UK watchdog to crack down on insurers’ loyalty penalty

first_imgThe FCA said it is also exploring other new measures to boost competition and fairness for loyal customers, such as rules to require insurance firms to consider if their products offer long-term value for all customers. Also Read: Financial Conduct Authority to crack down on insurers’ loyalty penalty Tuesday 22 September 2020 9:41 am Loyal customers should not pay more for home or motor insurance than new clients, the Financial Conduct Authority has said, as it promises reforms in the sector. The FCA said it had identified 6m policyholders who were paying “high or very high margins” in 2018. If they had paid the average for their level of risk, it said they would have saved £1.2bn a year. “While some people shop around for a deal, many others are losing out for being loyal. Firms target price increases on consumers who are less likely to switch and use practices that make it harder for people to leave.” Financial Conduct Authority to crack down on insurers’ loyalty penalty whatsapp Also Read: Financial Conduct Authority to crack down on insurers’ loyalty penalty “Firms use complex and opaque pricing practices that allow them to raise prices for consumers that renew with them year on year,” it said in a statement this morning. center_img Emily Nicolle Firms could also be required to report data to the FCA so it can check the rules are being followed, and update their technology to make it easier to stop automatic policy renewals. Share “We are consulting on a radical package that would ensure firms cannot charge renewing customers more than new customers in future, and put an end to the very high prices paid by some long-standing customers,” said Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive of the FCA. The FCA said the changes could save consumers up to £3.7bn over the next 10 years. whatsapp “The package would also ensure that firms focus on providing fair value to all their customers.” The new rules would apply to any customer buying or renewing a policy through the same point of sale, such as online or over the phone. Show Comments ▼last_img read more

Can B.C. stop Tulsequah Chief Mine pollution?

first_imgEnergy & Mining | Environment | Southeast | SyndicatedCan B.C. stop Tulsequah Chief Mine pollution?September 14, 2015 by Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News Share:The Tulsequah Chief Mine is on the banks of its namesake river, which flows into the Taku River, which enters an ocean inlet about 25 miles northeast of Juneau. The brownish pools contain acidic water draining from the mine. (Photo by Joe Hitselberger/ADF&G)Can British Columbia stop polluted water from leaking out of a long-closed mine upstream from Juneau? The issue came up last month when the Canadian province’s top mining official traveled to the Capital City.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2015/09/14Tulsequah-L.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Tulsequah Chief hasn’t been open for more than 50 years. But, like many old mines, it’s leaking pollution.For decades, rusty, acidic water has drained from an old tunnel into a nearby river.“I was there. I took pictures of it and you can see it,” says British Columbia Minister of Mines Bill Bennett, who saw the Tulsequah Chief during his August visit to Southeast Alaska.It’s on the Tulsequah River, a tributary of the Taku River. That salmon-rich waterway empties into an ocean inlet about 25 miles northeast of Juneau.B.C. Minister of Mines Bill Bennett, left, discusses the Tulsequah Chief Mine as Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott listens, Aug. 24 in Juneau. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)“It’s something that B.C. is responsible for and I think if … I was from here I’d be asking all kinds of questions about the Tulsequah Chief Mine situation as well,” he says.Bennett promised to do something about it, but didn’t offer specifics.Toronto-based Chieftain Metals, which owns and plans to develop the mine, did not respond to an interview request. But the company’s been in touch with the mines ministry.Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott accompanied Bennett during much of his Alaska tour.“While he was here, he informed me that he had contacted the CEO of the company and had talked to him about the continuing discharge and the need for water treatment or some mitigation,” he says.Mallott says he hasn’t yet heard any details, and will follow up. British Columbia’s Mines Ministry offered no further information.While Bennett promised to do something about the mine drainage, he downplayed its threat to the environment.The Tulsequah Chief Mine is northeast of Juneau, just across the border in British Columbia. (Map by Chieftain Metals.)“You’ve got a tremendous amount of data that shows that there isn’t any impact on water from what’s happening at Tulsequah Chief. There isn’t any impact on the Tulsequah River and certainly no impact that has been noted in all the testing that’s done in the Taku River,” he says.“To say this is not harmful, you cannot say that,” says Chris Zimmer, Alaska campaign director for Rivers without Borders, which is highly critical of transboundary mine development.He says the studies Bennett cites were not at all comprehensive.“It didn’t look at juvenile salmon. It didn’t look at the sediment. It didn’t answer the question, where is the material that’s coming out of the mine ending up?” he says.That rusty, acidic outflow is caused when water runs past tunnel walls and floors and waste rock leftover from mining. The Tulsequah Chief has no tailings dam.Chieftain Metals addressed the problem in a promotional video it posted on YouTube in May of 2013.“We’re building a water-treatment plant that will treat that acidic water and turn it into very clean water that will be released into the river,” Chief Operating Officer Keith Boyle says.The plant went into operation, but only for awhile.Chieftain said it cost too much to run without revenue from full-scale mining. But the company doesn’t have all the permits and investments needed to do that.“So relying on the mining company to operate the mine and the clean it up seems like a nonstarter,” says Rivers without Borders’ Chris Zimmer.He says the province could step in and fill the mine tunnels generating most of the polluted water.“So the question comes down to, are you going to run that plant forever at $4 million a year? Or are you going to spend a lot of money right now and go shut down and reclaim the site?” he says.Reclamation is not a step British Columbia is likely to take.Chieftain has an environmental permit needed to build the mine. Bennett says recent plans to barge ore, rather than ship it via a new British Columbia road, mean the permit needs to be amended.That will require consultation with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. The mine is in their traditional territory and they’ve filed a lawsuit to block development.Share this story:last_img read more

