Convergys Corporation Expands Into Cornwallis

first_imgNova Scotia Business Inc. and Convergys Corporation — the globalleader in integrated billing, employee care, and customer careservices — announced today, Feb. 17, that Convergys will expandits Nova Scotia operations into Cornwallis. The company expectsto hire 175 people within the next two years. Premier John Hamm and Gloria Griffin, senior director of siteplanning and development for Convergys Corp., were in Cornwallisfor the announcement. They were joined by Jim Thurber, chair ofthe Digby-Annapolis Development Corporation and Stephen Lund,president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. “Today’s announcement is another expression of confidence in NovaScotia’s economy,” said Premier Hamm. “Convergys continues toinvest time and time again in our province and our people, andthey’ve set an example for the international business communityto show that Nova Scotia continues to be a great place in whichto do business.” The centre in Cornwallis will mark Convergys’ fourth location inNova Scotia. Convergys is already one of the province’s largestprivate-sector employers, with sites in Dartmouth and NewGlasgow, and another nearing completion in Truro. “Convergys believes that Canada offers a dedicated, motivatedworkforce of well-educated professionals and the businessenvironment needed to deliver world-class customer care,” saidJack Freker, president of Convergys’ customer management group.”As the largest, outsourced customer care provider in the world,with over 11,000 employees in Canada, Convergys is very proud tobe announcing our new facility in the Digby area, and we willcontinue to rely on these talented individuals to deliverconsistent, responsive, and cost-effective customer care acrossmultiple channels for many clients.” Convergys Corp. signed a five-year payroll rebate with NovaScotia Business Inc. for the creation of the in-bound customercontact centre in Cornwallis. Conditional on achieving itstargets, Convergys will receive a payroll rebate, paid at the endof each year (beginning at the end of year two), to a maximum of$4.8 million. Although the company expects to hire 265 peopleover that time — which would result in a rebate of $2.8 million– the agreement is designed to encourage additional growth andemployment. “The Convergys announcement is a credit to the community leaderswho worked so hard to help us attract this business opportunityfor the location,” said Mr. Lund. “It’s an excellent example ofhow we can work together to put forward the best business facefor companies that are considering Nova Scotia for expansion orrelocation.” Convergys has signed a five-year renewable lease with the Digby-Annapolis Development Corporation and will begin tailoring thefacility to suit its service needs. The company expects to beoperational by April. “This announcement is the result of an effective and efficientcollaboration between NSBI, the Digby-Annapolis DevelopmentCorporation, the Western Valley Development Authority, theAnnapolis Basin Conference Centre, ACOA and the Nova ScotiaCommunity College,” said Mr. Thurber. “It would not have beenpossible without the full participation of all partners and weknow Convergys will experience the same co-operation and successas they become part of our community.” Convergys has operated in Canada since 1994 and employs more than11,000 people in 11 contact centres across the country. Inaddition to its Nova Scotia sites, the company operates inWinnipeg, Man.; St. John’s, NL; Ottawa and Welland, Ont.;Kamloops, B.C.; two locations in Edmonton, plus Lethbridge andRed Deer, Alta. Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s business developmentagency, an organization that works with companies to providebusiness solutions. The private sector-led agency works toattract new businesses to the province and help those already inNova Scotia expand through services such as export developmentand financing. Convergys Corp. employs more than 50,000 people in 52 customercontact centres, data centres and other offices in the UnitedStates, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It has its world headquarters in Cincinnati. For more informationsee the website at .last_img read more

Province Plans Pair of Pictou Paving Projects

first_imgTwo upcoming paving projects will result in smoother travel for drivers in the Pictou-New Glasgow area. The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works is calling for tenders for repaving on Route 256 from the intersection of West Branch Road for 6.5 kilometres to the intersection of the Loganville Road. Also being called is a tender for repaving on Route 347 from the New Glasgow town line for 5.2 kilometres to the intersection of Thorburn Road. “Good roads are vital to the economic life of Nova Scotia,” said Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “That’s why our department is working so hard to improve our highways.” The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.last_img read more

Trump China escalate trade dispute as markets tumble

first_imgWASHINGTON – Unwilling to yield, President Donald Trump and China’s government escalated their trade clash Friday, with Beijing vowing to “counterattack with great strength” if Trump follows through on threats to impose tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods.Trump made his out-of-the-blue move when China threatened to retaliate for the first round of tariffs planned by the United States. But for someone who has long fashioned himself as a master negotiator, Trump left it unclear whether he was bluffing or willing to enter a protracted trade war pitting the world’s two biggest economies against each other, with steep consequences for consumers, businesses and an already shaken stock market.“They aren’t going to bully him into backing down,” said Stephen Moore, a former Trump campaign adviser who is now a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He said the Chinese “are going to have to make concessions — period.”The White House sent mixed signals on Friday as financial markets slid from investor concern about a significant trade fight. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC he was “cautiously optimistic” that the U.S. and China could reach an agreement before any tariffs are implemented but added, “there is the potential of a trade war.”White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters the U.S. was “not in a trade war,” adding, “China is the problem. Blame China, not Trump.”Trump’s latest proposal intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle for more than a half century. The U.S. bought more than $500 billion in goods from China last year and now is planning or considering penalties on some $150 billion of those imports. The U.S. sold about $130 billion in goods to China in 2017 and faces a potentially devastating hit to its market there if China responds in kind.Global financial markets have fallen sharply as the world’s two biggest economies squared off — the Dow Jones industrial average sank 572 points Friday.Trump told advisers Thursday he was unhappy with China’s decision to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a U.S. move this week to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods.Rather than waiting weeks for the U.S. tariffs to be implemented, Trump backed a plan by Robert Lighthizer, his trade representative, and was encouraged by Peter Navarro, a top White House trade adviser, to seek the enhanced tariffs, upping the ante.White House chief of staff John Kelly and Mnuchin concurred with the move, as did Kudlow, who travelled with the president to West Virginia.China said negotiations were impossible under the circumstances but Trump officials said the president and his team remained in contact with President Xi Jinping and expressed hope to him of resolving the dispute through talks. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the two sides remained in “routine contact.”In Beijing, a Commerce Ministry spokesman said China doesn’t want a trade war — but isn’t afraid to fight one.“If the U.S. side announces the list of products for $100 billion in tariffs, the Chinese side has fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength,” spokesman Gao Feng said. He gave no indication what measures Beijing might take.Trump has also pushed for a crackdown on China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, and he criticized the World Trade Organization, an arbiter of trade disputes, in a tweet Friday for allegedly favouring China. Trump asserted the WTO gives the Asian superpower “tremendous perks and advantages, especially over the U.S.”U.S. officials have played down the threat of a broader trade dispute, saying a negotiated outcome is still possible. But economists warn that the tit-for-tat moves bear the hallmarks of a classic trade rift that could keep growing. Worry is intensifying among Republicans, who traditionally have favoured liberalized trade.“The administration needs to be thinking about the unintended consequences and what are those ripple effects, those domino effects, and what are the retaliatory actions that are likely to be taken,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the Senate’s No. 3 Republican, in an interview with KDLT-TV in Sioux Falls.The standoff over the trade penalties began last month when the U.S. slapped tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. China countered by announcing tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. products. The next day, the United States proposed the $50 billion in duties on Chinese imports, and Beijing lashed back within hours with a threat of further tariffs of its own.Further escalation could be in the offing. The U.S. Treasury is working on plans to restrict Chinese technology investments in the United States. And there’s talk that the U.S. could also put limits on visas for Chinese who want to visit or study in this country.Kudlow told reporters the U.S. may provide a list of suggestions to China “as to what we would like to have come out of this,” and those issues were under discussion.“Negotiations are better than tariffs,” Kudlow said. “A solution in the next three months would be better than anything. I think that’s eminently doable.” He added: “But Trump is not just using tariffs as a negotiating card. He said that to me.”For Trump, the dispute runs the risk of blunting the economic benefits of his tax overhaul, which is at the centre of congressional Republicans’ case for voters to keep them in power in the 2018 mid-term elections. China’s retaliation so far has targeted Midwest farmers, including growers of soybeans, corn and wheat. That could specifically harm core Trump supporters.“With respect to the Trump administration, its political success will rise and fall with the economy,” Kudlow said. “And the economy is doing rather well now and I expect it to do even better.”___Associated Press writers Gillian Wong and Henry Hou in Beijing, and Jill Colvin, Paul Wiseman and Josh Boak in Washington contributed to this report.__On Twitter follow Ken Thomas at read more

