TRANS-TASMAN CHALLENGE FOR VICTORIA

first_imgTrans-Tasman rivalry will reach fever pitch on Saturday 9 December 2006 at Elwood Park, Elwood, Victoria when a Victorian based “Australian” team take on a Victorian based “New Zealand” selection in the annual Victorian Touch Association (VTA) Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy Series.The traditional Kiwi “Haka” will reverberate around the picturesque beachside suburb of Elwood whilst the “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” chant is sure to get a run as the “Aussies” and the “Kiwis” square off in a series that will bring traditional Trans-Tasman rivalry to the boil.Three years ago the VTA Technical Panel instigated the Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy Series to acknowledge the two traditional cultures who have dominated the local Victorian touch scene.The concept received a fantastic response from the local touch community and has grown each year to become a showcase event on the Victorian calendar.In a best-of-three game series, a Victorian based “Australian” team is selected to oppose a Victorian based “New Zealand” selection in Men’s Open and Women’s Open divisions.If the Series is deadlocked (3 games a piece) a deciding Mixed drop-off is played between the two teams to determine the overall Victorian Touch Association Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy winner. The event also recognises a number of Victorian Touch Association members who have made significant contributions to the sport over the years including Michael Sparks, Miles Davine, Sete Kita, & Karen Jones.The respective Most Valuable Player awards for the teams are named in honour of these Victorian Touch Association stalwarts.Bragging rights for most series won in the event’s history is up for grabs this weekend, with Australia winning the Inaugural Series, and New Zealand squaring the ledger last time around, and both teams now eagerly awaiting the opportunity to claim supremacy in the 2006 Trans-Tasman Challenge.The “New Zealand” Men’s team will field a combination big on speed, agility, and attacking flair led by  Jason Kaiwai (2006 Crusaders Men’s Open),  Callan Donner (Victorian Men’s Open), and former New Zealand Secondary Schools representative Cam Tangaroa.  The “Australian” Men’s team will feature an experienced line-up headlined by Derrick Cant (former Crusaders Mixed & Mens Open), Michael Carter (Australian Senior Mixed, 2005 All Nations) and 17 year-old young gun Chris Katal who played in the Crusaders Men’s 20’s team at the 2006 National Touch League.The New Zealand Women’s Team also has a strong look about it.Former New Zealand Senior Mixed representative Terry Beazley has been handed the coaching reins of a team featuring  Teena TeMaro (New Zealand 2005 All Nations Women’s 35’s representative),Bernadette Diamond (former New Zealand Bay of Plenty representative), and current Victorian Open Mixed player Sophie Silbury. The “Australian” Women’s team will have its own star quality line-up spearheaded by Leah Percy (2006 Crusaders Womens Open), Wendy Briscoe (2006 Crusaders Womens Open) and 2005 Australian Senior Mixed 2005 All Nations representative Suzy Barrett.Australian Open Mixed Captain Tony Eltakchi will fly in from Sydney for the event as Tournament Ambassador and will be the Master of Ceremonies for the occasion.Junior players (Boys & Girls) will also take part in scheduled exhibition games on the day. These youngsters will take part in a training session in the morning and then play a 20-minute game showcasing the skills, teamwork, and standard of Victorian Junior Touch. For a great day of quality Touch football head down to Elwood Park Saturday to see a prelude to the Trans-Tasman rivalry that is sure to be amplified on the world stage at the 2007 Federation of International Touch World Cup 17-21 January in Stellenbosch, South Africa.Full results can accessed by going to the Victorian Touch web-site http//:www.victouch.com.aulast_img read more

Vampire Weekend To Perform At Grammy In The Schools Concert

first_imgThe fifth annual GRAMMY In The Schools Live! concert will take place Jan. 22 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.The concert will feature a special guest performance by 56th GRAMMY nominees Vampire Weekend with members of GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session.GRAMMY In The Schools Live! — A Celebration Of Music & Education is sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund. Platinum tickets start at $100 per person and include a special meet-and-greet with Vampire Weekend and tickets to the concert. Gold tickets are $40 per person and Silver tickets are $20 per person.High school singers and instrumentalists are eligible to audition for GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session. Selectees receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the annual GRAMMY Awards, participate in high-profile GRAMMY Week performances and recording sessions, and attend the GRAMMY telecast.GRAMMY Camp, GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session and GRAMMY Signature Schools are programs designed for U.S. high school students and high school music programs, and are part of the GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY in the Schools offerings.GRAMMY Camp offers selected high school students an interactive residential summer music experience. Focusing on all aspects of commercial music, this unique opportunity provides instruction by industry professionals in an immersive creative environment with cutting-edge technology in professional facilities.The GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top public high schools across the country for outstanding commitment to their music education programs.The 2014 GRAMMY Camp application deadline is March 31. Financial assistance is available to qualified applicants. The deadline for the 2014 GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session and GRAMMY Signature Schools programs is Oct. 22. Applications for both programs are available at www.grammyintheschools.com.GRAMMY In The Schools Live! is part of the GRAMMY Week series of events, culminating with Music’s Biggest Night. The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).last_img read more

More talk than action on increasing caribou protection federal report

first_img“Additional efforts, including those noted in this report, are needed to reverse the loss of critical habitat and declines in boreal caribou populations.”The department is required under the Species At Risk Act to assess provincial and territorial efforts to assist the recovery of caribou populations.In April, Environment Canada found significant problems. In every province, agencies that issue permits for forestry or energy development aren’t required to conform to the federal Species At Risk Act.That earlier report also noted that little conservation is taking place on the ground. Measures in almost every case are still being planned or drafted.That situation continues. The new report lists dozens of ongoing negotiations, draft plans and provincial promises to restore caribou populations to sustainable levels, but there are few fully implemented protected areas.Planning is good, said Florence Daviet of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Action would be better. OTTAWA, O.N. – An Environment Canada report says that despite much talk on preserving caribou habitat, little progress has been made to close gaps in the protection of the threatened species.The agency says not much has changed since a coast-to-coast survey in April.“Despite the progress being made, the gaps in protection, as described in the first progress report, remain,” says the report issued Friday. “They were supposed to be doing this planning and talking since 2012,” she said. “They’ve had a lot of time to talk.”Barry Robinson, a lawyer with the group Ecojustice, pointed out that Friday’s report was itself almost two months overdue. So are many of the protection measures that should be in place by now, he said.“We still don’t have any range plans in Alberta, which were to have been done by October 2017.”Many governments, including Alberta, have announced ambitious plans for new protected areas. But almost all remain in draft form or remain unimplemented, he said.center_img “The big gaps are still there.”Caroline Theriault, an Environment Canada spokeswoman, said the report shows many steps have been taken across the country to support caribou recovery.“Since the last report was published in April, provinces and territories have made some progress on protection plans and on the ground recovery efforts,” she said in an emailed statement. “We recognize that more needs to be done, and we are already taking action.”The latest assessment of woodland caribou suggest that 81 percent of Canada’s herds are in decline. Loss of another one-third of the population is expected “in the near term.”The main threat to their numbers is alteration of habitat, which reduces a herd’s productivity and allows access by predators.Caribou conservation is often seen to be in direct conflict with forestry and energy and the jobs they generate. In late March, Alberta delayed its own caribou range plans over economic concerns.Robinson said that sooner or later, legislation will oblige federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to step in and override provincial regulations with an emergency protection order.“The minister has not done the one thing she is legally required to do, which is to recommend a protection order when the province hasn’t protected the required habitat.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