Sundance’s Westward Gaze: 9 Festival Films With L.A. Links

first_imgFilmUncategorizedSundance’s Westward Gaze: 9 Festival Films With L.A. LinksFrom the waning bohemia of 1970s Hollywood to reformed gangsters, here are the most buzzworthy L.A. films at this years mega-film fest.By Daniel Schindel – January 16, 2014763ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItThe 2014 Sundance Film Festival is upon us. For 10 days, those who make, distribute, write about, and love movies will spend their time dashing around Park City, either freezing in the Utah winter or sitting comfortably in theaters. While January is a dumping ground for wide releases, many movies that you’ll be hearing about later in the year will debut at this festival.Although it’s a couple states away, the festival has strong ties to Los Angeles, maintaining an office in the very same building as Los Angeles magazine and featuring work by numerous filmmakers based in the city. With the festival’s opening night occurring this evening, here are nine buzzworthy films with strong L.A. ties. Look for them to make waves as they premiere.Camp X-RayWritten and directed by Peter SattlerCategory: U.S. Dramatic CompetitionSynopsis: A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees.L.A. Connection: Though set in Cuba, the film was shot here. Sattler is also an L.A. resident.The Buzz: Twilight actress Kristen Stewart stars in the film, aiming show she’s more than a teen star. Controversies over Guantanamo Bay have dimmed but events like the continuing hunger strike by detainees remind us that the prison hasn’t gone anywhere and none of the issues around it have been resolved.The Case Against 8Directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan WhiteCategory: U.S. Documentary CompetitionSynopsis: A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.L.A. Connection: This is a thoroughly Californian story. It’s uncertain whether L.A. will play any significant role in the proceedings, but the issues the film explores are relevant to many Angelenos.The Buzz: One of the greatest virtues of a documentary is that it can tackle social issues more directly than any other genre, which often take a few years to catch up. Less than a year after Prop 8 was overturned, we get to see how it came about.Cesar’s Last FastDirected by Richard Ray Perez and Lorena ParleeCategory: U.S. Documentary CompetitionSynopsis: Inspired by Catholic social teaching, farm worker-turned-activist Cesar Chavez risked his life fighting for America’s poorest workers. The film illuminates his devotion and personal sacrifice, the birth of an economic justice movement, and delves into an untold chapter in the story of civil rights in America.L.A. Connection: Perez lives in L.A. and his father was a farm worker while Parlee, who died in 2006, was Chavez’s press secretary and spokesperson, and shot much of the historical footage used in the film herself.The Buzz: This is not the only movie about Cesar Chavez coming out this year. A biopic starring Michael Peña and directed by Diego Luna is also being released. As issues surrounding immigration and workers’ rights come to the fore in our national discourse, it’s a prime time to learn about Chavez and his life.Dear White PeopleWritten and directed by Justin SimienCategory: U.S. Dramatic CompetitionSynopsis: Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in “post-racial” America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world.L.A. Connection: Simien lives in and has worked in L.A. for years.The Buzz: With each passing year, more and more festival films are crowdfunded projects. Dear White People was financed with the help of Indiegogo. This is the kind of movie that might not otherwise have been made, dealing as it does with a touchy subject. (Full disclosure: I donated to the film’s Indiegogo campaign and my name appear in the credits.)Imperial DreamsDirected by