UN urges protection of children against marketing of unhealthy food

The United Nations health agency today called for action to reduce the exposure of children to the marketing of food with high contents of fat, sugar or salt, which exposed them to the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) caused by poor diet during their lives.Television advertising is responsible for a large share of the marketing of unhealthy foods and, according to available evidence, advertisements influence children’s food preferences, purchase requests and consumption patterns, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In May last year, WHO member States endorsed a new set of recommendations on the marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages to children. The recommendations call for national and international action to reduce the exposure of children to marketing messages that promote foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, or salt, and to reduce the use of powerful techniques to market them to children.“Noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes, today represent a leading threat to human health and socio-economic development,” said Ala Alwan, the WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.“Implementing these recommendations should be part of broad efforts to prevent unhealthy diets – a key risk factor for several noncommunicable diseases,” he said.Implementing the recommendations will help countries strengthen their ability to foster and encourage healthy dietary choices for children and promote the maintenance of a healthy weight, Dr. Alwan said.According to WHO, 43 million pre-school children worldwide are either obese or overweight. Scientific reviews have also shown that a significant portion of television advertising that children are exposed to promotes “non-core” food products which are low in nutritional value.Poor diet is one of the four common factors associated with the four main noncommunicable diseases – cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic lung diseases – which are responsible for about 60 per cent of deaths worldwide, or over 35 million people annually.More than 9 million deaths are premature – people dying before reaching the age of 60 – and could be prevented through low-cost measures at the world’s disposal, including stopping tobacco use, reducing the harmful use of alcohol, and promoting healthy diets and physical activity.Preparations are ongoing for the first UN General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, which will be held from 19 to 20 September in New York. 21 January 2011The United Nations health agency today called for action to reduce the exposure of children to the marketing of food with high contents of fat, sugar or salt, which exposed them to the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) caused by poor diet during their lives. read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,045.94, down 304.90 points).Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial. Down 41 cents, or 1.83 per cent, to $21.96 on 8.6 million shares.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Materials. Down three cents, or 0.63 per cent, to $4.77 on 7.5 million shares.Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Materials. Up 24 cents, or one per cent, to $24.21 on 6.7 million shares.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Down $1.86, or 4.09 per cent, to $43.62 on 6.4 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down four cents, or 2.29 per cent, to $1.71 on 6.3 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 72 cents, or 8.16 per cent, to $8.10 on 5.9 million shares.Companies in the news:Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU). Up 29 cents to $53.75. Metro Inc. will fast-track the deployment of technology such as self-service checkouts and electronic shelf labels to its stores in an effort to lower labour costs, the grocer’s chief executive said Wednesday. The Montreal-based company expects to have self-service checkouts in 100 stores by the end of its 2019 financial year, which ends Sept. 29. It will equip another 100 stores in the following year. The company also reported Wednesday a third-quarter profit of $222.4 million, up from $167.5 million a year ago, as sales also climbed higher.Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM). Down five cents to $3.28. The head of Aimia Inc. says its legal battle against its largest shareholder has not hampered the loyalty company’s hunt for bolt-on acquisitions as it charts a new course after the sale of its Aeroplan business. Last month the company filed a statement of claim against Mittleman Brothers LLC, which owns 23.3 per cent of Aimia shares, accusing the dissident investor of violating a contracted truce, the latest move in a battle over control of the company’s board of directors. In its latest quarter Aimia earned $43.5 million, boosted by gains related to investments, up from $11.1 million a year earlier.Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (TSX:GOOS). Down $3.81 or 6.7 per cent to $53.31. Shares of Canada Goose Holdings Inc. fell as it reported a wider loss and worsened margins in its first quarter compared to a year earlier. The luxury parka company reported a loss of $29.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $18.7 million a year ago. On an adjusted basis, Canada Goose says it lost 21 cents per share compared with an adjusted loss of 15 cents per share a year ago. The results beat analyst expectations for a loss of 24 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.Freshii Inc. (TSX:FRII). Down 19 cents or 6.6 per cent to $2.67. Freshii Inc. shares plunged Wednesday after the struggling eatery reported second-quarter results that missed analysts’ expectations, despite assurances from the CEO that the company’s three new hires would help it effectively execute future growth. The restaurant chain, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported earning of $433,000 for the 13-weeks ended June 30 compared with a profit of $298,000. Revenue totalled $5.8 million, up from $5.6 million, as gains in franchise revenue more than offset lower company-owned store revenue.CAE Inc. (TSX:CAE). Down $1.64 or 4.6 per cent to $34.17. CAE Inc. shares sank after it reported first-quarter profits that fell below last year’s earnings. The flight simulator and training company provided fewer simulators and less training in its civil segment than last year, though CAE’s $645-million purchase of Bombardier’s business aircraft training program in March more than made up the difference, boosting its civil profit margin before interest and tax to more than 21 per cent. The Montreal-based company raised its quarterly dividend to 11 cents per share, up from 10 cents. The increased payment came as CAE reported a profit attributable to shareholders of $61.5 million, down from $69.4 million in the same quarter last year.The Canadian Press read more

