Apple is hiring a ton of map experts amidst autonomous tease

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_imgApple‘s CEO Tim Cook recently teased some large project Apple has underway, one that in some way involves autonomous technology, and that makes the company’s recent spat of job openings particularly interesting. Apple is hiring dozens of map technology experts for reasons that aren’t stated, but that are speculated to involve, at minimum, its autonomous efforts. As recently noted by CNBC, Apple has had more than six dozen job postings on its jobs website over the last month, all of them seeking map technology experts with skills in areas like ‘Fleet management’ and ‘Navigational aids.’ The hiring spree indicates some big push behind closed doors, ones the company is being careful to keep under wraps.Though at first glance it may seem that Apple would hire tech experts for its Apple Maps product, that’s not likely the case here given the huge number of positions the company is filling. Instead, it’s likely we’re seeing an expansion of its experts who will be tasked with its secretive autonomous technologies product. Whether that involves automotive systems is yet to be seen, however.During the company’s call with shareholders yesterday, Cook stated that Apple has a big project in the works, but that it isn’t revealing much of anything at this time. Cook did say, however, that autonomous technology isn’t limited to automotive applications, indicating the company may be developing systems that can be used for things beyond self-driving cars.What kind of things Cook may have been referring to isn’t known. It is possible the autonomous technology may find its way into consumer devices, but it is just as possible it will be used for commercial robotics or drones. Autonomous systems aren’t the only technology that could benefit from mapping experts, though.This technology is also vital for augmented reality, something Apple has also been pursuing. We’ve seen many patents surface from Apple that involve AR systems, the most recent of which included a pair of smart glasses that would show points of interest overlaid onto the environment. Late last year, Apple was granted a patent for an augmented reality maps app that, in that case, could use the AR technology to overlay info and points of interest onto real-time videos being taken by an iPhone’s camera.Still, it’s difficult to say what the company is up to; it’s possible Apple is hiring experts to deal with mapping technologies for multiple products, which may explain the huge number of openings.SOURCE: CNBClast_img read more


Galaxy Note 8 stock wallpapers leak see and download them here

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_imgWe’re still waiting for the Galaxy Note 8 to make its official debut, but ahead of that there are many leaks, and with these leaks came wallpapers. A total of 13 images, all said to be the stock wallpapers included with the Galaxy Note 8, have leaked online. You can download the Galaxy Note 8 wallpapers yourself now if you’d like, putting them on your Galaxy S8 or other suitably high-res phone display. The wallpapers first appeared on the Vietnamese website Samsung VN, though the thread in which they were published has since been deleted. Because nothing on the Internet can ever truly die, the wallpapers themselves have continued to live on, making their way into a convenient zip file for anyone to download. You can grab them from Media Fire here.The zip file is about 67MB in size, so you may want to do that on WiFi if you don’t have a high data mobile plan. We downloaded the batch ourselves and confirmed the archive contains only the 13 wallpapers and nothing else, though you should always use caution and an anti-virus tool when downloading an unknown like this.As far as the wallpapers go, they certainly look like something that Samsung would include with one of its phones; the same general style as what you find with the Galaxy S8 is present. Of the 13 wallpapers, four of them are simple gradients in various shades. The rest of the wallpapers are highly colorful, one showing a bright blue desert, another a faded mountain range, and yet another a serene lake.Each wallpaper has a resolution of 2560 x 2560; the aspect ratio enables them to span across multiple screens, moving slightly as the user flips through each home screen on their handset to show what will seem to be a slightly panoramic image. The very high resolution means you can just as easily use these as wallpapers for your tablet or laptop, too.last_img read more


StarVR One is the most advanced VR headset but its not for

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_imgStarVR has introduced what it says is the world’s most advanced virtual reality headset. The device is designed for enterprises and for commercial use, offering advanced features including built-in eye tracking. Called StarVR One, the VR headset boasts nearly 100-percent human viewing angle coverage with 210-degree horizontal and 130-degree vertical FOV. According to the company, this comes close to covering normal human peripheral vision. Among the StarVR’s tech are a pair of AMOLED displays capable of 16 million sub-pixels and a 90fps refresh rate. The company explains that these are proprietary displays made for virtual reality, presenting full RGB and real-life colors. The displays are coupled with Fresnel lenses, which are said to provide clear optics across the entire FOV.The StarVR One also sports eye tracking technology from Tobii, which automatically determines the wearer’s inter pupillary distance, working to track eye movements. This is important, as StarVR also utilizes dynamic foveated rendering, which is a VR tech that results in rendering high quality graphics only in the area the user is looking, leaving lesser details in the periphery.The company points out that eye tracking data can be used by companies to monitor where users look, analyzing which elements are most engaging. In addition to the out-of-the-box StarVR One model, which features SteamVR 2.0, there’s also a StarVR One XT model with active optical markers that work with tracking systems.As far as design goes, the StarVR One weighs 450 grams and is said be comfortable during long wearing sessions. The company hasn’t yet revealed pricing and availability.last_img read more


Watch VWs IDR electric racer smash the Goodwood hillclimb record

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_imgDumas and the ID.R managed to make it across the finishing line after just 41.18 second. In the process, they smashed Nick Heidfeld’s 41.6 second record that was set all the way back in 1999, at the wheel of a McLaren MP4/13. Signs that the ID.R was the car to watch at Goodwood were set in motion last year. Then, the car – again with Dumas in control – was competing in the electric car category, and managed the run in 43.05 seconds. That was an EV record at the time, and indeed the third-fastest time in the history of the event.For 2019’s run, Volkswagen’s engineers made some changes. For a start, the lithium-ion battery pack has been modified, and the energy management system changed. Bridgestone supplied special, extra soft tires to make the car even stickier. Given the course is only 1.16 miles in length, it’s weight and power that make the biggest impact. AdChoices广告So, the ID.R – complete with Dumas inside – came in at under around 2,200 pounds for the Goodwood attempt. Not bad at all, when you consider its electric motors are good for 671 horsepower. “It’s interesting to note that the ID. R’s speed across the finish line was 128mph, slower than the next four cars,” Goodwood points out. “The BMW E36 V8 Judd of Jöerg Weidinger was a full 10mph faster across the finish line. At the end of the first sector, though, it was traveling much faster than all others – 120mph versus 108mph of Oliver Solberg’s Citroën DS3 WRX, itself several mph faster than anything else at that point on the hill.”The difference in 2018’s performance and this year’s record is in no small part down to the way the car has been configured. “Last year, we lined up in Goodwood just three weeks after the record-breaking run on Pikes Peak and used the same technical configuration as we did at the hill climb,” Sven Smeets, director of Volkswagen Motorsport, explains. “This year, we will field an ID.R that has been prepared specifically for Goodwood.”Still, there could be more upsets to come as Goodwood continues. Dumas and the ID.R will be making more attempts at the course over the weekend, and could well shave even more time off the new record. Volkswagen promised something incredible from the VW ID.R electric race car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but we didn’t expect the EV to deliver quite as impressively as it has today. Driven by Romain Dumas, the ID.R smashed the 20 year old hillclimb record, and the video of the run is a must-see.last_img read more


HHS To Pay 1 Billion For Ideas To Drive Down Health Costs

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_imgHHS To Pay $1 Billion For Ideas To Drive Down Health Costs The availability of a second round of grants — funded by the health law — was announced to support approaches to reduce costs and improve care. The initial round, announced last year, funded 107 organizations.CBS News: Gov’t To Pay $1 Billion For Innovative Health Care IdeasThe U.S. government will award up to $1 billion in grants for innovative health care ideas that drive down medical costs, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Wednesday. On a conference call with reporters, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the country has made strides in reducing medical costs, and national health care spending has fallen to a 50-year low. However, she said there is still more to do (Jaslow, 5/15).CQ HealthBeat: Innovation Center Plans Second Round Of GrantsThe Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center is preparing to distribute $1 billion in grants for projects designed to improve care and lower costs for federal health programs, agency officials said Wednesday. The second round of grants follows an initial round that was announced last year. At that time, 107 organizations received funding from a total pot of $895 million (Adams, 5/15).Meanwhile, Medpage Today reports on ACOs – Medpage Today: Doc-Led ACOs Better Model For Saving $Physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs) could have more opportunities to create savings in patient care with a little help from health insurers, a leading health reform expert said Wednesday. Doctor-centric ACOs can do a better job at controlling costs than hospital-led organizations, Paul Ginsburg, PhD, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change here, said at an ACO summit hosted by America’s Health Insurance Plans. … Unlike in hospital-led ACOs, doctor-led ACOs aren’t compromised financially by reducing hospital admissions and emergency department visits, he pointed out (Pittman, 5/15). 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


