More Allegations Against Company Embroiled in French Drug Scandal

first_imgPARIS—Servier, the pharmaceutical company at the heart of a massive medical scandal in France, suffered several fresh blows to its credibility this week. Yesterday, a newspaper revealed that the company has come under fire from Europe’s medicine watchdog for the way it studied the side effects of its drugs after they reached the market. Meanwhile, leaked court testimony by two former company scientists suggests that Servier deleted unfavorable information from the files with which it sought regulatory approval for Mediator, its diabetes drug, in the 1970s. Mediator—Servier’s brand name for a drug called benfluorex—was banned in November 2009 after 33 years on the French market. Although marketed as a diabetes drug, doctors widely prescribed it for people who wanted to lose weight as well. Mediator has been shown to cause serious heart valve problems, however, and it’s now estimated to have caused up to 2000 deaths. A French court is investigating the case, and the French government has announced that it will tighten regulatory oversight of drugs in response. Yesterday, French newspaper Libération reported that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in London has set its sights on Servier as well—initially for problems around strontium ranelate, an osteoporosis drug marketed by Servier in France under the name Protelos. An estimated 390,000 French women in France have taken the drug during the last 4 years. 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In November 2007, EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Working Party issued a warning that Protelos could cause severe and potentially fatal skin rashes known as Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms, and ordered Servier to correct “flaws” in its system to keep track of such adverse events, Maraninchi says. EMA asked AFSSAPS to carry out an inspection in December 2009 to ensure Servier had followed up. That inspection revealed other “critical and major findings,” this time with Servier’s manufacturing process, and raised concerns over all of the company’s drugs, says Maraninchi. As a result, Servier was ordered to submit information on all of its medicines to EMA, whether authorized for marketing by EMA itself or by national agencies. EMA eventually concluded that the benefit-risk balance remained positive for Servier’s drugs, but it instructed the company to provide extra product information for some of them, an EMA spokesperson says. AFSSAPS carried out a second inspection in July of this year and will present its findings by the end of this month. On Tuesday, reports in the newspapers Le Figaro and Libération also cast doubts on Servier’s integrity when it applied for regulatory approval for Mediator in 1973. The papers quoted from the court testimony of retired neurosurgeon Jean Charpentier, now 81, who prepared the regulatory file at the time. Charpentier, who started working for Servier in 1968, reportedly told the judges that clinical trials had shown Mediator to be a powerful appetite-suppressant, but that this was downplayed in his report to get Mediator approved as an antidiabetic drug. (Diabetes was “an infinitely more profitable choice” than weight loss for pharmaceutical companies, said Charpentier.) The report also didn’t mention that Mediator is an amphetamine derivative, Charpentier said in his testimony. “The word amphetamine was to be avoided,” he said. Jacques Duhault, 78, a pharmacist who headed the company’s diabetes and obesity lab in the 1960s, told the judges he regretted that Servier didn’t pull Mediator as a precautionary measure in 1999, Libération reported. His studies described the drug as a “powerful appetite suppressant.” In January 1969, he said that the drug, then known by its code name S992, “causes almost total anorexia from the first day.” Servier has dismissed all of the allegations. In press statements, the company has condemned the breach of judicial secrecy over the Mediator testimonies, reaffirmed that it had “deceived neither the health authorities nor patients,” and denied that any of Charpentier’s studies had been tampered with.last_img read more

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Lakers are happy with the hype surrounding rookie Lonzo Ball

first_imgMOST READ It was a rare glimpse of the sense of humor that teammates say is not uncommon when the cameras are off.As for those lofty expectations? Like most everything else, Ball just shrugs and flashes a hint of his confidence.“I think I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ve been playing basketball my whole life and I’m pretty good at it.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Clippers are Griffin’s team more than ever with Paul gone Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim If Lonzo Ball seems to arrive with the trappings of circus, he appears the calm in the center of the storm.“Honestly, Zo is relaxed,” forward Julius Randle said. “Zo is chill. He’s one of the guys. For as much as he has going around him, you would never know.”Ball doesn’t say a lot himself, and what he does say comes out in rapid-fire fashion. Reporters circled around some eight deep Monday at the team’s media day, but Ball appeared to take it in stride.“I’ve been kinda like this my whole life, so I really don’t feel anything to be honest,” he said. “It’s just playing a game, the game I love.”That approach has hardly gone unnoticed by legendary point guard Magic Johnson, now the Lakers’ president of basketball operations.“I told him, he’s just like me,” Johnson said. “When I came here there were a lot of expectations put on my shoulders and the Lakers as an organization. Now I’m his boss, but I’m also his big brother.”When those comments were relayed to Ball, the rookie responded: “More like an uncle. He looks older than my brother.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball poses for a picture during the NBA basketball team’s media day in El Segundo, Calif., Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — He has a Facebook reality show and a family shoe brand. His dad talks big on ESPN. He was the No. 2 overall draft pick and expects to transform one of the NBA’s glamor franchises.Other than that, Lonzo Ball is an ordinary teenager.The 19-year-old guard comes with otherworldly expectations, with the Los Angeles Lakers having fallen on hard times. They hope the local product can help them rejoin the NBA’s elite.ADVERTISEMENT ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claimscenter_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Ball’s journey officially begins Tuesday when the Lakers open training camp, but he appears to have already won over his new teammates during summer workouts.“When you play with a pure point guard like that, it just makes it easier for everyone,” center Brook Lopez said. “He elevates players to a whole other level.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I know it’s going to be great for me, just being on the receiving end of his passes. He’s going to gift-wrap baskets for me. He’s so good at turning other players into impact, amazing players. He’s going to be a transcendent talent.”That has been the plan all along, particularly from his outspoken father LaVar Ball, who almost seemed to will his son’s journey from Chino Hills High School to UCLA to the Lakers. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans View commentslast_img read more