Alberta hopes success in Rocky Mountain tourist areas will spread to other

CALGARY – Alberta’s Rocky Mountains are once again bursting with visitors in what could be another banner year, but the government is hoping to get more tourists spending in other areas of the province as well.“The Rockies are often the hook to get those international travellers to come,” says Shelley Grollmuss, vice-president of industry development at Travel Alberta.“And then we work very hard with our industry partners to try and build road trips or other itineraries, where they can go into other areas of the province and explore.”It’s all part of the province’s plan to boost tourist spending from the $8.3 billion in 2014 to $10 billion by 2020, and to increase jobs in the industry as it works to further diversify an economy that has been heavily reliant on oil and gas.Last week, Premier Rachel Notley announced $33.5 million in funding for an expansion of the Fort Edmonton historic site as part of the Alberta jobs program.“Our government will expand tourist sites to bring in more visitors from around the world, the rest of Canada, and Alberta,” Notley said.The new Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Grande Prairie, Alta., has already seen 100,000 visitors in its first 10 months of operation.The older Royal Tyrrell dinosaur museum in Drumheller, Alta., has already topped 135,000 visitors since the start of April, while it set an attendance record last year with 479,000 visitors from more than 130 countries.Grollmuss says tourist numbers are helped by a low dollar that makes travelling abroad for Canadians more expensive than a few years ago when the loonie was higher.Similarly, the loonie’s fall helps make Canada less expensive and more attractive to international visitors.An increase in direct international flights is also helping, Grollmuss says.Hainan Airlines recently launched a direct flight from Beijing to Calgary at the end June, while WestJet started flying direct to London in May.“We do have more tour operators and online travel agencies globally selling Alberta now than we’ve ever had before,” Grollmuss says.But attendance at national parks in Alberta is making other attractions pale in comparison.Banff saw an eight per cent jump to 3.9 million visitors, Jasper was up five per cent to 2.3 million, and Waterton Lakes rose 16 per cent to 486,000 visitors for the financial year ended in March.Lake Louise at Banff National Park was so busy on the Canada Day long weekend that police temporarily shut down access to the town to everyone but residents and those with reservations at hotels.Dave Kaiser, head of the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association, says most of province’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the recession, but the resorts are seeing strong results.“You wouldn’t know we’re in the same province,” Kaiser says.He said hotels in Alberta outside the Rockies in the past year have seen a 25 per cent drop in revenue per room, but in the mountain resorts, revenue is actually up 12 per cent.“We just need to find ways to get some of those tourists to not only go to Banff and the mountains, but to get them travelling to other parts of the province as well,” said Kaiser.———Follow @ibickis on Twitter Tourists take in the views from the newly opened Glacier SkyWalk near the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park, Alta., Wednesday, May 7, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh Alberta hopes success in Rocky Mountain tourist areas will spread to other areas by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 10, 2016 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Jul 10, 2016 at 10:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Restrictions to limit Internet access on the rise warns UNESCO

“Knowledge and ideas today flow in volumes and at speed that we could not have imagined years ago, ‘regardless of frontier’ and at low cost,” the Assistant Director-General for Communication of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Janis Karklins, told participants at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). “However, barriers to this flow still exist, and new ones continue to emerge.”The Forum, which opened in Baku, Azerbaijan on Tuesday, includes the participation of governments, intergovernmental organizations, business representatives, the technical community, civil society organizations, as well as any individual Internet users interested in Internet governance issues.The theme for this year’s Forum is ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development’ and reflects the increasing role of the Internet in the evolution of the various aspects of development, across all countries.According to its website, UNESCO recognizes that the Internet holds enormous potential for development, providing an unprecedented volume of resources for information and knowledge and opens up new opportunities. “The principle of freedom of expression must apply not only to traditional media but also to the Internet and all types of emerging media platforms which will definitely contribute to development, democracy and dialogue,” it states.In an IGF session focusing on online freedom of expression, Mr. Karklins said UNESCO has seen cases of Internet service shutdowns during times of political developments in some countries, limiting connection of specific communication platforms, arbitrarily blocking and filtering content, and criminalizing legitimate speech to silence dissent.“Unwarranted surveillance and violations of the right to privacy have also been inflicted upon Internet users around the world,” Mr. Karklins said. “Many have faced imprisonment, harassment and cyber-attacks. In extreme cases, people who have expressed themselves on the Internet have been killed.”The constant evolution of the Internet landscape, as well as its trans-national nature, present challenges to legal frameworks, with discrepancies arising in laws in different jurisdictions, Mr. Karklins noted, and warned that freedom of expression must be safeguarded to prevent abuses to this fundamental right. The UNESCO official also underlined that States must promote accessible Internet connection and inexpensive equipment, as well as media literacy among their citizens.“Within a multi-stakeholder Internet governance framework, the effective realization of freedom of expression should be considered just as critical as widening access to infrastructure. This is in the interest of individuals, the societies, of governments and the community of nations,” he added, and reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to promoting freedom of expression through traditional as well as online platforms. read more

Security Council approves joint OPCWUN mission to oversee destruction of Syrias chemical