Bodies of 5, missing since Feb 28, fished out from Guj canal

first_imgSurat: Over a fortnight after they went missing, bodies of five members of a family in Gujarat’s Surat were Sunday fished out from a local canal, police said. The bodies of Jeevan Gamit (65), his wife Sharmila (62), son Dharmesh (41), daughter-in-law Sunita (36) and granddaughter Urvi (6) were brought out from a canal near Madhi village in the district, said Bardoli police station Inspector B K Patel said. “The five are residents of Kapura village in Vyara tehsil in neighbouring Tapi district. Their family members had filed a missing person complaint at the local police station there on February 28,” Patel said. “Their car apparently fell into the canal near Madhi village. The Maruti Eeco car they were travelling in was spotted in the canal by residents on Sunday who then informed us. We brought out the car and the bodies of the five were found inside in a highly decomposed state,” he informed. Relatives of the deceased have told police they had gone to Bardoli to offer prayers at a temple and were on their way back when they met with an accident, Patel said. “It seems the driver lost control of the car and it plunged into the canal. Further probe into the incident is underway,” he added.last_img read more

The Torg silenced after wishing death to Desmond Howard

The Ohio State-Michigan football rivalry is a passionate subject for many, and Columbus radio host Scott Torgerson let that passion get the better of him. Torgerson, a co-host of “The Common Man and The Torg” show on WBNS 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, was suspended by the radio station after wishing death on former Michigan football star and current ESPN analyst Desmond Howard. The suspension is indefinite, according to multiple reports. Howard currently works as a co-host for ESPN’s traveling, live college football show, “College GameDay.” 97.1 The Fan also happens to be an ESPN affiliate. From his Twitter account, @myguythetorg, Torgerson tweeted Saturday: “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch Gameday again.” Torgerson later issued an apology on Twitter, saying: “My Desmond Howard tweet was a joke. I think if you listen to the show you know that. My apologizes to those who took it serious. Total joke.” The apology arrived too late for Kirk Herbstreit and Howard’s wife. Herbstreit, an ESPN analyst, co-host of “College GameDay” with Howard, and former OSU quarterback, criticized Torgerson during “The Kirk Herbstreit Show,” which airs on 97.1 The Fan. “I think what Desmond Howard had to deal with over the weekend is disgusting and very sad,” Herbstreit said. “I don’t know the reason behind it, but the tweet from an individual that works at the radio station was above and beyond, I think, what was acceptable … There’s so much more I wish I could say about that and I’ll choose not to … To me he crossed a line and that’s just completely unacceptable.” Howard’s wife, Rebkah Howard, responded to Torgerson on Twitter as well. From Rebkah Howard’s Twitter account, @pink_funk, she said: “(thanks) for the ‘apologizes’. Are you fortunate enough to be a father? Know who didn’t get your ‘total (dead) joke’? Our daughter.” Torgerson did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s Tuesday request for comment. read more

Liverpool keeper referred to US doctors for concussion tests by club

first_imgLiverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has been referred to medical experts in Boston after the 24-year-old German visited Massachusetts General Hospital and was diagnosed with concussion five days after the Champions League final.Karius made terrible mistakes during the first and third goals that gave Madrid a 3-1 win at Kiev. Karius clashed with Spanish defender Sergio Ramos, although in a statement released with the player’s permission yesterday, doctors did not tell whether or not that incident caused the goalkeeper concussion. However, Dr Ross Zafonte said it was “possible” the injury “would affect performance”.Zafonte, who is a leading expert in head injuries in the NFL, said Karius’ assessment involved reviewing “game film”, a “physical examination” and “objective metrics”, according to BBC.He continued that it was “likely” that “visual-spatial dysfunction” which hampers a person’s ability to process visual information about where objects are in space,  would have occurred immediately after the event that caused the concussion.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…Dr Willie Stewart, a consultant neuropathologist at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, said a delay in the concussion diagnosis is “not surprising”.“How did he get concussed and we didn’t know?“The obvious signs of concussion can take hours and days to develop, so it’s not surprising that it might be picked up after the match.”last_img read more

Mayor Faulconer orders Public Utilities Department to investigate every customer complaint of

first_img KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Mayor Faulconer orders Public Utilities Department to investigate every customer complaint of high water bills Posted: February 1, 2018 February 1, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Mayor Kevin Faulconer has directed the city’s Public Utilities Department to investigate every complaint of high water bills after some residents have noticed unexplained skyrocketing charges in recent months.The move is the latest in the city’s response to the complaints that have been covered by local media. City Councilwoman Barbara Bry on Wednesday asked the city auditor to look into the utility department’s billing procedures.So far, city officials have discovered several factors that could contribute to high water bills: a 6.9 percent rate increase that took effect on Aug. 1, a one-time billing schedule change that extended the normal 60-day billing period to up to 70 days late last year, warmer months that could contribute to increased usage, meter reading inconsistencies and leaks in homes and irrigation systems, according to the mayor’s office.“San Diegans need to be able to trust that their bills are correct — and that every cent they pay goes to ensuring we have safe, reliable water,” Faulconer said. “I’ve directed our Public Utilities Department to review every complaint to ensure that nobody is being overcharged and to correct any mistakes immediately.”In one case, for example, a resident’s bill jumped from around $200 in February 2016 to more than $1,000 in the most recent billing cycle, with no increase in usage, Fox 5 reported.Those with questions or concerns about their water bill can contact the utilities department at (619) 515-3500 or customercare@sandiego.gov. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Annual Kenai Soap Box Derby Tomorrow

first_imgThe race is tomorrow at the Challenger Learning Center parking lot starting at 10:30 a.m. There will be a trophy ceremony at the conclusion of the race where first, second and third place drivers along with best of show car and a sportsman award are presented. Drivers aged 9-17 will be competing in the derby. The winner of Saturday’s race will have the option to represent the Kenai Peninsula in the Ohio nationals or claim a $1,000 scholarship. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Rotary Club of Kenai will be hosting the annual Soap Box Derby tomorrow, in the Challenger Learning Center parking lot.center_img This annual event is sponsored by numerous local community members and is a qualifying race for the National Soap Box Derby event in Ohio.last_img read more

Municipal Election Results To Be Certified On Tuesday

first_imgThe canvass board will count absentee, questioned and mail-in ballots leading up to October 9. Any ballot sent through the mail that’s postmarked on or before October 2 and received prior the certification of the results will be counted. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The official results from the Regular Municipal Election are expected to be finalized next Tuesday, October 9. Unofficial results from the election can be found on the Kenai Peninsula Borough website.center_img According to the Kenai city clerk the city’s three precincts had 125 absentee ballots left for the borough to count. Soldotna city clerk reported 61 absentee ballots, with one questioned ballot.last_img read more

Expect Smoke Pilot Cars Along The Sterling Highway

first_imgDue to the winds, trees continue to fall in and along the road creating hazardous driving conditions. The pilot car escorts will remain in place until the wind event stops even though fire activity is low at the moment. If you travel on the highway, please use caution and observe the direction of the pilot car drivers. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Winds were gusty Sunday along the Sterling Highway and are predicted to continue blowing through Monday. In many areas adjacent to the highway, the fire burned very hot resulting in trees weakened by fire damage.center_img Conditions are still dynamic and can change quickly. Delays can last from 45 minutes up to a several hours at times.last_img read more