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F1 driver Jenson Button, wife Jessica gassed and robbed

first_imgBurglars may have used anaesthetic gas to rob Formula One driver Jenson Button and his wife Jessica at their rented villa here, a spokesman said on Friday.Valuables worth 300,000 pounds were reportedly stolen. The couple had married in December. It is believed that the two men who stole jewellery, including Jessica’s engagement ring, knocked out the couple with gas pumped in through air conditioning vents during Monday’s break-in, bbc.com reported.The former F1 champion’s spokesperson said the couple was unharmed but everyone was “unsurprisingly shaken”.”Two men broke into the property whilst they all slept and stole a number of items of jewellery including, most upsettingly, Jessica’s engagement ring.”The police have indicated that this has become a growing problem in the region with perpetrators going so far as to gas their proposed victims through the air conditioning units before breaking in.”The 35-year-old Button, who drives for McLaren, is based in Monaco, about 130 km from Saint-Tropez.last_img read more

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Rishabh Pant, Manika Batra roped in to encourage Delhi voters

first_imgRishabh Pant, Manika Batra roped in to encourage Delhi votersSportspersons, Pant and Batra will spread awareness about the upcoming Lok Sabha elections through radio and video messages.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service New DelhiMarch 11, 2019UPDATED: March 11, 2019 17:03 IST File photo of Rishabh Pant (AP Photo)Table Tennis player Manika Batra and cricketer Rishabh Pant have been roped in to encourage voters in the national capital to engage in the parliamentary exercise, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said on Monday.The two sportspersons will spread awareness about the upcoming Lok Sabha elections through radio and video messages, he said in a press conference here.”The sports icons have been roped in to spread awareness among the voters. Our effort will be to increase the total vote percentage this year from last time’s 65.02 percent,” Singh said.This year, there are a total of 1.39 crore voters in the city — 62,35,814 female, 76,61,68 male, and 647 transgender persons, he said.Singh told reporters about the mobile applications like the PwD app and the C-vigil app that people can download to apply for PwD (Persons with Disability) voter cards, report violations of the Model Code of Conduct, among other things.Delhi will go to the polls for its seven seats on May 12. The counting of votes and announcement of the outcome, both, will be done on May 23.Also Read | Shane Warne-like drift makes Kuldeep more dangerous than Chahal: Matthew HaydenAlso Read | India fail to defend 350-plus score for the 1st time in their ODI historyAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Rishabh PantFollow Manika BatraFollow Lok Sabha Elections 2019last_img read more

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SDMC inaugurates second BioMethanisation Plant

first_imgNew Delhi: West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma recently inaugurated SDMC’s Bio Methanisation Plant at Sector 14, Dwarka and congratulated the municipality for making serious efforts to achieve optimum levels of conservation of resources. Verma also announced that the SDMC had decided to set up four such plants, out of which, one has been started in Punjabi Bagh and one had now become functional in Dwarka.The Bio Methanisation Plant is a portable solution for solid waste disposal with a “plug and play” model, which can be shifted to another site at any time and is zero-discharge plant with minimal water-requirement for cleaning. The plant processes biodegradable municipal solid waste to produce electricity, organic manure, and compost. Coming at a cost of Rs 174 lakh and with a daily input capacity of five metric ton biodegradable solid waste, the plant will generate up to 250 kWh electricity, which will be fed to the grid through Net Metering, and up to 75 kg of manure on a daily basis. These plants are expected to come with a number of environmental benefits including a safe and healthy manner of solid waste disposal and reduction of load at SLF sites. They are also likely to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and methane emitted into the atmosphere while transportation to the landfill sites. The plant will also be able to reduce the usage of fossil fuel-generated electricity. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsInaugurating the plant, BJP MP Verma said that waste processing must be a priority and these bio methanisation plants by SDMC will “definitely help” in containing pollution. “It is time to act together and let all agencies work in tandem to make the city clean and green and provide a healthy atmosphere to one and all,” he said. Leader of the House, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, who was also present at the inauguration noted that SDMC has been working vigorously to boost waste processing and that its efforts are not just symbolic but also result-oriented.last_img read more