Malik Vitthal. Written by Malik Vitthal and Ismet PrcicCategory: NEXTSynopsis: A 21-year-old reformed gangster’s devotion to his family and his future are put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles.L.A. Connection: Vitthal is an L.A. native and USC alum. The film isn’t just set here, it was shot here.The Buzz: The script, which Vitthal developed at the 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, earned multiple grants and accolades. Star John Boyega made a big splash with his turn in the acclaimed Attack the Block and many (including us) have been eager to see what he does next. More importantly, the movie looks at a side of America that often goes ignored by pop culture.Infinitely Polar BearWritten and directed by Maya ForbesCategory: U.S. Dramatic CompetitionSynopsis: A manic-depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don’t make the overwhelming task any easier.L.A. Connection: Forbes is an L.A. native.The Buzz: Former Larry Sanders Show writer and producer Forbes makes her feature debut. Mark Ruffalo is the star, and he’s had great Sundance success before, earning an Oscar nomination for 2010’s The Kids Are All Right. All the ingredients for something intriguing are in place, even if the plot description sounds generic and the title makes no sense.Love ChildDirected by Valerie VeatchCategory: World Documentary CompetitionSynopsis: In Seoul, a young couple stands accused of neglect when “Internet addiction” in an online fantasy game leads to the death of their infant daughter. Love Child documents the 2010 trial and subsequent ruling that set a global precedent in a world where virtual is the new reality.L.A. Connection: Veatch lives in L.A.The Buzz: Along with Web Junkie, this is one of two documentaries at the fest to deal directly with “Internet addiction,” but it’s one of many films that explore Internet-related topics.Low DownDirected by Jeff Preiss. Written by Amy Jo Albany and Topper LilienCategory: U.S. Dramatic CompetitionSynopsis: Based on Amy Jo Albany’s memoir, Low Down explores her journey to adulthood while being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, who teeters between incarceration and addiction in the waning bohemia of Hollywood in the ‘70s.L.A. Connection: Preiss is a resident. The film was shot here though made to look like a now-gone version of the city.The Buzz: The film packs an all-star cast with John Hawkes as Albany and Elle Fanning as Amy. Not to mention Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers (who also produced). Joe Albany led a fascinating life, one that’s ripe for cinematic exploration. Many were astonished that Hawkes’s turn in the 2012 Sundance favorite The Sessions didn’t net him an Oscar nomination. Perhaps this year he can earn the mainstream accolades he richly deserves.WhiplashWritten and directed by Damien ChazelleCategory: U.S. Dramatic CompetitionSynopsis: Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity.L.A. Connection: Chazelle is one of our own.The Buzz: The main character is played by Miles Teller, who broke out at last year’s Sundance with The Spectacular Now and is starring in this year’s That Awkward Moment and Divergence. This film pairs him with J.K. Simmons as the drumming instructor, making for one of the more promising comic duos we’ve heard of in a while. TAGSL.A CultureMoviesSundanceSundance Film FestivalPrevious articleYelpLibs: It’s the Best Way to Read Angry Yelp Reviews!Next articleL.A. Craft Beer Legend Sam Samaniego Passes AwayDaniel Schindel RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres Are Permanently Shutting DownL.A. Movie Theaters Can Reopen Next Week—but Some Cinemas Aren’t Quite Ready‘The Raw Materials Were Her Life’: The New Billie Eilish Documentary Shoots for Storytelling with No Filterlast_img read more

They have ‘Alzheimer’s brains’ but no symptoms. A new wave of drug developers wants to know why

