Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards were about more than the stars

first_img Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Facebook BY BRAD WHEELER At the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards gala on Thursday in the grand ballroom of Toronto’s Sheraton Centre Hotel, the stars received attention, but the industry underlings and machinery had moments too.So while Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush were on hand to receive the 2017 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award, and Jann Arden, 54-40 and promoter Arthur Fogel were in attendance as inductees to the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, lesser known figures and institutions were winners too. Among them: The Toronto Star’s Ben Rayner (music journalist), Warner Music Canada’s Steve Waxman (publicist), Dine Alone Records (independent label), Toronto’s Sonic Boom (independent record store), Kelowna, B.C.’s 99.9 Sun FM (radio station) and Toronto’s Massey Hall and Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre (performing arts venues).The ceremony was part of Canadian Music week, which continues to April 23.last_img read more

CSK falling behind in powerplay Stephen Fleming

first_imgChennai: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming rues the fact that his team has not been able to make full use of the powerplays and score at a brisk rate in the first six overs in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In Qualifier 1 against Mumbai Indians, Chennai made an awful start as they managed to post 32/3 in the powerplay overs on a slow-turning Chepauk Stadium, here on Tuesday. Even in the previous games of this season, CSK were not able to make optimum use of the powerplay overs. They have averaged about 37 runs in the first six overs, managing to score in excess of 50 on just two occasions. Shane Watson, who was in tremendous form in 2018 (555 runs at a strike rate of 154.59), has not been able to deliver this year in the way CSK would have wanted. He has scored 268 runs at a strike rate of 121.26, including 11 dismissals in the powerplays. His opening partner Faf du Plessis has had a mixed IPL 2019, scoring 320 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 118.95. Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayadu have scored 364 and 261 runs at strike rates of 126 and 93.54, respectively. Only MS Dhoni has been able to score at a brisk rate, amassing 405 runs in 13 matches at a strike rate of 135, which is low compared to his standards. “Yeah it [pacing the innings] is tough. There’s the problem we’re finding – we’re so far behind in the powerplays. We’re doing things right from overs 6 to 20, the run rate today I think was 7 and [then] 10 [in the last six overs]. We’re getting the right runs there, [but] we are just finding ourselves behind in the powerplays,” said Fleming at the post-match presser. Fleming believes a score of 40 or more would be more than sufficient in order to set up a competitive totals on slow and sluggish wickets like that of Chennai. “You run the risk if we over-attacked in the middle in those conditions, you can find yourself bowled out for 100. So you have got to have an element of safety. By the time you get that, it’s around about 14 overs, from there we were able to go at 10 an over [CSK scored at 8-an-over in the last six overs] which got us through to a competitive score,” Fleming insisted. “But we need to have more balance in the first six..around 40 would be nice. That may get you to a score of 150-160 which can be a match-winning score. We’re just falling behind at different stages but it’s the first six that’s holding us back when we lose wickets. Maybe in case we just throw the shackles off and have a crack in the next game, and see if we can just get ourselves into form and confidence,” he added. Chennai will get another shot at the title clash as they will face the winner of the Eliminator between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2 on Friday.last_img read more


