Notable improvement in brain cancer survival among younger patients but not much

first_img Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/health-news/brain-cancer-survival-has-improved-but-not-much-for-elderly Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 16 2018A new study from Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki and the Finnish Cancer Registry shows that survival after glioblastoma has improved since the millennium. The improvement in survival was, however, modest in elderly patients, raising concerns whether current treatment strategies are optimal for this patient group.Glioblastoma is the most common brain cancer, and one of the deadliest cancers known. Unfortunately, there is no cure for these rapidly progressing tumors.A randomized controlled trial in 2005 showed that a new chemotherapy (temozolomide) given at the same time with radiation therapy increased survival from 12.1 to 14.6 months in 18 to 70-year-old glioblastoma patients. Therefore, today’s glioblastoma treatment consists of surgical removal of the tumor followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, so-called chemoradiation. In many treatment centers, chemoradiation is given also to elderly (>70 years) glioblastoma patients, even though this elderly patient group was not included in the randomized controlled trial.Randomized controlled trials are often referred as “gold standard” studies for assessing treatment outcomes. However, these studies have highly selected patient population that rarely represents the “real-life” populations. For that reason, real-life studies are needed to estimate the true benefit of a new treatment in everyday practice. In a recently published nationwide Finnish study, researched explored if glioblastoma survival has truly improved after the implementation of chemoradiation treatment.”Finland has a tax-funded and government-subsidized social welfare and health care system, where socioeconomic factors and health inequalities affect much less cancer treatments and treatment outcomes than for example in U.S. Moreover, Finnish cancer treatment outcomes are shown to be among the best in the world. For these reasons, Finland is an optimal country to conduct so-called real-life cancer studies”, explains Dr. Rahul Raj, Associate Professor of Experimental Neurosurgery, Helsinki University Hospital, and one of the lead authors of the study.”We used data from the Finnish Cancer Registry, which enables evaluation of all cancer patients’ survival with high quality”, says Janne Pitkäniemi, director of statistics at the Finnish Cancer Registry.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sThe study encompassed over 2,000 patients that had been diagnosed with glioblastoma in Finland between 2000 and 2013. The study was divided into two periods: 2000-2006 (prior to standardized chemoradiation treatment) and 2007-2013 (today’s chemoradiation treatment widely established).According to results, patients treated during the latter period had a 24% lower excess risk of mortality compared to those treated during the earlier period. Time-wise, the median survival time increased by 2.4 months in patients younger than 70 years (from 9.3 months to 11.7 months). Contrary to the randomized controlled trial in 2005, the Finnish study included also elderly (>70 years) glioblastoma patients. The median survival time increased only by 0.9 months in the elderly patient group (from 3.6 months to 4.5 months).”It is important to notice that the improvement in survival was notable in the younger patient group but only dismal in elderly patients. As the median age of glioblastoma patients is increasing at the same time than the incidence of glioblastoma is increasing, the number of elderly glioblastoma patients grows fast in the future. Today we do not have effective treatment strategies for this patient group, and it is questionable whether current heavy treatments and numerous hospital visits are always justified from patients’ perspective”, says Dr. Miikka Korja, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Helsinki University Hospital, and one of the lead authors.Although the prognosis for elderly glioblastoma patients has remained poor, the researchers stress the fact that there has been continuous improvement in treatments.”We think our results highlight the fact that the future glioblastoma research should more and more focus on elderly, that will soon constitute over half of all newly diagnosed glioblastomas”, Dr. Korja says. “We are very hopeful that survival rates will improve in the future.”last_img read more

Allen Institute for Immunology A new division focused on human immune system

first_img Source:https://alleninstitute.org/what-we-do/brain-science/news-press/press-releases/announcing-allen-institute-immunology-new-research-endeavor-focused-human-immune-health-and-disease Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 13 2018The Allen Institute today announced the launch of the Allen Institute for Immunology, a new division of the Institute that is dedicated to studying the human immune system. Seeded by a generous commitment of $125 million by Allen Institute founder, the late Paul G. Allen, the new Institute will work to understand the dynamic balancing act of the human immune system, how it senses friend from foe and what goes wrong when we’re ill.”Paul Allen always challenged us to go after the really hard problems, to do work that would have a significant impact in our scientific fields,” said Allan Jones, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute. “Understanding the human immune system in detail and figuring out what goes wrong in disease is an incredibly complex but solvable problem. I’m thrilled to see us launch into this new area of complexity in biology with a real opportunity to directly impact human health.”The Allen Institute for Immunology’s goal is to improve human immune health and lay the groundwork for better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent immune-related diseases. In its initial phase, the Institute will focus on studies of two cancers, multiple myeloma and melanoma, and three autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, specifically, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The researchers will also take a deep dive into the immune systems of healthy volunteers with the goal of understanding what makes a “normal” immune baseline and how to help patients return to that healthy state.Thomas F. Bumol, Ph.D., is the Executive Director for the Allen Institute for Immunology. Bumol joins the Institute from Lilly Research Laboratories where he worked for more than 35 years, most recently as Senior Vice-President of the Biotechnology and Immunology Research component and the Site Head of Lilly’s Biotechnology Center of San Diego. His work at Lilly focused on drug discovery and early clinical development of treatments for many disease areas including diabetes, pain and immune-related diseases such as psoriasis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.”By unraveling the mysteries of the dynamic immune system in healthy individuals and focusing the same cutting-edge tools on patients in various disease states, we believe we will find new ways to diagnose and ultimately treat disease,” Bumol said. “We are looking at problems that have large unmet needs. Patients are not only suffering from these immune-based illnesses, patients are dying from some of these disorders, and we would like to change that.”Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchNon-classical monocytes directly involved in regulation of immune responseThe Allen Institute for Immunology will build off the model of large-scale team science established by the Allen Institute’s two other research divisions, the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Cell Science, and will work directly with samples and data from patients and healthy volunteers, thanks to a unique partnership with five leading research organizations: Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of California San Diego with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the University of Pennsylvania.”The new focus on immunology draws on the Allen Institute’s 15-year history of groundbreaking basic and translational scientific discovery,” said Marshall Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Dean of UW Medicine and chair of the scientific advisory board for the Allen Institute for Immunology. “By building new tools for its study, the Allen Institute for Immunology will help lead the way forward in deciphering the mysteries of the immune system while unleashing its power to prevent and treat a wide range of afflictions.”There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases and more than 100 human cancers, as well as many more diseases that involve the immune system, affecting tens of millions of people around the world. Yet researchers are not even close to a complete understanding of what makes a healthy immune system, let alone what goes wrong in that system in disease. The Allen Institute for Immunology aims to fill that knowledge gap with detailed studies of the foundational components of the immune system — its cell types and networks — and how those components change over the course of one to three years in both healthy volunteers and patients with different immune-related diseases.Beyond the direct findings the research teams will make by studying the initial five diseases, their in-depth studies of healthy adult and childhood immune systems will enable other researchers around the world to make discoveries that could lead to new treatments for many more diseases. Like the other research teams at the Allen Institute, the Allen Institute for Immunology researchers will make their data and tools openly available online for anyone in the scientific community to use.”This is just the tip of a really big iceberg of opportunity,” Bumol said. “If this model works, we’ll have applications that will go way beyond these first few diseases we’re studying. We’ll see the impact grow across a large swath of human health.”last_img read more