In a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Council today endorsed the UN chief’s plan to deploy up to 100 United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) experts in a multi-phase operation to carry out last month’s Council resolution on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment, scheduled for completion by 30 June, 2014.The Council passed its resolution after Syria agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention following a chemical weapons attack in August that killed hundreds of people in a Damascus suburb, an “especially disturbing” event in a conflict that has already killed over 100,000 people and driven some 6.5 million others from their homes since protesters first sought the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad’s Government in March, 2011.Responding to the Council’s decision to approve the joint mission, Mr. Ban said in a video message he was “very pleased” the 15-member body moved so quickly on his recommendation. “This is a sign of the international community’s commitment to eliminate chemical weapons,” he added.“We have a very tight deadline, but the United Nations is committed to work closely with the OPCW to get the job done. And I am just as committed and determined to make progress in the political and humanitarian tracks for the sake of the Syrian people,” said Mr. BanThe physical destruction of chemical weapons facilities, stocks and associated material is the responsibility of the Syrian Government, since neither the OPCW nor the UN is mandated to conduct actual destruction activities.An advance team of experts and support staff from the OPCW and the UN has been in Syria since earlier in the month and has already begun overseeing the destruction of Syria’s production facilities amid the ongoing deadly violence in the country. The UN earlier reported that mortar fire had struck near the Damascus hotel where the advance team has initially based its operations just hours before it arrived.Today, the UN and the OPCW report that the advance team has made “good progress” since it began its operations. “At the end of the first 10 days of operations on the ground the verification teams have inspected three sites and plans are underway for further site visits,” the organizations say in a joint news release.A second group of inspectors from the OPCW and additional UN support staff also arrived today in Damascus, bringing to about 60 the number of people on the advance team.The release noted that since the OPCW has received initial and supplementary information from the Syrian Government on its chemical weapons programme, it is now in the process of verifying that information. It has also overseen the destruction by Syria of some of its munitions stockpile as well as some of its chemical weapons production equipment. On Wednesday, the OPCW’s Director-General, Ahmet Üzümcü, said the first verification activities have to be completed by the end of this month and production facilities will have to be rendered unusable by that time as well, with the view of destroying all chemical weapons capabilities by mid-2014.Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Jans Laerke, warned that soaring food prices, the unavailability of food for children, displacement and loss of income have made it difficult to provide Syrian children with adequate healthcare and nutrition.In addition, the number of children admitted to hospitals with severe or acute malnutrition has reportedly increased in Aleppo, Dar’a Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs and other areas, Mr. Laerke said.He added that humanitarian agencies in Syria are also preparing to adapt their response, as winter approaches. Partners working in the shelter sector have begun stocking items such as warm clothes, thermal blankets and hot water bottles. They are also preparing to assist the displaced families living in damaged and collective shelters by insulating the shelters against the freezing temperatures during winter. read more

Former Ohio State football players at NFL Combine finish with mixed results

Jack Mewhort:-40-yard dash: 5.37 seconds-bench press: 28 reps-vertical jump: 26 inches-broad jump: 101 inches Corey Linsley:-40-yard dash: did not participate-bench press: 36 reps-vertical jump: 27 inches-broad jump: did not participate Redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby (1) tackles a player during a game against Indiana Nov. 23 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorSix former Ohio State football players took their shot at boosting their NFL stock at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 22-25.Running back Carlos Hyde, cornerback Bradley Roby, wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown, offensive linemen Jack Mewhort and Corey Linsley and linebacker Ryan Shazier were the six Buckeyes who tried to impress scouts, general managers and owners of teams as they continue their evaluations for the 2014 NFL Draft, scheduled to kickoff May 8.The six players who took part in the combine join seven other former players — kicker Drew Basil, quarterback Kenny Guiton, safeties C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant, offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall and running back Jordan Hall — who declared for the draft following the 2013 season.Shazier impressed in both the vertical and broad jump, posting the best marks in each among linebackers and defensive linemen with jumps of 42 inches and 130 inches, respectively.Hyde pulled his left hamstring in his only attempt while running the 40-yard dash, and Roby finished with the third best time in the category among defensive backs at 4.39 seconds.Here’s a look at how each player performed at the combine, in the 40-yard dash, vertical and broad jump as well as how many reps of 225 pounds each player did on bench press. Carlos Hyde:-40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds-bench press: 19 reps-vertical jump: 34.5 inches-broad jump: 114 inches Ryan Shazier:-40-yard dash: did not participate-bench press: 25 reps-vertical jump: 42 inches-broad jump: 130 inches Bradley Roby:-40-yard dash: 4.39 seconds-bench press: 17 reps-vertical jump: 38.5 inches-broad jump: 124 inches Corey “Philly” Brown:-40-yard dash: 4.51 seconds-bench press: did not participate-vertical jump: 33 inches-broad jump: 116 inches read more

Second girl 11 dies after Oldham hit and run as five men

first_imgOfficers are appealing for anyone who saw a dark coloured Peugeot 807 in the area at the time and the driver of a white van to come forward. Credit:PA Officers are appealing for anyone who saw a dark coloured Peugeot 807 in the area at the time and the driver of a white van to come forward.  Police and forensic officers at the scene in OldhamCredit:Joel Goodman/LNP Police and forensic officers at the scene in Oldham A North West Ambulance Service vehicle on its way to another incident passes the scene in Ashton Road, Oldham Miss Kotlarova said the girls were with a larger group of family and friends who had already crossed the road, one of the main routes in and out of Oldham town centre, and the larger group was waiting on the opposite pavement.The two cousins then started to cross the road outside the shop.Miss Kotlarova said: “But as they came to the other side of the road the car ran them over. They were holding hands.”Witnesses described the car as driving fast and “flying away” after the collision. Seconds later, friends ran to Helina’s home to alert the family.Miss Kotlarova added: “We ran there. I went to her.  She did not breathe. Then the ambulance came.”She said Helina attended the Collective Spirit free school in Oldham and enjoyed dancing and music and wanted to become a singer. It is thought the driver of the second vehicle could hold key information as to what caused the horrific crash.Four of the men arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving remain in custody for questioning, while a 23-year old man is assisting police with their enquiries, but is no longer police custody.Greater Manchester Police said Zaneta died in hospital on Monday morning, and have appealed for witnesses.Sgt Lee Westhead said: “This is a heartbreaking incident which has now taken the lives of two young girls and all of our thoughts remain with their families, who are understandably devastated.“We have made significant progress with our investigation since the collision happened and I would like to thank everyone who has contacted police with information so far.“The community are clearly as committed as we are to establishing exactly what happened to Helina and Zaneta and the support they have provided has been vital to the investigation.”Helina’s mother Sylva and father Robert went to the scene in Oldham, Greater Manchester, but she was declared dead by medics as her mother stroked her hair. A second young girl has died following a hit and run in Oldham, greater Manchester, on New Year’s Eve.Ms Krolova’s death came just hours after five men aged 23, 59, 48, 38 and 18, were taken into custody on Sunday night for questioning in connection with the collision.Ms Krolova and Ms Krokova had just come out of a shop near their homes when they were hit by what witnesses claimed was a black VW Golf at around 7.15pm on New Year’s Eve.However police have since recovered a blue Peugeot 807 they believe was responsible for the deadly accident, and have released images of a white Citroen Despatch which was in the area at the time. We ran there. I went to her.  She did not breathe. Then the ambulance cameSylva Kotlarova On New Year’s Day, the family of seven sisters and one brother, who came to England from the Czech Republic eight years ago, sat in tears mourning Helina.Her father sat with his head in his hands, his wife weeping, while other red-eyed members of the family sat in silence in the kitchen of their terraced home.Helina’s sister Sylva, 19, told how the family rushed to the scene 100 yards from their home seconds after the crash.She said: “She did not breathe. Mum was touching her hair.”The driver of the car did not stop and a police hunt for him was launched. A North West Ambulance Service vehicle on its way to another incident passes the scene in Ashton Road, OldhamCredit:Peter Byrne/PA She said the injured cousin was in a critical condition in hospital in Manchester.She added: “I did speak to her family, but they said she’s still fighting for her life.”Police put out an appeal on New Year’s Eve for information to locate the driver and the car involved, and police later told the family “they found him”, according to Miss Kotlarova. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Lord Janners family to undermine sex abuse inquiry strand into their father after

