First Edition September 5 2013

first_imgFirst Edition: September 5, 2013 Today’s headlines include reports about former President Bill Clinton — dubbed the “explainer in chief” — drumming up support for the health law and scolding Republicans for their efforts to repeal it. Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: ‘It’s A Fire Sale On The SGR’Kaiser Health News’ Mary Agnes Carey and CQ Roll Call’s Emily Ethridge discuss current dynamics surrounding the Medicare physician payment. With the Congressional Budget Office projecting a reduced cost for a long-term “doc fix,” Congress may seize the opportunity to end the annual adjustments to Medicare reimbursement rates (9/4). Watch the video or read the transcript.Kaiser Health News: Navigators Say GOP Lawmakers’ Information Requests Are ‘Shocking’Kaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold reports: “Organizations that received the latest round of health law navigator grants say last week’s letter from House Republicans could have a chilling effect on efforts to hire and train outreach workers to sign up Americans for health insurance by Oct. 1, the opening day for  new online insurance marketplaces” (Gold, 9/5). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: ‘A Calling’ To Care For The Poor At St. Louis’ Grace Hill Community CentersSt. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jim Doyle, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News, reports: “Community health centers such as Grace Hill are a linchpin of President Barack Obama’s administration’s efforts under the Affordable Care Act to eventually contain the nation’s health care costs by providing cost-effective, primary care to the poor. But key government funding for Grace Hill and other smaller nonprofit community health centers in St. Louis is in jeopardy, while the number of people in need of free and discounted care continues to rise” (Doyle, 9/5). Read the story.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Independent Studies Break Down Health Law’s Premiums: Wide Range Of Options And CostsCoverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law won’t be cheap, but cost-conscious consumers hunting for lower premiums will have plenty of options, according to two independent private studies. A study released Thursday by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation found that government tax credits would lower the sticker price on a benchmark “silver” policy to a little over $190 a month for single people making about $29,000, regardless of their age. … A separate study released Wednesday from Avalere Health, a private data analysis firm, took a wide-angle view, averaging the sticker prices of policies at different coverage levels (9/5).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Sticker Price For Obamacare: $300/Month Premiums For Young To Middle-Aged AdultsThe No. 1 question about President Barack Obama’s health care law is whether consumers will be able to afford the coverage. Now the answer is coming in. The biggest study yet of premiums posted by states finds that the sticker price for a 21-year-old buying a mid-range policy will average about $270 a month. That’s before government tax credits that act like a discount for most people, bringing down the cost based on their income (9/4).The New York Times: Clinton Urges Americans To Sign Up For Health Care ExchangesHe chose his home state as the venue, and did not refrain from ticking off several problems he saw with the law. But former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday made a meticulous, if wonkish, case for Americans of all political leanings to embrace the Obama health care law (Goodnough and Chozick, 9/4).The Washington Post: Bill Clinton Drums Up Support For Obama’s Health-Care LawPresident Obama deployed his highest-profile spokesman yet on Wednesday to tout his far-reaching health-care law: the 42nd president of the United States. And Bill Clinton even stuck to the script. As Obama and his aides try to win support for a military strike against Syria, the White House remains focused on raising the public profile of the Affordable Care Act, which is weeks away from the most critical stage of its implementation (Eilperin, 9/4).Los Angeles Times: Bill Clinton Offers Case For Obamacare: ‘We’ve Got To Do This’At a crucial juncture a few weeks before the Oct. 1 opening of the law’s health insurance marketplaces across the country, Clinton scolded Republicans who have voted to repeal the law more than 40 times, arguing that they have not offered “real alternatives.” “The benefits of reform can’t be fully realized, and the problems certainly can’t be solved unless both the supporters and the opponents of the original legislation work together to implement it and address the issues that arise whenever you change a system this complex,” he said during Wednesday’s address at the Clinton Presidential Library (Reston, 9/4).NPR: Bill Clinton Steps Up To Dispel The Confusion Over ObamacareWith the launch of the major piece of the Affordable Care Act less than a month away, the Obama administration is escalating the public relations push with one of their most effective weapons – former President Bill Clinton, now known to many as explainer in chief. Speaking from his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., this morning, Clinton led what amounted to a graduate seminar on the Affordable Care Act, webcast live for those who cared to watch, on how the law is supposed to work and why it’s needed (Rovner, 9/4).The Wall Street Journal: Bill Clinton Touts Health Law In SpeechMr. Clinton touted the law’s benefits and set out arguments for its provisions, but also highlighted glitches and called on Republicans to help fix “relatively simple matters” in its implementation. … In a wide-ranging speech, the former president hit on a number of themes, including the increase in health spending in the U.S., competition in insurance markets, the burden of covering health costs for the uninsured, and whether the law has led to employers hiring part-time workers instead of full-time employees (Radnofsky, 9/4).Politico: Bill Clinton Calls For GOP To Improve – Not Repeal – ObamacareStill he spoke about the law’s future in ways that Obama could not. He called out specific problems with complex legislation and held up his native Arkansas as a model of bipartisan Obamacare compromise. Clinton called for bipartisanship going forward, about a month after Obama scolded Republicans for making repeal their “holy grail” and as Republicans prepare to return to Congress next week ready to resume their push for defunding (Millman, 9/4).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Bill Clinton Defends Health Care Law With Speech In Arkansas As Key Part Nears ImplementationClinton’s speech comes with the Affordable Care Act in final countdown mode, just a few weeks before the scheduled Oct. 1 launch of online health insurance markets in the states. The markets — also called exchanges— are supposed to be a one-stop portal to the benefits of the law. Middle-class people with no access to health care on the job will be eligible for subsidized private coverage, while the poor and near-poor will be steered to Medicaid in states agreeing to expand the program. Markets will open in all the states, even those refusing to expand Medicaid (9/4).USA Today: Bill Clinton Urges Unity For Obama’s Health Care LawIt’s not the first time Obama has turned to Clinton, with whom he once had a frosty relationship, to help him explain policies and garner public support. Clinton campaigned often for Obama in the 2012 election and delivered a forceful speech at the Democratic National Convention arguing why Obama was worthy of a second term. Obama joked afterward that he should appoint his predecessor the “Secretary of Explaining Stuff,” and the moniker stuck (Camia, 9/4).The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: Deep-Red Indiana Might Just Expand MedicaidMichigan is the latest state to back the health law’s Medicaid expansion, bringing the total of states opting-in to 25. Could neighboring Indiana be next? The state isn’t currently on board and, on Tuesday, finalized a deal with the federal government that will just barely increase cover in the Hoosier State. But coming out of those negotiations, state officials and experts think there could be space for Indiana and the federal government to carve out a full Medicaid expansion–one that stands to look significantly different than other state plans (Kliff, 9/4).The New York Times: V.A. To Provide Spousal Benefits To Gays, Administration SaysThe move will allow the same-sex spouses of service members to receive health care benefits, and widows and widowers from same-sex marriages to receive survivor benefits, among other matters (Savage, 9/4).Politico: Same-Sex Spouses Allowed To Receive Veterans’ BenefitsPresident Barack Obama has directed his administration to take steps allowing the same-sex spouses of military veterans to have access to federal benefits, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday in a letter to Congress. The move is the administration’s latest effort to extend benefits to married same-sex couples in light of the Supreme Court’s June ruling striking down a key piece of the Defense of Marriage Act, and extends the court’s reasoning to Title 38 of the U.S. Code, which governs the granting of benefits by the Veterans Administration and the Defense Department (Epstein, 9/4).Politico: Bishops: No Hill Funds For AbortionThe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked the Obama administration to take precautions to make sure federal funds don’t go to abortion coverage for lawmakers and congressional staffers (Haberkorn, 9/4). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Marketplace Reportedly Using Wrong Guidelines For Subsidies