first_imgThe fall of Vidyasagar’s bust was not merely a consequence of political vendetta – it was the peak of weeks-long, ruthless muscle-flexing that has been attacking the sensibilities symbolised by the bust and indeed represented by the rest of Bengal. 17 rallies were held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi across Bengal, unprecedented for a prime minister, while 18 were held by BJP chief Amit Shah – the desperation to snatch West Bengal from chief minister Mamata Banerjee seems all so real. While always politically relevant, Bengal has never attracted the lotus’s attention as today. The incessant throw of jibes, circulation of rumours and sporadic instances of violence have irked the ordinary Bengali voter, for whom dark days of democracy had been pushed to the past with the quiet resignation of CPIM. But why Bengal – when all 29 states of the country are preparing for the same Lok Sabha polls, why has Bengal grabbed attention unlike any other? The answer lays hidden in thin layers of insecurity carefully concealed behind a facade of empty political rhetoric. BJP is losing ground in its bastions and the prospects of Bengal makes it all too greedy. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat, states that had contributed almost all their seats to BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, today show signs of apprehension. In fact, every state that has endured the bitter aftertaste of BJP’s fundamentalist rule is jittery to have the saffron party back at Centre. Bengal then presents a most lucrative opportunity with no memory of harsh communal administration. Incidentally, Bengal also contributes the third highest number of members to the Lok Sabha (42) and currently presents a most ripe political vacuum in the absence of any opposition to Mamata Banerjee’s solo show. For the power hungry, this culmination of reason and opportunity makes Bengal irresistible. Saffron is the new red Decimated in 2011 by Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC), CPIM vanished. Suddenly, from being the blood that flowed through the veins of every Bengali, they were invisible ashes on a set horizon. But, not entirely. They were still lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce on their target – a woman from the streets who had refused to succumb to their masculine authority. CPIM workers harnessed deep vendetta for Banerjee and today, they are flocking to BJP ‘to teach her a lesson’. While many communist workers left the party, the more ambitious still craved political relevance. BJP, known to never miss an opportunity at manipulation, came to their rescue. Today, Khagen Murmu, a sitting CPIM MLA, is contesting for BJP from Malda North constituency, while several other constituencies including Cooch Behar, Alipur Duar, Raiganj, will see CPIM workers voting in favour of BJP to defeat Banerjee, their one true enemy. Last week, former Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar spoke out, requesting CPIM workers to not sway towards BJP, but it seemed all too feeble all too late. While BJP has come to hopeless CPIM workers’ rescue, they have duly paid back their favour. BJP was facing a severe shortage of candidates to assign across 42 seats and booth workers too were virtually amiss. Those that came to the party lacked ideological inclination or discipline that was once central to karsevaks. This was visible in their dwindling performance too; while in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls BJP managed 17 per cent votes, in the 2016 assembly polls, their share fell to 10 per cent. But now, CPIM workers have come to aid them across districts, courting earlier communist sympathisers towards the communal camp. BJP provided them succour as they became its silver living in an otherwise cloudy Bengal sky. Propaganda politics BJP’s Bengal Bachao Andolan relies entirely on a triangle of repeating falsehoods, inciting sporadic violence and luring people, whether workers or voters, with copious amounts of money. “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it and even you will come to believe it yourself,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, an ideology practised widely by him and his closest aide, Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels has found a friend in our ruling Centre today that has quickly abandoned its Bapu-fanaticism in perhaps its most exhaustive scope. Carrying Gandhi’s symbolic glasses in a cleanliness campaign is far less relevant than adopting his political philosophies that were so very evolved even for today’s time. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah do not believe so. They believe in Goebbels and have well-appropriated him across their Bengal campaign to malign Banerjee, her governance and her purported clasp on Hindu practices. “Durga Puja is now in danger due to Didi’s appeasement politics,” Narendra Modi bellowed in Midnapore, not realising that this one statement of provocation would prove quite costly. Unlike the rest of the country, Bengalis are not a believing lot. Early recipients of the Renaissance, Bengalis question what they are told, fight for they believe and choose their ideologies without fear of persecution. Durga Puja, to the contrary, has been Banerjee’s weapon to connect with Bengal, empowering local communities with cash compensation, supporting their puja festivities and organising a grand carnival that witnesses guests from across the globe. Durga Puja is today an internationally-recognised event and only a most irrational leader would think of thwarting its essence in Bengal, Ma Durga’s home. And, Banerjee is no fool. Modi’s lie was shamed when Mamata addressed her rally, asking, “Now, tell me mothers & sisters, do we have Durga Puja or not?” Crowd: We do! “Does anyone stop you from celebrating Durga Puja?” Crowd: No! “Louder, does Durga Puja take place here?” Crowd (in roars): Yes! “Saraswati Puja?” Crowd: Yes! “Boro din (Christmas)?” Crowd: Yes! “Ramzan?” Crowd: Yes! “Chhath Puja?” Crowd: Yes! “But there’s only one thing that doesn’t happen here – Modi. Modi hoy na… BJP hoy na, mithya hoy na, kutsha hoy na.” (Modi, BJP, lies and character assassination don’t happen here) Goebbels’s propaganda was defeated by a woman from the streets – who has risen from the ranks, fought against brutal communist rule and overthrown a 34-year-old regime to occupy the chief ministerial seat with conviction – and her faith in the power of Gandhian truth (the one so voraciously preached but never practised by our saffronists). Blood for blood “Even Kashmir has less violence than Bengal,” Narendra Modi roared again, pointing a stout finger at Banerjee without noticing the four more pointing right back at him. Unsurprisingly, until BJP was lured by Bengal’s prospects, the state witnessed relative calm. In fact, the Election Commission (EC), by now sharing an uncanny resemblance with Mahabharat’s Gandhari, has been compelled to file an FIR against two BJP candidates – Babul Supriyo and Arjun Singh. Imagine what they must have done for EC to finally take a brave peek outside the darkness of its blindfold. Arjun Singh, earlier TMC leader and now Ram-bhakt, had been accused of spreading hooliganism with a section of CISF personnel who were later replaced by EC in view of their actions. Even more surprising is the case of Tripura where two seats have witnessed unparalleled violence and re-polls have been ordered across 168 booths, 10 per cent of the pool. Here, booths were ransacked, CCTV cameras were broken and an Election Commission officer was suspended. The extent of false polling was appalling even for EC, which ordered a re-poll to only meet the same fate again. But, in Bengal, despite the widely popularised violence, polling has been reordered in only six booths, 0.014 per cent of the total. That elections were ordered across seven phases in Bengal and over 800 companies of central forces were deployed to the state indicate that violence was expected and for that, the state police machinery needed to be crippled. In fact, it was a most integral part of the Bengal Bachao Andolan led by messiah Modi and saviour Shah. Violence has been their weapon – whether in Gujarat in 2002 or across Alwar, Una, Assam, Kerala through 2014-2018 or in Bengal in 2019. Communally yours Bengal has never allowed communally polarisation. BJP has naturally failed miserably here with its vote bank largely comprising migrant traders. It held two municipal seats in Burrabazar but that too received a jolt when its leader Shantilal Jain joined TMC. This desperation of losing existing ground in Bengal while also being threatened by the collapse of traditional bastions elsewhere convinced BJP that an aggressive campaign was the most potent means of making inroads into the state. For this, virulent social media campaigns have been conducted focusing mostly on spreading lies about Mamata’s purported Muslim appeasement and sheltering of goons. With close to 30 per cent Muslims in the state, Banerjee as chief minister has ensured that her policies reach the most marginalised, whether in providing food grain subsidies, access to resources or education to the girl child. What BJP terms as appeasement is indeed equanimity in the distribution of state resources. When BJP says that Banerjee appeases Muslims, it indeed questions why Banerjee provides resources to Muslims who, for BJP, are not ‘Indian’ enough to gain access to the realm’s means. BJP fails to realise that the Bengal brand of Hinduism is distinct from its cow-belt counterpart. Here, Gods eat meat and encourage people to consume meat. In fact, second-generation Gujaratis and Marwaris living in Bengal too enjoy the cosmopolitan eating habits of the state, relishing their occasional chicken cutlet and fish kobiraji. In UP, MP, Bihar and other Hindi heartland states, the idea of a vegetarian Ram may sell, but Bengalis would sacrifice little for their fish-eating Saraswati and meat-eating Kali. Money, media & mandate The dubious electoral bonds scheme has benefitted BJP unlike any other. Today, in terms of finance, it stands several heads above the rest. And, money is power. BJP has engaged in a vulgar distribution of money with the booth president of each booth receiving Rs 2 lakh in cash. Further, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s assistant was caught with Rs 1 crore cash in Asansol railway station while Ghatal candidate Bharti Ghosh was caught with over Rs 1 lakh. Funnily, the supporters who today rally with BJP largely do not belong to the state. They have been brought from outside with apt training in inciting violence and absolutely no love for the state’s heritage. Case in point – Tajinder Singh Bagga, who was caught during the Vidyasagar violence and had jumped to fame in 2011 after brutalising lawyer Prashant Bhushan’s office and slapping him in the name of ‘nationalism’. That’s not all, the chowkidars of our nation, including Sunil Deodhar and Hemanta Biswa Sarma, have booked numerous rooms at the luxurious five-star Taj Bengal to escape the heat of this poll season and perhaps guard their citizens with greater efficiency. Media, the other propeller of BJP’s wings, has also had its fair share of the Bengal cake. Several BJP sympathising journalists have been flown in from Delhi to write ‘ground reports’ that are in the least grounded. Rarely stepping out of their comfort, the journalists enjoy BJP’s luxury while publishing well-edited reports to further distort the narrative on national media. The attack has not evaded bureaucracy either. Former police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, already harassed by BJP, was transferred to the Home Ministry by Election Commission immediately after violence following Amit Shah’s rally on May 14. Further, former police commissioner Anuj Sharma, who served in the intermediary period after Kumar’s term ended earlier this year, was also transferred at the beginning of the elections and replaced by Dr Rajesh Kumar, former Officer on Special Duty to then UPA minister of railways from TMC and now poster boy of BJP in Bengal, Mukul Roy. Narendra Modi has emphasised with disdain that Mamata Banerjee shields goons, no doubt her party and parties across India harness politicians who aren’t particularly known for their clean slates. But, acting on its propaganda of manufacturing towering lies, BJP continues to accuse Mamata of ‘goondaraj’ while quietly purchasing her most aggressive leaders from the sidelines. Arjun Singh, Shankhudeb Panda, Anupam Hazra, Saumitra Khan are only a few examples of Mamata’s most passionate ‘goons’ who are now respected ‘bhadraloks’ adorning a saffron scarf. The tales of lies, harassment and horse-trading are exhausting. This week Vidyasagar’s bust fell – but let us only lament and learn. Bengal mustn’t succumb to communal forces that are beneath the dignity of emancipation envisaged in this state of Renaissance, intellectual ignition and active dissent. Amit Shah claimed that BJP will win 23 seats in Bengal – people of the state, including party workers, are apprehensive. In the absence of ground support, Shah has perhaps rightfully reposed his faith on the ever-so-elusive EVM. (The views expressed are personal)last_img read more

