government-funded solar power company. The doors will be shut in a month.” Concerning the Benghazi, Associated Press, and IRS scandals: “Remember in the old days when President Obama’s biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden?” On Obama saying he didn’t know about the IRS scandal: “He was too busy not knowing anything about Benghazi to not know anything about the IRS.” “The White House has a new slogan about Benghazi: Hope and change the subject.” “It’s casual Friday, which means that at the White House, they’re casually going through everybody’s phone calls and records.” “It is not looking good for President Obama. Today his teleprompter took the fifth.” “FOX News has changed its slogan from ‘Fair and Balanced’ to ‘See, I told you so!’” “These White House scandals are not going away anytime soon. People in Kenya are now saying he’s 100 percent American. That’s how bad it’s gotten.” On Obama’s commencement address: “He told the young graduates their future is bright – unless, of course, they want jobs.” On a Chicago man who set a record for riding a Ferris wheel: “The only way to go around and around in a circle that many times is to read the official report on Benghazi.” On White House claims of ignorance on the scandals: “They took ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ out of the Pentagon and moved it into the White House.” Concerned about NSA Spying? Here’s one (funny) solution: everyone should begin speaking like a terrorist… here’s the video link. Thou Shalt Not Fail to Watch Your Investment Expenses. In this case, a full-service broker has been charging him 2% (and maybe more) to underperform in the sector he has him in up to his ears. And, I suspect, does a fair bit of trading. Essentially, the client takes all the risk and the brokerage house earns a bigger net return. Additionally, if the broker is aggressive, then there’s a good chance he’s not particularly attentive when it comes to short- versus long-term capital gains. Thou Shalt Not Keep Too Much of Your Money in a Single Institution. Effectively, he has all of his money in a single financial institution. As the investors with money on account at MF Global will attest, in today’s world that’s just plain reckless. Very few banks and brokerage houses aren’t entangled in the obscure and impenetrable web of derivatives markets and so are at risk. (This is a topic that David Webb will be addressing in depth at our only Casey Research Summit in 2013, Oct. 4 – 6 in Tucson, Arizona. Details here, registration is limited. ) Thou Shalt Not Be Ignorant About What You Own, and Why. His portfolio is made up entirely of investments that he doesn’t even know the names of, let alone the basic metrics related to their underlying value or financial soundness. David Galland Managing Director Casey Research More Irony Donald Grove, The Casey Report’s man in Washington, sent along the following, which, though true, properly belongs in the Friday Funnies section. Here’s the text of his email: “The White House is on a roll this morning. The audacity of this administration! That it would suggest that it has any credibility for instilling financial responsibility in young people just takes my breath away. The secretary of the Treasury will have oversight. That will keep it on the up and up, won’t it?” Don is referring to the Obama administration’s Executive Order earlier this week establishing The Presidential Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans (or TPACOFCFYA, for short). Quoting from the Executive Order… “By starting early, young people can begin to learn the difference between wants and needs, the importance and power of saving, and the positive and productive role money can play in their lives. Having a basic understanding of money management from an early age will make our young people better equipped to tackle more complex financial decisions in their transition to adulthood, when critical decisions about financing higher education and saving for retirement can have lasting consequences for financial security. Strengthening the financial capability of our young people is an investment in our nation’s economic prosperity.” Don adds, “How about advising young people to observe the fiscal and monetary practices of the federal government and simply do the opposite at every turn?” Sounds about right to me. A Good Laugh My golf buddy Frank sent this along a few minutes ago. Even though the Friday Funnies is longer than usual, I just had to share it. It’s the voice of a man leaving a message for his boss when he witnesses a car accident… and the incredible events that then follow. It’s really funny. Here’s a link to the recording. What the Hell Is Wrong with Obama? – Part Two This week, the Panderer-in-Chief moved forward with his initiative to curb carbon emissions. Thou Shalt Not Blindly Rely on the Advice of a Commissioned Broker. It’s their job to get you to trade. It’s how they earn the money to buy that nice house. Sure, if a commissioned broker provides real value, then they have earned their commission. But you need to do your own homework and not just acquiesce to their every recommendation. That’s how you end up with 90% of your retirement assets at risk in a single investment sector. As an alternative for those who want to leave their investing to a pro, a pure fee-based money manager can make sense as their only goal is (or should be) to impress you so you’ll continue to retain their services. For a few days the hogs waited patiently for their usual rations, but when the farmer failed to come through, the hungry hogs began to fight over the reduced slops provided. It was not long after that the farmer – confident that the hogs were properly domesticated – let himself into the pen only to find himself surrounded by angry hogs who made him what’s for lunch. The moral to the longer-version story is that