Pediatricians Argue Against Retail Health Care Clinics

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_imgIn the meantime, a big push for greater health care price transparency is readied, and the prominence of palliative care grows.The Wall Street Journal: Pediatrics Group Balks At Rise Of Retail Health ClinicsRetail health clinics that are popping up in drugstores and other outlets shouldn’t be used for children’s primary-care needs, the American Academy of Pediatrics said, arguing that such facilities don’t provide the continuity of care that pediatricians do. While retail clinics may be more convenient and less costly, the AAP said they are detrimental to the concept of a “medical home,” where patients have a personal physician who knows them well and coordinates all their care (Beck and Martin, 2/24). The Wall Street Journal: How To Bring The Price Of Health Care Into The OpenWith outrage growing over incomprehensible medical bills and patients facing a higher share of the costs, momentum is building for efforts to do just that. Price transparency, as it is known, is common in most industries but rare in health care, where “charges,” “prices,” “rates” and “payments” all have different meanings and bear little relation to actual costs (Beck, 2/23). The Wall Street Journal: Palliative Care Gains Favor As It Lowers CostsInsurers are establishing programs that give the sickest patients the chance to receive extra care for their pain, suffering and emotional needs, in a move that turns out to cut spending substantially (Rockoff, 2/23). Pediatricians Argue Against Retail Health Care Clinics 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


Silicon Valley Using Health Care Perks To Lure Talent

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Also, Facebook is readying a move into health care by offering online “support communities” and preventive care applications. Reuters:  Silicon Valley Takes Benefits ‘Arms Race’ To Health Care High salaries and free food aren’t enough any more in Silicon Valley, where maturing companies are competing for talent with creative health care and “wellness” programs that use gadgets to promote good behavior. Standard benefits at the largest technology companies, including Google Inc and Apple Inc, range from fertility treatments to deluxe on-site medical clinics, to new technology treats like health-tracking bracelets. The health largesse separates Silicon Valley’s raging economy from many other sectors in the United States, but tech companies’ experiments with perks show signs of spreading, benefits managers say. Keeping employees healthy pays off in ways from increased productivity to lower health costs. Cutting obesity decreases risks of diabetes and other costly chronic diseases, for instance. Silicon Valley employers see themselves fighting for good engineers (Farr, 10/2). Reuters:  Facebook Plots First Steps Into Health CareFacebook Inc already knows who your friends are and the kind of things that grab your attention. Soon, it could also know the state of your health. On the heels of fellow Silicon Valley technology companies Apple Inc and Google Inc, Facebook is plotting its first steps into the fertile field of healthcare, said three people familiar with the matter. … The company is exploring creating online “support communities” that would connect Facebook users suffering from various ailments. A small team is also considering new “preventative care” applications that would help people improve their lifestyles. In recent months, the sources said, the social networking giant has been holding meetings with medical industry experts and entrepreneurs, and is setting up a research and development unit to test new health apps (Farr and Oreskovic, 10/3). Silicon Valley Using Health Care Perks To Lure Talentlast_img read more


State Highlights Calif Senate OKs RightToDie Measure Panel Begins Review of Kan

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_img The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Officials Back Off Plan To Charge Smokers More For Health Insurance The Associated Press: California Lawmakers Advance Right-To-Die Legislation Coloradans living in poverty were less likely to survive cancer, the state health department reported Thursday. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s report, “Cancer and Poverty: Colorado 2001-12,” shows low-income Coloradans were less likely to get screened for cancer or be diagnosed at an early stage when most cancers are treatable. (Draper, 6/4) The Oregonian: Missouri-Based Firm Pays More Than $80 Million For Piece Of Oregon’s Medicaid Program In an emotional vote on Thursday, the California Senate advanced a controversial proposal allowing terminally ill people to seek life-ending medication. Modeled on a law first enacted in Oregon in 1997, Senate Bill 128 would permit doctors to provide lethal drugs to patients with less than six months to live. The measure passed 23-14, over passionate objections from Republicans who argued it devalues life. (Koseff, 6/4) The Associated Press: California Takes First Step To Regulate Medical Marijuana State Highlights: Calif. Senate OKs Right-To-Die Measure; Panel Begins Review of Kan. Behavioral Health System News outlets report on health issues from California, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts. The Chicago Tribune: Medical Practice Embraces Patients With Limited English-Language Skills The Sacramento Bee: California Senate Approves Assisted Death Law California took the first step Thursday to regulate its nearly 20-year-old medical marijuana industry, one that lawmakers said currently resembles something out of the “wild, wild West.” Lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly passed separate bills attempting to set up state regulations that will pass muster with the federal Department of Justice. The bills were among dozens of pieces of legislation advancing through the Legislature Thursday as lawmakers faced a Friday deadline to move bills out of their house of origin. (Thompson, 6/5) The Illinois Administrative Code requires all health facilities to “ensure access to health care information and services for limited-English-speaking or non-English-speaking residents” by adopting and reviewing annually a policy that provides “language assistance services” and “to the extent possible as determined by the facility” provides for interpreters available in person or by phone 24 hours a day. The code says the facility must annually give the Department of Public Health a copy of its policy and include a description of the “facility’s efforts to ensure adequate and speedy communication” between ESL patients and staff. The facility must also advise patients and employees of availability of interpreters and language services, identify and record a patient’s primary language, and develop community liaison groups to ensure the adequacy of the services, among other requirements. Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, was unable to immediately provide data on how many health facilities in the state may have recently been found compliant or noncompliant with the requirement for language services. (Kadioglu, 6/4) Drug addicts have begun turning themselves into the police department in Gloucester, Mass., after the police chief announced an amnesty program. Addicts who turn themselves in and hand over their drugs will go right into treatment, without criminal charges. (Becker, 6/4) Which Arizona hospital ranks among the best for uncomplicated deliveries or has the lowest Caesarean-section rates? In which hospital are patients more likely to die after a heart attack, or get an infection after surgery? How does your hospital’s charges for knee or hip-replacement surgery compare with others? Consumers can find answers to these questions and more using an online hospital-comparison tool launched by the Arizona Department of Health Services last year. The AZ Hospital Compare database was updated this week with the most recent, 2012 inpatient data collected from all 108 licensed Arizona hospitals. (Lee, 6/4) center_img The Kansas Health Institute: Committee Starts Review Of State’s Behavioral Health System NPR: Gloucester, Mass., Police Program Provides Treatment For Drug Users The Denver Post: Coloradans In Poverty Less Likely To Survive Cancer, Study Says Baltimore officials say they are backing off a plan to charge city employees who smoke more for their health insurance after union officials objected. Howard Libit, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said the administration agrees with the union’s position that such a surcharge would need to be negotiated through the collective bargaining process. (Broadwater, 6/4) California lawmakers advanced a right-to-die bill Thursday, giving hope to those who want the nation’s most populous state to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives under doctor’s care. The state Senate passed the measure on a 23 to 14 vote ahead of a legislative deadline. (6/4) A committee charged with critiquing the state’s behavioral health system on Thursday met for a four-hour discussion on needed improvements. “We need to be looking at providing intensive treatment to people who need it and when they need it,” said Wes Cole, a member of the Adult Continuum of Care Committee who also is chairman of the Governor’s Behavioral Health Services Planning Council. “We need to keep moving forward.” After breaking into small groups, many of the committee’s 30 members raised concerns about reports of the state-run hospitals either not admitting people known to be in mental health crisis situations or sending them home before they’re stable. (Ranney, 6/4) A Florida oncologist was charged Thursday with giving cancer patients medications, included chemotherapy drugs, from other countries that were not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Federal health officials said patients at East Lake Oncology in Tampa were unaware that for the past six years Dr. Diana Anda Norbergs and her staff were giving them cheaper, misbranded drugs that weren’t registered or approved for use in the United States. She then billed the taxpayer-funded Medicare program and private insurance companies for the illegal prescriptions, claiming that she was actually using the FDA-approved versions. Norbergs pocketed the extra money, according to the indictment first reported by The Associated Press. (Kennedy, 6/4) A Fortune 500 company is prepared to pay as much as $130 million to buy one of the larger health care companies serving the Oregon Health Plan. Critics are asking the state to block the sale. They say care will suffer as Missouri-based Centene pulls greater profits from the local company. Some lawmakers are also crying foul, saying reforms were intended to make sure that the state and federally funded Oregon Health Plan is managed by Oregonians, not far-off firms. (Budnick, 6/4) The Associated Press: Feds: Florida Doctor Gave Cancer Patients Unapproved Drugs The Arizona Republic: Consumers Can Search Health-Care Quality, Cost Online 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