RMLD Invites Wilmington High Students To Participate In Art Contest To Commemorate

first_imgREADING, MA — Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD) invites high school students from Reading, North Reading, Wilmington, and areas of Lynnfield served by RMLD to showcase their creativity by participating in an art contest to commemorate RMLD’s 125thanniversary. Various art mediums will be accepted, including, but not limited to: drawings, paintings, photography, and graphic art. Finished artwork is due by Friday, August 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm.Students who wish to participate must visit www.rmld.comto review contest materials and register by August 15th. The first 50 students to register by June 15th will receive qualified art supplies valued at up to $20.Each student who submits artwork by the deadline will receive a certificate for ten hours of community service. Three to five winners will be selected based on the number of submissions received and the content of the artwork. Each winner will receive a gift card of up to $100 for qualified school or art supplies. One submission will be selected to be featured on the cover of RMLD’s Annual Report.More information and official contest rules may be found at https://www.rmld.com/community/pages/high-school-student-art-contest-2019.(NOTE: The above press release is from RMLD.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedRMLD Invites Local High School Students To Participate In Summer Art ContestIn “Government”RMLD Invites Wilmington High School Students To Participate in Annual Art ContestIn “Community”Wilmington’s Bonaccorsi Wins Award In RMLD Summer Art ContestIn “Education”last_img read more

SSYs for unorganised sector workers see major boost

first_imgKolkata: In a significant improvement in the social security schemes for the workers in unorganised sectors, the Bengal government has completed the digitalisation of data of more than 55 lakh beneficiaries in the state so far.The state Labour department, the implementing authority of the Samajik Suraksha Yojana (SSY), has set a target to include 1.2 crore beneficiaries within the schemes, aiming to provide income security and various social benefits to the people engaged in unorganised sectors. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSSY schemes were introduced by the state government in 2017, following the initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who laid an emphasis on the improvement of socio-economic conditions of the people working in various unorganised sectors. Prodded by the Chief Minister, the state Labour department chalked out an elaborate plan for a comprehensive coverage of social benefits.The various schemes that are falling under the SSY are State Assisted Scheme of Provident Fund for Unorganised Workers (SASPFUW), West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers Health Security Scheme (WBUSWHSS), Social Security Scheme for Construction Workers (BOCWA), West Bengal Transport Workers Social Security Scheme (WBTWSSS) and West Bengal Bidi Workers’ Welfare Scheme (WBBWWS). To provide uniform benefits to each and every unorganised worker, the common benefits of all these schemes were integrated and converged into a single and more comprehensive scheme for the benefits of the beneficiaries, many of whom are illiterate. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAs per the latest available report, digitalisation work has been done for 55,39,368 beneficiaries in the state so far. According to sources in the Labour department, many more beneficiaries have already been brought under the SSY schemes, the data of whom are yet to be uploaded in the system. The department has a target of bringing 1.2 crore people under this scheme and upload their data in the online system, so that every individual in the state can avail the benefits of the social schemes of the state government. The state government had also received an award in the national arena for the conceptualisation and effective implementation of the schemes, a senior official of the department said. SSY is one of the best labour welfare schemes that have brought about a change in the lives of people across the state. The digitalisation of data has helped the department to maintain a centralised information system, where all the information related to any individual is available at the click of a mouse.This will bring more transparency in the system and maintain the records of beneficiaries. The online maintenance of data will also help the department to check multiple entries. For example, earlier there was a possibility that an individual could apply for some benefits from two districts simultaneously. But the digitalisation of data is helping the department check such incidents.Unorganised workers are getting financial assistance of Rs 20,000 per annum for any ailment and the amount extends up to Rs 60,000 per annum in case of hospitalisation. They are also entitled to get provident fund after the age of 60.The state government also extends financial assistance to the beneficiaries, so that their children can pursue higher studies. Workers in hazardous jobs also get benefits under the scheme. Construction workers are entitled to get additional benefits like invalid pension and family pension. Transport workers are also entitled to get additional medical benefits and family pension.last_img read more

Ensure a summer full of sparkle with right jewellery

first_imgIts that time of year when everyone is busy making travel plans with friends and family. Deciding on what to pack for your vacation is never easy and it often requires more thought than the destination itself To ensure you have a stress-free vacation, Experts list some must have travel looks. Gemstones: Summer is for bright and colourful outfits. Incorporating the colour trend in your jewellery is a great way to keep you vibrant and energized. Pieces with amethyst, which is also the Pantone color of the year, beautifully coloured tourmalines and other gemstones, are a must to carry on your travels. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfVersatile pieces: Even though we suggest you travel only with the essential pieces and stay light, keeping versatile jewellery that can be paired with both formal and casual outfits is extremely helpful. Detachable earrings, stackable rings and layered necklaces are a must have in your travel case. Rose gold: Rose Gold is a universally flattering metal that usually looks great with any colour or clothing. It looks amazing when paired with soft pastels and neutral colour themes while keeping you right on trend! Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveKeep it quirky: For those of you who like to stay quirky in style, animal renditions of jewellery are unique and are an extremely cool accessory for vacations. This trend is especially seen in pendants, studs and rings and is go to jewellery for all destination types. Lightweight: The most important rule when you are travelling is to keep your baggage as light as possible. This goes for your jewellery as well. Dainty, light pieces in pendants, earrings, rings and bracelets, that are easy to carry and store. Preferably a selection of those that can be paired with more than one look are the most apt. Plan according to your destination: Your choice of jewellery should be synonymous to your travel destination. For a beach holiday we suggest you team your classic black or a bright shade swimsuit or shorts and tee with minimalist pendants or layered neck chains. Layered necklaces are a big trend for the summer and will add just the right amount of bling to your casual outfit.Minimalistic pieces: Minimalist pendants and earrings are vacation essentials. Incorporating geometry through neckpieces and studs, that are easy to carry and minimalistic in look ensures convenience and style.last_img read more