Bellerin happy with win

first_imgArsenal defender Hector Bellerin admitted his disappointment with the away goal conceded, but was nevertheless happy with their commanding 4-1 win over CSKA MoscowBraces from both Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey secured the Gunners a 4-1 win in the first leg against the Russian Premier League side at the Emirates.Although they did concede a free-kick, which Aleksandr Golovin scored from with a sublime effort to briefly return the score level between the sides. Before Lacazette restored Arsenal’s advantage with a penalty.Ramsey then added a brilliant third goal, before Lacazette completed his brace after being picked out by the outstanding Mesut Ozil.Afterwards, Bellerin admitted that it was disappointing to have conceded an away goal, but believes that Arsenal can head into the second leg of their quarter-final tie against CSKA in a “positive mindset”.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“It was really good. We gave away the free kick and they got the away goal and we knew that could complicate things, but we reacted to that goal and we are really happy with the score. We wish we could have kept a clean sheet but now we can go to Russia with a positive mindset and knowing that if we don’t make any mistakes, we are in the next round.” said Bellerin, according to arsenal.comThe Spaniard assisted Ramsay for the opening goal of the match and revealed that the combination worked due to countless efforts on the training field.“I spoke to Aaron and he always tells me about ‘cutbacks, cutbacks, cutbacks’ and finally we got one. I am happy that what works in training, works in a game.” revealed the right-back.While conceding that they should have scored even more on the night, Bellerin feels that they should count themselves fortunate that the score ended as 4-1 in their favour.“We are happy. we knew that Moscow had to go on the attack [in the second half] and we should have scored a few more goals I believe. In the second half we had loads of chances but we are lucky that it is 4-1 because if the score was a bit tighter then we would have regretted missing those chances. But with a three-goal lead going to Russia, we are happy.” said 23 year-old.last_img read more

Pellegrini Arnautovic wont refuse to play for West Ham

first_imgWest Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini doubts Marko Arnautovic will attempt to force through a move to China in a similar manner to that of Dmitri PayetChinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG have reportedly had their £35m bid for Arnautovic turned down by West Ham.Despite the Austrian forward’s desire for the transfer to East Asia to go ahead, West Ham are unwilling to part with their top scorer.This has caused comparisons to be made between Arnautovic’s current predicament to that of Payet two years ago, who forced a move to Marseille by going on strike.Speaking ahead to this Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth, however, Pellegrini expects Arnautovic to remain professional despite the ongoing uncertainty over his future.“How is his mood? When you have such a high offer everyone wants to leave,” said Pellegrini, according to Sky Sports.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“He has a contract here, we know what will happen about that in the coming days.“Everyone is talking about his future. He knows what is the best option for him. We will see what happens between the clubs.”“I don’t think he will refuse to play.”Amid interest from Valencia, Pellegrini hopes to retain Mexican striker Javier Hernandez despite his struggles to hold on to a regular starting spot under the Chilean this season.“There are so many rumours about players coming and going from West Ham,” said Pellegrini.“Javier is part of the squad, he, unfortunately, has had two long injuries but he will continue to be an important player to us.”last_img read more

Britains US ambassador resigns after Trump spat

first_imgIn this file photo taken on October 20, 2017 British Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch speaks during an annual dinner of the National Economists Club at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. Britain`s ambassador to Washington Kim Darroch said on July 10, 2019, he was resigning after drawing US President Donald Trump`s ire for criticising his administration in leaked confidential cables to London. `The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,` Darroch wrote in his resignation letter. `I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador.` AFPBritain’s ambassador to Washington Kim Darroch said Wednesday he was resigning after drawing Donald Trump’s ire for calling the US president “inept” in leaked confidential cables to London.Darroch said in a resignation letter to the Foreign Office that the scandal made it “impossible” for him to continue representing British interests in the United States.Trump has said his administration would no longer “deal” with Darroch.”Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Darroch wrote.”I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” he said.”I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador.”Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament moments after Darroch’s resignation that the criticism he faced was “beyond unfair and wrong”.”I think he’s given honourable and good service and he should be thanked for it,” she said.The Mail on Sunday’s publication of Darroch’s cables set off a political firestorm in London and saw Trump launch two successive days of Twitter attacks against the envoy and May.One of the cables called the Trump administration “uniquely disfunctional” and another characterised the US leader as “inept” and “insecure”.Trump tweeted Monday that Darroch “is not liked or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him.” He also welcomed the “good news” that Prime Minister Theresa May was stepping down in two weeks.The US leader followed that up on Tuesday by calling “wacky Ambassador” Darroch “a very stupid guy”.The scandal saw Darroch taken off the guest list of a dinner attended by Trump on Monday.He also missed visiting UK Trade Minister Liam Fox’s talks in Washington on Tuesday with the president’s adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump.last_img

Harris County Continues To Pressure Industry Polluters

first_imgDave Fehling/Houston Public MediaA street in Houston’s Manchester neighborhood.Officials in the Houston area continue to pursue avenues to pressure polluters, even as the region’s economy remains closely tied to the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors.Harris County commissioners approved two new efforts in the county’s environmental crackdown this week, targeting companies that have angered advocates in “fence-line” communities where people live close to heavy industry.The county has already sued companies like Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) and KMCO that have had high-profile fires. Other targets have included Arkema, the chemical plant that flooded in Hurricane Harvey’s wake in 2017.Now, the county plans to go after Valero in federal court over pollution concerns at the company’s Houston refinery, particularly after Harvey. The refinery is located next door to the small Manchester neighborhood.“It’s yet another effort to do everything we can, even if the state is failing to adequately enforce, we will step in,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a Tuesday meeting. “We’ll enforce the Clean Air Act and protect our citizens.”This particular case could be a novel approach: one expert told the Houston Chronicle that advocacy groups are usually the ones to pursue the kind of “citizens’ environmental lawsuit” the county is planning against Valero.“I can’t think of any instances where it was used by a government, certainly not a big government,” the University of Houston’s Victor Flatt told the newspaper.A Valero spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Another, more subtle effort will target ITC again.The county plans to ask state regulators to give the public more time to oppose an air permit change at the company’s Pasadena location, a different facility from the Deer Park tank farm that caught fire in March. Advocates worry the permit change would lead to more pollution.Rock Owens, who heads up environmental cases at the county attorney’s office, said the moves are part of a broader strategy.“I think that you can expect to see more action in what we call the petrochemical corridor, around the eastern ship channel,” Owens said. “One of the goals of all of this, of course, is to get emissions rates down.”There’s no clear timeline on either of the moves approved this week. Owens said the federal lawsuit against Valero should take at least two to three months to be filed. Sharelast_img read more