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Man jumps to death in front of metro train Blue Line services

first_imgNoida (UP): A 22-year-old private security guard allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday morning by jumping before a train at a metro station here, officials said. The man, identified as Sanchit Kumar, jumped before a train at Sector 61 metro station around 11.30 am, a police official said. “Kumar worked as a private security and was a resident of Sector 44, Noida. Other details about his work and cause of the incident are being ascertained,” he said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder A team from the Phase 3 police station reached the spot and further proceedings are underway, the official added. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) confirmed brief disruption of services along the Blue Line. “Delay in services between Akshardham and Noida Electronic City due to a passenger on track at Noida Sector 61,” it said in a tweet. However, the DMRC later tweeted, “Normal services have resumed.” The Blue Line of the metro, which connects Dwarka in Delhi and Noida Electronic City in Noida, witnessed a similar disruption on Sunday morning when a 45-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a train at the Jhandewalan station.last_img read more

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Jake Gyllenhaal To Take Part In Words Of War Benefit

first_imgThe Headstrong Project will host Words of War, a benefit in support of comprehensive mental healthcare for military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, on October 1.Taking part in the event will be Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Edwards, Lili Taylor, David Strathairn, Zach Iscol, Chairman & Executive Director of Headstrong along with many others.This presentation of wartime poetry, literature, theater and letters articulates the exuberance and ideals that drive men and women to war, the thrill and horror of combat, the difficulties of returning home, and the experience of family members worried about their loved one at war. Iconic wartime images will be projected during the presentation.The Headstrong Project has launched a long term project to provide cost-free, stigma-free, and bureaucracy-free mental healthcare to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with care being delivered at Weill Cornell Medical College.This program brings together leading research scientists and clinicians in PTSD to develop a manual, treatment program, curriculum, and certification program to train, develop, implement, and fund a nationwide network of mental healthcare providers who can treat Iraq and Afghanistan veterans especially in rural areas outside the reach of the VA. Concurrently, through partnerships with Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran Service organizations, Headstrong is recruiting veterans and active duty and reserve service members in need to receive care free of charge.WHEN: Wednesday, October 1, 2014WHERE: TRIBECA 36010 Desbrosses St New York, NY 10013TICKETS: Tickets are currently available here.last_img read more

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VicePresident visits KVICs flagship store at CP

first_imgVice President M Venkaiah Naidu, on the occasion of Ugadi (the New Year Day in Andhra Pradesh), visited the flagship store of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) at Connaught Place on April 6.The Vice-President spent around 40 minutes at the Khadi India outlet with his wife M Ushamma and children, and did shopping of different Khadi products. Appreciating Khadi products, the Vice President said: “I applaud KVIC for its efforts to preserve legacy of Mahatma and protect the tradition of the fabric. It is heartening to note its endeavors in rebranding Khadi which has successfully captured the imagination of India’s youth. I wish KVIC all the very best for its future endeavors.” Earlier, Naidu was received and welcomed by KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena – who acquainted him about the growth and innovations in Khadi in the last five years. The Vice President and his wife also paid flowery tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the store in New Delhi.last_img read more

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El Clasico 2017 Real Madrid to Play Barcelona at the Bernabeu

Rabat – Following a number of matches during the La Liga championship, time has come for its giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, to clash on April 23,at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.Real Madrid defeated Sporting Gijon with a 3-2 victory on April 15 , at El Molinon stadium, while Barcelona beat out Real Sociedad with a 3-2 victory at the Camp Nou Stadium at the same day.Real Madrid is the first-placed team at La Liga’s table with 75 points, with the Catalans three points behind. Both teams might play without some of their major players. Real Madrid’s lineup might miss Gareth Bale, Pepe and Rapahel Varane, whose injuries could get worse if they participate in Sunday’s game.For Barcelona, the forward footballer Neymar was suspended after being red-carded during their game with Malaga. The suspended player will be also out of El Clasico selection.Rafael Alcantara, known as Rafinha, and Aleix Vidal are also out of the game.La Liga’s giants are preparing for this head-to-head, aiming to raise their respective positions on the classification chart. read more