New implant could restore the transmission of electrical signals in injured central

first_img Source:http://www.fetfx.eu/story/can-nanotechnology-rewire-injured-spinal-cord/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 21 2019The ByAxon project is developing a new implant that restores the transmission of electrical signals in an injured central nervous system.According to the World Health Organization, up to half a million people around the world suffer a spinal cord injury each year. Often caused by road traffic crashes, accidents or violence, the loss of motor control or paralysis significantly impacts quality of life and requires years of treatment and care. Spinal cord injury is also associated with lower rates of school enrolment and economic participation, and carries substantial individual and societal costs.Current methods for spinal cord injury treatment involve cumbersome brain-machine interfaces, with many cables linking the patient and a computer to restore limited motor functions. Other methods to map brain activity, such as magnetoencephalography, require very large machinery and particularly low-temperature working conditions.Related StoriesNovel technique that uses nanotechnology and photonics prevents bacterial infections on surgical implantsTexas A&M researchers receive grant to develop super-repellent, anti-fouling food surfacesMultifunctional nanoparticles could revolutionize treatments for complex bone diseasesTo improve the quality of life of those suffering a spinal cord injury, ByAxon – an EU project funded by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme – is bringing together a consortium of researchers from across Europe (Spain, Italy, France and Germany) to devise a new generation of spinal cord treatments. The four-year project started in January 2017 and is seeking to create implants that restore sensory functions.Project Co-coordinator Dr Teresa González from IMDEA says they are focusing on recovering sensitive functions. “We want signals that start from the extremities go back to the brain. This is very important since it has been shown that therapies focused on recovering the sensitive part as soon as possible are usually more successful in recovering also the motor part.”The new nanotechnology implants called ‘nanowire-coate electrodes’ can act as a neural interface coupled with sensors able to read the magnetic signals of neurons. Special nanomaterials used in conjunction with the nanoelectrodes, such as carbon nanotubes, would also serve as a supportive framework for nerves cells, enabling them to pass signals over the spinal cord injury, effectively creating an active bypass. The nanotubes or ‘neuronal prosthetics’ could promote neuroplasticity processes and, as a final goal, contribute to the restoration of neural activity in the spinal cord.If successful, ByAxon could have a huge medical and social impact in the long term. Not only would it enable sufferers of spinal cord injuries to regain sensory functions, but the technology could also serve as a basis for a new applications. Advanced neural interfaceswith utility in retinal implants, brain-recording systems for patients with epilepsy, and deep brain stimulation devices for Parkinson disease could all benefit from the project’s research. The new sensors could be used beyond medical applications in a variety of everyday brain-machine interfaces that, for example through wireless communication, can be used to control computers, drones or robots using thought alone.last_img read more

Parents mental health problems associated with reactive attachment disorder in children

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 22 2019Children’s risk of being diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) increases if parents are diagnosed with any type of mental health disorder, discovered researchers from the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry of the University of Turku, Finland. Particularly parents’ alcohol and drug addiction and mother’s depression were associated with reactive attachment disorder in children. The nationwide population-based study is the most extensive study on the risk factors of RAD. Reactive attachment disorder is a disorder of social functioning where the child’s ability to form normal attachment relationships is disrupted. RAD is characterised by ambivalence about seeking comfort from a caregiver, emotional withdrawal, lack of social approach, reduced positive affect, and unexplained fear or irritability. If left untreated, the disorder will affect the course of the child’s entire life, ability to function, and later relationships.The study showed that, if both parents had a psychiatric diagnosis, the child’s risk of RAD diagnosis was 51 times higher than that of children whose parents were not diagnosed with a disorder. Mother’s mental health diagnosis increased the child’s risk of RAD by nine-fold and father’s diagnosis by six-fold.- The most common combination of psychiatric diagnoses in parents whose children were diagnosed with RAD was both parents diagnosed with alcohol and drug addiction or abuse, which was among 20 percent of RAD cases. The second common combination was mothers’ diagnosed with depression and fathers’ diagnosed with alcohol and drug addiction or abuse, met in approximately 17 percent of RAD cases, says lead author, researcher Subina Upadhyaya from the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry.All the 614 children diagnosed with RAD in Finland between 1991-2012 participated in the study. In earlier studies, the association of reactive attachment disorder with risk factors has generally been studied in unusual circumstances, such as children in institutional or foster care or in maltreated children.Related StoriesNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in life- Our results are in line with the previous studies with a more limited data. Furthermore, we discovered in our population-based study that RAD is connected with maternal smoking during pregnancy, single motherhood, and advanced paternal age, says Upadhyaya.Screening and Low-threshold Care Needed for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Problems during Pregnancy Even though the disorder affects under a percent of the entire population, it is a significant and expensive problem according to Professor in Child Psychiatry Andre Sourander.- The disorder is connected with later child protection issues, other psychiatric disorders, and social exclusion. The treatments are exacting and expensive and the evidence of their effectiveness is very limited, stresses Professor Sourander from the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry of the University of Turku.He leads a research group focusing on risk factors during pregnancy which are associated with mental disorders.- When compared with our earlier results in several other psychiatric disorders associated with parents’ psychiatric diagnoses or substance abuse, the connection is unusually strong in reactive attachment disorder. This means that RAD is strongly associated with prenatal brain development and being subjected to intoxicants, Sourander explains.According to him, the results should be taken into consideration when planning mental health care services. Parents’ substance abuse and mental health disorders should be actively screened during pregnancy and low-threshold services based on research results should be developed for treating these disorders.Source: https://www.utu.fi/en/news/press-release/parents-mental-health-problems-increase-risk-of-reactive-attachment-disorder-in-childrenlast_img read more

