Apple‘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: CNBC
We’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.
StarVR 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.
Dumas 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.
HHS 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.
In 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.
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 Talent
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) 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.
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
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 →
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 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 →
Data 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.
Few 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.
Reviewed 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/ 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:
Europe’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.
ShareTweetSharePinIOM-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 training