Video Catches Cop in Attack Mode

first_imgA Baltimore police officer, who is seen viciously beating a man June 15 in a CitiWatch video that began circulating this week, has been suspended while an investigation of the incident ensues, officials announced Sept. 16.“This will not be tolerated,” Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said of Officer Vincent Cosom’s behavior at a press conference Tuesday.“Much like the public, I was shocked, I’m outraged, I’m disgusted by what I saw by an employee of the Baltimore Police Department,” Batts said. “Nothing that I saw on that video is defensible, nor should it be defensible, and most importantly, it’s unacceptable and will not be tolerated within this organization.”Cosom has since been placed on paid administrative leave. However, many are questioning why it took so long for him to be disciplined.“The investigation has no credibility because no suspension took place until this incident was on the news and not a second before,” said Tony Garcia, one of the attorneys for Kollin Truss, 32, the man who Cosom assaulted. “The police department is in damage control.”Garcia and colleague Ivan Bates and Tony Garcia on Monday announced a $35 million, seven-count lawsuit against Cosom, that accuses him of battery, false imprisonment and false light or perjury among other allegations.According to police charging documents, Cosom said he saw an inebriated Truss loitering in front of a liquor store on the corner of Greenmount and North avenues and he asked him to leave. The pair exchanged heated words and Truss went into the store.When Truss exited the liquor mart, he and the officer are seen on the video exchanging more words and Truss’ girlfriend pushes him away and toward the bus stop.At that time, Garcia told the AFRO, his client was waiting on the bus to take him home when Cosom approached and began whaling on his client.“The officer basically sucker-punched him while another officer held his arms, preventing him from blocking his face or otherwise defending himself,” the attorney said.According to the statement of probable cause, however, Cosom claimed he saw Truss assaulting his female companion and that he assumed a fighting stance and clenched his fist when the officer rushed in to arrest him. Cosom said the altercation ensued because he was in fear of his safety, and that Truss kicked other officers as they tried to get him into the squad car.Truss was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer.“We see a pattern here—certain types of officers will strip you of your rights and dignity and charge you with assault when they are the ones who assaulted you. It is an exercise in submission,” Garcia said.Even worse Truss’ attorneys said, the case reeks of a cover-up.“This video was in the police department’s records. And, there was an officer watching the incident live as it took place.”Bates said a middle manager in the department’s Internal Affairs was contacted by the State’s Attorney’s Office about the video months ago but dropped the ball.“There was a communications breakdown within my organization. I had a middle manager that did not do the thing that they should have done. This officer should have been removed from the field immediately. I should have been notified immediately. We will also address that,” Batts said.Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said along with Cosom, other officers at the scene may also be held accountable.“Anyone who had identification and witnessed this – either took part in and either acted inappropriately or in not taking any action was neglectful – is a part of this investigation,” he said.Garcia said as they get more information, other plaintiffs may be added to their suit.last_img read more

Chris Barrys Surprising Speckled Voting Record

first_imgMarion Christopher Barry is a candidate for the Ward 8 D.C. Council seat.Marion Christopher Barry, candidate for the Ward 8 D.C. Council seat of his late father Marion S. Barry, has not voted consistently in District and ward elections, the AFRO has learned.Tamara Robinson, spokeswoman for the Board of Elections, said on Jan. 13 that Barry didn’t vote in the July 15, 2014, special election for the vacant Ward 8 Board of Education position or in the  April 1, 2014 primary. Another elections official said she couldn’t confirm or deny whether Barry voted in the Nov. 4, 2014 general election.Agency staff revealed Barry cast a provisional ballot in the Nov. 6, 2012 general and special election. These elections included his late father on the ballot, running for re-election.Despite repeated calls to the number Barry provided on the D.C. Board of Elections website, he didn’t respond to the AFRO by deadline.Barry is running against 23 other candidates to claim his father’s seat. He officially began the process of running on Jan. 5 by picking up petitions and signing the necessary paperwork.  The deadline for petitions to get on the ballot is Jan. 28 and Barry is actively seeking the required 500 signatures of registered voters.He is considered one of the leading candidates in the race, primarily because of his father’s political legacy and network of longtime supporters. However, Barry, who owns a small construction company, has never held political office.Candidates for District political office do not fare well when it is revealed that they have not consistently voted in elections. Andy Shallal, the owner of the Busboys and Poets restaurant chain, had hopes of winning the April 1, 2014 Democratic Party mayoral primary, but those hopes were dashed when it was revealed that he did not vote in city elections on a regular basis.Khalid Pitts, a Logan Circle entrepreneur, received negative publicity when it was revealed he lived in the District for nearly two decades but registered to vote on Dec. 31, 2013, three months before he ran as a candidate for the non-Democratic seat on the council in the November 2014 general election.District law mandates a candidate for the council be a “qualified elector in the District” as well as other requirements, including establishing residency in the city one year prior to running, being a resident from the ward where they are seeking office, hold no other significant public office position, and not being a convicted felon while holding the office of council member.While a candidate must be a registered voter, casting a ballot is not a requirement to run for office.Dennis Harvey, who recently dropped out of the Ward 8 race to support Barry did not comment on Barry’s voting record and neither did Anthony Lorenzo Green, who has represented Barry as an advisory neighborhood commissioner (ANC) for several years and is active in his campaign.LaRuby May, a fellow candidate, said that “voting is very important.”“Voting determines what resources a community gets,” May said. “All of us who are African-American should exercise that right.”Natalie Williams, the president of the Ward 8 Democrats also running for the Ward 8 Council seat, agreed with May. Williams said she takes her daughter with her when she votes and notes,  proudly, that she began participating in civic affairs at an early age.“Voting is a fundamental right for all D.C. residents,” Williams said. “It is the only way to be involved in the decision-making in this city. As president of the Ward 8 Democrats, I have worked to educate and empower those who have not participated in voting.”last_img read more