Mylan Ranks No 2 In Executive Pay Among Drug Companies Far Outpacing

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_img tween 2010 and early 2015, the prices of generic drugs provided under Medicare Part D for declined by nearly 60 percent – dramatic savings that helped leaven U.S. health care costs, according to a new report by the General Accountability Office (GAO). Generic drugs have long served as a counter-weight to pricey brand name prescription drugs. While they account for 88 percent of the 4.3 billion prescription drugs dispensed annually, they represent only 28 percent of the total price, according to industry experts. (Pianin, 9/14) The Wall Street Journal: EpiPen Maker Dispenses Outsize Pay The drugmaker buffeted by the furor over hefty price increases on its lifesaving EpiPen had the second-highest executive compensation among all U.S. drug and biotech firms over the past five years, paying its top five managers a total of nearly $300 million, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. The big pay packages are unusual because of Mylan NV’s relatively small size in the U.S. drug industry, where it is No. 11 by revenue and No. 16 by market capitalization. (Maremont, 9/13) Amid the ongoing debate over the wisdom of pharmaceutical advertising, a new analysis suggests that doctors agree more often than not to write prescriptions for patients who have seen drug ads. At the same time, however, the analysis also found that only 1 in 10 consumers were moved by such advertising to ask a doctor for a prescription.The results present a slightly conflicting picture of the extent to which so-called direct-to-consumer advertising poses an unhealthy dilemma, according to the authors of the analysis, published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. While the pharmaceutical industry insists its ads educate consumers, doctors argue some ads too often encourage patients to seek medicines unnecessarily. (Silverman, 9/13) Stat: All That Pharmaceutical Advertising May Be A ‘Mixed Bag,’ After All Mylan Ranks No. 2 In Executive Pay Among Drug Companies, Far Outpacing Others Its Size The top five managers took home almost $300 million over the past five years, The Wall Street Journal reports amid continuing questions about the manufacter’s EpiPen pricing. News outlets also report on an FDA warning to doctors about drug risks, the pros and cons of pharmaceutical ads and a drop in the cost of generics. In case you missed it: Check out our weekly feature, Prescription Drug Watch, which includes coverage and perspectives of the issue. The Fiscal Times: Generic Drug Prices Dropped By Nearly 60% Under Medicare Part D The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a message for doctors: The money you’re taking from pharmaceutical companies may be clouding your judgment. Research sites where Pfizer Inc. had paid doctors at least $25,000 in speaking, consulting or other fees reported sunnier results for its smoking-cessation drug Chantix, the FDA disclosed Monday. At those sites, doctors studying the drug’s possible link to suicide risk and other behavior changes reported fewer side effects than at locations where colleagues accepted lower or no payments. (Edney, 9/13) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Bloomberg: Doctors Downplaying Drug’s Suicide Risks Attract FDA’S Scrutiny  last_img read more


Portugal vs Netherlands Live Stream How to watch the Nations League final

Posted On Jul 22 2019 by

first_img 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. 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. Portugal vs Netherlands Live Stream: Watch the Nations League final onlineIt’s time to crown the inaugural champion of the Nations League, with tonight’s final seeing Ronaldo’s Portugal clash against Virgil Van Dijk’s Netherlands for the shiny new title. Our guide reveals all you need to know about how to watch Portugal vs Netherlands online, including full live stream details and the kick-off time.Against all odds, the Nations League has turned into a genuinely exciting competition – and it’s got a fitting final, with hosts Portugal taking on England’s conquerors, the Netherlands, in what’s shaping up to be cracking final.A ruthless Ronaldo hat-trick was enough to see off Switzerland in Portugal’s semi-final. And the Netherlands came from behind to punish England’s diabolical defending (as Alan Hansen would have called it) in their knockout game.Read more: Eleven SportsThat gives us a game that’ll no doubt be billed as an irresistible Ronaldo versus the immoveable Virgil Van Dijk, who’s looking to collect his second bit of major silverware in as many weeks.This is a slight disservice to the game’s stellar support cast, though, which includes Manchester City’s sparkling winger Bernardo Silva, floppy-haired Portuguese wonderkid João Félix and Barcelona-bound playmaker Frenkie de Jong.Although there’s nothing really at stake apart from a shiny new Nations League trophy, it’s promising to be a thrilling game – and fortunately, streaming it online is a lot more straightforward than figuring out how the Nations League works.Portgual vs Netherlands Live Stream: Kick-off time and how to watchThe game is scheduled to kick off at 7.45pm GMT on Sunday, June 9, and the match will be shown on TV on Sky Sports Football. The pre-match hype and build-up starts at 7.30pm.Sky subscribers will be able to watch it on nearly any device for no additional cost – be it a smartphone, tablet, PC, or laptop – via the Sky Go app.Non-Sky customers can watch it for a nominal fee, either by signing up for a Sky Sports Mobile TV subscription, or by buying a NOW TV pass from just £7.99. Best Now TV Sky Sports DealNow TV – 9 Months of Sky SportsHow would you like like to save nearly a third off your Sky Sports subscription? Stream football, rugby and cricket to your hearts content, all while pocketing a swift £110 for your troubles.Now TV|Save £110.91|Now £195View DealNow £195|Save £110.91|Now TVcenter_img Here are some more handy links to get you started:Buy a NOW TV Sky Sports pass from just £7.99Download Sky GoSign up for Sky Sports Mobile TVAll that’s left to do is whip up some caldo verde, sit back, and enjoy what’s promising to be a highly entertaining match – and the last significant one before next season kicks off.Read more: Black Friday 2018Share your predictions for Portugal vs Netherlands by tweeting us @TrustedReviews. 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