first_img“But Having Core Participant status enables us to intensify our wholehearted opposition to an utterly disgraceful and unjust process and in no way represents a legitimising of the iniquitous strand.”Professor Alexis Jay, the fourth chairman of the inquiry since it was announced by Theresa May in 2014, ruled that the family should be given core participant status in a six page decision made available yesterday.Prof Jay said: “The children have expressed a collective interest to ‘safeguard’ their late father’s reputation, which may during the investigation be subject to criticism. In those circumstances, I am satisfied that all three applicants are entitled to core participant status in that capacity.”IICSA has suffered a series of high profile resignations and is beset by delays. It is likely to run for at least a decade and cost more than £100 million. Lord Janner, who died in December 2015, is accused of abusing boys in children’s homes in Leicestershire where he was an MP Lord Janner, who died in December 2015, is accused of abusing boys in children’s homes in Leicestershire where he was an MP.His children have branded the inquiry into their father a witch hunt, pointing out he was never convicted in his lifetime and that now he is dead he cannot defend his reputation.They also point out that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) was set up to investigate institutional abuse and that Lord Janner is the only individual who has merited an investigation strand of his own.Welcoming the decision, his son Daniel Janner QC said: “It gives me the chance to undermine my father’s strand of the inquiry from within. It is a macabre show trial.”Mr Janner added: “Our Core Participant status does not legitimise an utterly disgraceful and unjust process.   The family of Lord Janner yesterday vowed to ‘undermine from within’ the Government’s beleaguered child sex abuse inquiry after being given a formal role in the investigation.The family were granted core participant status which gives them access to documents and to have lawyers attend the inquiry’s hearings.It is not clear if the taxpayer will pick up the bill for the lawyers or whether the family will pay for legal representation themselves. It gives me the chance to undermine the inquiry from within. It is a macabre show trialDaniel Janner QC Lord Janner, who died in December 2015, is accused of abusing boys in children’s homes in Leicestershire where he was an MPCredit:Nick Razzell/REX  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

A third of employers predict pay increases of between 2 and 299

first_imgJust over one-third (35%) of employer respondents expect to implement a basic pay increase of between 2% and 2.99% in the year to June 2020, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Adecco Group.Its Labour market outlook: Summer 2019 report, which polled 2,104 UK organisations, also found that 36% predict that their basic pay awards will increase by at least 3% over the next year, compared to 28% of respondents that thought this in 2018. In addition, 18% of employer respondents plan to give a basic pay rise of between 1% and 1.99% in the next 12 months.Overall, employers’ median basic pay increase expectations in the year up to June 2020 are 2%, although this increases to 2.5% for the private sector. Median basic pay awards for the public sector over the upcoming year, on the other hand, are 1.5%, compared to 1% three months ago.Gerwyn Davies (pictured), senior labour market adviser at the CIPD, said: “Amidst the current political uncertainty, the UK labour market is holding up surprisingly well. Labour demand remains strong, and the robust supply of non-EU [employees] has helped many employers meet this demand; partly owing to the government’s decision to remove the migration cap for doctors and nurses.“This has been key to freeing up visa capacity for employers in other sectors [that] have sensibly been able to resolve skill shortages by hiring non-EU migrants. Looking ahead, the government’s post-Brexit immigration policy must demonstrate similar levels of flexibility, to ensure that such shortage occupations benefit from a more generous minimum salary threshold.“However, the alarm bell is sounding for employers trying to fill low-skill roles, many of [which] are still in wait and see mode. It’s essential that those employers are prepared for reduced numbers of candidates and further restrictions to low-skill labour planned from 2021 with a workforce plan.”The key factors behind increasing basic pay by 2% or more include inflation (43%), the going rate of pay elsewhere (37%), recruitment and retention pressures (29%) and affordability (25%).Employers that expect average basic pay at their organisation to rise by less than 2%, or not at all, cite restraint on public sector pay (41%) and affordability (38%) as their key reasons. Other factors include absorbing labour costs, such as the national living wage and auto-enrolment into pension schemes (20%), uncertainty about future access to the EU market (18%) and the going rate of pay at other organisations (12%).Alex Fleming, country head and president of staffing and solutions at the Adecco Group UK and Ireland, added: “In our tightening labour market, ensuring businesses have the right supply of talent isn’t a new issue, and during these uncertain times, the ‘grow your own’ mentality has become more important than ever for organisations. Workforce planning comes into play again as organisations need to be constantly looking forward and anticipating their future needs and training their own talent accordingly.“Planning ahead for workforce strategies is a long-term solution that now needs to be addressed more urgently than ever, so the labour market can thrive with the right talent in place.“Conversely, in the shorter-term, imaginative recruitment strategies are also needed to find the right kind of skillsets to bring into organisations, for example unlocking hidden pools of talent can hold considerable value for employers and should be seriously considered as an important source.”last_img read more