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Video Moroccan Woman Mourning Pet Cat Gets Laughed at Online

Rabat- New videos have circulated on social media lately of a saddened woman calling for the punishment of a veterinarian who killed her pet cat. Many Moroccan people mocked the woman online and called her “crazy.”Some people share strong bonds with animals, namely pets. The lady in the videos is one of them.She posted two videos online to share her story about her cat’s death at the hands of an inexperienced veterinarian. On the first video she said that her cat suffered the inability to urinate and when she took it to the vet, he said that it suffered from a cyst in the abdomen.When the vet operated on the cat he could not find a cyst and when the woman and her daughter called him, he said that the pet had died from an hemorrhage:“We kept calling him, but he kept always hanging up on us…this man is a murderer! whoever has a cat and an ounce of humanity, share this video, to expose him. I want him to be punished,” she said on the verge of tears.In the second video, recorded near the vet’s office, the woman and her daughter seemed near to an emotional breakdown: “I handed him the cat safe and sound and he killed her,” the woman screamed while her daughter wept.Meanwhile social media users could almost be seen shaking their heads at the videos:“She’s complaining about the vet killing her cat…I thought he killed her mother or some family members…This [woman] is over the top.”;Another Facebook user commented on the video:”Have you held a funeral yet? Just bring four priests to pray for her. May she rest in peace, she was good to other cats.”Others expressed understanding and sympathy with the woman: “This is the best example of humanity,” one commenter wrote. read more

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Ban urges political reconciliation amid reported air strikes in Myanmars Kachin state

“While details of these reports are still emerging and being closely followed, the Secretary-General calls upon the Myanmar authorities to desist from any action that could endanger the lives of civilians living in the area or further intensify the conflict in the region,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.“The ongoing hostilities have already caused large-scale displacement of civilians who continue to be in need of humanitarian assistance,” the statement added. “It is vital that timely access be provided for the delivery of aid to vulnerable communities.” Some 75,000 people were displaced in the northern states of Kachin and Shan since fighting began in June 2011 between Government troops and rebels. During her visit to Myanmar last month, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, discussed with President Thein Sein her concern about the lack of humanitarian access in parts of Kachin, particularly with the onset of winter. In today’s statement, Mr. Ban also urged all concerned parties to work toward political reconciliation in order to build the basis for “a fair and durable outcome for all.” read more

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Urgent scaleup in funding needed to stave off famine in Somalia UN

The situation for children is especially grave. Some 363,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of critical nutrition support, including life-saving treatment for more than 71,000 severely malnourished children.The levels of suffering in the country, triggered by protracted conflict, seasonal shocks and disease outbreaks, are typically hard to bear, but the impact of this drought represents a threat of a different scale and magnitude.“The situation we are starting to see today in many rural areas, particularly Bay, Puntland, is starting to look worryingly like the run-up to famine in 2010-2011,” said Richard Trenchard, the FAO Representative for Somalia.“Labour prices are collapsing; local food prices are rising; food availability is becoming patchy; animal deaths are increasing; and malnutrition rates are rising, especially among children. Together, these are all signs that we are entering a phase that can lead to catastrophe.” “This is the time to act to prevent another famine in Somalia,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, during the launch of the latest food security and nutrition data in the nation’s capital, Mogadishu. Somalia experienced the worst famine of the twenty-first century in 2011, with the loss of more than a quarter million lives.“If we do not scale up the drought response immediately, it will cost lives, further destroy livelihoods, and could undermine the pursuit of key State-building and peacebuilding initiatives,” he warned, adding that a drought – even one this severe – does not automatically have to mean catastrophe “if we can respond early enough with timely support from the international community.”If we do not scale up the drought response immediately, it will cost lives, further destroy livelihoods, and could undermine the pursuit of key State-building and peacebuilding initiativesAccording to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Somalia is in the grip of an intense drought, induced by two consecutive seasons of poor rainfall. In the worst affected areas, inadequate rainfall and lack of water has wiped out crops and killed livestock, while communities are being forced to sell their assets, and borrow food and money to survive.The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) – managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – have found that over 6.2 million, or more than half of the country’s population, are now in need of assistance, up from five million in September. This includes a drastic increase in the number of people in “crisis” and “emergency” situations from 1.1 million six months ago to a projected three million between February and June this year. Another distressed Somali family made destitute by drought, arrives in Doolow, a southern town near the border with Ethiopia, hoping to find food, water and aid. Photo: UNICEF Somalia read more

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The Hawks Have A Better Shot At Stopping The Cavs This Time