What You Need to Know About Anthems Massive Data Breach

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global The onslaught continues.On Wednesday night Anthem, the second-largest health insurer in the United States, announced that it had succumbed to a massive cyber attack. It may be the largest hack to hit the health care industry to date.The company, formerly known as WellPoint, has nearly 40 million customers that appear to be at risk, but the breach may have also exposed personal information for the company’s past customers, too. In total, the names, social security numbers, e-mail addresses, birthdays, street addresses, member IDs, and employment information (including salaries) for some 80 million people may been compromised. No credit card or medical data seems to have been taken.According to an FAQ provided by the company, the following Anthem brands were impacted by the hack: Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare. The company promises to provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge to those affected.“Anthem’s own associates’ personal information—including my own—was accessed during this security breach,” wrote Joseph Swedish, president and CEO of Anthem, on a Web site—www.anthemfacts.com—the company set up amid the attack’s disclosure. “We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data.”Anthem has employed Mandiant, a division of cyber security firm FireEye, to investigate its attack. Mandiant was also called upon to investigate the last major attack to hit the health sector, which involved Community Health Systems, a Tennessee-based hospital operator, in August. That earlier breach consisted of 4.5 million records being compromised from April to June—and, like Anthem’s breach, did not appear to target medical or financial information.Mandiant pegged the Community Health Systems attack on Chinese hackers, an “Advanced Persistent Threat” group that normally targets U.S. intellectual property. Following that breach, the FBI issued a one page flash warning to the healthcare industry urging companies to be on the lookout for attacks.As reported by Reuters, which had obtained a copy shortly after it was disseminated, the agency said:The FBI has observed malicious actors targeting healthcare related systems, perhaps for the purpose of obtaining Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) and/or Personally Identifiable Information (PII)…. These actors have also been seen targeting multiple companies in the healthcare and medical device industry typically targeting valuable intellectual property, such as medical device and equipment development data.One problem the health industry faces is that many companies within rely on aging computer equipment—an easy target for vulnerability-seeking miscreants. “Legacy systems running outdated software and vulnerable application elements are contributing to these companies being a prime target for compromise,” says Jay Kaplan, CEO of Synack, a security firm that sells subscription security software, and a former NSA senior cyber analyst. “All of our healthcare information, from insurance claims to patient records, is being moved online for convenience. We are at the liberty of these companies housing our sensitive data to adequately protect this information.”According to V. Miller Newton, CEO of data encryption company PKWare, the corporate world will see a major hack every month this year—at least. The only way to solve the problem? “By armoring the data at its core with persistent encryption,” he says, which would render sensitive data into garbled text.“Old antiquated computers are not the problem,” Newton says. “The problem is that adversaries are going to continue to penetrate these systems no matter what level of perimeter network security they have in place. Every other major company and health provider in this country has to start to think about this problem differently. They have to think about it from the ‘information out’ versus the ‘network in’ perspective—that paradigm shift is starting to happen now, but it has to happen a lot more quickly.”An FBI spokesperson declined to comment beyond the statement the agency had issued saying that the agency was aware of the intrusion and is investigating it. “Anthem’s initial response in promptly notifying the FBI after observing suspicious network activity is a model for other companies and organizations facing similar circumstances,” said FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell. “Speed matters when notifying law enforcement of an intrusion, as cyber criminals can quickly destroy critical evidence needed to identify those responsible.”In terms of scale, Anthem’s breach looms large when compared to other breaches that have made headlines. Last year, Home Depot disclosed that up to 56 million credit cards had been looted. In 2013, Target suffered theft of 40 million customers’ credit cards and had lost the personal information of another 70 million. Unlike those attacks, Anthem’s is believed to not involve credit cards.When hackers infiltrated J.P. Morgan and stole personal information from around 80 million customers, they did not acquire highly sensitive data like social security numbers, as they have in the case of Anthem.Chris Petersen, CTO and co-founder of LogRhythm, a security intelligence company in Boulder, Colorado, said: “The barrier to entry for cybercriminals continues to decrease, and personal health information can trade at a premium on the black market. Healthcare providers and insurers are a veritable treasure trove for would-be attackers, not only storing PHI but also card holder data. The Anthem breach should put all healthcare providers and insurers on notice.”For current and former customers who believe they have been affected, Anthem has provided a toll-free phone number (1-877-263-7995) where it has promised to address questions related to the “very sophisticated external cyber attack,” as Swedish referred to it. When this reporter dialed the extension, though, he was met with a busy signal. February 5, 2015 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Register Now » 6 min readlast_img read more

Six new AWS trips from Trafalgar CostSaver

first_img TORONTO — Trafalgar and Costsaver’s Autumn, Winter and Spring (AWS) 2019/20 program offers 41 itineraries across 27 countries.The brands connect clients with Europe’s best experiences, people and destinations with year-round and winter specific itineraries.Along with a selection of tried and tested favourites for 2019/2020, Trafalgar and Costsaver have also announced six brand new trips in line with clients’ demand for more Europe options year-round.“We’ve crafted our trips with the best travel experiences in mind, no matter the season,” says Michael Unrath, Head of Product for Trafalgar Europe. “Smaller towns and communities can often struggle during the quiet seasons when the summer crowds die down for the year. We’re proud to be able to take our groups to many of these destinations, offer experiences that bring Europe to life and connect with the amazing locals and communities that make these destinations so special, at any given time of year,” he said.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterNew trips include the 7-day Best of Scotland to uncover Scottish greats in one of Trafalgar’s most popular countries, taking in Glasgow, the Highlands and Edinburgh. Client favourites like a ‘Be My Guest’ experience at the 15th century home of the Wood Family on Lake Loch Ard to private whisky tastings, a day trip to the Isle of Skye and sightseeing are all on offer, packed with plenty of fun and classic Scottish locals.With the rise in the popularity of Eastern Europe experiences, Trafalgar’s new 8-days Balkan Escape and 6-days Lucerne Explorer will fulfill clients needs in the coming season. Using Lucerne as its base, the Lucerne Explorer offers the best of all things Swiss, including chocolate and cheese workshops, mountain vistas, lake views, grand hotels and plenty of history in the cozy colder months for an all-encompassing travel experience in under.For those looking for some winter sun, there’s the new 10-day Best of Morocco, with colourful bazaars, a ‘Be My Guest’ experience with a local family in their private Riad, an overnight stay in the middle of the beautiful Atlas Mountains, plus visits to mosques and medinas.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThese new trips are rounded off with a new 10-day Trafalgar 3 Continents Cruise covering Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.Lastly, on Costsaver’s new 10-day Italian Scene adventure clients will explore the idyllic lakes, Renaissance cities, vibrant countryside and memorial sites and landmarks in Venice, Florence and Rome. Trip highlights include a ‘Local Specialist’ tour to St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as stops in feisty Naples, Assisi and the cliffside village of Sorrento.Reiterating its #AgentsFirst philosophy, the AWS programs feature both brands together in one handy ‘upside down’ brochure. Share Thursday, May 9, 2019 Tags: AWS, CostSaver, New Tours, Trafalgar Six new AWS trips from Trafalgar & CostSavercenter_img Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Aleks Habdank UK service provider TalkTalk has ren

first_imgAleks HabdankUK service provider TalkTalk has renewed its deal with Sky to distribute premium content.The new multi-year agreement will give TalkTalk TV customers continued access to Sky entertainment channels including Sky 1 and Sky Living. In addition, TalkTalk will continue to offer live and on-demand content from Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, and pay-per-view service Sky Box Office.The deal with Sky follows a significant expansion of TalkTalk’s TV offering with the lakunch of new non-linear services and a deal to carry BT Sport channels.TalkTalk launched multiscreen pay-as-you-go movies and TV service TalkTalk Store following its acquisition of Blinkbox. The service offers the ability to stream, rent and buy-to-own series box-sets and movies.TalkTalk said it plans to upgrade its Youview set-top boxes later this year to offer a more personalized TV service.“This deal is an unequivocal demonstration of TalkTalk’s continued commitment to TV. Our service is going from strength to strength and our ambition to be the UK’s best value for money TV provider – offering customers flexible access to the widest range of free and paid for content – is firmly on track,” said Aleks Habdank, managing director, TalkTalk TV.“Our investment in YouView, our app-based service, and securing some to the best content available is incredibly valued by our customers. TV continues to be a driving force for growth and customer loyalty and remains a priority for our business.”Mark Winterbottom, Business Development Director at Sky, said: “We are delighted to be able to build on our partnership with TalkTalk. This deal enables its customers to enjoy the quality and breadth of Sky’s content for years to come, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to broad distribution.”last_img read more