Baltimore Grassroots Leader Facing Rape Allegations

first_imgBy Lisa Snowden-McCray, Special to the AFROThe AFRO has received a written statement from a woman who claims that Adam Jackson, CEO of the Baltimore-based grassroots think-tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), raped her in 2015.The AFRO has also received statements from three other women alleging that Jackson threatened and intimidated them.Adam Jackson, head of the Baltimore think-tank Leaders of the Beautiful, is being accused of rape and harassment, which he denies. (Facebook)“When he became angry, he blocked doors with his body and punched holes in walls,” one woman wrote.The statement comes after an anonymous group started a social media campaign in late July taking aim at Jackson, and calling for him to step down from Leaders of the Beautiful Struggle.“[Adam] Jackson has exercised abusive leadership, a pro-capitalist and misogynist concept of Black nation-building, and implemented scare tactics to not only physically and sexually abuse black women but also (to) disparage and dismiss numerous black women across the city with his facile rhetoric and understanding of black feminism and intersectionality,” one post on the anonymous Me Too Baltimore page read.The StatementThe woman who says that Jackson raped her told this reporter her story over the phone a few months ago. She then gave the AFRO a written statement, delivered by a representative of the Me Too Baltimore Facebook. Because of the sensitive nature of the allegations being made, the AFRO agreed to publish their claims without giving their names.“When I saw a survivor being attacked for telling things that I knew were true, I knew I had to speak up,” she wrote. “I’ve been apprehensive because a large part of me has moved past the pain but there is still a piece of me that lives there. Tearful. Angry. Reaching out for help.”The woman provided the AFRO with a detailed and graphic account of the alleged rape. The AFRO is not publishing the specifics because some of our readers may find them upsetting.Despite this, she says that she still volunteered with LBS when the Uprising took place in May, 2015. She eventually broke off from the group because she didn’t feel they were listening to her suggestions or that they were supportive of her. When that happened, she said that a member of LBS dismissed her concerns by telling one of her family members that she’d slept with Adam and was unhappy that he didn’t want to sleep with her anymore.“I put my heart and soul into the work I was doing at that time, just to have my opinion once again invalidated, this time by referencing an intimate moment that I was uncomfortable about,” she wrote.Jackson’s DenialShortly after the Me Too page appeared, Jackson published a message on his personal Facebook page addressing and denying those claims. He said he had never been accused of violence or inappropriate behavior towards women by anyone.“ANY allegations that I have engaged in a pattern of sexual assault/abuse, verbal abuse or using my position to exploit women are patently FALSE,” he wrote. Later in the same post he added, “I respect Black women and the work they do in Baltimore and in everywhere else in this country. I support sexual assault survivors and their ability to speak their truth and seek justice. I also believe that as someone with a track-record of working to improve the conditions of Black people in Baltimore, I have a right to defend my name and my organization. I will not be bullied or forced into silent submission. This attack against me is cold and calculated, and I will pursue all options to understand the nature of these accusations. I will also work to clear my name by retaining legal counsel.”In another statement released on his Facebook page this week, Jackson reiterated his innocence.“I sincerely believe that this anonymous group is executing a tactic of character assassination and a political takedown on the work I’m doing in Baltimore,” he wrote.LBS has been a growing force in politics both in Baltimore and in Annapolis since their start in 2010. They have been influential in defeating and weakening legislation relating to mandatory minimums and cash bail. In addition, they were instrumental in creating the framework for, and helping administer, the city’s $12 million youth fund. While Associated Black Charities (ABC) is in charge of distributing those funds, LBS works with one of the outside consulting companies hired by ABC to oversee the grant application process, according to Diane Bell-McCoy, CEO of ABC. The fund has received $75 million in requests and will announce grant recipients later this year.Who are Me Too Baltimore?A person communicating with the AFRO,  who did not want to be named in this story, but identifying themselves as one of the many organizers and communicators for Me Too Baltimore, said via email that the group is comprised of roughly five Black women “along with other allies.” They claimed that the group reached out to Jackson, prior to the creation of the page. They also said that three additional women have contacted the Me Too Baltimore group since the Facebook page was created  in July.Asked why the organizers have chosen to remain anonymous, they wrote, “The most important identities that needed to be protected are survivors. The identities of organizers will be disclosed in time.”Alleged victims have made their accusations now , they said, because of individual survivors “coming to realize that they share commonality in abuse and abuser.”When asked by the AFRO why the accusers did not go to the police at the time of the alleged incidents, they wrote, “While the offenses that were committed were vile and caused emotional damage, we would be nothing short of foolish to ignore the relationship that Black citizens have with police.”“Further”, they added, “To involve the police in this matter may very well create a greater schism in our own community and take us further away from real accountability. What we want was to take an earnest step towards policing members of our own community.”They said that supporters of Jackson and LBS have been trying to delegitimize the Me Too Baltimore group’s efforts, by “absurdly characterizing us as White women outside of the community or ‘Russian hackers.’”Activist groups like FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, who use art and large-scale actions to bring attention to issues of abuse, and Hollaback Bmore, which works to end harassment in public spaces, have voiced support for the people behind the Me Too Baltimore page.“We have been raised in rape culture. Therefore, it is going to take some re-education in every sector of our society to thin differently about sexual assault,” Charnell Covert, FORCE’s community organizer told the AFRO via email.Jackson’s SupportersJackson has his defenders in Baltimore’s tightly knit Black activist community. Many people left messages of support for Jackson beneath his posts, with some calling the allegations against him attempts to assassinate Jackson’s character.Activist Erricka Bridgeford, one of the co-founders of Baltimore Ceasefire, told the AFRO that she was proud of Jackson’s response to the Me Too Baltimore page and said that, as a public figure also doing activist work in Baltimore, she could identify with the position he is in.“I am very familiar with being attacked and mischaracterized with whole conspiracy theories about me posted on people’s pages without specific incidents,” she said. “I’ve been raped twice in my life. I’m familiar with what abuse looks like and feels like — sexual violence, physical abuse…there were a lot of what felt to me just accusations about overall behavior or overall practices that couldn’t be proven to be true or untrue the way it was written.”Later, she released a statement addressing the incident on her Facebook page.“What I’ve experienced is that several opportunities for transparency and healing were rejected, but destruction of a man’s reputation was the goal,” she wrote. But she also said “to be extra clear: Myself and other Black women have told Adam that if he HAS been abusive, we will hold him accountable. Do not twist what I’m saying to mean that I’m unwilling to hold anyone accountable for sexual and physical violence or manipulation.”Ericka Alston-Buck, who founded the Sandtown-based children’s recreation center Kids Safe Zone, said that she has known Jackson professionally and through a close friendship for some time. She said that he has always been genuine in his activism.“Being an advocate isn’t his job. He is for the uplifting and forward moving of black people. That is who he is. It’s not something he does when the cameras are rolling or when someone’s recording or when people are watching,” she said.Alston-Buck says that she stands behind him 100 percent.“When I read the [Me Too Baltimore] post, it was the equivalent of me reading something negative about my favorite little cousin who I grew up with. You’re faced with people saying something negative about someone and when you know that person, it doesn’t resonate as true at all. So when I read it, I was like ‘Oh this is garbage.’”Historic  ContextNatasha Pratt-Harris is a professor at Morgan State University who specializes in criminal justice. Via an emailed statement to the AFRO she said that Black people often have to walk the line between false accusations, often levied by White people, and real harms done to Black women.“Black protest has focused heavily on Black male victimization – violence and wrongful criminalization, where women’s victimization has not been consistently highlighted.  #MeToo has done something that no other movement has done – it acknowledges that we must believe victims, thus giving Black women their voice, acknowledging victimization,” she wrote.“It is absolutely imperative that we NEVER assume that one is attempting to silence any victims by acknowledging ALL victims – #MeToo and #NotMe victims must be given equal acknowledgement in a system that has historically and currently not given victims their voices or the justice they deserve.”She added that victims should not only seek legal counsel, but mental health services as well.The AFRO tried to contact Jackson numerous times via text message and by phone for comment on this story. We also contacted LBS through email and by phone. Neither responded to the AFRO’s requests for comment by press time.last_img read more