the domesticated hogs will remain docile only for as long as you keep them snout-deep in slops. Which brings me to the riots in Brazil, the latest footnote on the continuum of the slow-motion global financial collapse now underway. Simply, years of expanding politically motivated social welfare programs around the world have raised the expectations of the masses to the point where they simply can’t be met. The results are that growing segments of the previously submissive masses, seeing their slops reduced in both quantity and quality, are now drifting back towards a more feral state. (Note the Mad Max hair in the photo above… yet another example of life mimicking art.) You can see the problem in this chart showing the federal government’s expenditures by function. While the chart is a little out of date, the trend couldn’t be clearer… or more concerning. Dear Reader, For today’s missive, I plan on keeping things fairly loose… no major themes, just bits and pieces, mostly related to some of the news items that have caught my eye, and maybe yours. And with that uncharacteristically short warm-up, it’s on to the news. What the Hell Is Wrong with Obama? In recent polls, 65% of Americans said they were against the US government becoming involved in Syria. Yet, the Obama administration has made it abundantly clear that it will now actively support the rebels there. Disturbingly, our so-called allies in this fight – the anti-Assad rebels – are the sort of people who use suicide bombers to achieve their goals. Which is not surprising given that Al-Qaeda has openly taken a leading role in the opposition the Obama administration now sees fit to support. And so it is that the very same Al-Qaeda that the US claims is Enemy #1 will soon be receiving weapons from the US, and probably already has. In one particularly notable display of the world view of our new friends, a prominent rebel leader named Khalid al-Hamad was videotaped snacking on the lung of a dead enemy soldier. The highly placed member of the intelligence community whom I briefly referenced in my last missive told me that the most favorable interpretation of this barbaric act the analysts could come up with was that the fellow was actually trying to eat the heart, but ate the lung instead. This was taken as “favorable” because Commander Cannibal’s lack of basic human anatomy suggested that eating internal organs was not a regular practice among our new BFF. Now, as to the “bad guy” in this entire drama … he is the son of Hafez al-Assad, the man who in 1973 changed the constitution of Syria to drop the provision that only Muslims could be president… triggering a running battle against Muslim extremists demanding that the country be Muslim and not secular. In 1987, Syria actually participated in the so-called willing countries in supporting the US invasion of Iraq. In 2000 Bashar Assad, the second son of Hafez, succeeded to power after his father’s death and five months later ordered the release of hundreds of political prisoners. Now, that’s not to say that Assad is a wonderful fellow. No one would argue the fact that he’s accustomed to using a hard hand to keep the discontented in line. And given that those discontented are dominated by the sort of folks willing to blow themselves up in pursuit of religious goals (or, at least encourage the more gullible into doing so), the actions of the Assad government have, on occasion, been uncompromising. As an aside, you may remember that in 2006 our current allies, the radical jihadists that Assad has also been trying to keep a lid on, attacked the US embassy in Damascus… and now we’re on the same side. Funny how a little time heals all wounds, eh? Even so, until this latest phase in the conflict blew up in 2011, the level of violence was relatively minor. But that was then. Now, with the place in flames, the death toll has soared with the latest body count at over 100,000 and counting. Which brings me back to the question above, what the hell is wrong with Obama? Or, more accurately, what the hell is the US government thinking to interject itself in the conflict? Why would we want to hand the largely secular country over to the jihadists? Who wins? I thought this quote out of an article on the situation by the folks at CATO worth sharing. Those most serious about intervention, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, want to do everything. Their joint statement demanded: “provisions of arms to vetted Syrian opposition groups, targeted strikes against Assad’s aircraft and SCUD missile batteries on the ground, and the establishment of safe zones inside Syria.” Graham also argued that “you’ve got to get on the ground” to seize chemical weapons stockpiles.  Sound familiar? Though I am not privy to any special information on the political calculations of Washington, it sure seems like we are following the script set down by the neocons (Kristol, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Abrams, et al.) that years ago infiltrated the US military-political complex. This is the “Might is right” crowd who believe in exercising US power proactively to knock down the dominos of all Middle Eastern countries Israel feels threatened by, with the end goal of remaking the Middle East as a region dominated by friendly democracies (or, in the case of Saudi Arabia, friendly dictatorships). Failing functioning democracies, turning the outcast countries into failed states that pose no real threat to US or Israeli interests in the area also works. It’s never been a secret that Syria is a prominent domino: as recently as 2009, Israel bombed a site in Syria where they claim secret nuclear research was being conducted. According to the script, after Syria the US will escalate its targeting of Iran. Given the hostile neighborhood it’s in, it’s understandable that Israel feels the need to act aggressively to dull