Adidas trademarked stripes cant go sideways EU judges decide

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_img Facebook June 19, 201911:46 AM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Adidas AG lost a European Union court fight for broader trademark protection of its iconic three-stripe logo.The sportswear giant’s trademark on three slanted bands doesn’t apply to stripes going vertically, horizontally or other directions, the EU General Court in Luxembourg ruled on Wednesday. The company failed to show such branding had a “distinctive character,” the court said. Costco made $3.7 million selling ‘Tiffany’ rings. Now it must pay $19 million to the real Tiffany You have invested everything into your brand. Make sure your trademark is legally protected How your expensive, eye-catching new trademark can be stolen It’s not the first time the company has been in the EU courts. The bloc’s top judges in 2008 favored Adidas in a dispute with retailers about their rights to sell clothing with stripes similar to its three-striped design. Three years ago, the top EU court decided the company may be able to fight the use by rivals of parallel stripes on the side of sports shoes.Adidas said it’s “disappointed” but that the ruling “is limited to this particular execution of the three-stripe mark and does not impact on the broad scope of protection that Adidas has on its well-known three-stripe mark in various forms in Europe.”Wednesday’s ruling concerns an EU trademark registered in 2014 but later annulled following the successful challenge by a Belgian company.Bloomberg.com Email More Bloomberg News Twitter Share this storyAdidas’ trademarked stripes can’t go sideways, EU judges decide Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Reddit Adidas’ trademarked stripes can’t go sideways, EU judges decide Brand’s iconic three-stripe mark doesn’t show ‘distinctive character’ when they’re not on an angle Stephanie Bodoni Recommended For YouAbsolute Declares Quarterly DividendYuan firms as traders see resilience in China’s economyChanging habits: China’s pig farms clean up to beat swine feverIndia to keep sugar export subsidies even as rivals complain – sourcesChina shares fall on growth, trade worries; Hong Kong up Comment 0 Comments Join the conversation →last_img read more


Former SNCLavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime pleads guilty in bribery case

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_img 5 Comments Email Comment Share this storyFormer SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime pleads guilty in bribery case Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn More Facebook MONTREAL — Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime has pleaded guilty to a charge of helping a public servant commit breach of trust for his role in a bribery scandal around the construction of a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital.Duhaime was the last defendant in a major corruption and fraud case involving the McGill University Health Centre project. His trial had been scheduled to start next week.Yanai Elbaz, a former MUHC senior manager, pleaded guilty in December to accepting a bribe and was sentenced to 39 months in prison. Former SNC-Lavalin executive Riadh Ben Aissa pleaded guilty to a charge of using forged documents last July and was sentenced to 51 months in prison.Duhaime left SNC-Lavalin in March 2012 after an independent review found that he had approved $56-million in payments to undisclosed agents.In an agreed statement of facts presented in court in Elbaz’s case, the former MUHC official admitted to giving privileged information to SNC-Lavalin to help its submission for the contract to build a massive hospital complex in west-end Montreal.Elbaz also admitted to denigrating SNC’s competitors in front of the hospital’s selection committee.Elbaz and Arthur Porter, the former CEO of the MUHC who died a fugitive in Panamanian custody in 2015, received a total of $22.5 million to rig the bidding process to favour SNC-Lavalin, the statement of facts said.Porter created a shell company that received the $22.5 million from the engineering firm. Elbaz then created his own shell company and received his share of the cash, the document said. Elbaz admitted that all the money in the shell companies was proceeds of crime.Police raided the MUHC’s offices in September 2012. The following February, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit issued warrants for the arrests of Duhaime, Ben Aissa, Elbaz and Porter. Duhaime had initially faced charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and using forged documents.Porter’s wife, Pamela, was arrested later and in 2014 pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of crime. February 1, 201910:46 AM EST Filed under News FP Street Reddit Former SNC Lavalin president and CEO Pierre Duhaime arrives at the courthouse for a preliminary hearing on the bribery case in Montreal March 16, 2015.Canadian Press Recommended For YouNike’s plan for better-fitting kicks: Show us your feetEU ambassador: Trump Cuba policy worries European companiesUPDATE 2-Arizona cancels incentive for Nike plant after ‘terrible decision’ to recall sneaker -governorChina’s refiners want tax cuts before making cleaner shipping fuel- sourcesGM’s mid-engine Corvettes roar onstage to take on Europeans center_img Featured Stories Twitter Join the conversation → Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime pleads guilty in bribery case Duhaime was the last defendant in a major corruption and fraud case involving the McGill University Health Centre project The Canadian Press What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Sponsored By: advertisement ← Previous Next →last_img read more


Introducing FCPAnalytics

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgData analytics is the process of examining raw data to draw informed conclusions to assist professionals in making more efficient and effective decisions.Data analytics of course will not eliminate legal risk, in the FCPA context or otherwise.However, informed use of data can help professionals manage and minimize FCPA risk, determine where to deploy resources, and otherwise navigate the contours of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement.As stated by the DOJ’s compliance counsel: “strong compliance must be data driven” and FCPAnalytics (a new service to the FCPA and compliance community by FCPA Professor LLC offered through the FCPA Connect service) strives to do just that. Where do FCPA enforcement actions arise?How do FCPA enforcement actions arise?What type of conduct do FCPA enforcement actions address?What are the industry specific risk areas?What are the specifics of FCPA settlements?These are just a few of the many questions that FCPA compliance professionals need answers to in order to efficiently and effectively do their jobs.Business organizations do not need a high-priced software program to find these answers and companies under FCPA scrutiny do not need its law firm to unleash associates to find the answers.With FCPAnalytics, professionals can make efficient and informed decisions about FCPA issues guided by the numerous propriety statistics of FCPAnalytics.last_img read more


Former Deputy AG Larry Thompson Blasts DOJ Policies

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgFew people have encountered the corporate criminal law enforcement (including in the FCPA context) and compliance from three vantage points: enforcer, in-house counsel, and lawyer in private practice. Larry Thompson is one of them having served as DOJ Deputy Attorney General, a lawyer in private practice, and a general counsel of a major multinational company (PepsiCo).Thus, when Thompson speaks or writes about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or related topics we should pay attention.Recently Thompson testified at a House hearing and stated that “the shared commitment [between the government and industry] to prevention and incentivizing investment in compliance is not the current reality.”Thompson further stated:“The relationship between the government and industry has become unduly adversarial as a result of this emphasis on post-hoc enforcement, which is regrettable. This approach can also lead to an antagonistic relationship between a company and its employees, which can undermine efforts over time to identify and remediate misconduct. There are also basic fairness concerns implicated in the current approach, which makes no distinction between companies that have detected, stopped and self-disclosed violations, and companies that in no way seek to do the right thing.”The remainder of this post excerpts portions of Thompson’s recent testimony.“Before my tenure as Deputy Attorney General, I was a law firm partner representing clients facing investigations of potential wrongdoing; after my tenure, I worked in the private sector as the General Counsel of a major corporation. My service in the private sector left me firmly persuaded of not only the importance of companies investing in first-class ethics and compliance programs designed to prevent and mitigate fraud and other wrongdoing, but also of the need for incentives for companies to do so. In my experience, the vast majority of companies want to do the right thing with respect to ethics and compliance, but, particularly in times of tight budgets, concrete incentives are needed for the companies to do so.My decades of experience have persuaded me that the best way forward in terms of preventing and mitigating fraud is to focus on the development of first-class ethics and compliance programs across industries.Both the company and the public benefit from incentivizing investment in ethics and compliance: prevention increases; wrongdoing is more likely to be identified, stopped, and disclosed; and the government can focus its efforts on the truly bad actors that are not committed to first-class compliance.From a company’s perspective, misconduct is increasingly expensive. For example, over just a two year period (2012-2014), the average total of monetary resolutions in corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions rose from $22 million to $157 million. So as a business matter, not just a moral and legal imperative, preventing wrongdoing is in the interests of a company. Moreover, the public benefits from less wrongdoing, whether it is a bribe that results in an uneven playing field, or fraud that takes funds directly from the public fisc.At the same time, effective compliance programs allow the government to focus their resources and efforts on the bad actors-and there are bad actors. As noted above, one component of a high quality ethics and compliance program is that it encourages accountability-both internally and externally. In other words, a company with an effective ethics and compliance program is more likely to appropriately disclose wrongdoing to the government. This benefit allows the government to identify and investigate companies that do not demonstrate a commitment to “doing the right thing,” and to levy commensurate penalties.But this shared commitment to prevention and incentivizing investment in compliance is not the current reality. Instead, enforcement agencies rely more on post-hoc enforcement-leveraging significant penalties largely irrespective of a company’s investment in compliance and prevention on the front end. The government comes into investigations and enforcement negotiations with tremendous power. Companies often face potentially astronomical penalties; debarment from contracting with the United States; exclusion from federal health care programs; present responsibility determinations that effectively function as a regulatory regime; or criminal indictments that can by themselves destroy a company. Companies are rarely, if ever, in a position to risk fighting the charges in court given the potential consequences (and the immediate reputational harms that occur when and if an investigation or allegation is made public), leaving the decision-making as to the appropriateness or fairness of a particular outcome in the hands of only one party-the government.The relationship between the government and industry has become unduly adversarial as a result of this emphasis on post-hoc enforcement, which is regrettable. This approach can also lead to an antagonistic relationship between a company and its employees, which can undermine efforts over time to identify and remediate misconduct. There are also basic fairness concerns implicated in the current approach, which makes no distinction between companies that have detected, stopped and self-disclosed violations, and companies that in no way seek to do the right thing. Perhaps worse, the failure to put heads together to see if there is a better way-a prevention-based way-represents a missed opportunity to increase ethics, compliance and prevention across the board, rather than at specific companies under the microscope.That said, I welcome recent signs that the Government may recognize the need for greater creativity to incentivize ethics and compliance. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced a new pilot program aimed at targeting foreign corruption. Pursuant to this pilot program, if companies self-disclose wrongdoing to the government; cooperate with the government; remediate the misconduct; and satisfy the requirements of the Yates Memorandum (which, in turn, sets forth conditions for obtaining credit for cooperation with the Department of Justice) the Department will consider up to a 50 percent penalty reduction below the low end of the guidelines as well as no requirement for a corporate monitor.Almost a year ago, the head of the DOJ Criminal Division gave a speech emphasizing that when the Criminal Division decides whether and how to prosecute a company, the Division considers the adequacy of the company’s compliance program and internal investigation. As part of this speech, she also described the characteristics of effective compliance programs for which the Department is looking. Late last year, the Department of Justice hired a full-time compliance expert in its Fraud Section, who will provide assistance to prosecutors in evaluating the adequacy of compliance programs and in developing benchmarks for evaluating corporate compliance and remediation measures as part of resolution.But these steps, while laudable, are missing a critical feature: certainty. Concrete incentives are needed in civil as well as criminal fraud programs, and these programs still have yet to offer that. It is important for government to be clear about what constitutes a top-notch compliance program and define it in ways that are achievable. Because achieving this will require substantial investments and proactive disclosure requires leaps of faith, the beneficial consequences must be concrete and certain. I do not believe that a focus on prevention and compliance is a process that can or will happen overnight. And we will not see a greater across-the-board commitment to formalized, first-class compliance/ethics programs until the government provides concrete, predictable, incentives for companies to do so.”*****For prior posts highlighting Thompson’s FCPA and related views, see here and here.last_img read more