New research brings scientists closer to preventing preterm births

first_img Source:https://www.utmb.edu/newsroom/article11990.aspx Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 13 2019A group of scientists led by Ramkumar Menon at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have gained new insight on a poorly-understood key player in the timing of labor and delivery. This new information brings scientists closer to being able to prevent preterm births. This study is in Scientific Reports.According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 15 million infants are born too early each year. Complications from preterm birth are the leading cause of death among children under five years old, responsible for about one million deaths each year globally. In the U.S., approximately 1 of every 10 infants was born prematurely in 2017.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTWhen a woman is at the end of her pregnancy, the normal childbirth process begins when the fetus releases chemicals signaling that his/her organs have matured enough for delivery. This chemical release shifts the mother’s hormone levels, which increases inflammation in the uterus and begins labor and delivery.”There’s another component of the biological clock that contributes to the timing of birth – a type of cell-to-cell communication between the maternal and fetal cells called paracrine signaling,” said senior author Menon, UTMB associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. “Because little is known about what this type of signaling does during pregnancy, we investigated the role of paracrine signals called exosomes in the timing of labor and delivery.”The researchers collected blood plasma samples from pregnant mice and isolated the exosomes. Exosomes collected during either early or late pregnancy were injected into a separate group of pregnant mice during the human equivalent of the beginning of the third trimester.”We showed that injecting a high concentration of late pregnancy exosomes was able to cause labor-associated changes without the other hormonal and chemical triggers usually involved in this process. Injections of the early pregnancy exosomes had no effect,” said Menon. “This shows that exosomes play a more important role in labor and delivery that has never been reported before.”last_img read more

Hot car deaths Study describes psychological and neural basis of how people

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019More than 50 children died in hot cars in 2018, making it the deadliest year on record. Many of the cases involve parents who unknowingly left a child behind, often for an entire day. University of South Florida Psychology Professor David Diamond has studied this phenomenon for over a decade and has served as an expert witness on many high-profile cases. In his latest publication, he describes the psychological and neural basis of how responsible people make such fatal errors.His study, published in Medicine, Science and the Law, explains how the brain can fail to remember to do something in the future (prospective memory). Examples of prospective memory are remembering to call a friend after lunch or to stop at the store on the way home from work, as well as prospective memory errors which result in a loss of life, in airplane crashes and when children are forgotten in cars. Diamond described how the frontal and parietal cortices allow us to use stored information to make a plan and then to execute that plan in the future. The hippocampus is critical for consciously remembering to retrieve the memory and that the task was completed. The basal ganglia enable us to go into an “autopilot” mode, in which we follow a well-traveled route, but in the process, lose awareness of the plan to take the child to daycare.According to Diamond, as someone goes into an ‘autopilot’ mode, habitual behavior, such as getting ready for work and driving directly to the office on a typical day, can cause a parent to lose awareness of the child in the car. Extensive research has shown that competing factors can cause the execution of a plan to fail rapidly, even in a matter of seconds. Examples of factors that cause prospective memory to fail include stress, a disrupting phone call, and sleep deprivation. A lack of visual or verbal reminders, like a sleeping child or a misplaced diaper bag, increases the chances for a person to lose awareness of the child in the back of a car.Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of carePosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsDiamond’s study also included research on false memories, in which people create strong memories of events that were implied but did not happen. In the cases he has handled, the brain somehow creates the false memory that the parents had dropped off their children, as planned, at daycare. Diamond recalls the horror conveyed by the parents he has interviewed – ‘they return to their car with the plan to pick their child up at daycare, only to find the child had suffered from heatstroke during the day.’Many of the parents that forget children in cars have been charged with manslaughter, and even murder. Diamond has worked with defense attorneys and legal scholars to address the legal ramifications for child deaths in hot cars. His study included a review of an absence of mens rea, in which harm caused by an individual without intent or awareness, should negate prosecution of cases where parents and caretakers unknowingly and unintentionally leave a child in a car. That’s because neuroscience research confirms that when brain systems compete the subconscious (habit) neural system can overpower the conscious mind when it comes to maintaining awareness of a sleeping child in the back of a car.”The brain memory systems that fail when people forget children in cars are the same as those systems that cause us to forget to shut off the headlights when we arrive at a destination,” said Diamond. “Just as auto manufacturers have built-in systems that shut off headlights, we must have built-in systems that detect a forgotten child in a car.”Many efforts are underway to find a solution, such as proposed federal legislation that requires vehicles to alert drivers when a child is left in the car.Source: https://www.usf.edu/research-innovation/last_img read more

UCL scientists discover key brain region for navigating familiar places

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 1 2019UCL scientists have discovered the key brain region for navigating well-known places, helping explain why brain damage seen in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease can cause such severe disorientation.The study, published today in Cerebral Cortex, is the first to identify the specific brain regions used in guiding navigation of familiar places.Researchers observed that a brain region long-known to be involved in new learning – the hippocampus – was involved in tracking distance to a destination in a ‘newly learned’ environment.However, when navigating a familiar place, another brain region – the retrosplenial cortex – was found to “take over” tracking the distance to the destination.Related StoriesMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia risk”Our findings are significant because they reveal that there are in fact two different parts of the brain that guide navigation,” says Professor Hugo Spiers (UCL Experimental Psychology), senior author on the study.”Which part gets used depends on whether you are in a place you know well or a place you only visited recently. The results help to explain why damage to the retrosplenial cortex in Alzheimer’s disease is so debilitating, and why these patients get lost even in very familiar environments.”The research team worked with students from UCL and Imperial College London. The students’ brain activity was monitored as they navigated a simulation of their own familiar campus and the other university’s campus, which was ‘newly learned’ days before.The researchers also explored the impact of Sat-Navs by having students navigate the campuses with directions overlaid on the route in front of them. Strikingly, neither the hippocampus nor retrosplenial cortex continued to track distance to the destination when using this Sat-Nav-like device.”We wondered whether navigating a very familiar place would be similar to using a Sat-Nav, seeing as you don’t need to think as much about where you’re going in a familiar place,” says Professor Spiers. “However, the results show this isn’t the case; the brain is more engaged in processing the space when you are using your memory.””This has significant implications for ongoing research into Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr Zita Patai (UCL Experimental Psychology), first author on the study. “Specifically, how the deterioration of different brain regions contributes to fundamental behaviors such as memory and navigation, and how this changes over time.” Source:https://www.ucl.ac.uk/last_img read more