first_imgMarketplace Reportedly Using Wrong Guidelines For Subsidies This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer notes the problem. In other implementation news, recent statements by a Treasury official are being touted by Republicans as evidence the Obama administration has overstepped its statutory authority.Philadelphia Inquirer: A Glitch In Obamacare Marketplace No One Noticed Nearly six months after the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, with the website running smoothly and more than five million people signed up as open enrollment heads to a close, a new glitch has come to light: Incorrect poverty-level guidelines are automatically telling what could be tens of thousands of eligible people they do not qualify for subsidized insurance. The error in the federal marketplace primarily affects households with incomes just above the poverty line in states like Pennsylvania that have not expanded Medicaid. The mistake raises the price of their insurance by thousands of dollars, making insurance so unaffordable many may just give up and go without (Sapatkin, 3/21). The Wall Street Journal: Republicans Challenge Administration’s Authority Republicans are pointing to statements by a top Treasury Department official as evidence that the Obama administration overstepped its authority in delaying the health-care law’s requirement that employers offer coverage or pay a penalty. Mark Mazur, assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, said in a January interview with staff from the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he wasn’t aware of any examination of the legal basis for the administration’s authority to delay the employer mandate (Radnofsky, 3/20). In other news coverage of implementation issues -The Associated Press: Health Care Law Has Uneven Impact On Companies Sarah Curtis-Fawley will have to offer insurance to her workers at Pacific Pie Co. because of the health care overhaul, and the estimated $100,000 cost means she may have to raise prices or postpone opening a third restaurant. … The Affordable Care Act, which aims to provide coverage for millions, is playing to decidedly mixed reviews in corporate America (Murphy, 3/20). Modern Healthcare: Obamacare Insurance Mandate Could Be Toothless In 2014 The Obama administration has made the individual mandate its line in the sand for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Despite delaying or tweaking numerous provisions—most notably the requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees provide coverage. … The financial penalty isn’t particularly onerous in the first year. … But the individual mandate is likely to prove a paper tiger in 2014 for two other reasons: the availability of hardship exemptions and lax enforcement (Demko, 3/20).last_img read more

DNA From Nursing Facility Workers Collected As Part Of Investigation Into Woman

first_imgDNA From Nursing Facility Workers Collected As Part Of Investigation Into Woman Who Gave Birth In Vegetative State In a separate development, the San Carlos Apache Tribe issued a statement saying the woman involved in the case was a 29-year-old “enrolled member” who “has been in a persistent vegetative state and coma for over a decade.” The Associated Press: Family Of Woman In Vegetative State Outraged After Baby Born The police collected the DNA of male employees of a private nursing home in Arizona on Tuesday as they continued to investigate allegations that a woman in a vegetative state there who gave birth to a child last month had been sexually assaulted, the nursing home’s parent company said. The move represented an escalation in the case, just one day after the longtime chief executive of the company resigned. The police in Phoenix announced Friday that they had opened the investigation into the alleged assault. (Stevens, Rueb and Kramer, 1/9) Police served a search warrant Tuesday to get DNA from all male employees at a long-term care facility in Phoenix where a patient who had been in a vegetative state for years gave birth, triggering reviews by state agencies and putting a spotlight on safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated. Hacienda HealthCare said it welcomed the DNA testing of employees. (Tang, 1/8) The New York Times: Police Collect DNA From Nursing Home Workers After Sexual Assault Of Patient The Washington Post: Hacienda HealthCare Assault: Bill Timmons Resigns, San Carlos Apache Tribe Says Woman In Vegetative State Is Member Of Tribe center_img Hacienda “will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization,” Gary Orman, a member of Hacienda’s board of directors, said in the statement. No one has been arrested in connection with the incident, and it’s unclear whether police have identified any suspects. In Arizona, sexually assaulting a vulnerable adult is a felony. (Wong and Wootson, 1/8) Arizona Republic: Phoenix Police Get DNA At Facility Where Patient Became Pregnant The patient, who gave birth Dec. 29, was a resident at Hacienda HealthCare’s facility called Hacienda de los Angeles, 1402 E. South Mountain Ave. Hacienda de los Angeles is described in state records as a 60-bed, intermediate-level care facility for people with intellectual disabilities. (Innes, 1/8) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Sorry Ubisoft isnt working on another Splinter Cell game