Until they met up with the Cleveland Cavaliers in last year’s playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks had been enjoying a banner 2014-15 campaign. The team won a franchise-record 60 games during the regular season, and made its way to the conference finals for the first time ever. Then LeBron James and the Cavs dismantled the Hawks in a lopsided series sweep. Now Cleveland is in Atlanta’s path again, with the teams’ second-round series beginning Monday night, and we have to ask: Is there any reason to expect anything different?Broadly speaking, things don’t look good for the Hawks. Since the NBA expanded its playoff structure to eight teams in 1967, there have been 141 instances of teams facing off in the postseason two years in a row,1Not including this year’s Hawks-Cavs rematch. and the previous year’s loser has won the rematch only about 41 percent of the time. Teams that were swept flipped the script only about 30 percent of the time, versus a 44 percent success rate for teams that avoided the brooms. And if the previous year’s loser doesn’t have home-court advantage — which, unlike last season, the Hawks won’t — it tends to win just 30 percent of the time, compared with 62 percent for teams that lost the year before but came to the rematch armed with a home-court edge.Statistically, though, the Hawks are hotter on the Cavaliers’ heels now than when the two clubs faced off last season. Going into Game 1 of their series a year ago, our Elo ratings — which estimate a team’s “form” at any given moment based on its wins, scoring margin and strength of schedule — considered Atlanta to be about 2.3 points per game worse than Cleveland. Now, Elo thinks the Hawks have sliced that difference down to about 1.3 points per game in the Cavs’ favor.But although Atlanta has shrunk the gap, it hasn’t erased it completely — and, historically, that’s been an important distinction for previous-year losers trying to flip things around in the rematch. Teams who trailed in Elo and lost one year, but managed to surpass their opponent in rating before they met in the playoffs again, won the rematch 54 percent of the time. Teams who lost the first time around and failed to pass their opponent’s Elo in the intervening year — even if they, like the Hawks, reduced the gap between the teams — got their revenge only 23 percent of the time.2Weirdly, teams that saw their Elo deficit widen actually won more rematches (27 percent) than teams who narrowed the Elo gap but failed to pull ahead (19 percent), although that difference is probably just noise.So the big-picture indicators say the Cavs are relatively strong favorites to win again. But then, you probably knew that. According to Elo, the Cavs have a 67 percent probability of winning the rematch — though just an 8 percent chance of another sweep — and none of the factors above provide much reason to think Atlanta will be able to defy Elo and tell a different tale against Cleveland this time around.Stylistically, though, the Hawks have changed quite a bit since last season. During the 2014-15 season, Atlanta was an evenly balanced machine — sixth-ranked in both offensive and defensive efficiency.3i.e., points scored and allowed per 100 possessions. This year’s Hawks have struggled on offense, ranking in the bottom 10, but they propelled themselves to a four-seed with lockdown defense, holding teams to just 101.4 points per 100 possessions. That was good for second best in the league, trailing only the Spurs.If the Hawks are to upend the odds and beat the Cavs, that defense is going to have to do something special, particularly against James. In the sweep over Atlanta last year, James nearly averaged a triple-double — 30 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. And the Hawks have a new wrench to throw at LeBron: Thabo Sefolosha, who was absent for last year’s series after suffering a broken leg in a confrontation with police in New York City. In 74 possessions where Sefolosha was matched up with James, he held him to 22 points per 100 team possessions, the third lowest among players with at least 50 matchups against LeBron. (Granted, the Cavs as a team generated 1.19 points per chance against Atlanta with Sefolosha and James on the floor, versus 0.82 with the former not on the floor, but by definition, much of that damage came from players other than James.)However, Sefolosha is just one player. Kent Bazemore is also likely to get the pleasure of going against LeBron, and that hasn’t gone as well this year. James torched Bazemore for 38 points per 100 team possessions, and he shot more than 20 percentage points better than expected — according to SportVU data that estimates shot difficulty using distance and defender location, among other variables — when checked by Bazemore.4Only one unlucky defender (Jerami Grant) gave up a higher differential to LeBron. Paul Millsap, the Hawks’ best player, is another — arguably better — option against LeBron, but the Hawks have used it very sparingly this year. Millsap covered LeBron on 20 matchups this season, down 74 percent from last year.This year’s Hawks defense is much more stout than last year’s, but the Cavs still have the ultimate trump card: LeBron. And until the Hawks have an answer for him, be it one defender or many, it’s unlikely Atlanta can overcome the historical odds and get its revenge this time around.Check out our latest NBA playoff predictions. read more