first_img Sharon Begley “You can have abundant plaques and tangles without having Alzheimer’s disease. The challenge is to figure out how.” PET scan results that are part of a study on Alzheimer’s disease at Georgetown University Hospital. Evan Vucci/AP Neurologist Rudy Tanzi Related: By Sharon Begley Feb. 27, 2020 Reprints Related: She was destined to get early Alzheimer’s, but didn’t. Did a rare mutation protect her? “These are people who have a demonstrable burden of disease [as measured by the extent of brain pathology] but less than the expected consequences,” said Thomas Grabowski, an Alzheimer’s expert at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Amyloid isn’t as toxic to some people as it is to others.”There is clear physical evidence for the power of cognitive reserve to counteract the toxic effects of amyloid. In people with the same degree of Alzheimer’s, those with more years of education had more tau tangles and more amyloid than people with less education. Put another way, the same level of brain pathology has worse consequences for people with less cognitive reserve. And in the first study of Alzheimer’s and the brain’s white matter (the axons that carry signals from one neuron to the next), scientists in Germany found that the more amyloid that elderly but cognitively healthy people had in their brains, the stronger and more extensive their white matter, they report in a manuscript being submitted to a journal. In other words, for a given amount of amyloid, avoiding Alzheimer’s (again, none of the people had the disease) is possible with more extensive and better functioning white matter.Compensatory mechanisms such as cognitive reserve (another one is cardiovascular health) don’t affect the actual process of Alzheimer’s, as measured by vanishing neurons and synapses. And cognitive reserve can’t be put into a pill. But the other kind of resilience — exterminating the termites, not just erecting new ceiling beams — just might affect Alzheimer’s pathology itself, and both academic labs and companies are trying to bottle it.Last year, for instance, scientists described the case of a Colombian woman in her 70s who is the living embodiment of Alzheimer’s resilience. She has two copies of a gene that causes sky-high levels of amyloid and, in everyone else known to science, Alzheimer’s disease before age 60. Yet she didn’t develop cognitive impairment until three decades after everyone else with the mutation, and even then it was mild. And she has very little neuron-killing tau, which is supposed to follow amyloid like night follows day. Turning novel pathways into drugs is already underway.After finding that a gene called CD33 comes in a form that seems to protect people from Alzheimer’s, Tanzi and his colleagues spent years trying to figure out how. Basically, they reported in 2013, this variant can’t carry out CD33’s usual function: turning the immune cells that patrol the brain, called microglia, into assassins.Microglia ordinarily clear out amyloid, dead cells, and other brain debris. But in the presence of amyloid and tau, they go on the warpath. “They stop being housekeepers and start being killers,” Tanzi said, producing neuroinflammation that “kills 10 times more neurons than plaques and tangles do.” Brains can withstand amyloid plaques and tau tangles, he believes, but not the buzzsaw of neuroinflammation.This week, researchers unveiled a study quantifying how controlling inflammation might confer resilience to Alzheimer’s disease. Neurologist Nancy Donovan of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and her colleagues compared widows to otherwise similar but still-married women with the same (high) amounts of amyloid in their brains; none had Alzheimer’s. Despite the equal amyloid hit, the still-married women’s cognitive ability declined only one-third as fast as the widows’.“It was a striking difference to observe among [originally] cognitively unimpaired individuals over only three years,” Donovan said. One possible explanation, she said, is that the psychosocial stress of widowhood triggers neuroinflammation just as stress can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body. That would turn minimally harmful amyloid plaques and tau tangles into feeding grounds for neuron-killing microglia.Using clusters of brain cells he calls “Alzheimer’s in a dish,” Tanzi and his colleagues screened existing medications and CD33-specific antibodies to find any that inhibit CD33, in hopes of effectively and safely stopping neuroinflammation. They got several hits. Last month, the biotech company Alector announced that it had dosed the first Alzheimer’s patient in a Phase 1b study of an anti-CD33 monoclonal antibody, which it engineered to mimic the effect of the CD33 mutation and prevent microglia from triggering dangerous neuroinflammation. And AZTherapies, which Tanzi co-founded, is running a Phase 3 trial with 620 Alzheimer’s patients to see if an old asthma drug called cromolyn can convert microglia back to nicely behaved housekeepers, even if they’d spent time as killing machines, as it did in the Alzheimer’s in a dish. Results are expected this year.Both of the CD33-inspired therapies aim to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in people who already have it. But if they work for that, they might one day be given to healthy people with the beginnings of Alzheimer’s pathology in their brains, preventing the disease altogether.