Earth Hour 2019 Tik Tok joins WWF to encourage players embrace sustainable

first_img Greenpeace Activists Crash Congressional Hearing Dressed As Swamp Monsters To Protest Oil Ties In 2019, the annual Earth Hour, which is understood to be the world’s largest, environmental grassroots movement to day, is being celebrated across the globe on March 30. It is organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to encourage individuals, communities and business organisations to turn off the lights one hour from 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm, as a mark showing concern and work towards the betterment of the planet Earth.Now, popular short video sharing platform Tik Tok in collaboration with WWF-India is organising a campaign ‘Bee4ThePlanet’ to persuade its players to embrace sustainable practices such as shun plastics, consume water judiciously and do their part in conserving the local biodiversity. Tik Tok in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature to celebrate Earth Hour with special initiatives in IndiaTik Tok Press Kit”We are excited to have partnered with the WWF-India to celebrate Earth Hour 2019, one of the most successful environmental protection related campaigns in the world, with over 180 countries participating. As a part of our commitment to users with fun engaging challenges, through this campaign, we hope to do our part and encourage our users to leverage their talent and creativity to participate and spread the word in raising awareness on the need for biodiversity conservation,” Sumedhas Rajgopal, Senior Manager, Strategy and Partnerships, TikTok, said in statement.As per Living Planet Report 2018, we are living through the Great Acceleration – a unique event in the 4.5 billion-year history of our planet – with exploding human populations and economic growth driving unprecedented planetary change through increased demand for energy, land and water. Over the past 50 years, the global ecological footprint (one measure of our consumption of natural resources) has increased by over 190%. The Living Planet Index suggests that India’s ecological footprint per person is less than 1.75 global hectares/person (which is the lowest bracket and is smaller than that of many large countries).However, India’s population which is currently in upward trajectory will face issues near future and its imperative not just for government or corporate companies, but also citizens to learn to consume resource conservatively before it’s too late.With Tik Tok have millions of active users, the company has started a novel #Bee4ThePlanet-hash-tag and ‘buzz for the planet’ campaign with fun bee sticker, encouraging them to come with interesting videos with information on conservation of important resources and also encourage family and friends to reduce the carbon footprint (means—reduce the impact on environment by consuming less resources) and basically embrace minimalistic lifestyle. Tik Tok may get banned in IndiaTik Tok app/Google Play store (screen-grab)This is a novel initiative by Tik Tok particularly in India, where the former is facing negative publicity, as elected lawmakers in the country are vying for a ban on Tik Tok, as it is accused to ruining Indian culture and inciting pervert behaviour among users.Nagapattinam’s Thamimun Ansari, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of ruling party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) during a debate at Tamil Nadu legislative assembly (Fort St George) said TikTok was degrading Indian culture, encourages pornography and also causing law and order problem in the state. As the people’s representative, it’s their responsibility to ban such nefarious mobile app, Ansari added.Several sections of people are asking for a ban on Tik Tik and we will urge Central government to take action similar to the prohibition of suicidal online game Blue Whale challenge, Ansari noted.In a related development, Tik Tok has introduced safety feature to curb online bullying. The company has released a new user-defined word filter that blocks any filthy comments in the video-sharing app. Tik Tok users can self-define 30 Hindi and English words and if required they can re-assign the word as and when they want. Closelast_img read more

Sensex Nifty extend losses TCS hits 52week low before Q3 earnings

first_imgMarkets ended in the red on Tuesday, with the Sensex falling 143 points, or 0.60%, at 24,682, and the Nifty closing at 7510, with a loss of 53 points, or 0.7%., tracking Asian stock markets that remained subdued over concerns regarding China’s faltering economy.Ahead of its third-quarter results, shares of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) remained volatile in trade, with the stock hitting an 18-month low of Rs 2,313 intraday and then plunging further to Rs 2,301. However, the stock managed to close at Rs 2,324, down 1.65%, on the BSE.Other top Sensex losers included Axis Bank, Tata Steel, State Bank of India, ONGC and Bharti Airtel, while NTPC, Wipro and Mahindra & Mahindra ended in the green.Aviation stocks again soared in trade on the back of sustained decline in crude oil prices, as jet fuel (ATF) accounts for about 35% of the operating costs of aviation companies. Lower fuel costs are expected to translate into higher profit margins for these companies.The crude oil price dropped to $28.73 per barrel on 11 January, down from $30.02 on 8 January, according to the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.Shares of Jet Airways hit a new 52-week closing high at Rs 773.40, gaining 3.40% on Tuesday.SpiceJet shares, at Rs 81.15, also ended higher and the scrip saw heavy trading in the morning session, with almost 1.27 million shares changing hands within fifteen minutes of trading.Interglobe Aviation, which runs IndiGo airlines, closed with a gain of 0.65% at Rs 1,248.25.The day saw many stocks, especially in the banking space, touching fresh 52-week low. Shares of ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, DCB Bank, Axis Bank, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Oriental Bank of Commerce plunged to yet another year low on persisting concerns of asset quality.last_img read more

Prosecutors Bill Cosbys Bid for New Trial is Meritless

first_imgBy Maryclaire Dale, The Associated PressProsecutors in Bill Cosby’s sex assault case called his bid for a new trial or sentencing hearing “meritless,” and asked the judge to deny him a post-trial hearing.Cosby, 81, has asked for a do-over in the Pennsylvania sex assault case that ended with him being sent to prison last month to serve a three- to 10-year sentence. A jury found he had drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia estate more than a decade ago. The judge declared him a “sexually violent predator” who remains a danger to the community.In this Sept. 24, 2018 file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Prosecutors in the Cosby case are calling his bid for a new trial or sentencing hearing “meritless.” Cosby wants a do-over in the Pennsylvania sex assault case that ended with him going to prison last month to serve a three- to 10-year sentence. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)Defense lawyers later argued Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill made mistakes during the trial and sentencing that invalidate the conviction and punishment. In a memo filed Oct. 19, District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby’s objections are “time-worn” and have been rejected by the judge before.Cosby called the sentence more than twice the minimum suggested in state guidelines, and complained he must admit the crime and undergo sex-offender therapy to have any real chance at parole in three years. Steele, in response, called parole “only a possibility,” and said the state parole board board was free to set the rules.The defense also attacked the validity of a taped phone confrontation between the accuser’s mother and Cosby in early 2005. Cosby, in his post-trial motion, said the tape had been doctored. Prosecutors said it has long been clear the mother was struggling with the tape recorder and did not record the entire call.And the defense said the entertainer’s 2015 arrest may have come too late because it’s unclear when the encounter took place. But Steele noted that Cosby himself said in a deposition it occurred in 2004 – within the 12-year window to file charges.Cosby, best known for playing the wise-cracking Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked “Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, is imprisoned at a state prison in Collegeville, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia.last_img read more