Steeped in patriarchy

first_imgIt has been a decade of watching movies where beautiful, young women dance surrounded by hundreds of men; bikini clad ladies jumping on the beach and of course, wailing, deprived and depressed girls heart-broken in love and women subjected to mistreatment. We all enjoy the Bollywood item numbers and feel pity for the woman crying in movies. But what happens when the ordinary Indian woman comes out through cinema? Will it be accepted by the people? Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWe, as a society portray women as creatures who are always dependent on the so- called better sex-“men” and it reflects in our movies. A girl is first dependent on her father or family, she falls in love with a guy, sings some romantic songs on the top of a hill, the guy fights off villains, there is some item song in between with no sense at all and the hero-heroine get married and have kids – this is the basic plot for almost every masala movie that we come across. But what happens if a movie with struggles, aspirations, fantasies, desires and dreams inspired from real women of our society is made, unconcerned about what the society thinks about it? Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThese past few days, we saw a huge controversy about a certain movie titled Lipstick under my burkha. It may have grabbed the international attention with Spirit of Asia Award, Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival, and the Oxfam Award in the category of Best Film in Gender Equality but all these could not save Alankrita Srivastava’s film from the wrath of the Central Board Film Certification in India. Marked as “lady- oriented”, it received a status which made it unfit for public viewing. A copy of CBFC letter received by the film’s producer Prakash Jha States, “The story is lady oriented and focuses on their fantasy about life. There are continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit of sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence, the film is refused.” The film from a “women’s perspective” revolves around the life of four women – burkha-clad college girl, a young beautician, a mother of three and a 55-year-old widow who rediscovers her sexuality. Whenever there is a movie made with a realistic portrayal of ordinary women, there is a huge cry over it. Some claim that this is a false interpretation of women of our society, some take it on their religion and some straight away dismiss the idea of an independent woman with high ambitions and curiosity. In a country like India, which proudly showcases its so called “liberal” views and culture; it is shocking to see how the society is still dominated by the male gaze. On one hand, women are given the place of a goddess, calling them pure and on the other, they are being objectified, either to fulfill the desire of a man or the society. A woman can wear shiny costumes and dance to those trashy, low-grade item numbers with a bunch of men staring at her in a lecherous manner but dare she open her mouth and talk about her emotions, dreams, and sexual desires; she would be in a huge trouble for protesting or disobeying the patriarchy. How dare she see things from her own perspective and change the status quo of the society? And, yes, it is not only women but also men who try to break free from the patriarchy they face. Cinema plays an important role in shaping human mind. From friendship to love affair, we Indians have a way of comparing it with what we see in reel life. Is it not similar in case of women? This is not the first time that artistic expressions are being restricted. Several movies like Angry Indian Goddesses, Fire, The Pink Mirror, Bandit Queen and many more had the same fate. “Such strong movies should be available for public viewing. There are other ways to watch these movies but cinema is a medium which reaches the mass audience and by censoring it and frowning upon it, we are confining that reach,” says Neha Singh, a second-year NIFT student. “The censoring of films and banning has become frequent. It is as if the filmmakers should make their films to impress the censor board and not their target audience. Instead of banning the movies, the whole nation should actually take a stand against these so called “liberal” decision-makers,” said Priyanka Ghosh Dastidar, a journalism graduate.An important feature of any nation, which claims itself to be democratic is the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to its citizen. To break the status quo mentality, acknowledgement of new ideas and thoughts becomes very important. “As a woman, and as a filmmaker, I have decided that I will not shut up. I refuse to be silenced. I will not be discouraged. I will fight to ensure that ‘Lipstick Under My burkha’ is released in cinemas in India. And I will continue to make “lady-oriented” films as long as I can,” says Alankrita Srivastava, the director of’ Lipstick Under My Burkha’. In our society, a woman talking about her sexual desires, her thoughts and her ideas is a taboo. The important question is when will the time come when women can break free of all the bondages.last_img read more

3 Tools That Can Take the Headaches Out of Hiring and HR

first_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. min read Listen Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 1. Submittable Resume ManagerResume Manager, by Missoula, Mont.-based Submittable, is an online app for bringing order to the hiring process by letting employers digitally sort, organize and prioritize inbound resumes as they flood in. It can be especially helpful when hiring for multiple positions at the same time.Users begin by ranking resumes with a simple yes, no or maybe vote. Submittable offers custom filters that can further sort resumes according to criteria such as how an applicant was referred, educational background and current job status.Price: Submittable Resume Manager is free for one user and unlimited resumes. Paid plans start at $25 per month for two users. There are no contracts, so businesses only pay for the service when they are hiring.Related: 3 Low-Cost Sales Lead Tools for Startups2. WorkforceGrowthSan Francisco-based WorkforceGrowth is a cloud-based tool for conducting and analyzing employee performance reviews, as well as for giving and receiving feedback on tasks and projects. WorkforceGrowth can be useful for businesses that are training employees to do specialized or difficult jobs.An online dashboard allows employers to build and manage custom employee reviews and evaluations, including categories like strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement. Think of WorkforceGrowth as a productivity-based social network for your business. Users dole out public kudos, or discuss company initiatives online via their WorkforceGrowth profiles.Price: WorkforceGrowth costs $5 per employee, per month.Related: To Do More, First Slow Down3. WhosOffU.K.-based WhosOff is an online calendaring application for planning, approving and managing employee leave time. It can be handy for just about any firm offering traditional sick leave and paid time off.Through a straightforward online portal, employees can submit detailed requests for vacation time, sick days or other time off. Managers then approve these requests and generate detailed reports. Data can also be exported as a spreadsheet, which can be made into presentations.Price: Plans start at about $18 per month for up to 10 employees.What tools do you use for hiring and other HR tasks? Let us know in the comments below.center_img November 1, 2012 image credit: ShutterstockGrowing and managing a workforce is almost never easy. And when it comes to staffing up, business owners have to juggle issues such as tracking resumes, analyzing candidates and other human resources obligations. For smaller firms, the difficulties associated with managing these duties can often be amplified.The good news is there are several useful tools that can help. Though they will not replace a physical HR manager, these three services should be able to help even the smallest company hire and manage employees more efficiently: Problem Solvers with Jason Feiferlast_img read more

Your Company Is Probably Going to Get Hacked Heres How to Protect

first_imgOctober 27, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 3 min read In 2014 alone, the headlines arrived with unnerving regularity: Target CEO steps down after the cyber-theft of 40 million payment card numbers; a Russia crime ring has amassed 1.2 billion name and password combinations; a cyber-attack on JPMorgan Chase could compromise the accounts of 76 million households and seven million small businesses. And that doesn’t even include the quieter drip-drip of Fortune 500 trade secrets falling into the hands of Chinese cyber-spies.With cyber-attacks weighing heavily on the mind of business leaders, I asked three leading corporate combatants who work on the front lines to offer advice to executives at this year’s Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel.Here are three rules you need to know, offered up by General Electric chief information officer Jamie Miller, Lockheed Martin executive vice president Sondra Barbour and FedEx  FDX chief information security officer Denise Wood:Worry about your suppliers.With Fortune 500 companies heavily fortified, hackers are looking for new entry points. That means suppliers who have access to your data. Small companies are easy entry points because they don’t have the resources to keep up with sophisticated security demands. Yet they sometimes have access to their big partners’ important information, including everything from engineering plans to emails and passwords.While some suppliers are obvious targets, “it could be someone you have far down the supply stream—like Fazio Brothers’ air conditioning repair,” warns FedEx’s Wood.To combat the problem, GE has installed a single point of entry for suppliers to better monitor who comes in and out. “We’re very mindful of our perimeter,” says Miller. Lockheed’s Barbour encourages executives from corporate headquarters to “go out there and see which suppliers have [access to] the most critical data. We help shore them up.”Protect your “crown jewels.”Your company is probably going to get hacked. The velocity and complexity of hacking attempts has skyrocketed, with companies routinely facing millions of knocks on the vault door. “Invest in your security operations,” says Miller. “But then you need to take a step back and decide what’s the most important information you need to protect—and how are you going to protect that– assuming someone is already inside? What are your crown jewels—whether it’s intellectual property or financial assets or personal data?”Drop the competitive guard and schmooze.The guardians of your company’s cyber security should be encouraged to network within the industry to swap information on the latest hacker tricks and most effective defenses. “There’s a huge black market” of hackers, notes FedEx’s Wood. “The bad guys collaborate so well” – so should their victims.last_img read more