When my fatherinlaw died my wife and I took ove

first_imgWhen my father-in-law died, my wife and I took over the responsibility of looking after her mother, who I affectionately called “grandma.” We quickly connected with a very nice lady who was a broker at one of the top brokerage firms in the country. Over time she became a mentor, advisor, and friend. Although she’s been retired for quite some time, we’re still in contact and are very close. If I were to pick one attribute that sets her apart, it would be honesty. Ask her a tough question and she’ll give you a straight answer, even though it may personally cost her some money. Around the time that many of the online discount brokerage firms were emerging, our nice lady broker put in a trade where we sold 1,000 shares of a stock at $24/share, so the trade was $24,000.00. When we got the transaction sheet in the mail, there were some small fees, but her firm took a $240 commission just for handling the transaction. I called and asked her how the firm justified those fees to its clients. We were being bombarded with television commercials, letters, and flyers from discount brokers who would handle the transaction for only $19.95. Basically, I asked her what the extra $220 in commissions bought us. She was very straightforward, and it was apparent I was not the first client to ask. She said that she cut the commission to rock bottom, meaning there was no lower fee structure available, and then went on to explain that discount brokers were merely transactional brokers with no research departments and no advice. They just processed transactions. By contrast, her firm had all these high-priced folks in New York who did tons of research and analysis and provided advice and guidance. I then (with her help) wrote a letter stating that I was toying with making an investment in a particular market but wasn’t quite sure if the sector made sense – and if it did, what particular stock would be the best choice? She took my letter, put her cover letter on top of it, and sent it to her firm’s gurus in New York. A short time later, we got back a 2-3 page report discussing the sector and recommending a particular company to invest in. They recommended it as a “strong buy.” It was also clear that the primary reason they felt that way was a chart showing that 8 of 10 major firms recommended the company as a “buy or strong buy.” Other than the standard information about growth, P/E ratios etc., there was really not a whole lot of support behind why the particular stock was supposedly so appealing. Honestly, I went nuts when I read the report, because simply saying that 8 of 10 major firms recommended something was not research. Actually, it was an admission of delegating the research to some other firm and then hoping it did it right. Perhaps that was why the P/E ratio was so ridiculously high; the investing guru Benjamin Graham would have been telling his clients to sell the same stock. So I asked our broker, “What happens if some researcher gets a tip from his barber on a stock, then he goes to the office and recommends it as a ‘buy.’ Then another firm picks up on it and also recommends it, and pretty soon 8 of 10 recommend it. That alone would drive up the price of the stock, but who actually did any research?” She grinned and mentioned something about the integrity of the individual doing the job. When I wrote the letter, I’d wanted someone to do the type of research Benjamin Graham discussed in The Intelligent Investor. I wanted them to find a stock that’s not on anyone else’s list with a P/E that was within reasonable guidelines. Heck, by the time 8 of 10 major firms have rated it as a “buy or strong buy,” it’s too late. At that point Graham and his clients would be taking their profits. In today’s lingo, the Casey group would have recommended you sell at least half of it and perhaps retain some of the investment as a “free ride.” Not long after that, our friend retired, and I switched the family accounts to a discount online broker. As I was surfing its website, I noticed a “Research” tab. I clicked on it and typed in the symbol of the stock, and up popped several available reports and a one-page summary. I realized then that what we got from the high-priced, old-line brokerage firm was not much different than the summary that had just popped up on my computer screen. Sad to say, some of the things that I’ve seen passed off as research are like sugar-free Jell-O topped with fat-free Cool Whip; it has the illusion of substance… but not much else. For the next several years, what little I had for research I did through the search engine of my online broker. It was boring, tedious, and time-consuming. Perhaps like some other investors, I wanted to find an easy way out. At that time I was subscribing to several investment newsletters that all touted their research and weren’t shy about making specific investment recommendations, something the discount brokers stayed away from at the time. Some did their job better than others. For close to a decade I didn’t use investment services because we had most of our portfolio in CDs. It wasn’t until late 2008, when we began to actively self-manage our portfolio, that we began to subscribe to various newsletters again. I quickly noticed that they seemed to be more highly specialized. The newsletters had true experts in a particular market sector or investment doing the research and making the recommendations. This isn’t meant to be a shameless plug, but I read a couple of the Casey newsletters like BIG GOLD, where there are folks on the ground, photos of the various mines, backgrounds, and where the author had known the principals for a couple decades. I was impressed. I’d never read any of this kind of stuff sifting through information from my discount broker, nor had I ever seen this level of detail from the so-called “full-service” brokers either. By comparison, I saw recommendations for companies I had never heard of and never saw references to any other firm or service making those recommendations. In a recent edition of The Intelligent Investor, there’s an article in the appendix section in which the author has tracked the career of five folks who were trained by Benjamin Graham. Each went out on his own, applied the techniques he was taught and over time put together a portfolio that made him and his clients very wealthy. However, there was almost zero overlap between those portfolios. Each had used the Graham criteria – but found his own recommendations. If 8 of 10 major firms recommended a given stock as a “buy or strong buy,” they all would have likely passed it over and moved on. The recent Facebook IPO certainly caused quite an uproar. Goldman Sachs handled the IPO, and according to several reports sold over a billion dollars in Facebook stock the first day. Shortly afterward, the news was full of stories that Facebook’s earnings were downgraded just before the offer and that information had been withheld from the general public. Only certain large clients and brokerage firms were made aware of that information. I personally no longer deal with a full-service broker, and I strongly recommend doing your own due diligence as opposed to blindly accepting any recommendation. For many years major firms would put a stock on a “strong buy” list, and the stock may jump 4-5 points simply because of that recommendation. My retired friend told me of cases where she knew that the firm making the recommendation had several million shares in its inventory. When it recommended the stock as a “strong buy,” it was taking the other half of the trade and making a nice profit. She said “theoretically” the SEC has put a stop to that. I recently learned that some financial research involves picks that are paid for by the companies being recommended. That’s not the case at Miller’s Money Forever, but until recently I was naïve enough to believe that all subscription-based financial newsletters were only compensated by their subscribers. How silly of me! It makes sense to do your due diligence on the companies you invest in. But you should also understand the motivations and incentives driving your gurus, your subscription financial-services providers, and your newsletter authors. I now find myself reading the small print at the end of the newsletter very closely. Any high-quality newsletter will clearly state its position on this issue. On the good side, a lot of data is now available at the click of a mouse on discount broker and other financial websites. Folks can also subscribe to excellent newsletters published by firms with large, competent research departments. This spreads the cost of expensive research departments over a large subscriber base, which in turn makes it much easier for the small investor to tap in to a huge base of investment knowledge. It is then up to us, the individual investor, to distill this information down to use with our individual portfolio. It’s easy to go along with the crowd, but true research can keep us ahead of the curve. Until next week…last_img read more