The Yankees Got In Trouble Over A Beer Foam Printer

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Ever wanted to drink the likeness of one of your favorite (or most reviled) Yankee players? Well, now you can, thanks to Beer Ripples.For those of you who may have missed it, Beer Ripples is a printer that can lay out images and text on top of ordinary beer foam. It uses a malt-based ink to make the magic happen. There’s a companion app that lets you upload whatever creation you want to print.Its makers pitch Beer Ripples as a fun way to generate buzz, especially on social networks. Pictures on beer foam, right? It’s pretty cool stuff!AdChoices广告You can now consume @TheJudge44 in beer form. #Yankees— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) March 27, 2018At a special event the Yankees held for media types this week, they were serving up frosty drafts with likenesses of the fearsome one-two punch of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge (with catcher Gary Sanchez and fireball-throwing Aroldis Chapman thrown in for good measure).That’s a pair of the printed beers up top — the effect would’ve been more impressive if the Yankees had used a beer with a denser, more persistent head. But hey, it’s still pretty cool to see an image printed on a beer.Not everybody was so excited about these particular images. The MLB, for example, was actually a little upset about it. Not Goose Gossage “old man swears at cloud” angry. Maybe more “disappointed” that the Yankees hadn’t reached out.It mostly has to do with the players’ union and marketing. Any time a player’s name or face is used on a product, the MLBPA has to get its slice of the pie. Typically, that means things like hats, shirts, and jerseys… but the rules would probably extend to beers, too.Technically, there might not be anything wrong with selling a beer emblazoned with The Judge. You know, apart from drinking someone’s face. To play by the rules, though, the vendor would have to charge more and give the union its cut.Or the Yankees could just cover the difference. I mean, it’s not like they mind throwing money around… and paying for Beer Ripples prints seems a whole lot smarter than paying $21 million for backup center fielder Jacoby Elsbury… Stay on targetcenter_img Fiber-Based Six-Pack Can Rings Offer Eco-Friendly Alternative to PlasticEven More Kellogg’s Cereal Gets Re-Born as Craft Beer last_img read more

Stretchable sodiumion battery electrodes made using sugar cubes

first_img Journal information: Advanced Materials The stretchable sodium-ion full battery is attached to an athletic elbow brace under different bending states, where it continuously powers a commercial LED light. Credit: Li et al. ©2017 WILEY-VCH A sugar cube serves as a template for new stretchable, sponge-like, graphene-based battery electrodes. Credit: Li et al. ©2017 WILEY-VCH Explore further “This first-of-its-kind battery design maintains better mechanical properties compared with most reported designs using one or more rigid components that fail to meet the stretchability requirement for the entire device,” Yu told “Moreover, the demonstrated electrochemical performance rivals most previously reported stretchable energy systems. This novel stretchable sodium-ion battery represents a promising alternative for the next generation of energy-storage technologies in a broad range of applications.”In its current form, the battery retains nearly 90% of its capacity after 100 cycles of stretching to 50% strain. This performance is sufficient to enable the researchers to mount the stretchable battery on an elbow brace, and demonstrate that the battery continues to power an LED when the user’s arm is bent at different angles. The stretchable battery has potential applications in conformable health monitoring skin sensors, wearable communication devices, roll-up displays, and implantable medical devices.In the future, the researchers plan to make further improvements to the battery, such as extending the lifetime and scaling up the design to larger-sized batteries. They anticipate that the sponge design can also be extended to other types of devices, such as energy-harvesting devices.”Future directions will be focused on further improving the mechanical properties and electrochemical performance, along with lowering the manufacturing cost,” Yu said. (—Scientists have used sugar cubes as a template for synthesizing stretchable battery electrodes, which serve as a key component in newly designed stretchable yet mechanically robust sodium-ion batteries. Although there has recently been a great deal of research on stretchable batteries, usually these devices still contain some rigid components. By using electrodes templated on sugar cubes, the new battery is one of the first sodium-ion batteries whose components are all fully stretchable. Making sodium-ion batteries that lastcenter_img Citation: Stretchable sodium-ion battery electrodes made using sugar cubes (2017, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2017 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. The scientists, led by Guihua Yu at the University of Texas at Austin, have published a paper on the new stretchable batteries in a recent issue of Advanced Materials.By starting with sugar cubes, the researchers were able to obtain the size, shape, and porosity needed for high-performance battery electrodes. The researchers first placed ordinary sugar cubes on top of a polymer gel in a dish. After the dish was placed in a vacuum, heated in an oven, and washed, the sugar was dissolved away and the polymer gel took its place, resulting in stretchable polymer sponges. The pores of the polymer sponges were then filled with a conductive graphene-based solution to create “sponge electrodes,” which the researchers achieved by immersing the sponges in the solution and squeezing them several times to soak it up.As the researchers explained, the sponge’s porous architecture provides a combination of stretchability, mechanical strength, fast sodium-ion transport, and large storage capacity. Tests showed that the full battery can be stretched to 50% beyond its original length, and that the strain is limited by the intrinsic properties of the polymer material. The researchers expect that modifying the polymer or developing a new nanoarchitectured elastomer could further increase the stretchability of the battery. More information: Hongsen Li et al. “An All-Stretchable-Component Sodium-Ion Full Battery.” Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201700898last_img read more