Tips to know your ovarian cancer risk and symptoms

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 28 2018Mount Sinai Experts Share Tips for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in SeptemberOvarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in American women, according to the American Cancer Society, and accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. And according to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 22,240 women will be diagnosed with the disease in 2018; 14,070 will die from it.”Any woman who experiences unexplained bloating, an upset stomach, an urgency to urinate or abdominal pain for a few weeks, should go see a doctor,” said Stephanie V. Blank, MD, Director of Gynecologic Oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System, “and if her doctor does not take these symptoms seriously, she should see another doctor.”Too often, women are sent to the wrong doctor, or told they’re just aging or gaining weight when experiencing these kinds of symptoms, and by then they have lost valuable time.”Mount Sinai experts are available during September’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to offer tips on detecting symptoms, understanding the benefits of genetic testing, and to discuss emerging therapies.Experts Available for Interviews & Resources Birth Control Pills: Long term use of oral contraceptives reduces the risk of developing ovarian cancer by approximately 50 percent. Gynecologic Surgery: Hysterectomy, tying tubes. Preventative removal of tubes and ovaries is the best means of ovarian cancer prevention (but is not appropriate for all women). Ovarian Cancer Prevention Family and personal history: more than 20 percent of ovarian cancers are attributed to inherited genetic mutations. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are responsible for most inherited ovarian cancers. The lifetime ovarian cancer risk for women with a BRCA1 mutation is estimated to be between 40 and 50 percent and for women with BRCA2 mutations, between 10 percent and 29 percent. In comparison, the ovarian cancer lifetime risk for the women in the general population is less than 2 percent. Everyone has these symptoms at some time, but if you have these symptoms and they worsen or persist for two weeks, you should seek medical attention.Ovarian Cancer Risks Stephanie V. Blank, MD, Director of Gynecologic Oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System; Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Konstantin Zakashansky, MD, Director of Gynecologic Oncology, Mount Sinai West, Associate Professor Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Nimesh Nagarsheth, MD, Associate Professor Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai The “Woman to Woman” peer-to-peer program that provides emotional support, mentoring, and financial aid to women in treatment for gynecologic cancer; founded by Valerie Goldfein, an ovarian cancer survivor: https://www.mountsinai.org/care/obgyn/services/support-programs/woman-to-woman and http://inside.mountsinai.org/blog/woman-to-woman-builds-a-community-of-hope-and-support-for-cancer-patients/center_img Age: Ovarian cancer is not a normal disease of aging, but risk increases with age. Most ovarian cancers develop after menopause, and half of all ovarian cancers are found in women 63 years of age or older. Gastrointestinal upset such as gas, indigestion or nausea Pelvic and/or abdominal pain or discomfort Pelvic and/or abdominal bloating or swelling A constant feeling of fullness Unexplained change in bowel and/or bladder habits Fatigue Unexplained weight loss or gain Abnormal or any bleeding post-menopause Source: https://www.mountsinai.org/ Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsKnow Ovarian Cancer SymptomsWomen diagnosed when their disease has not spread beyond the ovary have a five year survival of 93%. Because the ovaries are small and embedded deep within the abdominal cavity, detection is difficult and often delayed. Since the prognosis depends on the stage of the cancer, or detecting it before it has spread, it is especially important to recognize the following symptoms: last_img read more


Japan Says It Will Resume Antarctic Whaling Next Year

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

Earlier this month, many cetacean researchers and conservationists rejoiced when Japan canceled its controversial scientific whale hunt in Antarctica in response to an order from the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands. Now, however, Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) says it plans to resume research whaling in the region next year, with a program that is “in accord” with the court’s ruling. But ICR’s move could be just a legal maneuver, some observers say.ICR’s plans became public last week, after the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), an antiwhaling group known for harassing Japanese whaling ships, publicized legal briefs the research agency filed in a federal court in Seattle, Washington. (ICR is seeking a court order preventing SSCS from interfering with its fleet when killing whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.) Although the documents provide few details, ICR says it plans to resume its Antarctic hunts beginning in the 2015 to 2016 season. (Japan has a second scientific whale hunt in the North Pacific that is not affected by the international court’s ruling.)The news came as little surprise to those following the controversy. “It’s entirely consistent with what I would expect from ICR,” says Phillip Clapham, a marine biologist with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Clapham has served as a member of the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee, which for decades has been critical of Japan’s research whaling program. 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 Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Resuming whaling in the Antarctic could be easier said than done, specialists say. To comply with the international court’s ruling, Japan will have to offer valid scientific reasons for the number of whales it wants to kill and include nonlethal research methods to meet research objectives. Indeed, Clapham quips that the process is so daunting that “I wouldn’t want to be a scientist who’s been told to come up with a new research program that makes any sense.” (Any new program will also be reviewed by the whaling commission’s scientific council, but Japan does not need its approval to proceed.) It’s possible that ICR does not intend to resume Antarctic whaling, but is instead pursuing a legal strategy in its case against SSCS. “In order to continue the court case … they [the ICR] have to say they’ll be working in the Antarctic in 2015, even if that decision hasn’t been made,” Clapham writes in an e-mail. ICR may be trying to demonstrate that its need for an injunction against SSCS “is not moot,” adds Alison Rieser, a specialist in international law at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.Japan’s whaling fleet returned from the Southern Ocean last month after killing 251 minke whales instead of the planned 935, partly because of harassment by protesters from Sea Shepherd Australia. read more