David Miranda was detained in a London airport for

first_imgDavid Miranda was detained in a London airport for almost nine hours. When the government set him free, they kept all of his electronics so they could hack them at their leisure. Security experts believe they even turned them into stealthy listening devices. All with court approval. Your home computer—assuming you still have one, of course—should be safe from the grabby hands of public officials. In theory, at least. Law enforcement personnel are supposed to obtain a search warrant before they barge into your house and start confiscating electronic equipment. But when you’re on the road and perhaps storing important documents on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, all bets are off. Your devices are subject to seizure on the flimsiest of pretexts, and any data they hold can be pirated. That’s the lesson every traveler should learn from the recent Miranda episode, an incident that, ironically, involved a man with the same last name as the one whose case nearly a half-century ago represents a legal landmark. The earlier Miranda (Ernesto) had his conviction on domestic violence charges voided by the Supreme Court because police failed to inform him that he had the right to remain silent and to have access to an attorney. The decision resulted in the requirement that suspects under arrest must henceforth be given “the Miranda warning,” i.e., be read their rights before any questioning can begin. The present Miranda (David) has become the poster boy for governmental abrogation of basic rights. You see, David Miranda is the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the British journalist responsible for publishing documents leaked by Edward Snowden. No matter what one may think of Snowden and his actions, what happened to Miranda is troubling. On August 18, he was traveling from Germany to his and Greenwald’s home in Brazil, a journey that included a stopover at London’s Heathrow airport. While in the transit lounge, he was stopped by officers and informed that he was to be questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports, and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question, and detain individuals. Miranda, a Brazilian citizen, was held for eight hours and fifty-five minutes. Not coincidentally, nine hours is the maximum allowable detention period under the law, before officers must release or formally arrest the person of interest. Even though he was released without charges, officials confiscated his electronics, including mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs, and game consoles. They wanted the time to hack them, and amazingly the British law allows it. Under the terrorism law, anyone whose property is taken in this manner is supposed to get it back seven days after confiscation. But in this instance, the UK High Court ruled that British authorities could keep Miranda’s property for continued access to his electronics for a total of ten days. Further, the High Court gave authorities judicial permission to “continue investigating the materials” they seized, allowing them to hack all of Miranda’s devices as much as they liked. As a caveat, the Court ruled that British police don’t have “official” permission to share or “use” anything they find. But that proscription amounts to little more than a polite nod to privacy advocates. No one doubts that Miranda’s hard drives were copied and all personal information extracted. Nor did the Court prohibit authorities from modifying the devices. This kind of warrantless search and seizure is hardly confined to the UK. An August 2008 exposé in the Washington Post revealed publicly for the first time that the US Department of Homeland Security had been exercising similar powers in secret for quite a while. And its reach is even broader. The policies apply to anyone entering the country by any means, and they cover hard drives, flash drives, mobile phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes, as well as books, pamphlets, and other written materials. Moreover, anything confiscated may be held indefinitely. The courts have approved all of these actions. As in Britain, there are supposedly restrictions in place. For example, federal agents are mandated to take measures to protect business information and lawyer-client privileged material. Copies of data must be destroyed when a review is completed, and no probable cause exists to keep the information. However, agents are allowed to share the contents of seized computers with other agencies and private entities for data decryption and “other reasons.” Copies sent to non-federal organizations must be returned to the DHS, but there is no way to ensure against copies of copies being made and retained. There is also no limitation on authorities keeping notes or making extensive reports about the materials. The Miranda incident raised the expected howls of protest from journalists and others who fear that such tactics lower a big chill over freedom of the press. This criticism is especially applicable since almost no one suspects Miranda of being involved with terrorism. No one but the British government, that is. Its “terrorism” net is very wide and of a very fine mesh. It has to be, in order to comply with an injunction from the British high court, which blocked law enforcement from using or sharing material seized from Miranda in a criminal investigation—shortly after a Metropolitan Police (Met) lawyer announced the force had launched just such an investigation. The injunction permits the authorities to “inspect, copy, disclose, transfer, distribute” the data only in the protection of national security or for investigating whether Miranda himself “is a person who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.” For its part, the Met says that it is treating this as a criminal case because Miranda was carrying tens of thousands of pages of digital documents to his partner Greenwald, including “highly sensitive material the disclosure of which would be gravely injurious to public safety.” A spokesperson added that the British Home Secretary “does not accept that we are concerned here with journalistic material” and believes that Miranda “is not a journalist, and stolen documents can’t be held in confidence and don’t qualify as journalistic materials.” The question of who is and is not a journalist is one that’s been propelled into the limelight by the Snowden/Greenwald affair, and it’s an intriguing one. But what we’re more concerned with here is technology. Breaking and Entering Specifically, what should Miranda expect has happened to his electronics and, by extension, what should you expect if your own devices are spirited away in an airport for “closer inspection,” either in the US or some other country without even minimal concern for privacy rights? Don’t think it’ll never happen. Security experts believe that, in addition to suspected terrorists and their sympathizers, there are plenty of other potential targets of domestic and foreign authorities alike, including: political activists of any stripe; journalists specializing in political stories; known hackers and data security specialists; academics involved in political research; corporate personnel connected to certain types of technology; business leaders charged with large-scale decision making; and probably any number of other focus groups that are less obvious. If you are singled out, the first concern, of course, is data theft. You must assume that all stored information has been compromised… or at least looked at and probably copied for a more leisurely perusal later on. There is no defense against this. If you have to carry sensitive material, you’re at risk. Encryption will only slow them down. Best bet is not to have anything important on there in the first place. If you must transport critical info, make sure you have copies back home—they mean it when they say “indefinite holding.” Plus, if you have a hard drive on which sensitive material was previously stored, you might want to wipe that clean. Simply erasing it isn’t enough: you need to run a program that completely overwrites all of the data, making retrieval impossible. But perhaps more insidious is that many government officials may, with impunity, “modify” your computer or phone. They can install hard- or software that gives them future access to your machine and anything you do on it. For instance, they can add a keylogger that keeps track of all your keystrokes, stores them, and transmits them to a remote computer of their choice. They can load a Trojan that will be all but impossible for you to detect. It’ll just sit there until you do something that it’s been programmed to watch for, at which time it will activate and broadcast the desired data. Or the Trojan’s purpose may be to provide a back door for a remote controller to enter your computer system, take it over, and use it for any desired purpose. You can essentially be turned into a bot and even be added to a botnet. Your phone can be turned into a listening and/or tracking device. It can be made to transmit not only your location, but also anything you do with the phone, including voice calls, texts, video, websites visited, app usage, files read, and so on to a designated receiver. This can be accomplished through physical modifications that can be difficult if not impossible to spot. One method is to remove the SIM (subscriber identity module) card that acts to identify and authenticate subscribers to a mobile service, and replace it with a clone. The spy SIM will contain additional software which allows a wide range of access to device information. Luckily, there’s a way to defeat this. Just remove your SIM card and make a tiny mark of some kind on it. Then, if your phone is ever confiscated, or lost, and returned to you, you can check the SIM card. If your mark is gone, the SIM has been compromised, and you should discard the phone. A second hardware modification a hacker might try is to replace your battery with one that’s visually identical but houses a smaller battery and a variety of surveillance tools. Again, you can mark your battery. Or, if you notice that its life diminishes after it’s been out of your hands, that could be a sign of tampering. Of course, it could also just mean it’s like any other phone and the battery is dying slowly. If you have an integrated battery like in an Apple iPhone, then this might be a pretty difficult task. Dealing with malware that’s been surreptitiously placed on your computer is difficult, because it’s sure to have a built-in capability of evading discovery. But it is possible to see if the machine is making any unauthorized transmissions. To do that, you need to be tech savvy enough to use a network sniffer such as Wireshark, which is free and open source. It can detect when your device is making an unexplained network connection, and if it is, to where. However, if the firmware itself has been modified, then even that won’t work, as programs like Wireshark are dependent on the underlying operating system and the drivers telling them the truth. Once the hardware or firmware has been changed, you won’t have any idea what’s going on. In that case, you’d need expensive and specialized external hardware to do the job. Or you could pay for a full professional examination of the device. It can be expensive, but depending on the value of the potential data loss, it could be worth it. The kinds of actions outlined here are especially likely in the case of a high-profile person like David Miranda. Gathering information from his devices on an ongoing basis would be invaluable, especially in the event of future prosecutions. He must expect that it has happened and now has no real choice except to replace all of his electronics. But the recent revelations about the extent of NSA spying should leave little doubt that one doesn’t have to be associated with a fugitive whistleblower to attract the watchful eye of the “national security” apparatus. Further, with corporate espionage on the rise and much of this technology just as available to the private sector, you never know who might be listening in on you. If someone slipped an extra chip inside your iPhone or modified the operating system under the covers, would you know? Of course not. Remember, your phone, tablet, or laptop need only be out of your sight and in a skilled hacker’s hands for a few minutes in order for the damage to be done. And at that point, there is virtually no way to know that your device is spying on you. All of this exactly why demand for security software, hardware, and services continues to rise. With the incredible proliferation of electronic devices—many of which are equipped not just with data storage and networking but with microphones, cameras, and even GPS chips and motion sensors—there is fertile ground for new threats to government, business, and personal security. Data security is only increasing in importance, and the companies that provide it are prospering. Just the kinds of companies we keep our eyes out for in Casey Extraordinary Technology.last_img read more