“We are no longer in the era of just wishing” that the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s resilience can guide the discovery of therapies, said NIA’s Petanceska. “Resilience is now in the mainstream of Alzheimer’s drug discovery, and a high priority.” Forecasting Alzheimer’s: With a tsunami of new diagnoses expected, experts calculate the best ways to shift the tide After 40 years, the Alzheimer’s Association sees signs of progress against a devastating disease. Is it real? Tags dementianeurologyresearch About the Author Reprints For years they were flukes of the Alzheimer’s world: elderly people who died at an advanced age and, according to postmortem examinations, with brains chock-full of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, the protein fragments whose presence in the brain is the hallmark of the disease. Yet these brains were off-script. Although Alzheimer’s orthodoxy says these sticky protein clumps between and inside nerve cells destroy synapses and kill neurons, causing memory loss and cognitive decline, these individuals thought and remembered as well as their amyloid- and tau-free peers.Because so few people donate their brain to science, it was never certain how many died with the hallmark of Alzheimer’s but never developed the disease. And there were always suspicions that maybe these seemingly resilient people did have at least mild Alzheimer’s, or would have developed it eventually; since they were no longer alive to test and track, that couldn’t be ruled out.A funny thing happened on the way to studying brain scans to detect amyloid and tau, a $184 million government and private project called the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. While the jury is still out on whether detection of those rogue protein fragments benefits patients (especially since there are no drugs that even slow the progression of the disease), ADNI and other large studies have unexpectedly shown something else. Not only do resilient individuals exist, but they’re not that rare.advertisement Related: In the LabThey have ‘Alzheimer’s brains’ but no symptoms. A new wave of drug developers wants to know why The National Institute on Aging has funded its Resilience-AD Program, which began in 2017, with $40 million in an effort to identify genetic and other factors that keep Alzheimer’s at bay even in people whose brains scream “Alzheimer’s,” and to somehow bottle that resilience. Experimental drugs inspired by discoveries about resilience, including four from the NIA program, are moving through clinical trials, and more are in the pipeline.“Usually, we try to understand why people have a disease,” said the NIA’s Suzana Petanceska, who helps direct its neuroscience programs. “But by looking at these outliers who do not get Alzheimer’s, the idea is to understand the molecular pathways that drive that resilience and harness it to develop therapeutics for the rest of us.”That represents a sea change in the understanding of Alzheimer’s resilience. For years, scientists believed it came through the side door. That is, some brains compensate for the destruction of neurons and synapses (where neurons connect) that amyloid and tau cause. It isn’t that the damage isn’t happening, but that other mechanisms counterbalance it. If the brain were a termite-infested house, the bugs are still chomping on the support beams but builders are erecting extra beams to keep the structure from collapsing.Such compensatory mechanisms clearly exist. “Cognitive reserve,” which increases with years of education and learning, refers to back-up brain circuitry that can buffer the effects of losing neurons and synapses to Alzheimer’s. Because learning promotes denser circuitry and more synapses, if the original circuit is lost to Alzheimer’s then the brain can activate the back-ups. Brains with greater cognitive reserve can therefore lose more synapses and neurons to Alzheimer’s pathology without showing it: same amount of amyloid, less cognitive decline. But what the woman did have is a double dose of an ultra-rare variant of a gene called APOE3. After several biochemical steps, this variant keeps tau from spreading through the brain. The woman had very little neuronal loss.So it wasn’t that her brain developed a workaround to amyloid and tau. Instead, its APOE3 tamed tau. (As for amyloid plaques, they’re probably not particularly toxic to synapses, as long thought.) She wasn’t erecting new beams to replace the ones eaten by termites; she was exterminating the termites.The woman’s extreme resilience is now the basis for research on possible Alzheimer’s therapies, said neuropsychologist Yakeel Quiroz-Gaviria of Mass. General, who led the study. “We’re currently working on that,” she said. So far, she and her team have produced a monoclonal antibody against 14 of APOE’s amino acids, sidelining them in a way that mimics the resilient woman’s APOE3 mutation.There may well be more resilience genes.In the largest-ever study of the DNA basis of Alzheimer’s resilience, Vanderbilt’s Hohman and his colleagues looked for genetic factors that let some people avoid memory loss and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s even though they have the brain signatures of the disease. They focused on 5,108 people (including those in ADNI) who had better cognitive performance than they should have, given how much amyloid was in their brain.Many of the resilience genes fall into the “compensatory” category, include those related to cardiovascular health. (Better heart health preserves brain health, which keeps the brain from suffering additional blows on top of the damage from Alzheimer’s.) But one is involved in DNA repair: In resilient people, this gene is expressed at higher levels. The study, posted this month to the preprint site bioRxiv, needs data from about 10,000 more people to provide assurance that that finding is real, Hohman said. If it is, DNA repair might be a molecular contributor to resilience and one of several “novel pathways for therapeutic targets,” he and his colleagues suggest. About 30% of older adults have brains littered with enough amyloid or tau, or both, to qualify for an Alzheimer’s diagnosis but without so much as a hint of dementia, said neuroscientist Timothy Hohman of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who is leading the largest-ever study to identify genetic explanations for that resilience.“You can have abundant plaques and tangles without having Alzheimer’s disease,” agreed neurologist Rudy Tanzi of Massachusetts General Hospital. “The challenge is to figure out how. If we can, then the goal would be to mimic what these resilient people have with some kind of a drug.”advertisement [email protected] Senior Writer, Science and Discovery (1956-2021) Sharon covered science and discovery. @sxbegle last_img read more