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Powering remote mines

first_imgMohammad Sedighy,  Hatch‘s Principal Consultant, Electrotechnologies, notes the global estimate of 1.7 billion people living off-grid without any links to power utility systems of transmission lines and power stations. “In the developing world, a large number of such communities lack access to electricity altogether. And in some others, the electricity is generated locally. But the issue of access to power is not limited to developing countries. In Canada alone, there are nearly 300 remote communities that fit the description.“For these communities, being off-grid is often not a choice. They are often too small, too remote, or surrounded by water, making grid connection infrastructure uneconomical to build. These challenges don’t just impact remote residential communities. There are many off-grid industrial facilities, such as remote mines, that also do not have access to power utility systems and so must generate their own electricity. In the majority of these cases, diesel gensets are the only source for on-site power generation. “Using diesel gensets means that these locations have to rely on costly diesel fuel, transported long distances. While the price of fuel has dropped from the highs of 2014, the future of prices remains uncertain. And cost is just one consideration. Transporting fuel is a potential threat to the delicate environments that often surround these locations. Furthermore, greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change—serious issues the world needs to address now—are directly related to the use of fossil fuels like diesel. “A significant reduction in fuel usage for power generation can be achieved by integrating renewable power into a remote power grid, forming a hybrid power system, also called a renewable microgrid. “Past attempts to incorporate renewable energy at meaningful penetration levels at these remote sites have proved challenging. Renewable power used to be expensive, and many early projects weren’t able to compete with diesel power on cost. The continuity of supply was an issue due to weather dependency and the variability of the renewable power generation itself. In addition, reliable and reasonably priced energy storage technologies and dynamic power management systems were not widely available. “This is quickly starting to change. Hybrid power is on the cusp of making major leaps, thanks to falling costs of renewable energy, the maturity of several forms of energy storage technologies, and the advancement of smart, real-time dynamic control systems. We can now better integrate renewable energy into remote power grids through the improved performance and control of microgrids, with optimal sizing and use of energy storage. In many cases, over a power plant’s lifetime, the levelized cost of the electricity generated by hybrid power systems is becoming lower than the cost of the diesel-generated power. “While the economic and environmental benefits are obvious, the social implications are even more remarkable. Besides local job creation for operation and maintenance of the microgrid facilities, these remote and island communities could free-up funding that was typically spent on energy consumption—mostly fossil fuel consumption—and invest in better infrastructure, schools, and recreational facilities. “Hatch has developed a microgrid control system (HµGrid) that handles the energy management and power-flow control of renewable microgrids. Based on advanced optimization techniques, HµGrid uses intelligent, real-time software to monitor and manage the microgrid on a short- and long-term basis. This maximizes the use of the renewable power source, minimizes the consumption of diesel fuel, and enables the most efficient use of the energy storage system and power generation assets. It also helps improve the quality and reliability of the energy supply by compensating for variability in the renewable resource, reducing power outages and brown-outs. “We have recently implemented a renewable microgrid incorporating HµGrid at a remote mine site near the Arctic Circle to much success. Renewable microgrid applications have the potential for a dramatic impact on remote mining, where fuel costs make up approximately 20% of operation costs or even more.”The people behind that development have been nominated for induction into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame.“Hybrid power solutions enabled by smart, renewable and energy storage integration are gateways to an increased quality-of-life for remote and island communities and sustainable economic growth on a global scale.”last_img read more

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Big law taxes and everything else happening in Leinster House today

first_imgDáil: Finance Bill – On the first day of the new timings for Dáil sittings, TDs will begin debate on the Finance Bill – which outlines most of the taxation measures announced in the Budget – at 10.45am. After adjourning for other matters at midday debate will resume at 3.34pm. WHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, TheJournal.ie brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…3 things we’ll be keeping an eye on Dáil: Leaders’ Questions – Those others matters include Taoiseach Enda Kenny taking questions from opposition leaders at the all-new time of midday.Seanad: Allowances – Brendan Howlin takes the unusual step of introducing the bill to cut the party leaders’ allowance and abolish ministerial severance payments in the Seanad and not the Dáil at 11.45am.Everything else that’s happening in the DáilTDs begin their day bright and early at 9.30am as Alan Shatter, in his role as Defence Minister, takes questions on that particular portfolio.After the Finance Bill and Leaders’ Questions, the Order of Business gets under way at 12.21pm or thereabouts followed by statements on the recent European Council meeting.After lunch TDs debate Topical Issues of the day at 2.46pm followed by further debate on the Finance Bill.The debate on Luke Ming Flanagan’s cannabis motion resumes at 7.30pm before a vote is called and the Dáil adjourns at 9pm.Everything else that’s happening in the SeanadSenators begin their day at 10.30am with the Order of Business.After debate on the allowances legislation, the bill which enshrines the social welfare cuts announced in the budget – the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill – will continue to be discussed at 2pm.Then there are Matters on the Adjournment before the upper house itself adjourns for the day.Everything else that’s happening in the CommitteesThe Transport Committee meets in Committee Room 2 at 9.30am to discuss a number of EU legislative proposals including one on the maximum authorised weights and dimensions in national and international traffic with the Irish Road Haulage Association and Freight Transport Association,The Jobs Committee resumes discussion of the largest piece of legislation in the State’s history – the Companies Bill – at 10am in Committee Room 4.The Education Committee discusses the youth guarantee with various youth groups at 1pm in Committee Room 3. The Foreign Affairs Committee meets with officials from the Department to discuss Ireland’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council from this year until 2015 in Committee Room 1 at 2.30pm and then discusses a motion on approving the Arms Trade Treaty with the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore at 5pm.The Justice Committee meets in Committee Room 2 at 2pm to discuss Dáil and Seanad motions on two EU directives.The Public Oversight and Petitions Committee meets to consider petitions it has received in recent weeks, including the campaign to save Kilmainham Mill and the alleged theft, fraud and illegal sale of dissolved companies’ assets, at 4.45pm in Committee Room 3.Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House todayDáil ÉireannSeanad ÉireannCommittee Room 1Committee Room 2Committee Room 3Committee Room 4To access streams on iOS, click herecenter_img Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie’s Politics page?Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?last_img read more