Waymo Uber end trade secrets theft trial with settlement Update

© 2018 AFP Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was among the wtinesses testifying in the trade secrets trial before Friday’s settlement Levandowski, who was on the list as a possible witness, left Google for his own startup called Otto, which was later acquired by Uber. Kalanick denies plot to steal secrets in tense courtroom exchange Waymo and Uber announced an agreement Friday in the blockbuster federal lawsuit over allegedly stolen trade secrets from the former Google self-driving car project. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Waymo CEO John Krafcik arrives at the start of a trial pitting the former Google car unit against Uber over allegedly stolen trade secrets, a case settled by the two companies on Friday Citation: Waymo, Uber end trade secrets theft trial with settlement (Update) (2018, February 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-waymo-uber-secrets-theft-trial.html The case hinged on Waymo’s ability to show not only that Levandowski had taken Google’s private source code, but that Uber had used it improperly to catch up with rivals.The jury saw evidence which was embarrassing for Uber, however, including notes from Kalanick about “cheat codes” and a text message in which he told Levandowski to “burn the village.” Kalanick said, “I don’t know, I don’t remember.”The jury was also shown a clip—sent from Levandowski to Kalanick— from the 1987 film “Wall Street” in which the Michael Douglas lead character proclaims “greed is good.”‘Growing responsibly’Khosrowshahi said in his statement he regretted the handling of the Levandowski matter, which occurred before he took over as CEO last year.”My job as Uber’s CEO is to set the course for the future of the company: innovating and growing responsibly, as well as acknowledging and correcting mistakes of the past,” he said.”In doing so, I want to express regret for the actions that have caused me to write this letter.”He added, “To our friends at Alphabet: we are partners, you are an important investor in Uber, and we share a deep belief in the power of technology to change people’s lives for the better. Of course, we are also competitors.”The settlement comes with Uber seeking to turn the page following a series of scandals over alleged misconduct and a cut-throat workplace culture, as new chief executive Khosrowshahi strives to prepare for a stock market debut in 2019.”While I cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will inform our actions going forward,” Khosrowshahi said.”I’ve told Alphabet that the incredible people at Uber ATG are focused on ensuring that our development represents the very best of Uber’s innovation and experience in self-driving technology.”Uber, which is the world’s biggest ride-hailing service, is seeking to be a major player in autonomous cars and has ordered an estimated 24,000 cars from Volvo for its project set to launch in the coming years.Waymo is deploying its own self-driving rideshare program at the same time and has ordered “thousands” of vehicles from Fiat Chrysler for its service.The sector also includes most major automakers, technology platforms and ride services such as Lyft. The surprise agreement ends a trial between the two Silicon Valley rivals competing in a race to develop autonomous cars, after four days of testimony before a federal judge in San Francisco.A source familiar with the confidential deal said Uber agreed to a financial settlement giving the Alphabet unit 0.34 percent of Uber shares—which would be some $244 million based on Uber’s valuation of $72 billion.Uber also agreed not to use any of Waymo’s technology for autonomous driving as part of the settlement, which was approved by Judge William Alsup as he dismissed the case.Waymo said in a statement: “We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo’s intellectual property now and into the future. We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology.”Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in a separate statement that “while we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber … we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work.”While the technical details of Waymo’s case were not revealed, it was widely believed to focus on Lidar, a laser-based system which is critical to enabling autonomous cars to get a three-dimensional picture of its surroundings.The trial so far included testimony from former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick, who denied a conspiracy to steal trade secrets in a tense two-day court appearance.High-stakes trialAlphabet’s Waymo division was seeking at least $1 billion over the theft of secrets from its self-driving car program in the trial before federal judge William Alsup.If the case had gone to the jury and Waymo had prevailed, it would have dealt a severe blow to Uber’s efforts to widely deploy self-driving vehicles as part of its ridesharing operations—a field that also includes Waymo and other rivals.Waymo had alleged Uber conspired with former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski, who had been accused of downloading thousands of proprietary documents before leaving the company and ending up at Uber. read more

A magnetic method for polishing metals enables mold templates with microscale features

More information: Jiang Guo et al. Magnetic field-assisted finishing of a mold insert with curved microstructures for injection molding of microfluidic chips, Tribology International (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.triboint.2017.04.019 Explore further A fluid behaves very differently when it is confined to micrometer-scale channels. This phenomenon already has several applications such as enabling the analysis of small samples of blood.These microfluidic systems are small and portable, easy to use without expert knowledge, and disposable because they are cheap to produce. But this disposability means that microfluidic chips need to be quickly mass produced.Now, Jiang Guo and his colleagues from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology have developed a method for fabricating molds that can quickly create microfluidic channels in polymer substrates. “The technology addresses a critical problem in mold insert fabrication for microfluidic chip production, and will enhance local industry,” says Guo.Injection molding involves shaping a material while in a molten state using a metal template. It is cheap, fast, and useful for creating microfluidic chips. However, engineering a mold with precise micrometer-scale features and smooth surfaces is challenging as burrs and tool marks create defects. A post-polishing process can fix some of these imperfections, but it is difficult for polishing tools to access the recessed corners of microstructured surfaces and remove unwanted material uniformly.Guo and his colleagues started by milling their template for a microfluidic channel 100 micrometers in depth and 100 micrometers in width on a special aluminum alloy. The channel was 100 millimeters in length and included two fluid inlets, one fluid outlet and a serpentine channel as reaction chamber. They then polished this template using a method known as magnetic field-assisted finishing. Two magnetic rollers rotating in opposite directions on either side of the mold create a magnetic field. This field controlled a magnetic abrasive made of carbonyl iron powder and alumina particles bound together by oil, which removed any unwanted material and smoothed the surface.The researchers compared their template before and after this magnetic polish. They observed that the process preserved the height of the microstructure, although the edges were more rounded after polishing. The polish reduced the roughness of the surface by a factor of four, leaving a mirror-like finish. “The next step will be to use the polished mold template for actual injection molding,” says Guo. Engineers make microfluidics modular using the popular interlocking blocks Provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Citation: A magnetic method for polishing metals enables mold templates with microscale features (2018, February 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-magnetic-method-metals-enables-mold.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A microfluidic chip injection mold. Credit: A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology Injection molding enables large-scale production of polymer and plastic materials with micrometer-sized features. Now, A*STAR scientists have developed a method for creating mold templates with high precision and few defects. read more

S Korea police raid BMW office over car fires

first_img An official at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s white collar crime unit said officers were investigating whether the company covered up vehicle defects and had confiscated documents and other materials.He declined to give further details but Yonhap news agency said a team of 30 investigators were involved. There was no immediate comment from BMW Korea. “We will conduct a thorough investigation to reveal the truth,” Yonhap quoted a police official as saying.The move came after reports more than 40 BMW vehicles have burst into flames so far this year, with some parking lots refusing to accept the cars because of fears they could catch fire.South Korea this month temporarily banned from the streets BMW cars that had not yet passed safety checks and dozens of BMW owners filed complaints seeking a criminal investigation into the firm, its local unit and their nine top officials.BMW Korea last month started recalling 106,000 vehicles with an exhaust gas recirculation module, which it says caused the recent fires. The recall applies to 42 models, all with diesel engines.The company is facing a series of legal actions over the issue in the country, and has said the problem was “not Korea specific”.In South Korea, six out of 10 imported cars are from Germany, with BMW selling nearly 39,000 in the first six months of this year, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association. Citation: S. Korea police raid BMW office over car fires (2018, August 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-korea-police-raid-bmw-office.html Explore further South Korea this month temporarily banned from the streets BMW cars that had not yet passed safety checks South Korean police raided German carmaker BMW’s Seoul headquarters Thursday in connection with dozens of engine fires.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 AFP Criminal case filed against BMW over S. Korea car fireslast_img read more