Why Parent Your Kids When This Robot Nanny Can Do the Job

first_img Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. September 30, 2016 4 min read Robots can do many things humans can do, often better. They mix cocktails, stand in for security guards and dispose of bombs. One thing we’re sure they can never do better: care for our kids.They can’t snuggle, kiss boo-boos or exhibit unconditional love, not like a mom or dad or child care worker can. But that didn’t stop the makers of iPal from creating a creepy nanny robot that they’re billing as a babysitter. It’s a 3-foot-tall talking bot, complete with a surveillance cam, a touch screen tablet and tons of apps, you know, to keep your kid occupied and happy when you can’t.Avatarmind, with offices in China and Silicon Valley, designed iPal to be a “friendly companion to play with and talk to naturally.” The company’s humanoid mother’s helper can “dance, tell stories and play games.” If all that isn’t enough to keep your kid busy and quiet — and out of your hair — no worries, the robot also enables them to live-chat with their real-life buddies, swap videos and peruse social media, all without in-person parental supervision.Related: This Startup Employs Robots That Bake Pizza En Route for DeliveryLike a real babysitter, the pastel-trimmed iPal learns what your child likes and dislikes over time and, unlike a real babysitter, and constantly scrapes the cloud to “increase its knowledge on subjects of interest to your child.” The thing even plays “rock, paper, scissors” using its hard plastic jointed fingers. Aw, what a gregarious, doting little droid.Oh, and should your mini-me ever ask the rolling machine heavy kid-questions such as, “Why is the sun hot?” you bet iPal has a pre-loaded answer on deck. Let’s hope your little one doesn’t ask it where he or she came from. We’re just guessing here, but that’s probably a doozie that iPal isn’t cut out for, which is a shame, because the birds-and-bees talk is an awkward topic to broach. Best to leave it to a bot.Speaking of parenting tasks that suck, iPal understands that most mundane daily parental duties are also a drag. We’re talking morning and bedtime routine and hygiene stuff, such as nagging your kids to wake up, get dressed, brush their teeth and wash their germ-filled hands before meals. Don’t fret, it has apps for all that.Related: Get Your Digital Drink on With Robot-Crafted CocktailsIn case you’re worried that iPal lacks the feels, Avatarmind assures it has the sensors for that. After all, “iPal is not a cold, unfeeling machine, but a great companion for your child.” Its handy-dandy “emotion management system” automatically detects and reacts to your wee one’s feelings. That’s because it’s programmed to mirror your kid’s mood when he or she is happy and to cheer him or her up when sad.Finally, artificially intelligent algorithms and robotic canned empathy statements to the rescue. What more could a kid ask for?Parents looking to save a buck on a real-life babysitter will have to wait to find out how much all this hard-wired plastic convenience will set them back. We can’t imagine it’ll be cheap, what with pretty much a good chunk of your child’s upbringing in its metal-jointed robot hands and all.Parenting. Why trouble yourself with all that drama when there’s a bot that can do the duty for you?center_img How Success Happens Listen Nowlast_img read more

Cannabis Dependence Research Follows Potency Legalization

first_imgA new study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that for individuals whose first use of cannabis was with a high THC content (an average of around 12 percent THC) had more than four times the risk of developing the first symptom of CUD within a year. (Two caveats being: the participants in this study had a history of other substance abuse disorders, and this looked at the first symptom of CUD, not a full-tilt diagnosis.)Figuring out such details improves the odds that we’ll be able to detect and treat cannabis use disorder. “Early intervention is important to address substance use before it progresses to a substance use disorder,” says Iowa State University psychologist Brooke Arterberry, coauthor of the study. But to pull that off, she says, we need to better understand when and why symptoms emerge.Those answers will likely be especially important in intervening with adolescent users, whose brains continue to develop into their mid-20s. Studies suggest that heavy cannabis use among this demographic can lead to changes in the brain. Particularly concerning is the apparent link between cannabis and schizophrenia, the onset of which can happen in the early 20s. Cannabis, like alcohol or opioids, can lead to both physical dependency (and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms) and addiction. But the drug itself is only part of the equation. “The risk of addiction is really less about the drug and more about the person,” says Danovitch. If it was just about the drug, everyone would get hooked on cannabis. Factors like genetics and social exposure contribute to a person’s risk.Another consideration is dosing. Cultivators have over the decades developed strains of ever higher THC content, while the compound in cannabis that offsets THC’s psychoactive effects, CBD, has been almost entirely bred out of most strains. Might the rise in the prevalence of CUD have something to do with this supercharging of cannabis? Dependence is not the same as addiction, by the way. Dependence is a physical phenomenon, in which the body develops tolerance to a drug, and then goes into withdrawal if you suddenly discontinue use. Addiction is characterized by a loss of control; you can develop a dependence on drugs, for example steroids, without an accompanying addiction. You can also become addicted without developing a physical dependence—binge alcohol use disorder, for instance, is the condition in which alcohol use is harmful and out of control, but because the use isn’t daily, significant physical dependence may not have developed. “An important similarity that all addictive substances tend to have is a propensity to reinforce their own use,” says Danovitch. Cannabis is a hell of a drug. It can treat inflammation, pain, nausea, and anxiety, just to name a few ailments. But like any drug, cannabis comes with risks, chief among them something called cannabis use disorder, or CUD.Studies show that an estimated 9 percent of cannabis users will develop a dependence on the drug. Think of CUD as a matter of the Three C’s, “which is loss of control over use, compulsivity of use, and harmful consequences of use,” says Itai Danovitch, chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai. A growing tolerance can also be a sign.Compared to a drug like heroin, which can hook a quarter of its users, the risk of dependency with cannabis is much lower. The symptoms of withdrawal are also far less severe: irritability and depression with cannabis, compared to seizures and hallucinations with heroin. Plus, an overdose of cannabis can’t kill you.But as medicine and society continue to embrace cannabis, we risk losing sight of the drug’s potential to do harm, especially for adolescents and their developing brains. Far more people use cannabis than heroin, meaning that the total number of users at risk of dependence is actually rather high. And studies are showing that the prevalence of CUD is on the rise—whether that’s a consequence of increased use due to legalization, a loss of stigma in seeking treatment, or some other factor isn’t yet clear. While cannabis has fabulous potential to improve human physical and mental health, understanding and then mitigating its dark side is an essential component. It’s also important to keep in mind that in the grand scheme of drugs, cannabis is nowhere near as risky as opioids. But because of prohibition, scientists have been hindered in their ability to gather knowledge of how cannabis works on the human body, and how different doses affect different people (and potentially the development of CUD). Once acquired, those insights can inform how people should be using the drug. Groups like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, for example, want proper labeling to keep cannabis out of the hands of children. And we need clear communication of the potency of products that can be very powerful—a chocolate bar containing 100 milligrams of THC is not meant to be consumed all at once.“The reasons we demand proper labeling is all because of an awareness that cannabis is a mood-altering substance,” says Paul Armentano, the organization’s deputy director. “It possesses some potential level of dependence and it carries potential risk. And we believe prohibition exacerbates those potential risks, while regulation potentially mitigates those risks.” Like other substance disorders, cannabis use disorder is treatable. And as scientists develop a better understanding of CUD, we can intervene with appropriate therapies.Cannabis has big potential to treat a range of ills. And it’ll benefit users even more once we’ve characterized its risks more precisely.More Great WIRED StoriesEverything you want to know about the promise of 5GHow WhatsApp fuels fake news and violence in IndiaBlu-rays are back to prove that streaming isn’t everythingAn Intel breakthrough rethinks how chips are made9 Trumpworld figures who should fear Mueller the most👀 Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our picks, gift guides, and best deals all year round📩 Get even more of our inside scoops with our weekly Backchannel newsletterlast_img read more