first_imgFans have been begging for a new entry in Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell franchise since the well-received Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Ubisoft has steered clear of it so far, until a new tweet from The Division 2’s creative director Julian Gerighty which suggests he’s working on a new iteration in the series.Except, Ubisoft has said it was a joke post and there’s almost definitely not a Splinter Cell game coming at E3.Related: Best PC GamesI know, I’m sad about it too. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.center_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Working on the next #SplinterCell with @danhaynow and @romcamor in #Lyon.Can’t wait for #E3.Crossover with #TheCrew2 with @_fergus_ Only missing @GhostRecon and @Rainbow6Game – but on their way.#FarCry#ForHonor #TheDivision2 #RainbowSixSiege #GhostRecon pic.twitter.com/oiwMPTny9Y— Julian Gerighty (@jgerighty) May 14, 2019Gerighty, currently working with Massive on The Division 2, also named two other senior Ubisoft bods in his tweet, both of whom retweeted his comments.However, it seemed like an unlikely way for Ubisoft to break cover on an announcement people have been clamouring for for so long, especially with E3 less than a month away.Related: Best FPS GamesWe chatted to several sources close to the matter this morning who confirmed that the tweet was exactly as it appears: a joke that has been lost on the legions of fans eager for the latest adventure in the world of aging super-spy Sam Fisher. They’re fair to be upset. Splinter Cell: Blacklist was a quality game filled with strong ideas, after which the franchise just vanished into the darkness. The series multiplayer Mercs versus Spies mode was a clear inspiration on what became the asymmetrical shooter Of course, this could be Ubisoft’s subtle way of canvassing interest for a new Splinter Cell game, I eagerly hope they see the excitement from the tweet and get to work. Best case scenario, it’s all an elaborate double bluff, and we’ll actually see Fisher’s trademark goggles as he runs off on another terrorist-choking adventure.A man can dream, right?last_img read more

5G roaming means S10 5G users can tap into superfast speeds in

first_img#5G roaming at no extra cost.This summer 5G roaming will be available to customers in cities across Germany, Italy, Spain and many more!#5Gamechanger pic.twitter.com/Dna5ASXghJ— Vodafone UK (@VodafoneUK) July 3, 2019In other words, if you’ve got a European city break planned, don’t bank on being able to have continuous 5G access out there. It’s still a very big deal though, since no other UK network currently offers such a service.Vodafone’s UK 5G network went live on July 3, though we’re yet to test out real-world speeds. Vodafone already has a lot to live up to, as we found that EE’s 5G network delivered blistering speeds of up to 410Mbps in certain locations around London.On top of the international roaming, Vodafone’s 5G network is now available in seven British cities: London, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Bristol, and Liverpool. 12 additional cities will be added to the network before the end of this year.Vodafone is currently offering two handsets on its 5G network: the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.From our hands-one experience with the former, we reckon it will likely be the pick of the crop of new 5G phones, with the biggest screen, biggest battery, and most cameras of any Samsung smartphone. The Mi Mix 3 5G is a more affordable option.EE was the first UK network to launch 5G, beating Vodafone to the punch by roughly a month. Three and O2 are expected to launch their own 5G networks before the end of the year − they’ve got some catching up to do. Vodafone has announced that 5G roaming will be available for its customers in select locations across Europe this summer.5G roaming will be available in Germany, Italy, and Spain from this summer, although specific dates have not yet been revealed.The high-speed mobile data service will be available only in specific cities and, judging from the images featured in the tweet below, we expect that list to include Berlin, Rome, and Barcelona.Related: What is 5G? This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. 5G Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

Californias New Purple HOV Sticker To Debut In January 2019

first_imgThis new purple decal is set to go in effect on January 1, 2019 and remain valid until January 1, 2023. This actually gives commuters one extra year on top of previous legislation that allows current white, green, and red stickers to remain intact through January 1, 2022.Not only are we happy that the U.S. state of California is establishing this newfound sticker, but we also hope it will invoke other states (preferably not only of the CARB variety) to issue similar incentives. We can only wish and cross our fingers that the status of EVs and the push for electric car adoption will leak to multiple states throughout the U.S. and beyond.It’s important to note that you can’t attain this new and advantageous purple sticker unless you have a new plug-in vehicle and/or have never applied for and used a different color sticker for that car in the past.If you live in California or have ever visited its major cities, you’re more than likely well aware that traffic is a significant issue that’s getting exponentially worse. This is a necessary step to push EV adoption and something that should be easy for other states to get on the bill. Whether or not other states can get it passed is the question.Source: Green Car Reports Source: Electric Vehicle News California Removes Limit On Green HOV Stickers For PHEVs Watch How To Properly Apply HOV Stickers To Tesla Model 3 Soon, electric cars in California will be able to benefit from a new HOV sticker that will allow driving in the state’s carpool lanes with no carpool evidence in tow.Yes, we all know California is pushing EV adoption hardcore. The state has forever been at the advent of supporting new technology and pushing electric vehicle adoption forth like none other. Now, it’s upping its ante on electric vehicle adoption even further. Beginning after the new year, some electric car owners will able to acquire a brand-new PURPLE sticker, which will allow them to access CA’s carpool (HOV) lanes even as a lone commuter.Related HOV Sticker News: BREAKING: California’s Green HOV Stickers Are About Gone Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 15, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Watch a Tesla Model 3 being dismantled for science and safety

first_imgTesla has been working with first responders to help them better understand their electric vehicles and how to approach them in a possible extraction operation.Now, we have a cool video of a Tesla Model 3 being dismantled. more…The post Watch a Tesla Model 3 being dismantled for science and safety appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Audi unveils design of Q4 etron – a new allelectric compact SUV

first_imgWith new design sketches, Audi is today unveiling the design of the Q4 e-tron – a new all-electric compact SUV to go into production in “late 2020/early 2021.” more…The post Audi unveils design of Q4 e-tron – a new all-electric compact SUV appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Grab a 5pack of vintage Edison LED light bulbs for 6 plus

first_imgToday only, Newegg Flash offers a four-pack of Vintage Edison A19 LED Light Bulbs for $5.99 shipped. That’s good for 40% off the regular going rate and a match of our previous mention. Aside from the usual LED benefits – long lifespans and low energy costs – you’ll be able to enjoy vintage vibes, too. This model has a 2200K rating for a warm look. It’s compatible with E26 fixtures that you’ll find in most home. Head below for more deals. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Grab a 5-pack of vintage Edison LED light bulbs for $6, plus Ryobi’s electric cordless blower, more on sale appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