Sex toys all the buzz at Vegas tech show

first_imgFrom the printing press and the VCR to virtual reality sex, adult entertainment has always been a major catalyst driving innovation and reshaping technology for the benefit of the porn pioneer. And for the thousands of tech nerds at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, that means the intelligent toasters and AI vacuum cleaners are having to make room for the sex toys of the future.Among the innovations at this year’s get-together, run by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), are an augmented strip club complete with virtual pole dancers and a “personal massager” you can operate from your smart watch.The market for sex products such as vibrators and lubricant is projected to grow to $37.2 billion globally by the year 2022, according to British sex toy retailer MysteryVibe.”It’s not strange to want a more satisfying sex life, and there’s nothing wrong with you if you need technology to help you achieve that,” the company’s co-founder Stephanie Alys told AFP.The firm was at CES to show off a product designed for the discerning gentleman—a snug, collar-like device named “Tenuto” which, in musical notation, refers to holding on slightly longer than you normally would.Meanwhile startup OhMiBod was showing off a vibrator operated via an app on Apple smart watches. The less uninhibited, or those on sufficiently noisy public transport, can simply turn it up or down by yelling at an Alexa-style voice-activated assistant. ‘Mind-blowing’Naughty America’s “Strip Club” taps into capabilities on smartphones or tablets to let people overlay virtual male or female stripper holograms on the world around them.”It’s mind-blowing,” Naughty America chief executive Andreas Hronopoulos told AFP. “You can bring a full stripper into a room, on a pole, and she is there. No tipping necessary.”Once a virtual performer is anchored in place, viewers can move around them as though the dancer were actually there. The adult film group Naughty America offered an augmented reality experience in a room tucked in the back of the CES show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center Citation: Sex toys all the buzz at Vegas tech show (2019, January 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-sex-toys-vegas-tech.html A virtual reality option lets people use the headgear to visit faux strip joints from a first-person perspective.”I think of this more as a leisure product, where magazines are going to go—you sit back, relax, drop the holograms in place and play with them,” Hronopoulos said.The adult entertainment industry has a history of boldly pursuing new technologies that promise to improve their products or profits, taking credit for everything from e-commerce, streaming video and webcams to cable TV and subtitles. © 2019 AFP Organizers of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show said they took back an innovation award from a sexual stimulator because there was no category for sex toyscenter_img “I think they can teach the (tech) industry a few things,” Gartner principal analyst Tuong Nguyen told AFP.Hands-freeWith the technology developing so quickly, one challenge for an industry used to marketing family-friendly gadgets is how far into the sometimes sticky world of adult entertainment it is prepared to wade. A robotic, hands-free vibrator named Ose that uses micro-robotic technology to mimic the sensation of a human mouth won a CES Innovation Award this year.But it had the honor stripped and found itself controversially banned from the exhibition floor after it was deemed to have broken the rules. It might not be clear to everyone why a nude pole-dancer is deemed more acceptable than a high-tech vibrator, but the CTA said the Ose, made by the startup Lora DiCarlo, “does not fit into any of our existing product categories” and thus should not have been eligible.”Society needs to drop the taboo around sex and sexuality—it’s a part of life and health that absolutely should be part of mainstream discourse,” Lora DiCarlo founder Lora Haddock said in an open letter to the CTA.”You never know how technology can be used, the future of healthcare might well be in the patent for a sex toy.”Douglas Layman, a general partner for the partnership backing Lora DiCarlo, said in a statement the startup was taking aim at a market that is poised to boom.”Society is changing to accept a broader discussion about sexual health, leading to explosive growth for sex tech products in the consumer market,” he said. Explore further US gadget love forecast to grow despite trust issues This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Podcasters find niche in the Arab world

first_imgRana Nawas left the corporate world nearly two years ago to produce and host a podcast—one that is now considered the most popular in the Arab world. Podcasts take growing role in shifting media landscape Rana Nawas hosts the English-language podcast ‘When Women Win’, seeking to tell the stories of successful women from around the world The English-language series, “When Women Win”, tells the stories of successful women from all over the world and, according to Apple, has become the most listened to podcast in the Middle East.It first gained traction in 2017 in Dubai, where it is produced, before it started to spread across the region.Nawas said she created the series “to give women all over the world access to role models” by highlighting the “extraordinary things” ordinary women are doing.”I’ve been surprised at how the region has embraced ‘When Women Win’,” the 40-year-old told AFP, adding aviation giant Emirates Airline would start airing her show this month.”There’s clearly a thirst for this content, there’s clearly a thirst for female role models,” said the Briton of Lebanese and Palestinian origins.”When Women Win”, which is available to download in 144 countries, is the most popular podcast even in the ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to Nawas.”I’ve been… surprised that actually my biggest market is Saudi Arabia,” said the former sales executive at an aviation company.”Everybody tells you (Saudis) only consume Arabic video content, so I was really delighted… to know that they also consume English-language audio content.”Nawas, whose show is entirely self-funded, said she hopes to be able to draw financing from other sources.”It’s not sustainable,” she told AFP.”I am hoping in a couple of years, once I have the impact that I want… to start bringing investors on or bringing advertisers or sponsors on board.”Nawas gets messages about the podcast from around the world via social media, including Instagram and LinkedIn, and believes the podcast will gain even more popularity.”I think the global future of podcasts is very positive, and the reason is people are not going to get less busy. We are only getting busier,” she said.”We need ways to consume content where it is a secondary activity.”She said most people listen to podcasts on mobile devices during their commute, or while cleaning or cooking. Explore further © 2019 AFP ‘Third-culture kids’Like Nawas, Sudanese-born Omar Tom and friends created a podcast in 2016 that touches on topics they feel are neglected in traditional media.One such issue his English-language podcast—the Dukkan Show—focuses on is life in the Gulf for members of its huge expatriate population.In the show, the hosts chat to guests as if sitting in a dukkan—or “corner store”—where it is common culture in the Arab world to socialise with friends and neighbours.”I wanted to fight a couple of stereotypes,” said Tom, 30, who is sporting a Made in Sudan T-shirt.”One was the Sudanese stereotype when I first started, which is the lack of representation in media, and if there is a representation it doesn’t always speak for the diaspora or for the third-culture kids.”As Arabs we don’t look so good in international and western media. So how do we tackle that? The only way to do that is to speak in a language that everybody would understand, which at the moment just happens to be English.”‘Here to stay’Many young Arab people now prefer podcasts over traditional radio programmes.For Rami Baassiri, 26, podcasts allow him to be more productive and do two things at once.”There’s a lot of downtime in my day, whether I’m commuting to work, driving, in the gym, in queues in the mall, at the airport, so I like to make use of that time,” he told AFP.”I think of podcasts as radio on demand.”Radio … is very random. Podcasts allow me to control the radio by choosing whoever I want to listen to, whatever I want to listen to.”Reem Hameed, a Canadian who takes part in the Dukkan Show, said podcasts are “here to stay and in the Arab world”.”We have, in the Arab world, an amazing tradition of radio. If you think about how deep radio and its history falls into the Arab world, podcasting is a natural, digital extension of that,” said Hameed, 36, who is of Iraqi and Filipino origins.Podcasts have been spreading across the Arab region, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon.In Jordan, the platform Sowt—or “voice”—has aired an array of podcasts that touch on subjects ranging from politics to music since its launch in 2017.Hebah Fisher, chief executive and co-founder of Dubai-based network Kerning Cultures, the first venture-funded podcast company in the Middle East, said podcasts are the future.”Our seed round is a strong signal for the podcast industry in the Middle East: the medium is taken seriously, and its value for listeners and users is clear,” she told AFP in an emailed statement.”Podcasting is the future of media.” Citation: Podcasters find niche in the Arab world (2019, May 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-podcasters-niche-arab-world.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Mobile chip titan Qualcomm faces setback with US antitrust ruling