TV software engineering and testing company Farnco

first_imgTV software engineering and testing company Farncombe has launched a hardware design practice targeting mid-size manufacturers looking for support with digital TV receiver design.David Fields, who has over 10 years’ experience designing set-top boxes and peripheral devices, has joined Farncombe to head up the new practice.“Currently, major receiver manufacturers typically use the chipset vendors’ ‘reference-boards’ – which can be large and require significant investment – based on which they will subsequently produce, in-house, low quantities of ‘intermediate’ smaller prototypes for proof-of-concept and demonstration purposes,” said Fields. “These are then ‘tweaked’ into the required form factor for integration into receiver production lines. But the smaller players often can’t support that ‘intermediate’ step themselves: that’s where Farncombe comes in.”last_img read more

Regret wrecks peoples finances like no other emot

first_imgRegret wrecks people’s finances like no other emotion. Nothing feels worse than missing out on a rally, except buying what turns out to be a top. Retail investors were burned badly in 2000 and 2008. “Buy and hold” blew up in their faces. While stock prices lifted in step with the Fed’s balance sheet post-crash, the traumatized little guys sat out the stock market rise until the last year. But now small investors are piling in again, and they’re investing like it’s 1999. “I could see it going up maybe 50% at a minimum, just being conservative,” a 35-year old computer programmer told the Wall Street Journal, talking about the stock price of a small biotech company he was pouring his 401(k) money into. More money flowed into mutual funds and exchange-traded funds last year than ever before. Even more than in 2000, the tech bubble year. 2013 was the first year investors took money out of fixed-income funds after three straight years of dumping it into them. The stock market is one giant roller coaster of regret for retail investors. Regret for not getting in… regret for getting in too late… regret for being left holding the bag. Behavioral economics pioneer and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman quotes two Dutch psychologists about regret in his bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow. They noted regret is “accompanied by feelings that one should have known better, by a sinking feeling, by thoughts about the mistake one has made and the opportunities lost, by a tendency to kick oneself and to correct one’s mistake, and by wanting to undo the event and to get a second chance.” Studies of investor brains during experiments simulating stock market investing show the variable that most drove behavior in the investment game, in all markets, was the “r-word.” Regret was a big factor when subjects changed their investments and also “showed up as an extremely strong neural signal in a reward-decision-making region of the brain, the ventral putamen, the same site where reward-prediction error signals appear,” writes neuroscientist Dr. Read Montague. Thus, the brain treats counterfactual experience the same as it does real experience. Regret, in this case, is the difference between the value of what is and the value of what could have been. Dr. Montague offers what he calls a pseudo-equation: “Terry Malloy’s Regret equals (value of being a contender minus value of being a bum). Why this is important is something called dopamine, a chemical in the brain that helps humans decide how to take actions that will result in rewards at the right time.” As investors pile into high-flying stocks, they receive a dopamine kick to their brains similar to the sensation a drug addict receives when getting high, or the response our brains receive during sex. The sensation occurs in anticipation of the great returns. Getting what we expect doesn’t provide a dopamine rush, only unexpected gains do. The same way an addict needs larger doses, market investors crave more risk. As the market continues to surge ahead, bad memories have faded and individual investors are chasing higher highs—literally. When the investments crash, the pain of regret will be that much greater. Are investors about to plunge into another deep valley of regret? This week Elliott Wave International’s Robert Prechter gives us some perspective on how far the market has soared in investor sentiment since the dark days of five years ago. The financial press’s rationalizations cloud our senses to the continued irrational investment ebullience. Mr. Prechter brings us back to earth below—plus he has an offer just for Casey readers:  get two free weeks of EWI’s Financial Forecast Service to help you navigate these troubled times. Enjoy, Doug French, Contributing Editorlast_img read more

Federal health officials say that as they anticip

first_imgFederal health officials say that, as they anticipated, the flu vaccine isn’t very effective this year — but they say it has still prevented thousands of serious illnesses and deaths.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures that, overall, the flu vaccine is 36 percent effective at preventing disease. One bright point for parents of young kids: Children ages 6 months to 8 years responded significantly better to the vaccine than older Americans.There are three major strains of flu virus circulating at the moment, causing one of the worst flu seasons in recent years. The vaccine is 25 percent effective against the most common strain, H3N2. It’s 42 percent effective against influenza B viruses and 67 percent effective against H1N1 viruses, according to the results of a study involving about 4,600 people.”Even with current vaccine effectiveness estimates, vaccination will still prevent influenza illness, including thousands of hospitalizations and deaths,” scientists from the CDC reported in the issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published Thursday. And health officials say it’s still not too late to get vaccinated — they expect flu season will last at least another few weeks.According to this preliminary study, which will be updated at the end of the flu season, the current flu vaccine is not quite as poor as health officials had feared. A study in Australia suggested the vaccine would be only about 10 percent effective against the H3N2 virus, and a preliminary study from Canada two weeks ago put that figure at 17 percent.Also encouraging is news that the H3N2 strain of flu is becoming somewhat less common, relative to the other strains that are more easily quelled by the vaccine.Scientists are still trying to puzzle out why the vaccine was relatively ineffective this season. One possibility is that the vaccine virus is generally grown in eggs, and during that process it picks up genetic changes that make it a poorer match to protect against the virus that’s being spread by sneezes, coughs and contaminated surfaces.This year, some doses of the vaccine were brewed up in giant vats of cells, rather than grown in eggs. One as yet unanswered question is whether those versions of the vaccine were better or worse than vaccine produced in chicken eggs.The CDC scientists also note that a person’s immune response to a vaccine depends in part on age, vaccination history and previous infections. That could explain why children have been responding better to this season’s vaccine. The risk of serious illness in the 6 months to 8 years age group was reduced by 59 percent among children who were infected with the H3N2 strain.Last week, the CDC reported that about 10 percent of hospitalizations in the United States are due to the flu, making this a particularly nasty season. As of last week, the season had not yet peaked.People who have fever, cough and other flu symptoms are urged to stay home to avoid spreading the disease. Seriously ill patients are advised to call a doctor before deciding whether to go to the emergency room.You can contact Richard Harris at Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Members of a House of Lords committee examining th