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Ben Chilwell Harry Maguire will not leave in January

first_imgLeicester City defender Ben Chilwell is confident that teammate Harry Maguire will not be leaving in the January transfer window.Harry Maguire was heavily linked with Manchester United before the transfer window closed on Thursday.Manchester United are not planning to give up in their bid to sign the 25-year-old. They will try again when the winter window opens in early 2019.According to Sports Mole, teammate Ben Chilwell has insisted that Harry Maguire will remain at the club for the entire 2018-19 season.Both players were on the field on Friday night as Leicester lost to Manchester United at Old Trafford, and Ben Chilwell also praised his teammate’s performance.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“It is very good to have Harry back. We all know what Harry is capable of, we all know how good he is. He could have come here today (Friday) and his head could have been all over the place, but he did brilliantly,” Ben Chilwell told ESPN FC.“He is a Leicester player, he wants to play for Leicester. He has made that clear to all of us. He is going to be here for the whole season. He is going to be good for us.”“We saw that again tonight (Friday), how good a player he is. We are all happy that he has stayed.”Maguire has yet to miss a Premier League match for Leicester City since he joined them in June 2017 from Hull City.last_img read more

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KRSA Holding Public Forum On Critical Fisheries Issues In Alaska

first_imgRicky Gease, Executive Director, Kenai River Sportfishing Association: “It will feature the Keynote Address from the Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, Chris Oliver, that’s the top fisheries position in the federal government. Chris is going to talk about some issues with federal funding for fisheries research and the challenges that are faced for sustainable funding for such research. Research and database management are the backbone of a sustainable fishery and it’s important that it’s addressed, and that’s what he will talk about.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai River Sportfishing Association will be hosting the ‘Classic Roundtable on Fisheries’ on Wednesday, August 22. There will be keynote speaker and panelists to address how fiscal, social, and ecological changes are impacting the ability to research, conserve and allocate fishery resources. Gease: “Senator Micciche is going to talk about his bill for a voluntary set net buy back program in the Cook Inlet.” center_img The panels will be made up of representatives from State of Alaska Salmon and People, Kenai River Sportfishing Association, and Senator Peter Micciche. The event is entirely open to the public and will take place at the Kenai Peninsula College, in Room 102, from 1:30 – 4:00pm.last_img read more

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Streaming Controversy Can We Really Trust The Reported Numbers