While Other Nations Support EVs The US Government Is Reversing Gears

first_imgShouldn’t the U.S. government be pushing for EV adoption?Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

FCPA Tips Continue To Be A Minor Component Of The SECs Whistleblower

first_imgThe Dodd-Frank Act enacted in July 2010 contained whistleblower provisions applicable to all securities law violations including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.In this prior post from July 2010, I predicted that the new whistleblower provisions would have a negligible impact on FCPA enforcement.  As noted in this prior post, my prediction was an outlier (so it seemed) compared to the flurry of law firm client alerts that predicted that the whistleblower provisions would have a significant impact on FCPA enforcement.  So anxious was FCPA Inc. for a marketing opportunity to sell its compliance services, some even called the generic whistleblower provision the FCPA’s “new” whistleblower provisions.So far, there has not been any reported whistleblower award in connection with an FCPA enforcement action.  Given that enforcement actions (from point of first disclosure to resolution) typically take between 2-4 years, it still may be too early to effectively analyze the impact of the whistleblower provisions on FCPA enforcement.Whatever your view on how the whistleblower provisions may impact FCPA enforcement, it was previously noted that the best part of the whistleblower provisions were that its impact on FCPA enforcement can be monitored and analyzed because the SEC is required to submit annual reports to Congress.Recently, the SEC released (here) its annual report for FY2015 and of the 3,923 whistleblower tips received by the SEC in FY2015, 4.7% (186) related to the FCPA.As noted in this similar post from last year, of the 3,620 whistleblower tips received by the SEC in FY2014, 4.4% (159) related to the FCPA. As noted in this similar post from two years ago, of the 3,238 whistleblower tips received by the SEC in FY2013, 4.6% (149) related to the FCPA.  As noted in this similar post from three years ago, of the 3,001 whistleblower tips received by the SEC in FY2012, 3.8% (115) related to the FCPA.  In FY2011 (a partial reporting year)  3.9% of the 334 tips received by the SEC related to the FCPA.In short, FCPA “tips” have consistently constituted only a minor component of the SEC’s whistleblower program.Yes, in the future there will be a whistleblower award made in the context of an FCPA enforcement action.  Yes, there will be much ink spilled on this occasion and wild predictions about this “new trend.”Yet, I stand by my prediction – now 5.5 years old, that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower provisions will have a negligible impact on FCPA enforcement.last_img read more

This Week On FCPA Professor

first_imgFCPA Professor has been described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and “the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA.”Set forth below are the topics discussed this week on FCPA Professor.This guest post highlights the U.K.’s first consideration of the Bribery Act’s adequate procedures defense.Based on conversations I’ve had with several Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practitioners (those in law firms and those in companies), one common frustration with FCPA enforcement is the extent to which government enforcement attorneys say one thing while with the government and then say another thing  (often contradictory) when they leave the government. This flip-flop example concerning the merits of voluntary disclosure is not the only example yet represents the latest example.This FCPA Flash podcast episode is a conversation with Gregory Paw and Sandra Orihuela regarding the broader ramifications of the Odebrecht enforcement action.As highlighted here, yet again the Supreme Court rejected the DOJ’s overly expansive interpretation of a criminal law.As highlighted here, Eberhard Reichert (a 78 year old German national who left Siemens in 2001) recently “pleaded guilty … to one count of conspiring to violate the anti-bribery, internal controls and books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud” in connection with an Argentine bribery scheme that largely occurred approximately 20 years ago.This post rounds up other FCPA and related developments.How much do you know about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? Let’s find out in this week’s FCPA challenge.Stay informed. Read FCPA Professor.To receive posts from the award-winning FCPA Professor website direct to your inbox, click here and go to the bottom left hand of the page to subscribe.Elevate your FCPA knowledge and practical skills at the FCPA Institute – Nashville on May 3-4. To learn more and to register, click here.last_img read more

Chelan PUD Announces Deal with Microsoft12th District Representatives Disappointed in Passing of

first_imgREDMOND and WENATCHEE, Wash. – April 12, 2019 – Microsoft Corp. today announced new agreements to boost clean energy and connectivity in Washington state. The two agreements with Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) will see Microsoft receive carbon-free electricity to power its Puget Sound campuses and partner with the PUD on broadband connectivity in Chelan County. “This agreement provides much more than renewable energy for Microsoft — it’s an investment in new opportunities for communities in central Washington and the competitiveness of Washington state,” said Shelley McKinley, general manager, Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft. “We’re proud to be powering our Puget Sound operations in a way that reduces carbon emissions, supports the clean energy sector and supports efforts to expand connectivity. We look forward to working with Chelan PUD to achieve these goals.” Through the five-year power supply agreement, Microsoft will receive hydropower from Chelan PUD that meets the high bar for carbon-free and clean energy established in the direct access contract struck last year. It will also keep carbon-free power generated in Washington state within the state, delivering economic and environmental benefits for Chelan County, the greater Seattle area and the state. The two organizations also signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on efforts to expand broadband service in the most challenging, most rural parts of Chelan County. Connectivity is a shared goal of the two organizations, as demonstrated by the PUD’s success in currently providing broadband access to about three-quarters of the county, and Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to bring broadband to three million people in rural America by 2022. The power supply agreement directly enables this work, as revenues from the power sales will be used to fund hydropower reinvestment, broadband expansion and other benefits for Chelan County. Microsoft will bring technical assistance to this effort, supporting Chelan PUD’s desire to expand technology access to remote parts of Chelan County. “Today, innovative technology is pairing up with renewable hydropower to support our shared goals of a healthy environment and a strong, evolving economy,” said General Manager Steve Wright, Chelan PUD. “The new partnership with Microsoft provides immediate economic value for Chelan County as well as long-term benefits in broadband connectivity. This deal displays hydropower’s capability to support achieving 100% clean energy goals, while providing funding and access to expertise to help meet our objective of providing broadband access to 85% of county residents and hopefully more.” “This is an exciting day for the state of Washington and especially for residents of Chelan County,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “This agreement between Microsoft and Chelan PUD is a perfect example of how Washington’s renewable, reliable hydropower resources will continue to play a central role in driving innovation, supporting rural economic development, and transitioning our economy to 100 percent clean energy.”Chelan County PUD has an all-renewable, carbon-free generation portfolio composed of more than 99% hydropower. In addition, Microsoft is in the final stages of negotiating an additional renewable energy purchase agreement that would see the company contract for output of a new wind or solar resource in the state, expected to be sited and operations within the next five years. No additional infrastructure is required in Chelan’s service area to be able to send power from Chelan PUD to Microsoft.  Chelan PUD will work with Powerex Corp, of Vancouver, BC, who will provide real-time forecasting scheduling, and transmission services to assist the PUD in transmitting its carbon-free power from Chelan County to Microsoft’s headquarters.Press release provided by Chelan PUD and Microsoft.last_img read more