the threat. Like individuals, nation-states possess finely honed survival instincts. I do, however, blame President Obama and the State Department and all the many sycophants in government and parasites in businesses that profit from war for once again entangling the country in a foreign conflict. That they do so in the face of overwhelming opposition among the public reveals “government of the people, for the people” as the meaningless platitude it has become. That our new allies are jihadists who upon taking power will oppress the country like Assad never did, then turn their weapons against the Great Satan that provided them, makes our support of them not just a bad joke but spectacularly bad karma. Then there’s the tens of thousands of innocents who will suffer and die before this is over. But, hey, it’s the Middle East where life is priced very low, so why should anyone care? The neocons certainly don’t. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: the constant turmoil in places like Syria, and the hardships it causes to the civilian population, is a damn shame, but it’s not our damn shame. Left to their own devices, maybe – just maybe – they’d finally get their act together. That the Obama administration would ignore the will of the people and deliberately make the troubles in Syria our own, and freakishly do so in an alliance with jihadists, strikes me as highly suspect and even treasonous. One can only hope that one shiny day not too far down the road, these people would be held accountable for their actions. Maybe starting by impeaching the president? I’m not holding my breath. Death of (the Retirement Dreams of) a Salesman Last week I played in a semi-serious golf tournament hereabouts. It’s only the second such tournament I’ve played in, and I had great reservations about doing so again. Mainly because of the stress associated with playing tournament golf. As one’s state of mind has a huge effect on one’s state of play, undue stress can result in all manner of bad outcomes. In this tournament, my usually reliable putting went out for coffee and didn’t come back until near the end of the third match, at which point it was way too late. Even so, I mostly enjoyed the experience and didn’t mind losing as the competition played significantly better than I and were nice fellows, to boot. I mention this only to set the context of a rather revealing conversation I had over a consolatory beer in the clubhouse. The fellow who so kindly bought me that beer was a sales manager who, over the course of the conversation, revealed to me that he was hoping to retire in the coming year in order to spend his golden years doing little more than playing golf. Without any urging, he then expressed some concern that the amount of money he had saved up might not be enough to see him through his retirement. It’s a valid concern: with a steady stream of advances in medicine and the fact that he is a fit 64 years old, his retirement could easily last twenty years. And thirty or even forty years isn’t out of the question. That’s a lot of time, and a lot of money. In the way of idle conversation, I asked him how much of his assets he has in the stock market. The answer, “Something over 90%,” made my eyebrow inadvertently twitch. “What sort of stocks are you in?” “I don’t know, stuff my broker said I should own. I think I have some stuff in the health industry, but I’m not sure.” “Have you looked into how the companies you own might fare under ObamaCare?” “No, I sure hope my broker does, it does kind of worry me.” “What kind of broker do you use?” “A full-service one. He’s kind of a friend.” “And you keep all your money with a single broker?” “Yes.” “How much commission do you pay on a trade?” “Ah, um…” “You don’t know?” “No, but I seem to recall it’s around 2%.” “Does your broker live in a pretty nice house? Better than yours?” “Yeah, he’s very successful.” As I didn’t want things to get awkward or spoil his happy day, I nudged the topic in a different direction. Yet when I got home, I couldn’t help but shake my head at the idea that someone could be so unmindful about the funds he is relying on for retirement. Which, reading between the lines, is an amount just a bit over $1,000,000 – the rewards of a lifetime of hard work. In fact, as far as I could tell, he had committed what might be called the 7 Commandments of Investing. Thou Shalt Not Over-Concentrate. For starters, his portfolio is way over-concentrated in a single asset class. Thou Shalt Not Be Ignorant About Managing Money. Anyone who hopes to maintain and increase their portfolio over time needs to have at least passing familiarity with the fundamentals of investing and managing money. Otherwise you are likely to violate the preceding commandments. And you need to keep yourself informed about the macro-picture for the economy and for the primary asset classes in which you are invested. These are not easy times to be an investor. Especially when you consider that global stock markets are now rallying on bad economic news – as that is (correctly) taken as providing an excuse for the Fed to continue the money printing. That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the big picture. As Terry Coxon, co-editor of The Casey Report, recently put it, “The stock market is levitating on QE. When QE ends, the stock market falls to earth.” Thus, your investment returns depend not only on investing in the right individual asset, but on whether the Fed in all its infinite wisdom (or proven lack thereof) decides to withdraw liquidity… or, as was the case recently, ponders doing so. Simply put, we will see a lot of volatility between now and when the vultures finally come to rest on the bones of this crisis (either through a deflationary collapse, but more likely an inflationary one). In the interim, the “right” investment for the long term might turn out to