Vulture safe zones aim to rescue a vital but unloved scavenger

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_img VULTURE SAFE ZONE 1 IN BANGLADESH—It was a grisly but irresistible spectacle. In a forest clearing here last December, a wake, or feeding flock, of white-rumped vultures pranced about a dead cow, jostling for a chance to grab a bite. One plucky bird repeatedly plunged its head deep into the carcass, tearing off bits of flesh. Others gave up and lifted off, unfurling 2-meter wingspans as they headed for a roost in a nearby tree.Watching the feast through a hole in the wall of a nearby hut, Sarowar Alam, a conservation biologist with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Dhaka, was delighted. The white-rumped vulture, he said admiringly, “is a majestic bird.”Once common, it is also gravely endangered. Just a few hundred white-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis) now soar above Bangladesh, researchers estimate, and about 10,000 remain in all of South Asia—less than 1% of the population a few decades ago. Two other South Asian species, the Indian vulture (G. indicus) and the less common slender-billed vulture (G. tenuirostris), have also suffered catastrophic declines. The cause: a drug that veterinarians use to keep cattle healthy, but that is deadly to vultures that eat the carcasses of treated livestock. 500 Banned drugs, as well as vulture-safe products, are still available from veterinarians within Bangladesh’s vulture safe zones. WARREN CORNWALL KmIndianSlender-billedWhite-rumpedVulture rangeSafe zones MYANMAR 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 (*) Safe zone 1 In Nepal, conservation groups recently launched a test to see whether their nation’s safe zone lives up to its name. Last November, they released 17 white-rumped vultures, each carrying a satellite tracking tag, into the safe zone. If the birds, along with others released in the coming year, survive until April 2020 without a drug-related fatality, the region will be officially declared safe. To date, only one bird has died, and Galligan says the cause was a predator, not tainted meat. “So far,” he says, “so good.”Here in Bangladesh’s Vulture Safe Zone 1, some advocates think they are changing attitudes as well. Nirmal Chandra Dev, a manager of the tea plantation next to the Rema-Kalenga preserve, serves on a local conservation committee that he says is helping spawn a new appreciation for vultures. In the past, he recalls, people would chase the birds away from their houses. They “didn’t know that vultures were becoming extinct,” he says. “Nowadays, they don’t believe vultures are bad luck. They become caring.”This project was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.*Correction 16 March, 11:53 a.m.: An earlier version of the map accompanying this story mixed up the ranges of Indian and slender-billed vultures. The zone—one of two in Bangladesh, which are modeled on a handful of similar zones elsewhere in South Asia—is just one part of a multifaceted effort to pull the three vulture species back from the brink of extinction. Over the past decade, several Asian governments have also banned one of the most problematic drugs, and captive breeding centers have begun hatching hundreds of chicks. There are hints that such moves are helping: Surveys suggest vulture declines have slowed, and some populations might even be increasing.But a recent visit to Bangladesh’s Vulture Safe Zone 1 highlighted the sobering difficulties that conservationists face in achieving their goal. Banned drugs deadly to vultures remain in ready supply. Then there’s the image issue: Many Bangladeshis still view vultures as things to be avoided—not saved. In the past, people stayed clear of scavengers circling overhead, fearing the birds’ shadows would bring sickness. Some have even beaten the birds with bamboo sticks and pelted them with stones. Changing those attitudes, conservationists say, will be key to building vital local support for the drug bans and other vulture protection measures, especially in nations where governments are short on money, manpower, and enforcement. “They don’t love [vultures] like tigers or elephants,” says Alam, who helped set up Bangladesh’s vulture zones. “This is a problem.”The plunge of South Asia’s vulture populations began in the 1990s and progressed with stunning rapidity. Millions of birds disappeared, seemingly overnight. It wasn’t until 2004 that scientists in Pakistan found the culprit. Some vultures can’t metabolize diclofenac, a painkiller that became widely used in the 1990s to treat fevers, udder inflammation, and other aches and pains in cattle. When the birds fed on tainted carcasses, uric acid crystallized in their kidneys. Kidney failure and death followed.The disappearance of vultures meant the loss of one of nature’s tidiest ways of disposing of a dead body. A wake of vultures can strip a dead cow to its bones in less than an hour. In India, where the Hindu proscription on eating beef means cows tend to die in the fields, there are concerns that carcasses once cleaned by the vultures are now being left to rot.. In Mumbai, followers of the Zoroastrian religion, who traditionally put their dead in open towers on remote hilltops so that vultures could pick the bones clean, erected solar ovens to burn off the flesh. A 2008 study warned that fewer scavenging vultures could even lead to a rise in rabies, if feral dogs took their place. INDIA A. B. M. Sarowar Alam/Vulture Conservation Initiatives Scavenger security South Asian nations have established 11 safe zones as part of a wider effort to protect three highly endangered vulture species. By Warren CornwallMar. 9, 2018 , 8:00 AM Eventually, governments in the region moved to save vultures by banning veterinary uses of diclofenac. In India, which has the largest vulture populations and the best tracking efforts, the restriction is credited with enabling the white-rumped vulture population to recover slightly, to about 6000, and slowing the decline of Indian vultures, now down to fewer than 15,000. (The population of slender-billed vultures in India, believed to be about 1500, is too small to reliably discern trends.)Eradicating problematic drugs, however, has proved difficult. After India imposed a ban on veterinary forms of diclofenac, for example, drug companies there started selling an extra-large dose, ostensibly for human use, that was the same as the dose used on cattle. The government then issued a ban on the new formulation (which was upheld by an Indian court last year). But several of the most common alternatives to diclofenac—including ketoprofen, aceclofenac, and nimesulide—are also toxic to vultures. And in most places, veterinarians can still legally use those drugs.The continuing contamination has slowed efforts to rear endangered vultures in captivity and release them into the wild. Breeding centers in Nepal and India have raised more than 300 chicks, but most are still being held in cages, because of fears they will wind up poisoned if released. A 2004 study estimated that diclofenac contamination of as few as one in 760 cow carcasses is enough to drive down vulture numbers.Such worrying statistics have helped catalyze the creation of 11 safe zones across vulture territory in South Asia, centered on areas where relict populations are hanging on. The strategy, which is led by conservation groups, debuted in Nepal in 2012. It mixes practical measures for protecting vultures with public relations efforts aimed at transforming vultures from symbols of doom to icons of the environment.In 2014, at the urging of Alam and others, the Bangladeshi government designated two “provisional” safety circles. Their 200-kilometer width matches the distance vultures typically travel to find food. Zone 2 covers part of the Sundarbans mangrove forest in the southwest. Zone 1 is centered on a vulture hot spot in the Rema-Kalenga sanctuary.Inside the zones, conservationists ply veterinarians with materials warning of drug perils, as well as free stockpiles of meloxicam, a vulture-safe painkiller. They are also deploying undercover buyers to pharmacies, to see whether they are selling contraband drugs. (In 2017, Bangladesh became the first government to ban ketoprofen in addition to diclofenac, though only inside the safe zones.)Such efforts appear to be having an effect. In Nepal, undercover pharmacy checks have shown a dramatic decline in the availability of diclofenac since the nation’s only zone was created in 2012, with none found inside the zone since 2014. In Bangladesh, surveys have found that nearly all pharmacies within the safe zones have stopped selling diclofenac. The vultures don’t have to fear their food here in the Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, an 1800-hectare sliver of protected forest near Bangladesh’s northeastern border with India. That’s because the preserve is at the heart of Vulture Safe Zone 1, a 200-kilometer-wide circle where conservationists are working with local residents to provide uncontaminated carcasses for the vultures to eat, and with veterinarians to prevent the use of the drugs that kill the birds. 0 Conservationists with the International Union for Conservation of Nature peer at a nesting white-rumped vulture in the Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary in northeast Bangladesh. CHINA Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country An Oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) at the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre near Pinjore in Haryana, India, about to be examined by a veterinarian. A trip to the nearby town of Gazipur confirms that Alam has reason to be concerned. In a cramped one-room office, Muhammad Ali Babul, a local veterinarian, sets boxes of ketoprofen and meloxicam on his desk. He’s heard that ketoprofen is banned in the area and bad for vultures, but he also finds it’s the best drug for treating cows that are giving birth. So he strikes a balance by using the drug in just 30% of the cases he sees. “It’s easy to get,” he says, and officials haven’t put much effort into enforcing the ban. “That’s why we’re using it.”A block down the potholed street, Nurul Alam, a veterinary technician with the government’s Department of Livestock who advises locals on animal care, seems unaware that ketoprofen is banned in the zone. “I didn’t get any kind of order. And many, many [people] use ketoprofen,” he says. “I don’t think the government bans it. When the government bans it, then companies will not produce it.”So far, the drug problem is confined largely to South Asia. Vulture species in the Americas appear immune. Africa is having its own vulture crisis, but it is driven by other kinds of poisoning. Poachers, for instance, lace carcasses with poison to kill vultures and other birds, but only because scavenging flocks can alert antipoaching authorities to their presence. Farmers do the same to kill hyenas and other predators; vultures are unintended victims.Still, conservationists worry that cattle drugs could become a wider problem. The conservation group BirdLife International, headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., has accused a Brazilian company of aggressively marketing diclofenac in Africa and exporting it to 15 countries there. And in 2013, Spain authorized the use of veterinary diclofenac, over the objections of bird conservationists. The country is home to three-quarters of Europe’s griffon vultures (G. fulvus), and there are concerns that these birds could be sensitive to the drug.The proliferation of problem drugs puts a premium on finding safer alternatives, says Toby Galligan, a conservation scientist at the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Bedfordshire. Because governments sensitive to the wishes of the pharmaceutical industry appear unwilling to ban an array of drugs or force safety testing, his organization is now studying how vultures react to a variety of painkillers. Ultimately, he says, “We hope we can find two or three drugs that we can promote along with meloxicam, and flood the market with these safe drugs.”In the meantime, conservationists are working to strengthen existing vulture safe zones—and create new ones. “We hope to get initiatives like this all over the subcontinent, and they could all join together, and that would put pressure on the national governments to make the drug bans more effective,” says Chris Bowden, the Bangaluru, India–based program manager for Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction, a consortium of conservation groups and government agencies. At a feeding station in Cambodia, a slender-billed vulture eyes a carcass that is free of harmful contaminants, while a wake of white-rumped vultures waits to feed. (Map) J. You/Science; (Data) Saving Asia’s Vultures From Extinction Email Then there are the measures to build good will. In Zone 1, a school near the preserve now sports a colorful mural depicting vultures. And several residents help run the vulture conservation program, serving as what amount to paid local ambassadors.IUCN also moved to foster pro-vulture feelings by providing cows to 15 impoverished families living on a tea plantation adjacent to the Rema-Kalenga sanctuary. Later, the group bought them back for 25,000 taka each, equal to nearly a year’s wages for a plantation worker. The hope is the extra income will dissuade the families from trying to earn money by foraging for wood in the reserve, where the vultures nest.Those cows—and others bought from local farmers—also become a source of drug-free meals at a so-called vulture restaurant within the sanctuary. During breeding season from September to April, a steady supply of cattle—screened to make sure it isn’t contaminated—is slaughtered and dropped in a secluded clearing 50 meters downhill from the small hut.During one recent feeding, Alam and several guests watched through four small holes as a lone Himalayan griffon (G. himalayensis), distinguished by its brown back and hulking size, stood guard over the remains of a 2-day-old carcass. The griffon is also vulnerable to painkillers, but its numbers have declined more slowly because the birds spend much of their lives in mountainous regions where the drugs aren’t widely used. This one was intent on protecting its meal from seven white-rumped vultures that also had designs on the carcass. As the griffon spread its wings and menaced the other birds, Alam, an enthusiastic birder, chortled from behind his binoculars. “You are lucky to see the vultures at this forest,” he declares. “My dream is in 20 years our population definitely will be increased, and by 10 years our population remains stable.”Alam is worried, however, by signs that the use of problematic alternatives to diclofenac, such as ketoprofen, is on the rise—even within safety zones. Just 100 white-rumped vultures live within Zone 1, he notes, and “If these 100 feed on only two or three cows with the harmful drugs, this will destroy the whole population.” CAMBODIA ‘Vulture safe zones’ aim to rescue a vital but unloved scavenger BANGLADESH Chris Gomersall/Minden Pictures Warren Cornwall last_img read more