ExWolverine Updates Decommits Summer 2019

first_imgA.J. Dillon (image via ACC Sports) Antwaine Richardson, S (Maryland): Richardson will likely be the starter at strong safety for the Terps. Amauri Pesek-Hickson, LB (Kansas): Pesek-Hickson is just starting his career at Kansas. Tyrece Woods, DE (Buffalo): Woods is just starting his career at Buffalo. 1 0You need to login in order to vote George Campbell, WR (West Virginia): Campbell announced that he was transferring out of Florida State, and the rumor was that he was headed to Penn State. However, he is now on WVU’s roster and listed as a 6’4″, 184 lb. redshirt senior. Kevin Doyle, QB (Arizona): Doyle, a redshirt freshman now, is not in the top three at his position for the Wildcats. Otis Reese, S (Georgia): Reese is listed #2 on the depth chart at safety for the Bulldogs as a sophomore. Messiah DeWeaver, QB (Old Dominion): DeWeaver is #2 on the depth chart going into his first season with the Monarchs. Erik Swenson, OT (Oklahoma): Swenson is penciled in as the starter at left tackle for the Sooners in 2019. DECOMMITS Emil Ekiyor, OG (Alabama): Ekiyor will likely be the starter at left guard this season as a redshirt freshman. Jordan Elliott, DT (Missouri): Elliott is expected to start at 3-tech for the Tigers this fall. Antwuan Johnson, LB (transfer portal): Johnson is in the process of transferring out of Bowling Green State University, although his destination is unknown at this point. Kalil Branham, WR (Kentucky): Columbus (OH) Northland wideout Branham is headed to Kentucky. Jalil Irvin, OG (Auburn): Irvin played in one game as a true freshman in 2018, but he’s not in the two-deep heading into 2019. Tim Baldwin, RB (undecided): Ashburn (VA) Broad Run’s Tim Baldwin is still undecided on where he will play college football, and he has no 247 Sports crystal ball picks in, either. Chase Lasater, LB (Florida Atlantic): Lasater is #2 on the depth chart at inside linebacker for the Owls. Jeremiah “J.J.” Holloman, WR (Georgia): Holloman was the leading returning receiver for the Bulldogs, but with a ton of talent entering, he may not have ended up being the #1 receiver during the year. Alas, he was dismissed from the team for allegedly assaulting a female in April of 2018 (LINK).center_img Eric Gray, RB (Tennessee): Gray is just starting his career at Tennessee. Darrin Kirkland, LB (Tennessee): Although he’s a fifth year senior with starting experience, Kirkland is expected to be a backup middle linebacker for the Vols. Shaun Crawford, CB (Notre Dame): Crawford, who suffered another torn ACL that ruined his 2018, is returning to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility – although he might be able to get a sixth year if he applies for one in 2020. He is expected to be a nickel corner. Tags: A.J. Dillon, Amauri Pesek-Hickson, Antwaine Richardson, Antwuan Johnson, Chase Lasater, Darrin Kirkland Jr., David Reese II, Dele’ Harding, Denver Warren, Devery Hamilton, Emil Ekiyor, Eric Gray, Erik Swenson, Ex-Wolverines, Garrett Taylor, George Campbell Jr., Jalil Irvin, Jeremiah Holloman, Jordan Elliott, Kai-Leon Herbert, Kalil Branham, Kevin Doyle, Kurt Taylor, Leonard Taylor, Messiah DeWeaver, Otis Reese, Shaun Crawford, Stephen Herron Jr., Tim Baldwin, Victor Viramontes Stephen Herron, Jr., DE (Stanford): Herron is just starting his career at Stanford. Leonard Taylor, TE (Cincinnati): Taylor is not in the two-deep at Cincinnati going into 2019. Victor Viramontes, LB (UNLV): Viramontes, who was the starting quarterback at Riverside City College two seasons ago, is now likely to be the starting middle linebacker for the Runnin’ Rebels in 2019. Devery Hamilton, OT (Stanford): Hamilton is slated to start at left guard for Stanford in the fall. Hit the jump for more. Garrett Taylor, S (Penn State): Taylor will likely start at strong safety in 2019 as a fifth year senior. Kai-Leon Herbert, OG (Miami): Herbert is listed at #2 on the depth chart for the Hurricanes at offensive guard. Dele’ Harding, LB (Illinois): Harding is expected to be the Illini’s starting middle linebacker in 2019. Denver Warren, DT (undecided): Warren, from Aurora (IL) West before transferring to Oak Lawn (IL) Brother Rice, is also still undecided and has not taken any official visits yet. David Reese II, LB (Florida): Reese will be the starting middle linebacker once again for the Gators. Kurt Taylor, RB (Iowa Central Community College): Taylor is transferring to ICCC for his junior year of college. A.J. Dillon, RB (Boston College): Dillon is the starter at Boston College going into his junior year. This will likely be his final year of college football as he looks to move on to the NFL.last_img read more