first_imgNews With recent accusations being leveled at some streaming services over the accuracy of their subscriber and play count numbers, here’s a look at how services are keeping their facts straightBrian HaackGRAMMYs Sep 26, 2017 – 12:51 pm It’s been another banner year for music streaming services — in fact, Nielsen estimates that 2017 has seen music streaming usage increase 76 percent year-over-year. But what if these robust streaming numbers aren’t exactly accurate? Would we even know if the system has been manipulated?For starters, let’s take a look at how the likes of the RIAA and Nielsen and charting services like Billboard calculate streaming numbers. In the modern era of digital music streaming, the dated way of ranking the Billboard 200 by physical album sales alone doesn’t really work anymore. By this time of the year in 2014, not one single artist had achieved a platinum-selling album for that year, though both Taylor Swift’s 1989 and the soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen would both clear 1 million units sold by year’s end.This drop-off in sales prompted Billboard to begin ranking chart placement in late 2014 using Nielsen’s new “album equivalent unit” instead of physical record sales alone. With this new methodology, 10 individual track sales, one full album sale, or 1,500 on-demand streams from a single album are all weighted equally when ranking the Billboard 200.However, with this new era of counting streams come new complications and new concerns from artists and industry professionals alike. In recent months, there have been accusations made by foreign publications and also directly from artists, claiming that streaming counts and subscriber numbers are being artificially inflated or otherwise manipulated.Speaking to Forbes, Antonis Karalis, product architect and co-founder of tech company HPCmusic, was quick to point out that streaming services do far more than simply track and report the raw streaming numbers.”They use statistical processes for estimating the relationships among different variables like users’ behavior,” Karalis explains. “These models are really accurate … the confidence level that the industry operates on identifying manipulation is above 90%.”However, Jordan Mendler, president and CTO of The Veloz Group, was less confident. “A company like Spotify can track user behavior and user agents to assess if a given user is a real person or a bot,” said Mendler. “[But] it would be fairly easy to manipulate the system simply by emulating the behavior of a real user.”So what does this all mean for the industry and the reliability of streaming numbers?Forbes also spoke to Eric Holt, assistant professor of music business at Belmont University, one of the country’s top music schools. Holt instead laid the impetus not on the streaming services themselves to spot fake listeners accounts, but rather at the feet of the charting services like Nielsen and Billboard to acknowledge that streaming is here to stay, and it’s time to update their counting algorithms.”Possible stream manipulation aside,” he said, “it only makes sense to me that in order to remain relevant Billboard has to create better-measuring tools to fit the current and future music industry realities rather than running to keep up with them after the fact.”Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow,” Foo Fighters Net Billboard No. 1sRead more Streaming ‘Controversy’: Can We Really Trust The Reported Numbers? Email Facebook Twitter How Do We Keep Music Streaming Numbers Honest? streaming-controversy-can-we-really-trust-reported-numberslast_img read more

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Meghan Markle struggling to cope with Royal life and constant criticism

first_imgMeghan MarkleThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex Official Instagram (sussexroyal)The pressures of being a Royal may finally be getting to Meghan Markle. She has been putting on a brave face for the public but the constant criticism may be effecting the Duchess of Sussex after all.The initial struggle of an adjustment could be blamed on the fish out of water situation Meghan found herself in. She was a Hollywood celebrity, but still a commoner. Her initial days as a Royal may have been a struggle, but it has been almost a year since she joined the Royal Family. And Meghan still seems to be finding her footing when it comes to being a Royal. But royal expert Victoria Arbiter believes that Meghan and husband Prince Harry’s new son Archie could help transform her life with the Royal Family. She wrote that “babies are a great leveller”, which could help change what one royal insider has described as an “isolated existence.” That may be true, but Meghan’s behavior when it comes to baby Archie has added to her supposed isolation. The Duchess of Sussex has gone out of her way to protect baby Archie’s privacy as an extension of her own. Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesMeghan Markle has been alienating the press and the public with her antics and her demands for privacy even when she is at a public event like Wimbledon. It is known that Meghan is fiercely protective of her privacy and she is known to flout Royal traditions and protocol to suit her needs. If Meghan wants to have an easier life as a Royal she needs to meet the Royal Palace at least half-way, instead of moving out to Frogmore Cottage.last_img read more

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Houston First Tightens Belt To Pay Off Harvey Damage

first_img 00:00 /00:49 Houston First TheatersVentilation machines remove moisture from the Wortham Theater Center, which flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The venue is home to numerous performing arts groups, such as the Houston Ballet.More than a year after Harvey, the corporation that manages Houston’s arts, entertainment, and convention complexes is making steady progress repairing the city’s flooded theater district. But Houston First won’t recover from the economic hit until well into the next decade, according to its latest presentation to Houston City Council’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee.Chief financial officer Frank Wilson said “Harvey will continue to provide [a] fiscal challenge for the next five to seven years,” as the organization completes the repairs and pays down its debts. The organization repaired enough of the Wortham Center to reopen it in time for the 2018-2019 season, but renovations are still underway. In addition, work on downtown parking garages is only about half done.Houston First will finish 2018 with a balanced budget, and it’s projecting another in 2019. But president and CEO Brenda Bazan says getting there was no easy task, as damage estimates from Harvey rose throughout the year.“Today that estimate is $153 million for the facilities that we manage,” Bazan said. “To put that in perspective, the total operating budget for all of our facilities for 2019 is $95 million.” Closing the gap used up almost all of Houston First’s reserves. “We must accept the reality that Houston First’s ability to make significant investments in the foreseeable future has been severely curtailed.”Curtailed, but not shut off. The corporation is still drawing healthy income from hotel occupancy taxes and strong convention bookings. It’s set to spend $37 million for renovations at the Hilton Americas. Share X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listenlast_img read more

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