first_imgMembers of a House of Lords committee examining the impact of the Equality Act 2010 have visited a user-led organisation to hear from disabled people on how the legislation has affected their day-to-day lives.Six members of the committee – including the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell – visited Real, a support organisation for disabled people in Tower Hamlets, east London, to hear from them directly about the reality of their lives five years after the act became law.Only last week, four legal experts told the committee, which is examining the act’s impact on disabled people, of their serious concerns about the government’s commitment to enforcing disabled people’s rights through the Equality Act.Mike Smith, chief executive of Real, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s former disability commissioner, said the peers were “horrified” by what they were told by his members.He said: “It was really good for them to hear it from real voices, as opposed to the formulaic responses they get from other organisations.”Smith said he believed that hearing the “reality of people’s lives” would “galvanise” the peers into making “positive and constructive” recommendations.He said there had been an “incredible energy in the room” as the committee listened to his members’ evidence.He said: “Today we heard some amazing stories of day-to-day struggles disabled people experience trying to achieve equality.“Although direct discrimination is less common than 20 years ago when the Disability Discrimination Act was first introduced, too often people were reporting unintentional indirect discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, poor understanding and awareness, and a lack of ability to enforce their rights.“Many still didn’t know what their rights were or how to find out more.”Faiz Rehman, a member of Real, said: “I felt it was a good event, and I found it really encouraging that the Lords committee have made this connection to our organisation.“I personally think the Equality Act is ambiguous and not as concise as the previous Disability Discrimination Act, and I am glad that the committee plan on producing a report on the new legislation.”Baroness Deech, who chairs the Lords committee, said: “For the committee to get out and speak to disabled people is invaluable for our investigation.“We heard some frank views on the Equality Act 2010, both good and bad, and they have given us a great deal of food for thought, which will inform our eventual findings.”Picture: Copyright House of Lords 2015/Photography by Annabel Moellerlast_img read more

The club beat off significant interest from other

first_imgThe club beat off significant interest from other Super League clubs to secure the 19-year-old for the next three years.Dubbed the best player in the Championship “by an absolute mile” by former Saints star Leon Pryce, James made his debut for the Bulls against Oldham last season.He’s gone on to score 15 tries in 23 appearances and has been one of the Bulls’ standout performers.“James is a quality young player and we are pleased to bring him to the club,” Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook said. “He’s powerful, strong and is consistent in his performances week in week out.“He knows he has a lot of improvement in him too and he’s looking forward to developing in our system.”James played for Oulton Raiders before progressing through Bradford Bulls’ Academy ranks.He said: “I can’t wait to get over there and get started. It was a big decision to leave, an emotional one as well but I am looking forward to be playing at the top level. It is a decision I’ve made to further my career.“I’m expecting the step up to be hard, it’s going to be a lot faster and a lot tougher but I am looking forward to and going head first into the challenge.“I can’t wait to get over there; some of the players that they have like Ben Barba and Jon Wilkin, are just great players. I can learn from them and become a better player.“I’m committed to the Bulls for the rest of the season I want to finish with my time here on a high.”last_img read more

Richard Branson I Dont Believe That Retirement Should Be the Goal

first_imgRichard Branson Register Now » Since leaving school at age 16 to start his first business, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has overseen hundreds of companies and accumulated a fortune of approximately $5 billion.The self-made billionaire could retire at the drop of a dime — but retirement is the last thing on the 66-year-old’s mind.”I don’t believe that retirement should be the goal,” he wrote in a recent blog post.Branson’s perspective is inspired by British philosopher Alan Watts, who discouraged people from thinking of life as a journey. A journey implies a destination or some sort of arrival — but no epic “thing” is coming in life, Watts said.”He explains that traditional systems of education have skewed the meaning of life (towards arriving at a destination) by placing too much importance on progressing through school and college to a career,” Branson wrote. “And makes his point by saying that far too many people live to retire and therefore cheat themselves of an exciting existence.”That’s why Branson doesn’t think retirement should be the goal. “Instead, I think happiness should be,” he wrote.”I’ve never thought [of] work as work and play as play; to me, it’s all living and learning. The way I see it, life is all about striving and growing. I never want to have made it; I want to continue making it!” Image credit: Helga Esteb | Shutterstock –shares Add to Queue Richard Branson Kathleen Elkins September 6, 2016center_img The self-made billionaire could retire at the drop of a dime — but retirement is the last thing on the 66-year-old’s mind. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 2 min read Next Article Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. This story originally appeared on CNBC Richard Branson: ‘I Don’t Believe That Retirement Should Be the Goal’last_img read more

Agerelated decline in abstract reasoning ability predicts depressive symptoms over time

first_img Source: Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 14 2018Age-related declines in abstract reasoning ability predict increasing depressive symptoms in subsequent years, according to data from a longitudinal study of older adults in Scotland. The research is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.”Mental health in later life is a topic of increasing importance given aging populations worldwide,” says researcher Stephen Aichele of the University of Geneva. “Our findings suggest that monitoring for cognitive decrements in later adulthood may expedite efforts to reduce associated increases in depression risk.”Many adults will experience some degree of cognitive decline in the latter decades of life. Research has also shown that cognitive impairments and depression are correlated in older adults – generally, as cognitive abilities decline, depressive symptoms increase. Yet, researchers have not been able to conclusively determine the direction of causation. That is, does cognitive decline lead to depression, does depression lead to cognitive decline, or do the phenomena mutually reinforce each other?To achieve a clearer picture of the dynamics of this relationship over time, Aichele and colleagues examined data collected as part of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936, a longitudinal study of adults in Scotland. Their analyses included data from 1,091 adults who were assessed at age 70 and up to three additional times in roughly 3-year intervals until age 79.Although other work has examined depression risk in relation to memory deficits and other cognitive impairments associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the researchers chose to look at participants’ abstract reasoning, a cognitive ability that is closely related to functioning in daily life. Participants in the study completed several measures of abstract reasoning, performing tasks such as identifying missing elements from geometric patterns and reproducing visuospatial models using component parts.Related StoriesEffective stop smoking treatments less likely to be prescribed to people with mental health conditionsPerinatal depression screenings may overlook women having suicidal ideationOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchThe participants also provided information about their depressive symptoms via the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.On average, participants’ abstract reasoning ability and depressive symptoms worsened over the course of the study. Additionally, relatively lower cognitive function at each assessment was associated with subsequent increases in depressive symptoms, and this association became stronger over time.Aichele and colleagues used advanced statistical models to analyze the dynamic relationship between these two measures over time. They found that lower abstract reasoning scores at one assessment were associated with increased depressive symptoms at later assessments; increased depressive symptoms at a given assessment were not linked with subsequent changes in abstract reasoning.Sociodemographic and other health-related factors — such as education level, socioeconomic status, and diagnoses related to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes – did not appear to influence the relationship between abstract reasoning and depressive symptoms.Understanding why age-related decrements in abstract reasoning lead to increased depressive symptoms remains a question for future research. Aichele and colleagues note that there are several potential mechanisms that could be at work, including unmeasured disease processes, genetic susceptibility, and declines in daily functioning.The researchers hope to continue this work by examining factors such as training, treatment, and social support that might weaken the link between cognitive decline and depression.”We hope this research will be of broad interest, both for individuals directly affected by age-related cognitive decline and also for family members and care providers who wish to help older persons adversely affected by changes in mental health,” Aichele says.last_img read more