Abnormal sleep duration linked to metabolic syndrome in new study

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJun 14 2018Sleeping too little or even too much has been associated with several disease conditions including metabolic syndrome that predisposes a person to develop diabetes, stroke and heart disease. The findings of the study titled, “Association between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome: a cross-sectional study,” was published in the latest issue of the journal BMC Public Health.For their study, a team of researchers from South Korea at the Seoul National University College of Medicine looked at the association between duration of sleep and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is typically a combination of several conditions such as excessive fat around the waist, raised blood sugar, raised blood pressure and raised levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. The team of researchers obtained sleep as well as health parameters data from a large population of men and women from the Health Examinees (HEXA) study.The study was conducted between 2004 and 2013 and looked into detailed medical histories, prescription medication use, exercise and diet levels and sleep durations of 133,608 Korean participants (44,930 men, 88,678 women) aged between 40 and 69 years. Blood and urine samples were collected from them for testing the biochemical parameters. Each of the participants were asked to detail the total number of hours they spent sleeping per day. This included night time sleep as well as day time naps.They found that 29 and 24 percent of men and women respectively had metabolic syndrome. Additionally they saw that on an average, people who slept for less than six hours a day or more than ten hours a day were at a greater risk of metabolic syndrome than those who slept an average of six to seven hours a day. The researchers noted 11 percent of the sample of men slept for less than six hours and they were more likely to have a larger waist and metabolic syndrome. They noted that 13 percent of the women participants slept for less than six hours per day on an average and they were more likely to have a greater waist measurement. On the other hand 1.5 percent of the men slept for over ten hours per day and were at a greater risk of metabolic syndrome and higher triglycerides in their blood. Of the participants 1.7 percent women slept for more than ten hours per day and these women were at a greater risk of metabolic syndrome, larger waist circumference, raised blood sugar and triglycerides and lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL-C).Lead author of the study Claire E. Kim from the Department of Preventive Medicine at Seoul National University College of Medicine, in her statement said, “We observed a potential gender difference between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome, with an association between metabolic syndrome and long sleep in women and metabolic syndrome and short sleep in men.” Kim said that this is the largest study that examines the “dose response” association between metabolic syndrome and sleep duration. She added that more research is necessary to find the exact reason how sleep is associated with metabolic syndrome. Researchers added that hormones could play a role in this association.Source: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5557-8last_img read more

New proposal aims to improve drug harm assessment process

first_img Source:https://news.ncsu.edu/2018/08/improving-assessment-drug-risks/ Aug 20 2018A drug policy researcher is proposing a suite of changes to overhaul the Multi-Criteria Drug Harm Scale (MCDHS), which informs drug policies across Europe. The changes focus on addressing use and abuse separately, collecting input from a broader range of stakeholders, and targeting substance-specific experts for drug review panels.”The MCDHS, also known as the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis of Drug Harms, is a valuable tool that allows for informed decision making about substances that can have serious consequences for health and well-being on a national scale,” says Veljko Dubljevic, author of a paper describing the proposals. “But there is significant room for improvement.” Dubljevic is an assistant professor of ethics at North Carolina State University and an affiliate of NC State’s Science, Technology & Society program”My proposals would allow for a deeper assessment of the harms associated with substances such as opioids, cannabis, tobacco and stimulants,” Dubljevic says. “And this is an approach that I think the United States should adopt, rather than relying largely on industry-funded research.”The MCDHS has been around for about a decade, and draws on a panel of experts in psychiatry, pharmacology and addiction to rank a drug’s risk of causing harm in three areas: physical health effects, potential for dependence, and social harm. To date, the MCDHS has been used in the European Union, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Norway.The first of three changes Dubljevic is proposing to the MCDHS is to dissociate the harms of a drug’s use from the harms of its abuse.”The risks of drinking a glass of wine on the weekend are different from the risks associated with heavy drinking,” Dubljevic says. “The same is true for the proper use of a prescription drug versus chronic, off-label use. It’s important to assess the risks of drug use and drug abuse separately, and to give each drug two ratings: one for proper use and one for abuse.”Related StoriesDrugs designed with advanced computing technologies could help tackle hospital superbugsResearchers survey orthopedic providers to understand factors that drive opioid prescribing practicesBirth, child outcomes linked with maternal opioid use during pregnancyThe second proposal is to incorporate input from people on the front lines of drug use. Specifically, Dubljevic calls for panels to incorporate input from people who use drugs, pharmacists and general medical practitioners.”This local expertise can provide valuable perspectives that allow for a more robust understanding of a substance’s potential for addiction or social harms,” Dubljevic says.The third proposal is to eschew one-size-fits-all expert panels and instead form panels with substance-specific expertise.”For example, individuals with expertise in prescription opioids are likely not the same people with expertise in khat, a widely-used stimulant in eastern Africa and the Middle East,” Dubljevic says. It simply makes sense to convene different panels to ensure that the people with the relevant expertise are at the table.”The use of the MCDHS, regardless of whether my proposals are adopted, allows for more informed decision making by policymakers, with the potential for improving public health outcomes,” Dubljevic says. “That’s why I’d like to see the U.S. move toward incorporating the MCDHS into its drug evaluations.”For example, it’s probable that a more complete understanding of risks could boost efforts to develop ways of limiting a drug’s potential for abuse,” Dubljevic says. “One possibility, for instance, would be to encourage the development of more delayed-release pharmaceuticals, making it more difficult for the drugs to be used recreationally.”last_img read more

Public misconceptions around role of midwives trigger new awareness campaign

first_img Source:http://unisa.edu.au/Media-Centre/Releases/2018/Public-perception-of-midwives-role-in-maternity-care-sparks-public-awareness-campaign/ Aug 22 2018Research revealing public misconceptions around the role of midwives has triggered a public awareness campaign to help women make more informed choices around their healthcare options. A study from the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Center and School of Nursing and Midwifery of the University of South Australia found more than 50 per cent of respondents believed a woman needed to see a doctor during pregnancy and after the baby was born, yet less than a third believed it was necessary to see a doctor during labor and birth.Lead midwifery academic, Dr Lois McKellar says these survey results indicate the pubic associate midwives with birth, but do not understand the full suite of services and benefits they can provide during pregnancy and once a baby is born.“We want the public to better understand what midwives do, there is a public misconception that they are considered mostly as assistants during labor, rather than lead care providers before, during and after birth,” Dr McKellar says.“This lack of understanding impacts on women’s capacity to make an informed choice around their care options and may have hindered the uptake of midwifery-led models of care.”Midwifery-led care is a model where women receive care from a known midwife and Dr McKellar says multiple evidence-based national and international research studies have demonstrated the enormous benefits of this model, including less intervention, less premature births, increased satisfaction, as well as a decreased overall cost to health services.Related StoriesTackling high sugar content in baby foodResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairHow to get a cheaper prescription before leaving the doctor’s office“Nationwide, only 2.2 per cent of births occur through this model, despite numerous national and state service reviews recommending an increase in more woman-centred services,” Dr McKellar says.“South Australia has been a forerunner in the area, with about 6-7 per cent of women accessing care from a known midwife through midwifery group practice that is offered through the state’s major public hospitals.“One of the key advantages of this model, is that midwives get to know the woman prior to labor and they will understand her needs. For example, if the midwife understands the woman is prone to anxiety, they can provide suitable care when it’s required – whether that’s during the birth or as the new mum settles in at home with her new baby.”Dr McKellar says in the United Kingdom the NHS recently mandated that every woman has a known midwife and she believes emulating this model would have huge benefits here in Australia.The awareness campaign now underway in South Australia was developed by the Australian College of Midwives and funded by the SA Department of Premier and Cabinet.“As the public develop a better understanding on the benefits of care from a known midwife, it’s hoped that more women will openly seek midwifery-led care as a standard care option,” Dr McKellar says.last_img read more