first_imgQualcomm, the dominant maker of smartphone processors, abused its market position at the expense of consumers and device makers, according to a US antitrust ruling Citation: Mobile chip titan Qualcomm faces setback with US antitrust ruling (2019, May 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-qualcomm-antitrust.html © 2019 AFP Qualcomm settled its patent dispute with Apple earlier this year, likely giving the chipmaker billions of dollars from the iPhone maker Smartphone chip giant Qualcomm suffered a fresh blow in its antitrust battle as a US federal judge ruled that it “strangled competition” for years at the expense of consumers and device makers. Qualcomm shares sank some 10.8 percent Wednesday to close at a one-month low after the ruling that the company violated antitrust law, in a case with major implications for the smartphone market.US District Judge Lucy Koh ordered Qualcomm to change its pricing and sales practices, after finding it “engaged in anticompetitive conduct” toward customers like device makers Huawei of China, South Korea’s Samsung and Japan’s Sony.”Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition” in the chip market “and harmed rivals,” she said in Tuesday’s 233-page ruling in the lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.The judge issued an injunction requiring California-based Qualcomm to comply with her order, and to submit to monitoring by the FTC for seven years.FTC competition director Bruce Hoffman called the ruling “an important win for competition in a key segment of the economy” and said the agency “will remain vigilant in pursuing unilateral conduct by technology firms that harms the competitive process.”Qualcomm to appealThe company said it will seek an expedited appeal of the ruling.”We strongly disagree with the judge’s conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law,” Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.Koh said Qualcomm’s actions suggested it could use the same tactics to suppress competition for fifth-generation or 5G chips. “There is a sufficient likelihood that Qualcomm will hold monopoly power in the 5G modem chip market such that exclusive dealing agreements for the supply of modem chips could foreclose competition in that emerging market,” she wrote.The judge ruled that Qualcomm must negotiate for its patents on fair and reasonable terms without using threats or discriminatory tactics.John Bergmayer of the consumer group Public Knowledge hailed the decision.”Judge Koh’s ruling shows that the FTC has the ability to bring, and win, important cases that protect American consumers,” he said.Ed Black of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group that includes Google, Facebook and Microsoft and which sided with FTC, also welcomed the decision. Judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust law in chip market The ruling marked the latest setback for Qualcomm, which has faced antitrust litigation in China, Europe and South Korea.Qualcomm’s woes appeared to ease earlier this year when it agreed with Apple to settle all worldwide litigation in what had been a sprawling battle over royalty payments.Impact unclearKoh said Qualcomm’s actions harmed rivals in the smartphone modem business, including Taiwan-based MediaTek and US-based Intel, which last month pulled out of the market for 5G modems at the same time Apple settled its case with Qualcomm.But the immediate impact is unclear in a smartphone market in turmoil over a US decision to blacklist China’s Huawei, the number two handset maker, from any American technology.The ruling could open the door for Qualcomm rivals and partners to seek damages, but “Qualcomm has already settled with Apple, which was one of the key instigators of the case in the first place,” noted Avi Greengart of the consultancy Techsponential.Still, the findings “could open up opportunities for MediaTek at the low end of the smartphone market, and in some markets for MediaTek’s 5G solutions,” Greengart noted.However, Qualcomm is likely to remain the dominant producer for the smartphone market in the short-term, the analyst noted.”For the most part, Qualcomm has won based on its merits, not on its licensing terms,” he said. Qualcomm’s mobile processors are used in most premium smartphones “Qualcomm improperly benefits from its use of standard essential patents that other companies use to build compatible products,” Black said. “This ruling is a win for wireless technology and American competitiveness in 5G.”But Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy called the decision “a travesty.””To be found guilty, harm must be proved, and there was no evidence shown of harm to consumers, chipmakers or handset makers. Qualcomm will appeal and will likely win.”Daniel Newman of Futurum Research said the ruling could hurt US efforts to get a lead in the 5G market.”Knowing that there is an innovation war around 5G, and that Qualcomm is the United States’ most capable 5G intellectual provider, the idea of weakening the company at this time is at best ironic, and at worst, a downright risk for the entire innovation ecosystem of the US,” Newman said. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