United States extends fetal tissue contract and revives one experiment

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

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Country The U.S. government’s leading medical research agency is quietly extending and reviving research that relies on human fetal tissue, even as President Donald Trump’s administration ponders the future of the controversial work in a far-reaching review.Early this month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, told researchers it intends to extend a key agency contract that funds work using human fetal tissue to develop mice used to test drugs against HIV. Without NIH action, the $2 million annual contract between its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), will expire on 5 March.Normally, the contract, which has been in place for years, is renewed each December. But in December 2018, NIH extended it for just 90 days. Officials said the shorter renewal was a response to an ongoing review of federally funded fetal tissue research by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and that no final decision on the contract’s fate would be made until that review was complete. The newest extension would keep the contract alive for an additional 90 days, through 5 June, according to a 7 February letter from NIH to UCSF obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Scientists at the federal Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, ​have restarted an HIV study that was interrupted by an order to stop acquiring human fetal tissue. “We are working with NIH to extend the contract. We remain confident that the critically important work of the lab will be continued,” UCSF said in a statement.NIH has also revived an HIV experiment that was derailed last fall, days after the Trump administration launched a review of all U.S. government–funded research that uses fetal tissue donated by women after elective abortions. The study was being conducted at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana, where scientists receive fetal tissue that they use to create mice with humanlike immune systems. Lab dish studies had led them to believe that an antibody might prevent HIV from establishing reservoirs in the human body. They were preparing to use the humanized mice in a trial testing the antibody when they received an order from HHS directing them to stop acquiring fetal tissue from Advanced Bioscience Resources, a company in Alameda, California. (Days earlier, HHS had canceled a Food and Drug Administration contract with the company.)The HHS order “effectively stops all of our research to discover a cure for HIV,” Kim Hasenkrug, lead scientist at RML, wrote at the time to a collaborator, Warner Greene of the Gladstone Center for HIV Cure Research in San Francisco.Alerted to the experiment’s derailing, Lawrence Tabak, deputy director of NIH, said in December 2018 that the stoppage had resulted from a miscommunication. “We’re now figuring out ways to address that,” Tabak said at that time.Since then, NIH has found another fetal tissue supplier for the scientists at RML. This allowed the antibody experiment to launch last month, Greene told ScienceInsider yesterday, with 18 mice receiving the antibody and 18 control mice not receiving it. Another cohort of 22 treated mice and 22 controls was launched in early February, and the RML investigators expect in March or April to receive additional mice that will allow more cohorts to be tested, Greene said.“Our studies are back on track, thanks to the efforts of the NIH,” says Greene, whose lab did early experiments that revealed the antibody’s potential role, and then provided the antibody for the studies. “I just want to emphasize how gratifying it has been to work positively with the NIH on this to solve this problem.” Greene declined to say what supplier is providing fetal tissue for the experiments.Renate Myles, an NIH spokesperson, wrote in an email today: “The HHS audit is in no way intended to impede research. The delay in Hasenkrug’s research was unintentional and the issue was remediated once we were made of aware of the need for new [fetal tissue] procurement.”But research advocates praised the NIH for acting. “It’s very important that NIH is finding ways to continue this critical research. The development of these fetal tissue mice currently is the state of the art” in key areas of HIV research, says Sally Temple, scientific director of the Neural Stem Cell Institute in Rensselaer, New York, and a former president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.NIH estimates it will spend $95 million on projects involving human fetal tissue this year, down from an estimated $103 million in 2018.The Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion organization, declined to comment. (In September 2018, the group spearheaded a letter from 45 groups to HHS Secretary Alex Azar that complained about U.S. funding for research that uses fetal tissue, helping catalyze the HHS review.) David Prentice, vice president and research director at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Arlington, Virginia, the research branch of the Susan B. Anthony List, said he was unavailable for comment.Brett Giroir, the physician-scientist who is assistant secretary for health, is leading the broad review of U.S.-funded fetal tissue research that was launched in September 2018. Spokespeople at HHS did not respond to questions about the UCSF contract renewal and the status of the 5-month-old review, including when it might wrap up.Update, 25 February, 2:41 p.m.: After deadline, an HHS spokesperson responded by email to ScienceInsider’s questions about the review’s status, writing: “We will provide an update on the review once it has concluded and as appropriate.”  The email also stated that NIH responded for the department on questions about the UCSF contract renewal.center_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Meredith WadmanFeb. 22, 2019 , 1:25 PM United States extends fetal tissue contract and revives one experimentlast_img read more