New study shows how Ethiopia has managed to achieve extraordinary progress

first_img Source:https://www.berlin-institut.org/en/publications/studies-in-english/from-land-of-famine-to-land-of-hope Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 21 2018Ethiopia is one of the world’s least developed states. Yet for the past two decades the country has been making extraordinary progress. Targeted investment in health, education and employment has improved the standard of living and triggered a rapid decline in the fertility rate. If it succeeds in consolidating these achievements, Ethiopia could become one of the first sub-Saharan countries to benefit from the “demographic dividend” and demonstrate how development can work in Africa. A new study by the Berlin Institute shows how the country has already managed to come such a long way and which challenges remain to be overcome if it is to serve as a model country on the African continent. By African standards, Ethiopia is already doing well. With the second-largest population in Africa, it is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Together with assistance from abroad, the government’s long-term development plans have already improved the lives of many people and more than halved the share of the population living in poverty. Through the expansion of the health system, child mortality has decreased. The rate of school enrolment has more than doubled thanks to increased investment in education of up to 30 percent of national budget expenditure. In less than 20 years, the number of schools has risen by a factor of 25. Grain yields have more than doubled since 1990. At the same time, Ethiopia is increasingly becoming a target country for foreign investors, whose financial commitment should help to create jobs for the growing population.Development progress to date has also ushered in another positive trend. The fertility rate is falling rapidly, putting a brake on population growth and changing the country’s age structure. Because women are having fewer children, the population of working age has been growing faster than the population as a whole since the early 2000s. Ethiopia is thus heading for a “demographic bonus”, which in many other countries worldwide has paved the way to more growth and prosperity. Given the right framework conditions, this bonus could be transformed into a demographically determined spur to development. Like the Asian tiger states before it, Ethiopia could benefit from its demographic dividend provided it manages to consolidate its progress to date.Related StoriesResearchers evaluate usefulness of fertility appsStress during early pregnancy may reduce future fertility of offspringAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaDespite all its achievements, the country still faces enormous challenges. The development process has been marked by ethnic tensions and ruthlessly driven forward, often with little regard for human rights. The expansion of basic infrastructure has barely been able to keep up with population growth, and the number of people of working age is still growing faster than the number of jobs. Hopes are now pinned on the young prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, to introduce the necessary reforms and measures with which to overcome these challenges.The hoped-for further progress is unlikely to happen without international assistance. Ethiopia is depending on foreign help to achieve its goals. Were the engine of development to stall, there would be far-reaching consequences. “If Ethiopia fails, the stability of the entire region in the Horn of Africa will be endangered,” says Reiner Klingholz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. Flight and explusions would be inevitable. The European Union should therefore give Ethiopia as much financial support and advice as possible so that the country can break out of the vicious circle of poverty and rapid population growth, the study concludes.The study was financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds from the Austrian Development Cooperation as well as by the DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft) and the GfK Verein. You can download the study free of charge as a PDF under:last_img read more

Australian university pulls plug on climate skeptics center

first_imgSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—The Australian government’s controversial move to host a think tank headed by noted global warming skeptic Bjørn Lomborg has unraveled—for now. But Australia’s education minister has vowed to find a new home for the center at a willing institution.Last month, the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth announced plans to set up an Australian Consensus Centre (ACC), chaired by Lomborg, that would conduct policy research on overseas aid, Australian prosperity, agriculture, and regional issues. UWA announced that the federal government would contribute roughly one-third of ACC’s operating costs. The rest of the budget would come from corporate sponsors and government grants.  Scientists were outraged, especially when UWA revealed on 20 April that the government had already contributed AU$4 million to launch the think tank. That’s a hefty sum to a scientific community that has had to tighten its belt in recent months. The 2014 budgets for five major R&D agencies endured a combined cut of more than AU$420 million; the lead R&D agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, has had to close labs and facilities and is slated to have eliminated almost 1300 jobs by the end of next month, representing a 20% cut to its workforce. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email Given such shaky support for science, ACC’s establishment “is an insult to Australia’s scientific community,” says mammalogist Tim Flannery, a founder of the nonprofit Climate Council. He and others contend ACC is politically motivated: Since coming into power in September 2013, the conservative government has scrapped Australia’s Clean Energy Act and the government’s Climate Change Authority and shuttered the independent Climate Change Commission, claiming its AU$1.5 million annual operating costs were too expensive.Outrage grew after Fairfax Media newspapers revealed on 23 April that the push for ACC came from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a Lomborg admirer who quoted the Danish researcher favorably in his 2009 book Battlelines. Although Lomborg has said he accepts that the climate is changing, he has downplayed global warming’s contribution in two popular books, The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, and in reports from his Copenhagen Consensus Centre, a network registered as a U.S. nonprofit. Lomborg argues that money spent cutting greenhouse gas emissions would be better spent on climate change adaptation or tackling poverty. In March, Abbott invited Lomborg to launch the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Innovation Hub and Lomborg now sits on a government-appointed panel advising Australia’s foreign aid programs.Lomborg’s influence in Australia irks researchers like Matt England, a climate scientist at University of New South Wales. “Lomborg has been discredited over the years with some bizarre statements about climate physics,” England asserts. “He just doesn’t get it.”In a letter to UWA’s head of corporate and governance affairs, obtained by Fairfax Media, neuroscientist Sarah Dunlop, head of the university’s School of Animal Biology, claimed that Lomborg lacks the academic track record to justify his appointment as an adjunct professor. At a packed meeting of the university academic council on 24 April, she called on UWA to cut its relationship with Lomborg.With “great regret and disappointment,” UWA Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson announced on 8 May that he had advised the federal government that the university would cancel the contract to set up ACC and return the money. But the saga is not over, Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne assured supporters via Twitter the next day. “Don’t worry, I’m certain we’ll find a new home for the Australian Consensus Centre,” he tweeted. Lomborg told The Guardian on 8 May that he is committed to ACC because his research  is “far too important to let fall victim to toxic politics” and “grossly misinformed attacks.”last_img read more