be a very wrong investment for the short and medium term. As to the longer term, again quoting from Terry Coxon, the smartest person I know on central banks and matters related to monetary policy… “The Fed is not going to exit the business of monetary easing. They may pause now and then, but when they see the results, they will resume. Every hyperinflation has been punctuated with pauses during which the central bank resolved to stop printing, to avoid destroying the currency.” At the end of the day, for any of us to successfully make it to the other side of this crisis with our assets intact is going to require diversification, bullet-proof income investments, a fair bit of cash, a focus on quality, and, while it may not seem the case at the moment, gold. Of course, we’ll be addressing all those topics and a whole lot more at our Casey Research Summit this October 4 – 6 in Tucson. Hope to see you there. (Because gold has been much in the news this week, and because he’ll be participating as a faculty member side by side with the audience over the three days of our Summit in Arizona, I thought you might enjoy this quick clip of Jim Rickards sharing his outlook for gold.) Speaking of the Summit, one of the panels will feature Ron Paul and Doug Casey, among others, addressing the topic of “Politics Gone Wild.” This topic is of no small importance, as the entire world is currently locked into a destructive paradigm of sick nation-states committed to doing “whatever it takes” to maintain the status quo. Yet, as the result of decades of irresponsible governance driven by political expedience and vote gathering, the underpinning of the status quo has been shattered, and there’s no easy way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Consequently, it’s all but certain we’re going to go through social, as well as financial, hardships before this thing is over. Which delivers me somewhat seamlessly to the next item catching my eye this week… Failed Expectations, Failing States There is a parable about a Southern farmer who takes up the challenge of capturing a herd of particularly aggressive feral hogs. The story proceeds with him putting out some food where he knows the hogs will find it. He then continues putting the food out day after day while, at the same time, slowly building a pen around the feeding spot. The story ends with the farmer simply closing the newly constructed gate on the hogs while they are snout-deep in their slops. If one so desired, however, one could continue the parable as follows… Some months later, the farmer found himself facing hard financial times and decided he could no longer afford to keep feeding the hogs at the same level. The decision made, the next day he cut back the quantity of their rations and substituted the higher-quality feed he had been dishing out with far less tasty tidbits.last_img read more

Colorectal cancer is the secondleading cause of c

first_imgColorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, most frequently diagnosed among adults over 65. To catch those typically slow-growing malignancies early, when they can often be cured, most doctors’ groups recommend colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50.But the American Cancer Society this week changed its advice and is recommending that screening start five years earlier.”There is compelling evidence that the optimum age to start is now 45,” says Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer of the society, who cites a sharp increase in deaths from colon and rectal cancers among men and women under age 50.”People born in the ’80s and ’90s are at higher risk of developing colon cancer, particularly rectal cancer, than people born when I was born back in the ’50s,” Wender says.And the rise is not just because detection is getting better, he says. In fact, the risk of developing colon cancer is twice as high as it was years ago and the risk of developing rectal cancer is four times higher.”We just have to face reality,” says Wender. “We just don’t know why it’s increasing.”Some of the increase could stem from the increase in obesity in the U.S., a known risk factor for colorectal cancer, he says.”But we don’t think that explains the entire change,” he adds. “There is a great deal of interest and a lot of research beginning to try to answer that question.”So far, other groups are maintaining their recommendation that colon cancer screening start at age 50, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine.Stanford University internist Douglas K. Owens, the task force’s vice-chairperson, says the group’s 2016 recommendations were based on extensive review of the benefits and harms of colorectal screening at the time.”There was limited data on screening people under age 50,” Owens says. The new American Cancer Society guidelines, he adds, should prompt more research into the relative benefits and harms of screening among younger people.Dr. Robin B. Mendelsohn, a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, says there’s been an “alarming” increase in cancer among younger adults. She’s the co-director of the recently established Center for Young Onset Colorectal Cancer there.Over the last 10 years, Memorial Sloan Kettering has seen 4,000 new colorectal cancer patients under age 50, she says. Many of them did not have traditional risk factors such as obesity, smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity or a diet high in fat or low in fiber.In fact, Mendelsohn says, they were typically less likely to smoke and less likely to be overweight than their older counterparts.”Anecdotally, when you talk with these patients, [some] are marathon runners who don’t eat red meat, don’t smoke, do everything ‘right’ and say ‘why did this happen to me?’ ” she says.Often, they tell her they’ve seen multiple doctors because of rectal bleeding, but have been told, since they’re under 50, they “can’t have cancer.” That’s clearly not the case, she says.Ongoing studies are looking at a multitude of factors that might be contributing to the earlier cancer incidence. Potential culprits include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, antibiotics and antidepressants, as well as multiple vitamins, probiotics and other dietary supplements.The new recommendations should bring greater attention to the value of screening, says Mendelsohn, who suggests that future studies investigate whether even younger people — in their early 40s or even 30s — should be screened.A first colon cancer screening does not have to be a colonoscopy. In its new recommendations, the cancer society recommends choosing from one of six screening tests, which are also currently recommended by other expert groups. The guidelines don’t prioritize among screening choices.The choices include three at-home kits that test stool for blood.These kits need to be ordered by a doctor; primary-care providers often have them on hand in the office to give to patients, Wender says, or they may be mailed.”It’s done in the privacy of your own home,” he says. Patients mail the sample to a research facility which tests for microscopic traces of blood.If the test is positive, a colonoscopy is recommended, Wender says; but only one in five people test positive for blood in their stool.Typically, these home tests of feces are repeated every year for good results.Alternatively, some patients opt for what’s called a “virtual” colonoscopy — essentially a CT scan of the colon — which should be done every five years, according to the new recommendations.Another approved option is a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which looks at the lower part of the colon, and is followed up by a colonoscopy if polyps are found.A positive result picked up in these screening tests is typically followed up by a colonoscopy, which uses a tiny camera to investigate the entire colon. It is not only a search for early cancer; more often than not, Wender says, it detects pre-malignant, suspicious lesions, or polyps, which are removed during the procedure.”When we find and remove polyps we actually prevent any future chance of that developing into cancer,” he says.Despite the high cure rate when colon cancer is caught early, only two-thirds of Americans over 50 get screened.The American Cancer Society says it endorsed the full range of screening tests “without preference” in order to improve the rate of screening. In its latest advice, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says head-to-head comparison studies have shown that no one screening test is more effective than another in early cancer detection.While they differ on the age of first screening, both groups suggest that screening over age 75 should be a joint decision between patient and doctor. And after age 85, screening is no longer necessary, the doctors’ groups agree. That’s because the risk of colonoscopy among this elderly population can outweigh any benefit. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

The Liberal Democrats have published a manifesto w

first_imgThe Liberal Democrats have published a manifesto which – of the five main parties covering both England and Wales – appears to offer the most extensive series of proposals around disability rights.Among them are pledges to formally recognise British Sign Language (BSL) as an official UK language, and to enact the remaining unimplemented clauses of Labour’s Equality Act 2010, including the provisions on discrimination by taxis and private hire vehicles.Possibly the most eye-catching is that the party will “aim for the goal” of bringing together disability benefits and social care – including personal independence payment, employment and support allowance, a “replacement for the Independent Living Fund” and health and social care funding – into a single pot of funding, offering disabled people “one assessment, one budget” for all their needs.On social care, the party promises to end the practice of care workers being forced to rush from one job to the next; to “provide more choice at the end of life”, such as having the choice to die at home rather than in hospital; and to offer free end-of-life social care, if it is “affordable and cost effective”.Like the Conservatives, Greens, Labour and UKIP, the Liberal Democrats want to integrate the NHS and social care systems, but seem to be alone in suggesting a target date – of 2018 – for full pooling of budgets between health and care services.Full responsibility for social care would shift to the Department of Health, while a Liberal Democrat government would commission a “fundamental review” of NHS and social care funding in 2015.The Liberal Democrat manifesto also has a significant focus on mental health, through its “equal care for mental health” pledge.Among its mental health policies, it would ensure people with mental health problems “get the help they need to stay in or find work”, while it would continue the government’s support for the Time to Change anti-stigma programme.A string of welfare reform policies that would impact on disabled people include a promise to devolve support to local areas through a “reformed and improved” Work Programme, in partnership with local authorities and the Welsh and Scottish governments, and ensure better support for those furthest from the labour market, which would include many disabled people.It also pledges to improve links between jobcentres, Work Programme providers and the local NHS, to “ensure all those in receipt of health-related benefits are getting the care and support to which they are entitled”.It says it must continue to find “savings” in the welfare budget, but that its priority would be to tackle the causes of rising social security bills, such as high rents, low pay, sickness and