TMX launches financial literacy tool

Intuit and Highline Beta launch fintech accelerator Keywords Websites,  Financial literacyCompanies TMX Group Ltd. How to connect with your clients’ kids TMX Group Ltd. (TSX:X) Friday announced the launch of a new capital markets education tool. The TMX Capital Markets Learning Centre is a free, web-based information portal designed to help Canadians gain a better understanding of the markets. Related news RIA launches RI Marketplace Facebook LinkedIn Twitter IE Staff Share this article and your comments with peers on social media At the heart of the Centre lies the new TMX Trading Simulator, a unique, risk-free market experience where investors can trade both equities and options in a “real world” environment. Users simply sign-in and create a virtual portfolio and they are ready to employ a variety of trading strategies against actual market data. “TMX Group is proud to be involved in Financial Literacy Month and to contribute to the advancement of investor education in Canada,” said Thomas Kloet, CEO, TMX Group. “The goal of this new centre is to provide all levels of investors and students with valuable educational resources and to bring Canadians closer to the action — to trade our markets and gain realistic, hands-on experience.” TMX Group is committed to educational initiatives across Canada, including Montreal Exchange’s very successful derivatives education project, targeted at expanding the profile of options trading at the grassroots level. This year the university partnership program expanded across campuses in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and now has 16 MX student ambassadors promoting the initiative and over 800 teams are participating in our national business school competition. read more

Do Not Damage Boxes with Screwworm Flies

first_imgDo Not Damage Boxes with Screwworm Flies UncategorizedDecember 27, 2007 RelatedDo Not Damage Boxes with Screwworm Flies RelatedDo Not Damage Boxes with Screwworm Flies RelatedDo Not Damage Boxes with Screwworm Fliescenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Members of the public are being asked to desist from damaging the boxes in which the screwworm flies are being released.“We have received reports that individuals out there have been damaging these boxes and we are asking them to refrain from doing so. These boxes with these flies are important to eradicating the screwworm from Jamaica,” said Information Officer for the National Screwworm Eradication Programme, Tashana Sewell.“If you see a box, leave the box alone or if you see that you really need to help, open the box and allow any flies that maybe in it to come out and do their job,” she urged.Since March of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture has been employing a new approach in eradicating screwworm from Jamaica, by using the boxes to disperse sterile flies into the wild, as opposed to the chill fly system, which was previously used.“Now we are releasing them in boxes as we find that this is less stressful for the flies. In addition, we are providing food for the flies inside these boxes so that when they come out, they are more energized and are better capable of doing their job,” Miss Sewell explained.The box fly system utilizes pupae acquired from Mexico, which are packaged into boxes containing some 1,800 pupae per box.In the meantime, farmers are being encouraged to check all their animals for possible cuts and conduct corrective action where infestation is found, as well as to report all cases of infestation to the Screwworm Eradication Programme.“If farmers see an animal with an infested wound, they can treat the wound themselves by simply using the screwworm powder that we distribute free of cost. They should take a sample of maggots from the wound, label it with their name, address, the date, and type of animal and they should submit this sample to the nearest Rural Agricultural Development Authority office or to the nearest screwworm officer,” Miss Sewell advised.She said that farmers can also call the programme and an officer will visit the home or farm and treat the animal free of charge.The eradication programme is aimed at ridding the island of the pest and to prevent re-infestation once eradication has been achieved. Advertisementslast_img read more