Europes Oldest Book Was Found in the Tomb of a Saint

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgEurope’s oldest book is soon to go on display in a new exhibition at London’s British Library. Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War will feature a number of incredible artifacts and manuscripts, including the Domesday Book and the beautifully illustrated Lindisfarne Gospels.However, one of the star attractions is set to be a 1,300 year-old, small red book.The front cover; the original tooled red goatskin binding is the earliest surviving Western binding.The St. Cuthbert Gospel is a landmark in the history of European publishing.It is the oldest surviving European book that is still held together in its original leather binding.Despite its small size, this incredible manuscript can tell us a great deal about books in the early Middle Ages, including how they were made, and more importantly, how they were used.The back cover.The St. Cuthbert Gospel has long been shrouded in mystery, but historians working at the British Library have recently dated it to the late 7th century.It was first discovered in 1104, when the relics of one of Britain’s most important saints, Cuthbert, were moved to a new shrine in Durham.The binding disassembled during examination.Folio 51r, showing Jn 11 -18-25a, with one of the requiem readings marked at line 10.According to the BBC, St. Cuthbert was associated with many miracles, not least of which was the fact that his body never seemed to decay.Upon opening his coffin a decade after his death, monks were amazed to discover that his flesh was still intact and uncorrupted.Word spread, and soon the shrine of St. Cuthbert was one of the biggest tourist attractions in medieval Britain.Folio 11 of the book.When the monks moved St. Cuthbert’s relics to Durham in 1104, they decided to take a peek inside the coffin in order to make sure that the saint was still intact.Miraculously, his body was still as fresh as the day he died, and the monks ceremoniously redressed him and placed him back in the coffin.Detail of the binding.However, before they sealed it up, they noticed a small book. It was a copy of the Gospel of Saint John, bound in red leather, and perfectly preserved along with the body of the saint.Marveling at its age and perfect condition, they decided to take it out of the coffin and keep it as a separate holy relic.Cuthbert teaching with a book in his hand (Ch 16, Life of Cuthbert).According to Allison Meier in an article for JSTOR Daily, books, especially those containing all or parts of the Bible, were not just for reading in the early Middle Ages.They were often preserved as sacred relics and worn as talismans to keep away evil. Merely the presence of a holy text was thought to confer special protection.This book was assumed by the curious monks to have been a possession of the great St. Cuthbert himself, which meant it was believed to be even more potent.Books bound in red, presumably leather, from the Codex Amiatinus, made slightly earlier at Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey.It was originally thought that the book was placed inside the coffin of St. Cuthbert in 698, although historians now believe it was actually written in the early 8th century and made its way into Cuthbert’s coffin soon afterwards.It is not clear who commissioned it, and we know little of the scribe who painstakingly copied each line of the Gospel of St. John onto the parchment.Beginning of the text.This anonymous scribe, however, was particularly talented. Historians regard the text as a fine example of elegant early medieval handwriting, and the leather cover is particularly beautifully designed.Two Anglo-Saxon vine scrolls on the Lowther Cross. Photo by Johnbod CC BY-SA 3.0The style of the book’s construction tells us a lot about the transmission of knowledge and skills across Europe during this period, as Allison Meier notes.The book is bound in a particular ‘unsupported’ style, known as link stitch binding.This is also called Coptic sewing as it originated among Coptic communities in Egypt, but it was used across Europe, Byzantium, and in the Islamic world. This ancient manuscript is therefore evidence for connections between northern Britain, the rest of Europe and the Mediterranean, even in the 7th century.Read another story from us: To Catch a Thief: The Scheme Devised by a Librarian to Steal Rare Books Worth $8 MillionThis ancient book offers a rare glimpse into the past, showing the ways in which medieval Britain was connected to other parts of the world. And if you can’t make it to the British Library to see the manuscript in person, then don’t despair. The St. Cuthbert Gospel has now been fully digitized, meaning that it will continue to inspire and fascinate people across the world for generations to come.last_img read more


IOM trains over 240 for improved emergency preparedness of communities

Posted On Jul 19 2019 by

first_imgShareTweetSharePinIOM-facilitated training in fire fightingThe International Organization for Migration (IOM) is playing a major role in building capacity and improving the preparedness of communities across Dominica to deal with emergencies.   In January 2019, the IOM launched a 6-week training programme for 31 people in Ham radio operation and emergency communications.  Since then, at least 200 more community members have received training as capacity building continues in topics ranging from First Aid, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Fire Safety, Community Emergency Response Training (CERT), Gender-Based Violence, Psychosocial Support and Emergency Shelter Management.“The objective of the training activities is to ensure that disaster coordinators from the Department of Local Government, Public Health, the Police, Fire Service, Youth Division, and other areas of the public service, active community and grassroots leaders and responders in general apply best practices in responding to community needs before, during and after an emergency.  In addition, because emergency shelter is such an important part of disaster response, there is a specific focus on training shelter managers.” – Maxine Alleyne-Esprit, Community Engagement Officer, IOM.Training in shelter managementShelter Managers are key humanitarian volunteers who carry tremendous responsibilities in the disaster management system.  The training being offered by IOM with funds from the American people through USAID, builds on previous activities undertaken by the UN migration agency since Hurricane Maria, to assist in meeting the needs of people who are displaced from their homes by natural disasters.In March of 2018, IOM trained 84 shelter managers, local authorities and government officials on Emergency Shelter guidelines, improved conditions and protection measures.  This year, under this Emergency Preparedness project, close to 50 more long-serving and newly recruited shelter managers have received training, building their capacity to support people by emergencies, in line with international principles and standards.Shelter Managers and Assistant Managers were invited by the Local Government Department through its District Development Officers, from all regions of the island to take part in the Emergency Shelter Management training.  The training introduced participatory strategies for managing shelters, the humanitarian principles that should underpin shelter management, and the “emergency Shelter manual” which contains the recently standardised guidelines and tools for Emergency Shelters in Dominica. This manual has been developed by IOM in close collaboration with the Office of Disaster Management (ODM), the Emergency Shelter Subcommittee of the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO), the Local Government Department, experienced shelter managers and other key stakeholders.In this USAID – OFDA funded US$1.25m Emergency Preparedness project, IOM also repaired 16 emergency shelters and is pre-positioning non-food items, household equipment including cots and wheelchairs, safety supplies including first aid kits and fire extinguishers in those emergency shelters.As the 2019 hurricane season approaches, IOM joins the ODM in urging all residents to be prepared at all times.  Dominica is threatened by several natural hazards, including earthquakes and volcanos, floods and tsunamis, which can affect communities much more suddenly as they are characterized by much shorter warning periods than hurricanes.  Preparedness is key to saving lives.  Visit www.odm.gov.dm for information on hazards that affect Dominica, and the recommended actions before, during and after these events.IOM first response and CPR traininglast_img read more