Climate cycles didnt shape oceans abyssal hills

first_img Email Earlier this year, two papers—one published in Science and the other in Geophysical Review Letters—added a new wrinkle to the debate. They suggested that long-term climate cycles could be modulating the amount of magma erupting on the sea floor. As glaciers grew and retreated, sea levels rose and fell. Those massive fluctuations in pressure would drive periodic pulses of magma to erupt. The Science paper further suggested the distribution of hills at one mid-ocean ridge could be matched with three well-known climate cycles—the Milankovitch cycles—that take place every 23,000, 41,000, and 100,000 years. These Milankovitch cycles are tied to Earth’s wobbly orbital axis, its oscillating axial tilt, and its orbital eccentricity. Jean-Arthur Olive Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Can Earth’s ice ages be seen in the undulating fabric of the sea floor? Earlier this year, a pair of papers suggested that long-term cycles of glaciation and melting trigger pulses of lava that harden into sea floor hills. But now, a new study throws cold water on that hypothesis, finding that these climate-driven pulses did not significantly shape the sea floor. Instead, they say, the underwater hills likely come from faulting action and steady—rather than climate-driven—magma eruptions.“The main point is that the crustal bathymetry is complex,” says David Lund, a paleoceanographer at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point, who was not involved with the study. With so many processes shaping the sea floor, he says, climate-related signals are extremely difficult to detect.A map of Earth’s ocean floor reveals a jagged landscape of tall mid-ocean ridges flanked by a rippling series of smaller hills and grooves. These so-called abyssal hills, some a few hundred meters high, are the most abundant topographic feature on Earth, covering about a third of the ocean floor. Given their ubiquity, geologists have long tried to understand their origin. They have, of course, long known that mid-ocean ridges are the birthplace of new sea floor. As two tectonic plates pull apart, magma wells into the gap, cooling into new rock that is then dragged away from the ridge. Then, as the crust stretches and cools, it cracks, forming faults that allow up-and-down movement. Some scientists have argued that this process alone is sufficient to produce the rugged terrain at most ridges. But others say that periodic fluctuations in magma volume can also help make the abyssal hills. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe But Jean-Arthur Olive, a geodynamicist at Columbia University and lead author of the new paper, doubted that seafloor topography would be sensitive enough to record such relatively rapid changes in magma supply. Even long-term climate cycles are short relative to geologic time, where “we’re talking about hundreds of thousands to millions of years for plate tectonics,” Olive says.To find out whether the climate-driven hypothesis was possible, Olive and his colleagues modeled three different ways in which such rapid pulses of magma might change the face of the sea floor. First, they examined the strength of the tectonic plate itself. The bulk of the plate is made of oceanic crust, a relatively light layer of rock that floats on the denser mantle like a boat floating on water. Newly formed sea floor becomes part of that crust.But most new crust is not erupted and added to the sea floor, but is but is tacked on to the base of the crust. So the researchers wanted to determine whether pulses of magma would produce a crust thick and heavy enough to warp its surface. The models suggested it wouldn’t: The magma inputs didn’t significantly alter the surface of the sea floor. “The plates at the ridge axis simply have too much strength to deform enough to create topography that way,” Olive says.  A second test looked at how much sea floor a mass of magma could make. The team found that magma pulses that accumulated over 100,000 years—the longest of the three Milankovitch cycles—could produce tens of meters of crust. But the abyssal hills at some ridges can reach 200 meters high, so high that a few extra tens of meters wouldn’t make much of a difference.Finally, Olive and his team looked at how climate-driven magma pulses might interact with active faults to shape the sea floor. Different mid-ocean ridges spread at different rates; if magma pulses helped shape the abyssal hills on the ridges’ flanks, then the fastest-spreading ridges would have hills spaced farther apart, while slower-spreading ridges would have hills clustered closer together. But the reverse has long been known to be true.  So Olive and his team devised a new explanation: At fast-spreading ridges with abundant magma eruptions, the cooling, stretching crust forms new faults in rapid succession as it continues to spread. Under normal conditions, “You end up with a lot of closely spaced faults, and [few hills],” says Olive.Richard Katz, a geodynamicist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who was an author on the previous Science paper, says he welcomes the new ideas. “The paper we published—we always knew it would be controversial.” But Katz contends the new study’s models are too simplistic. “Those models weren’t developed to consider processes at shorter times and spatial scales. While I think it’s reasonable to do what they’ve done, it’s also reasonable to say that these models aren’t detailed enough to capture these observations,” Katz says. The best way to resolve this, he says, is to gather and analyze more data from additional ridges.Gathering data from additional ridges is one strategy, Lund agrees. Another, he says, is to find a different proxy for climate-driven pulses of magma altogether—one that is independent of tectonics. To that end, he says, he and others have been examining hydrothermal vents at a mid-ocean ridge known as the East Pacific Rise. Such vents can serve as records of heat activity—which may include pulses of magma—at the ridge through time. Olive acknowledges that they’ve used a simplified model, but he doesn’t think a more detailed one will produce different results.  Rather than focusing on the surface expression of the abyssal hills, he and his colleagues suggest that researchers hunting for signals from climate cycles use seismic imaging at the base of the oceanic crust, where much of the new sea floor accretes and rapid pulses of magma might be more observable. “We’re not contradicting the idea that the modulations exist,” he emphasizes. “We’re contradicting the idea that it leads to the sea floor landscapes.”last_img read more