By Daniel Jepson Guest Contributor and Chris Wood

first_imgBy Daniel Jepson, Guest Contributor and Chris Wood, Senior Analyst In last week’s article on epigenetics, we began with a brief discussion of the enormous expectations that were placed on the Human Genome Project (HGP)—such as, that its results would lead to the end of disease—and how those expectations ultimately went unfulfilled because of course, things are never that simple. More importantly, in this case, genes are only part of the story. To quote briefly from that article: “Little did the community know at the time that the project [i.e., the HGP] would only uncover a small portion of what’s really going on in our genome. They were only scratching the surface. What the architects of that project once dismissed literally as junk surrounding our genes is proving far more vital than anyone ever expected—in fact, it may hold the very keys to understanding evolution itself. When scientists began the HGP, they were expecting to find approximately 100,000 protein-coding genes to account for the complexity of our species. What they found instead was that humans only have about 25,000, about the same number as fish and mice. In fact, according to biologist Dr. Michael Skinner, “the human genome is probably not as complex and doesn’t have as many genes as plants do.” That’s sort of a problem, because if we humans are supposed to be the complex species we hold ourselves out to be, then why don’t we have as many genes as an oak tree? Maybe because genes are only part of the story.“ That article went on to discuss how our epigenome—the second layer of structure above the genome, comprised of methyl groups and histones, that changes throughout our lives—can turn our genes on and off and control the degree to which they are expressed. Cool stuff—and a very important budding area of science. But today we’d like to bring the focus back to the genome itself, more specifically to a study of the genome called ENCODE. When the HGP was finished, all scientists really had was a linear sequence of three billion DNA base pairs—in essence, just a set of boring letters consisting of As, Gs, Cs, and Ts. What was needed was something to bring those letters to life and translate them into an instruction manual for actually building a person; then we’d be better able to understand the roots of disease and generate treatments. It happened on September 5, 2012. That was the day when one of the most ambitious international science projects you may have never heard of revealed the fruits of its labor: a collection of 30 papers simultaneously published in the journals Nature, Genome Research, and Genome Biology. Taken together, they provided the results from a multiyear research endeavor—involving over 400 scientists from 32 labs around the world—known as the ENCODE Project. ENCODE, or the “Encyclopedia of DNA Elements,” was designed to pick up where the HGP left off. It sought to annotate the specific regions of the genome that are used in the various cells of the human body and to catalogue the biochemical products of this activity. A key takeaway from the ENCODE project is that even though our genes only account for approximately 2% of our genome, the bulk of the rest of our DNA—which used to be called “junk DNA” because it was thought to serve no real purpose—actually performs crucial regulatory functions. Think of them as switches attached to a particular gene that determine whether or not it will be expressed. Scientists have long been aware of such DNA configurations, but thought their number was on par with the number of genes. It turns out, however, that there are millions of such regions throughout the genome, linked to each other (and to the protein-coding genes) in an extremely complicated hierarchical network. (The metaphor of a “hairball of wires” was offered by one ENCODE scientist.) But the goodies from ENCODE don’t stop there. “It was one of those too-good-to-be-true moments.” That’s what Ewan Birney, a biologist and leading scientist from the ENCODE project consortium, had to say about one of the insights gleaned by the efforts of his team. Back to the HGP for a moment. Much of the excitement that followed the project’s completion a decade ago had to do with the notion that since we now knew how the genome was “supposed” to look, we could identify the genes whose mutations were responsible for certain diseases and devise an appropriate remedy. As noted earlier, however, things aren’t that simple. Genes are only part of the story. We know that from the results of studies that were designed to correlate genetic mutations with specific diseases (known as Genome-Wide Association Studies, or GWAS). In the majority of cases, it was found that disease-correlated DNA variants lay in the vast noncoding regions of the genome, rather than in the genes themselves. With limited understanding of the actual functional processes performed by this DNA, science has been largely unable to come up with an appropriate remedy in situations where the original DNA message has been altered. But thanks to ENCODE, we may be on the way to overcoming this obstacle. A key finding from the project—the one that caught Birney’s attention—was that many of the mutations associated with disease are located in DNA regions to which the ENCODE project was able to assign a specific functionality. In particular, many mutations were found to be located in areas of our DNA known as “promoter” and “enhancer” regions—sequences that, while not coding for protein themselves, are responsible for turning genes on and off within a cell. “[This] is a really big deal,” said Bradley Bernstein, an ENCODE scientist. “I don’t think anyone predicted that [this] would be the case.” So now a whole host of new possibilities for gene therapy will begin to open up. When we can identify the biological processes in the cell that result from a mutation, it becomes much more likely that we can formulate an effective treatment. ENCODE has already identified several hundred regions of DNA that should be of interest to researchers studying specific diseases, and this number will only increase over the next few years as the huge amounts of data generated by the project continue to be analyzed. The project has also identified the function of many noncoding RNA molecules (i.e., RNA molecules other than messenger RNAs, which are an intermediate step in the creation of a protein). Casey Extraordinary Technology subscribers need no introduction to RNAi, an extremely exciting therapeutic technology that’s based on a particular type of noncoding RNA known as small interfering RNA (siRNA). But you may not have heard of a new approach that’s appeared on the scene in recent years: microRNA therapeutics. MicroRNA (miRNA) is a close cousin of siRNA, and its implications for the biotechnology landscape are no less significant. Since their discovery little more than a decade ago, these little molecules have already been widely implicated in the development of several types of cancer: some miRNAs are overexpressed in cancer cells, while others are missing entirely. Not surprisingly, there has been a widespread effort to leverage this insight into therapeutic remedies, and some miRNA-based products have already entered Phase II trials. As biotech investors, we must remember that tomorrow’s breakthroughs will result from events taking place around us today. In order to stay ahead of the market, we must be vigilant in identifying these causes before their effects have been fully brought to light. The ENCODE project, with its “too good to be true” moments, provides a good starting point. While it has received considerably less public fanfare than the Human Genome Project, for the alert investor it points the way toward a whole host of potential new breakthroughs. To stay up to date with all the fascinating new developments in the world of biotechnology, give Casey Extraordinary Technology a risk-free trial run today.last_img read more