The sun sets on KalaignarThe sun sets on Kalaignar

first_imgCOMMENTS Tamil Nadu COMMENT August 07, 2018 M Karunanidhi passes away M Karunanidhi: A life in pictures DMK Chief M Karunanidhi (file photo).  The arc lights But that was just one of his many facets. He was also author, poet, journalist, playwright and screenplay writer. Murasoli, a paper he floated, celebrated the 75th year of its publication in 2016. Karunanidhi wrote screenplays for over 75 movies, many were watershed movies, influencing and aiding not just his film and political career, but also social change in the State. Some his landmark movies include Parasakthi, which saw the debut of VC Ganesan (who later became the legendary ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan), Poompuhar and Manohara. Not rivals, but enemies Karunanidhi’s death, coming less than two years after the passing of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, his arch-rival and leader of the AIADMK, marks the end of a unique era in State politics characterised by unrelenting rivalry between the two — they were not just political opponents but enemies. That animosity took its toll on the State as policies were reversed after each election; the AIADMK and the DMK would, over the course of three decades beginning in 1989 — when the DMK came back to power defeating the AIADMK — rule Tamil Nadu alternately. The long roadKarunanidhi was born in Thirukuvalai village, a few km from Thiruvarur town, which was then part of a composite Thanjavur district. Karunanidhi was always fond of saying that he had entered politics as a teenager, influenced by the rationalist politics and philosophy of ‘Periyar’ EV Ramaswamy Naicker, who founded the Dravida Kazhagam (DK). He was first elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 1957 from Kulithalai constituency, and he repeated the feat 11 times since, from various constituencies. Karunanidhi’s ties with parties at the Centre have vacillated — the DMK is currently an ally of the Congress, but has previously partnered the BJP, and the Janata Dal. From 1996, it has been part of various Central governments. However, the DMK supremo’s focus has always been on State-level politics, and he hardly cared for a role at the Centre. That he left to his late nephew, former union minister ‘Murasoli’ Maran, and his grandnephew, Maran’s son Dayanidhi, also a central minister. Domestic wrangles Karunanidhi’s last years were marred by the power struggles within his family, particularly the clash between his sons MK Stalin, the heir apparent, a former deputy chief minister and currently the DMK Working President, and the elder MK Alagiri, a former union minister, who is a major power centre in southern Tamil Nadu. His daughter, MK Kanimozhi, is a Rajya Sabha MP. The clash between the sons led to Karunanidhi disowning Alagiri and expelling him from the party. But in his final days, the family has been working towards a rapprochement. The infighting and the allegations of the involvement of DMK’s senior leaders in what came to be known as the 2G Spectrum Scam scuttled his hopes of coming back to power in 2011, and again in 2016. (In December 2017, all the accused in the 2G case, including Kanimozhi and former Union telecom minister A Raja were acquitted.) Karunanidhi also has other children: MK Muthu, from his first wife, the late Padmavathy; Selvi and Thamizharasu, children through Dayalu Ammal. The family has diverse business interests, especially in media and entertainment. After a political career spanning six decades, a champion of the Dravidian movement rests RELATED center_img Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL Indefatigable politician PM mourns Karunanidhi’s death; will be in Chennai tomorrow people After a political career spanning 60 years, the 5-time Tamil Nadu CM finally rests.  M Karunanidhi, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu and President of the DMK, passed away here today after a prolonged, age-related ailment. He was 94. He is survived by his wives MK Dayalu Ammal and Rajathi Ammal, and four sons and two daughters. Fondly known as ‘Kalaignar’ to his peers and party supporters, Karunanidhi is among the last of the old guard of Tamil Nadu’s politicians. When CN Annadurai broke away from the Dravida Kazhagam, the first of the State’s political rationalist outfits, to set up the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Dravidian Progressive Party) in 1949, Karunanidhi was by his leader’s side, a fellow founder. When Annadurai passed away while still holding the office of chief minister, Karunanidhi took over both government and party. In the five decades since, he has been the DMK’s President, and chief minister of the State five times. He will be mourned by lakhs of DMK supporters. Karunanidhi had been ailing for some time with health complications associated with his advanced years. In December 2016, he was admitted to hospital following an allergic reaction, and was discharged a week later. But he was rushed back only a couple of weeks later, following complaints of difficulty in breathing. He never fully recovered from that bout of sickness. Till then, he had set a gruelling pace for himself, and even undertook a whirlwind, Statewide, campaign in the May 2016 Assembly elections. He won with a record margin from Thiruvarur, his native. Karunanidhi has never lost an election, a remarkable feat for someone who has been an active politician for over 60 years. The five-time chief minister was elected to the TN Assembly on 12 occasions, and was once a member of the State Legislative Council.   SHARE deathlast_img read more

Opposition lends support to protesting farmers at Delhi rally

first_imgpolitics agriculture Protest SHARE Published on RELATED COMMENTS COMMENTcenter_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL Farmers protest with human skulls and bones in New Delhi on Friday. Thousands of farmers are gathered for a two-day rally to demand guaranteed remunerative prices and loan waivers   –  Kamal Narang November 30, 2018 Govt waives loans of the rich, not farmers: Rahul Opposition parties rallied behind farmers who marched from Delhi’s historic Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar on Friday, with Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and a host of others foregrounding the raging agrarian crisis.The Trinamool Congress, SP and RJD were among other parties that pledged support to the protest.Addressing the Kisan Mukti Morcha, a protest rally organised by 210 farmers’ organisations, almost all Opposition leaders pledged support to two Bills aimed to ensure guaranteed remunerative prices and complete loan waiver for farmers. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, however, dismissed the protest as “drama and confusion”.Some farmers marched with skulls of family members who had committed suicide while others braved the Delhi winter bare-chested as a mark of protest.Rahul, who has focussed his ongoing campaign for Assembly polls in five States on rural distress, said: “The BJP government has waived ₹3.5 lakh-crore worth loans of the 15 richest people over the past four-and-a-half years.“(Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and (Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley have termed another ₹12.5 lakh-crore as non performing assets, to waive them in the future.“If this amount can be waived, farm loans of crores of farmers can also be waived.”Divisive politicsYechury said whenever there is talk of alternative policies, the BJP comes up with divisive and communal politics. “Now they have again taken up the Ram Mandir issue,” he said.Modi and BJP President Amit Shah “are like (Mahabharata characters) Duryodhan and Dushasan, and they will be defeated by the unity of farmers”, he added.Pawar, a former Agriculture Minister, said the issues can be addressed through the two Bills drafted by farmers’ organisations. UPA-I had successfully waived farm loans after taking inputs from farmers on how to go about it, he added. Kejriwal expressed hope that farmers will unseat Modi in 2019.Also read p11 Delhi Farmers urge Centre to hold special session on agrarian distresslast_img read more