STA announces new President-elect and Executive

first_imgSTA announces new President-elect and Executive Science & Technology Australia is pleased to announce the election of new members to its Executive Committee at STA’s Annual General Meeting today.Silo-busting innovator and industry-engaged research entrepreneur Professor Mark Hutchinson is STA’s new President-elect. He will become President at the end of or next AGM in November 2021.For seven years, Mark has been Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics at the University of Adelaide. He will be the first South Australian to serve as STA President.The centre has produced 15 spin-outs and start-ups and has 30 flourishing industry partnerships. Its silo-busting approach encourages engineers, physicists, chemists and biologists to work across disciplines to build new products and techniques using light at the cellular level.STA’s newly-elected executive members are:President-elect – Professor Mark HutchinsonSecretary – Jas ChambersPolicy Committee Chair – Professor Sharath SriramEarly Career Representative – Dr Chloe TaylorSTA President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie congratulated the newly-elected Executive and said he looked forward to working with them all.He also thanked outgoing Secretary Associate Professor Darren Saunders and outgoing ECR representative Associate Professor Sumeet Walia for their excellent service to STA.“We are blessed with a wealth of talented leaders across the STEM sector who want to contribute their energy, ideas and leadership to STA’s success,” he said.“Mark will be outstanding as our next President, and the refreshed Executive including Sharath, Jas and Chloe reflects the excellence, diversity and breadth of skills in the sector.”“I thank Darren Saunders for his excellent work as our secretary supporting governance work, and Sumeet Walia for his work for early career researchers and as co-chair of STA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.”STA President-elect Professor Mark Hutchinson said he was honoured to have been entrusted by the STA members to lead the organisation as President from the end of 2021.“I want to work with the STEM sector to help foster even deeper connections between the research community and those who need our research to transform lives, industries and policy,” he said.“I see an exciting set of possibilities to identify challenges that Government and industry want to solve – and bringing our best research brains to that task.”“I want to support our STEM workforce, share entrepreneurial skills, foster diversity and equity, and propel even more Australian science and technology from the bookshelf to the boardroom.”He looks forward to working closely with current President Jeremy Brownlie and CEO Misha Schubert over the next year as President-elect.“Jeremy has worked tirelessly to strengthen STA’s visibility as a respected policy and advocacy voice for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors,” he said.“It will be an honour to work with him over the next year and to succeed him as President in November.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Adelaide, Australia, Australian, community, diversity, Engineering, Government, mathematics, President, Professor, Science & Technology Australia, Secretary, South Australia, stem, technology, university, University of Adelaidelast_img read more

Thousands of students to benefit from out of school hours care places

first_imgThousands of students to benefit from out of school hours care places The PremierForty seven schools across NSW will open Out of School Hours Care Hubs by June as part of the NSW Government’s Before and After School Care election commitment.Premier Gladys Berejiklian opened a new hub today at Camden Public School and said that more than $20 million Out of School Hours Care Hub Program will benefit families across NSW.“The new hubs are an innovative way of providing additional before and after school care for more than 2400 students across the state,” Ms Berejiklian said.“We know families are concerned about the cost of living following the pandemic, and I want to ensure affordable and convenient before and after school care is available to everyone who needs it and at a location that is convenient.”Since July 2019, the NSW Government has created more than 11,000 after school care places and these new hubs will add to this capacity.The Out of School Hours Care Hub Program, which will deliver modular buildings custom-designed for Out of School Hours Care services, will cut waiting times and allow more families to access before and after school care services.Rental subsidy of the hubs will ensure affordable care is available.Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said she was delighted to be launching the vital program that would benefit so many families in NSW.“The NSW Government is committed to looking after families, and part of that is providing the infrastructure to expand Out of School Hours Care services,” Ms Mitchell said.“This initiative supports NSW families – it will allow more students to have safe, fun environments before and after school and during vacation periods, and for their parents to have the flexibility to participate in the workforce.”The new Out of School Hours Care Hub Program aims to fill gaps in access to services across the state, particularly in regional areas, as well as to clear waiting lists in areas of high demand.Each Out of School Hours Care hub will have facilities for student activities as well as administration and storage areas.The Out of School Hours Care Hub Program is part of the $120 million investment over four years to expand access to Out of School Hours Care for public primary school children.The after school care hubs initiative is on top of the NSW Government’s record $7 billion school infrastructure program to deliver more than 200 new and upgraded schools to support communities. Nineteen of these projects are located in the Macarthur area. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Berejiklian, Camden, children, education, election, Gladys, Gladys Berejiklian, Government, infrastructure, Investment, Macarthur, Minister, Mitchell, New South Wales, NSW, students, workforcelast_img read more

Hydro will not be sold

first_imgHydro will not be sold Peter Gutwein,PremierThe Tasmanian Government will not sell Hydro Tasmania under any circumstances.It is too important an asset for the state’s future and any speculation on privatising the GBE is completely false.I understand Hydro is conducting a strategic review of its Momentum Energy business, an energy retailer with customers outside Tasmania. The review includes a potential sale – this is a matter for Hydro Tasmania and it’s important to note the sale process would be subject to approval from the Government.Hydro has stated publicly it is committed to Tasmanian jobs, and the security of those jobs would be a key condition of any such sale.The restructure announced by Hydro last week is to better capitalise on opportunities presented by the transformation of the Australian energy sector and to maintain downward pressure on energy prices for customers.Hydro has a bright future and will remain an important Tasmanian asset. It will not be sold under any circumstances. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AusPol, Australia, Australian, business, energy, future, Government, jobs, Premier, security, speculation, TAS, Tasmania, Tassielast_img read more