South Korea is flashing warning signs of a global

first_imgSouth Korea is flashing warning signs of a global recession… South Korea is known as a “canary in the coal mine” for the global economy. The country is a major exporter of cars, mobile phones, and personal computers. It’s also the 11th-largest economy in the world. It has a bigger economy than Australia, Russia, Spain, or Mexico. Last month, South Korean exports plummeted 15.8%. It was the country’s largest monthly drop since 2009. It was also the tenth month in a row that South Korean exports dropped from the previous year. Many South Korean companies blame the huge drop in exports on China’s slowing economy. China is, by far, South Korea’s largest trade partner. The country sends 25% of its exports to China. •  China’s slowing economy is dragging down the entire region… Last year, China’s economy grew at its slowest pace since 1990. And last month, China’s services sector grew at its slowest pace in seven years. China’s factory output also fell for the eighth straight month in October. Yesterday, Bloomberg Business said China’s manufacturing activity hasn’t been this slow since the global financial crisis. Factory orders in Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are shrinking as well. The bad economic data pushed Asia’s major stock markets down on Monday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.7%. Japan’s Nikkei Index fell 2.1%. •  U.S. investors also got bad news yesterday… Last month, the ISM Manufacturing Index fell to its lowest level in three years. This index measures the health of the U.S. manufacturing sector. It was the fourth straight month that U.S. manufacturing activity fell. Manufacturing makes up 12% of the U.S. economy. Economists and investors watch the manufacturing sector for clues about where the broad economy is headed… Casey readers know manufacturing profits are falling. Two weeks ago, machinery manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT) reported awful third-quarter results. The company’s quarterly sales were 19% lower than a year ago. Caterpillar expects sales to drop again in 2016. It would be the fourth year in a row the company’s sales have dropped. That’s never happened before in Caterpillar’s 90-year history. Caterpillar sells the tractors, bulldozers, and cranes that build the “real” economy. Like South Korea, many investors consider Caterpillar a bellwether for the global economy. Caterpillar’s customers aren’t buying much right now, which points to trouble. •  A weakening global economy is bad for U.S. stocks… Since bottoming in March 2009, the S&P 500 has gained 211%. At 80 months and counting, the current bull market is 30 months longer than the average bull market since World War II. However, E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, says the mini stock market crash in August was the beginning of the end of the bull market. He explained why in a recent issue of The Casey Report. We believe the era of asset prices soaring on a wave of easy credit is over. Last month’s major stock market decline is the start of a very tough time for stocks and the economy… The market has recovered in the past two weeks. But we think it’s only temporary. In other words, we’re in the middle of a “dead cat bounce.” It’s looking a lot like 2007. To fight the global financial crisis, the Fed cut its key rate to effectively zero in December 2008. It has left rates at effectively zero ever since. This has made it extremely cheap to borrow money… Seven years of easy money has caused prices to soar. Prices for commercial property, bonds, and stocks have all hit record highs, thanks to the Fed. At some point, the U.S. stock market will fall back down to Earth. When that happens, everything from blue chips to penny stocks will plummet. But overpriced stocks will probably fall the hardest… “They’ll do everything they can to push the price of gold down”… This statement was made by keynote speaker and trend forecaster Gerald Celente at the 2015 Casey Research Summit. Find out what Mr. Celente has to say about gold manipulation… the Federal Reserve’s hidden scheme… and how you can protect yourself from it right here. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida November 3, 2015 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. Double Your Money Guarantee Right now Steve Sjuggerud is urging folks to buy 3 tiny gold stocks with 10X potential. And he’s so certain, that he’s giving a “Double Your Money Guarantee” until MIDNIGHT TOMORROW. Learn more here. Recommended Linkscenter_img — •  The flood of cheap money has sent restaurant stocks soaring… The Dow Jones U.S. Restaurants & Bars Index has gained 256% since the bull market in U.S. stocks started six years ago. And despite a mostly flat market in 2015, restaurant stocks continued to perform well. As a group, they’re up 19% in 2015, compared to just a 2% gain for the S&P 500. Many major restaurant stocks are now very expensive. For example, pizza chain Papa John’s (PZZA) has a price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 41 right now…Starbucks (SBUX) has a PE ratio of 35…and burrito chain Chipotle (CMG) has a PE ratio of 38. The S&P 500’s PE is just 22. (A high PE ratio means a stock is expensive.) Yesterday, Bloomberg Business noted that investors are betting against Papa John’s stock. The number of shares being shorted — a bet that the stock will fall — has risen to 5 percent of those outstanding, near the highest level in six years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Markit Ltd. The investors are wagering that Papa John’s will have a tough time sustaining its lofty price-to-earnings ratio… E.B. Tucker agrees that Papa John’s stock is way too expensive. I’ve been baffled by Papa John’s for a long time. The stock price trades at 27 times free cash flow. That’s a tremendous premium for a fast food company. That’s what investors pay to own companies that produce groundbreaking cancer drugs or some other life-changing technology. It’s not the price you should pay to own a pizza chain best known for its garlic butter dipping sauce. Bloomberg Business reports that short sellers are also targeting other major restaurant stocks. Shake Shack Inc., the burger chain that went public in January, saw short interest soar after its stock price more than doubled. In that case, investors are betting that its valuation has gotten way ahead of its expansion plans: The chain boasts a $1.65 billion market value despite only having 74 locations as of September. Noodles & Co., which has a PE ratio of 39.1, also is heavily shorted. •  Expensive stocks will fall the hardest during the next crash… According to a useful metric, the CAPE ratio, U.S. stocks are 59% more expensive than their historic average. In fact, U.S. stocks are almost as expensive as they were at their 2007 peak. Since the 2008 financial crisis, global central banks have printed trillions of new currency units (dollars, yen, euros, yuan). Instead of producing real growth, companies and investors have simply used these currency units to buy assets like stocks, oil fields, and office buildings, making these assets very expensive. Almost nothing is cheap right now. This isn’t the time to be aggressive with your portfolio. It’s a time to be conservative. It’s a time to build up a large cash position, so you can buy bargains after the next correction or crash. You might even consider shorting very expensive stocks as a way to profit from the coming downturn. We also think everyone should own some physical gold. Gold is the ultimate form of wealth insurance. It’s preserved wealth through every kind of crisis imaginable. It will preserve wealth during the next crisis, too. If you want to truly “crisis-proof” your wealth, we recently published a book just for you… Going Global 2015 is our financial crisis survival guide. It shows you how to preserve and even grow your wealth during recessions, stock market collapses, and every financial disaster in between. Thousands of people have already paid $99 for this important book. Today, we’re offering it to you for just $4.95. We’re practically giving this book away for one simple reason: we hope you’ll do business with us again. And if you read Going Global 2015, we’re confident you will. The strategies and tips in this book could mean the difference between going broke during the next crisis and coming out richer than ever. Click here to learn more. Chart of the Day Restaurant stocks have pulled away from the rest of the market this year… Today’s chart shows the performance of the S&P 500 versus the Dow Jones U.S. Restaurants & Bars Index. This index tracks the performance of many U.S. restaurant companies. It follows major restaurant stocks such as Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), McDonald’s (MCD), and Panera Bread (PNRA). The chart starts in March 2009, when the bull market in U.S. stocks began. As you can see, restaurant stocks basically tracked the broad market for the past six years. They started to separate from the pack this year. The U.S. Restaurants & Bars Index is up 19% so far this year. The S&P 500 is up only 2%. Many major restaurant stocks have become incredibly expensive during this rally. We think some of these stocks will be the first to fall during the next crash. –last_img read more