LG Chem mulls building second US plant

first_img Auto , LG Chem , electric car Related News World 10 Jul 2019 PM May says she regrets resignation of ambassador to United States Automakers are pushing ahead with billions of US dollars in investments in electric vehicles to meet global regulatory requirements. A new plant by LG Chem would come as South Korean companies have stepped up US investments, moves that have been praised by US President Donald Trump.LG Chem’s new factory would primarily supply to Volvo, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and potentially to Hyundai Motor, GM and Volkswagen, one of the people said.LG Chem, the most valuable company of the LG conglomerate, said in a statement issued to Reuters it is reviewing various ways to meet its global clients’ orders, but there are no concrete plans at the moment. The sources declined to be named as the plan is confidential.A second US plant would come amid a growing rivalry between LG Chem and crosstown rival SK Innovation, which recently broke ground on its US$1bil US EV battery plant to primarily supply to Volkswagen.Earlier this year, LG Chem sued SK Innovation in the United States for alleged theft of trade secrets by hiring its former employees.“We are currently pursuing another production base,” LG Chem’s new CEO Shin Hak Cheol told reporters this week, without elaborating on the country.Electric vehicle sales are projected to reach 1.28 million vehicles by 2026 in the United States alone, compared with less than 200,000 in 2018, according to market researcher IHS Markit.Trump praised US investments by SK, Lotte Group and other South Korean conglomerates and raised hopes that Korean companies will continue to expand in the United States.“Thank you very much. Congratulations. It’s a great job,” he said during his meeting with South Korean business leaders in Seoul on June 30. The participants included group holding company LG Corp’s Vice Chairman Kwon Young Soo.LG Chem, the battery supplier for GM’s Bolt, currently operates an EV battery plant in Michigan. LG Chem also has production bases in South Korea, China and Poland.It drew attention during the groundbreaking of its first U.S. production facility in 2010, when former President Barack Obama traveled to Michigan for the event.LG Chem is also being wooed by the government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to build a new domestic factory to create jobs – one of Moon’s top priorities.CEO Shin said LG Chem is in talks to build a production facility for cathode materials used in EV batteries in the southeastern city of Gumi in South Korea, but details have not been finalised. — Reuters SEOUL: South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery maker LG Chem is considering building a second US factory, three people familiar with the matter said, accelerating a race to add capacity to meet growing global demand for green vehicles.LG Chem, one of the leading EV battery makers in the world that counts General Motors and Volkswagen among its customers, is weighing investing about 2 trillion won (US$1.7bil) in the plant that could begin production in 2022, one of the people said.Kentucky and Tennessee are among the candidates for the plant’s site, the person said.A decision on the plant’s site is expected to be made by the end of this month, another person said. Business News 09 Jul 2019 Investors dump South Korean chip makerscenter_img Tags / Keywords: Auto 09 Jul 2019 VW to deepen alliances with battery suppliers Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

New cabinet ministers to be sworn in at 3 pm Saturday Goa

first_img Press Trust of India PanajiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 04:58 IST Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the swearing-in ceremony would be held at 3 pm Saturday. (Photo: PTI)Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said late on Friday night that he would reshuffle the cabinet on Saturday replacing four ministers and the swearing-in ceremony would be held at 3 pm.Ten Congress MLAs had on Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) increasing the strength of the party to 27 on the floor of the House.Pramod Sawant said the three members from a coalition partner, Goa Forward Party, and an Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte would be dropped from the cabinet.Pramod Sawant refused to name the MLAs who would be inducted but said all the four would be from the BJP, with three of them from the legislators who joined the party on Wednesday.Speculations are rife that former leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, Philip Nery Rodrigues and Atanasio Monserratte would be inducted in the cabinet along with Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo.Pramod Sawant said the swearing-in ceremony would be held at 3 pm Saturday.This would the second cabinet reshuffle by Pramod Sawant since he took over as the chief minister three months ago. In his first cabinet reshuffle, Sawant had inducted MGP’s breakaway MLA Deepak Pauskar after dropping then deputy chief minister Sudin Dhavalikar.Asked why allies are being dropped from the cabinet, the chief minister said the decision has been taken as per directives of the central leadership.”I don’t want to go into details. We have taken this decision to give good governance to the people,” he said.Sawant has the support by three MLAs from the Goa Forward Party and an Independent.Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief and Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai had during the day said they are hoping for an amicable solution to the crisis.”The GFP is a part of the NDA and had joined the BJP-led government after talks with the saffron party’s national leadership,” Sardesai said, adding, “The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussions then. As such, we will take appropriate steps only after talking to NDA leadership at the Centre.””We have not yet received any official communication from the BJP leaders. On the contrary, we have received indications that the matter will be sorted out amicably,” he said.Ten of the 15 Congress MLAs, led by the leader of Opposition, Chandrakant Kavlekar, switched sides and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday.While the 10 MLAs and Lobo returned from Delhi, Sawant stayed back to attend a high-level meeting on Friday evening on the issue of mining in Goa, which has come to a standstill following a February 2018 Supreme Court order.Also Read | Goa CM Pramod Sawant seeks resignation of 3 ministers, independent MLA to induct new facesAlso Watch | Leaderless Congress headed towards self-destruction?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkriti Anand New cabinet ministers to be sworn in at 3 pm Saturday: Goa CM Pramod SawantGoa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant refused to name the MLAs who would be inducted but said all the four would be from the Bharatiya Janata Party, with three of them from the legislators who joined the party on Wednesday.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

ts going to be a

“It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking or as Charlie Sheen calls it: breakfast” Mel Gibson After taking a swipe in his 2010 debut Gervais made another joke at the expense of Australian actor Mel Gibson In the past Gibson has been accused of anti-semitism and when arrested in 2006 is alleged to have made racist remarks about the Jewish faith Not one to forget Gervais ensured that everyone in the room had a reminder of Gibson’s past “Our first presenter is beautiful talented and Jewish apparently Mel Gibson told me that He’s obsessed Please welcome Scarlett Johansson” A well known Scientologist With 2011 being one of his best outings as host so far the comedian skated on thin ice with this dig Gervais delivered his most libel-worthy joke to date "Also not nominated I Love You Phillip Morris Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay So the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists then My lawyers helped with that joke" Johnny Depp Not one to avoid the big names Gervais then took on Johnny Depp and his action flop 2011’s The Tourist Released to mixed reviews the host alluded to the stale acting from Depp and the muted response from cinema-goers with this sharp quip Cue a sheepish but defiant smile from Depp which the actor himself made fun of at the next awards with Gervais in 2012 “It was a big year for 3D movies Toy Story Despicable Me Tron It seemed like everything this year was three-dimensional Except the characters in The Tourist” Plastic Faces In 2010 he started the night with a bang taking aim at the elastic faces and tight foreheads of the Hollywood stars After a fun back and forth plugging his original version of The Office instead of the US remake Gervais turned his attention to the glammed-up stars scattered across the room "Looking at all the wonderful faces here today reminds me of the great work thats been done this year. Ive never been able to look at food photography in restaurants without the thought crossing my mind that someone was paid actual real money to take those pictures. “The only reason why the Senate of this university set today apart is because God want to make a dream possible. Femi Adesina, has continuously condemned killings by herdsmen and crisis in parts of the country.S.” according to the NCAA. There have been unrest in some parts of Cameroon over the agitation. Major General Olonisakin thanked the British officials for the visit and the determination of the Britain to assist Nigeria.

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