A modern digital economy to secure Australia’s future

first_imgA modern digital economy to secure Australia’s future Prime MinisterThe Morrison Government is investing almost $1.2 billion in Australia’s digital future through the Digital Economy Strategy, as part of this year’s Federal Budget.The strategy outlines the policies and actions the Government is taking to grow Australia’s future as a modern and leading digital economy by 2030.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of our biggest challenges and opportunities turns on how we respond to the digital transformation occurring in every sector and every facet of our lives.“Every business in Australia is now a digital business. The tradesman or woman who seeks work through AirTasker. The landscaper who finds most of their new business through search engine placement and social media. The farmer who keeps track of their herd with electronic tags or drones. The local Thai restaurant that sells through UberEats, MenuLog, Deliveroo, or any one of half a dozen different food apps. The gym where members book their classes through an app,” the Prime Minister said.“This transformation is not merely a national one that needs to happen – it’s a global one that is happening.“We must keep our foot on the digital accelerator to secure our economic recovery from COVID-19.”The Strategy targets investment in emerging technologies, building digital skills, encouraging business investment and enhancing Government service delivery.Through the Strategy the Morrison Government is investing in jobs for Australians now and into the future with key initiatives including:Over $100 million to support digital skills for Australians including a new pilot program for work-based digital cadetships that offer a flexible way for workers to build digital skills, investments in the cyber workforce, and scholarships for emerging technology graduates.Building Australia’s capability in Artificial Intelligence with $124.1 million in initiatives, including a National Artificial Intelligence Centre led by CSIRO Data 61, supported by a network of AI and Digital Capability Centres to drive adoption of AI across the economy.Enhancing Government services through a $200.1 million investment to overhaul myGov, making it easier than ever for Australians to find the services they need, as well as a $301.8 million investment to enhance the My Health Record and an expansion of the digital identity system.Investment incentives to support business growth, including a Digital Games Tax Offset of 30 per cent to support Australia taking a greater share of the $250 billion global game development market, and changes to the way Australian businesses can claim depreciation of intangible assets like intellectual property and in-house software.Helping small and medium businesses build their digital capacity through a $12.7 million expansion of the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Service, and $15.3 million to drive business uptake of e-Invoicing.$35.7 million to support emerging aviation technologies like drones, including grants to support the use of these technologies to address priority needs in regional Australia.Unlocking the value of data in the economy and setting the standards for the next generation of data management, including $111.3 million to accelerate the rollout of the Consumer Data Right in banking, energy and telecommunications.Strengthening safety, security and trust with over $50 million to enhance cyber security in government, data centres and future telecommunications networks.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said a vibrant digital economy is key to Australia’s economic future.“Our Digital Economy Strategy will allow Australian businesses to capitalise on the opportunities that digital technologies are creating,” the Treasurer said.“Greater digital adoption will improve our competitiveness and lift our productivity – driving job creation and higher wages.”Minister for the Digital Economy, Senator the Hon Jane Hume, said the 2021-22 Budget represents a landmark investment in Australia’s digital future.“So many Australians are already participating in the digital economy, some without even realising it. Every contactless purchase, e-Invoice, business website or small business going online – it’s all part of it and it’s growing rapidly,” Minister Hume said.“This is a really exciting announcement, which will drive investment and uptake of emerging technologies, unlock the value of data, build skills for a modern economy, and enhance Government service delivery.“We want to improve Australians’ standard of living, create jobs and make access to Government services easier.“Twenty years ago you might have looked in the phone book to find a plumber, now we turn to Google and comparison services – we get quotes within the same day and pay software generated invoices on our mobiles. Think about how much time and administration work that saves. Australians rightly expect the Government to keep up with them, and to help chart the next step forward, and that’s exactly what we are doing with this Strategy.”The Strategy builds on the Morrison Government’s investments in infrastructure, skills, cyber security, regulations and digital trade, taking the digital economy spend to around $2 billion over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 Budgets, on top of the $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy 2020, $1 billion for JobTrainer and the $4.5 billion investment in NBN upgrades.The full Digital Economy Strategy will be released on Budget night, alongside further measures that support and complement the Strategy. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AI, artificial intelligence, Australia, Australian, CSIRO, cyber security, Deliveroo, Federal, game development, Google, Government, health, Josh Frydenberg, Morrison, Morrison Government, NBN, Prime Minister, Scott Morrisonlast_img read more