unemployment.One cut would come from a one per cent cap on annual increases in working-age benefits, which would apply for the first three years of the next parliament.Although the party says it would exclude disability benefits from this cap – including personal independence payment (PIP) – it has confirmed that this protection would not extend to the main component of employment and support allowance (ESA), or the work-related activity top-up component of ESA, but only to the ESA support group top-up.Other social security pledges include a review of the work capability assessment and the PIP eligibility test, to ensure they are “fair, accurate and timely”.The party also holds out the possibility of scrapping the controversial use of private sector companies such as Atos, Capita and Maximus to carry out assessments, and replacing them with a public sector provider.There is also a pledge to review benefit sanctions procedures in jobcentres, ensuring there are no “league tables or targets”, and introducing a “yellow card” warning system so claimants are only sanctioned if they “deliberately and repeatedly break the rules”.And the party promises to clear the backlog of PIP assessments, “simplify and streamline” back-to-work support for disabled people, and “seek” to expand the Access to Work programme.As part of pledges on the coalition’s spare room subsidy removal policy – known by most campaigners and opposition MPs as the bedroom tax – the manifesto promises to ensure that all disabled people receive housing benefit for an extra room if they need one.The party would also ensure that all existing social tenants do not have their housing benefit reduced until they have been offered “reasonable alternative accommodation”, while disabled tenants whose homes have been “substantially adapted” will also not see their housing benefit reduced.The party promises to make parliament “more family-friendly”, including a review that would “pave the way for MP jobsharing arrangements”, which many disabled campaigners believe would make it easier for disabled people to enter parliament as part-time, job-share MPs.The manifesto also says that a Liberal Democrat government would encourage employers to shortlist all suitably qualified disabled candidates for jobs, and provide employers with advice on workplace adaptations, as well as copying across the public sector the Civil Service programme that offers accelerated progress through the ranks for under-represented groups, such as disabled people.On access, the party pledges to make more stations wheelchair-accessible and give wheelchair-users priority over children’s buggies when space is limited – a high-profile issue for many disabled people travelling on buses – and improve access to public transport for people with visual and hearing impairments.It also promises to produce a new standard for benchmarking the accessibility of cities, and to improve legislation on blue parking badges.The Liberal Democrats also say they would ensure “proper monitoring” of disability hate crime by police forces and other public bodies.And they promise to ensure that the government’s push for its “transactional” services to become “digital by default” does not leave some people behind, by “upholding the highest standards of accessibility in digital services and maintaining government programmes on digital inclusion”.The manifesto also says the party would review the impact of the coalition’s cuts and reforms to disabled student’s allowance, to “consider additional protections for the most vulnerable” disabled students, and ensure all disabled students receive “appropriate support”.Kelly-Marie Blundell (pictured), the disabled Liberal Democrat candidate for Guildford and a leading member of the Liberal Democrat Disability Association (LDDA), said she was pleased to see policies that she and other LDDA members had worked on make it into the manifesto.These include the commitment to recognise BSL as an official language, to take further action on disability hate crime, and to work towards reviewing and simplifying disability benefits, “including the assessments which have caused so many problems since Labour introduced them”. She said: “Protecting disability benefits from proposed cuts and limits on year-on-year increases will help a lot of people on low income, but also moving employment support to local councils, an area which I led on nationally, will help people with disabilities be best placed to find the right provisions and help to find work.“Protecting the Human Rights Act is vital to ensuring people with disabilities are protected in society, and strengthening resources to tackle disability hate crime, are also important inclusions.”She said she would have liked to have seen more of a commitment in the manifesto to incentivise companies to adapt workplaces for disabled people and to take them on as employees.She said: “All too often there are huge barriers in employing people with disabilities, and only through incentivising companies to get involved will we redress this inequality.” She added: “I’d also like to see more on disabled access to public transport, an area which is poorly provided for across the country, to level the playing-field for thousands of people with mobility problems.”Another disabled candidate, Loraine Birchall, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Carlisle, said she was pleased to see a commitment to creating jobcentre “complex case teams”, for benefit claimants who face greater challenges in returning to work or who may never be able to work.    And she welcomed the Liberal Democrat pledge to publish a disability and health employment green paper, working closely with service-users and third sector organisations.She also praised the manifesto’s focus on mental health, including the promise of equality of access to treatment.last_img read more