According to a source with internal documents that spoke to Android Authority, the V30 will be going on sale in LG’s home of South Korea on September 15th. Afterwards, pre-orders for US customers will begin on September 17th, with an actual sale date of September 28th. Also exciting for LG fans is that this will be the first time the V-series comes to Europe. It’s not clear if September 28th will be the exact release date for the European market, but the V30 is said to be launching there alongside other regions.As for details on the phone, it’s rumored to ship with a 6-inch OLED display sporting the same 18:9 aspect ratio as the LG G6. Inside it’s expected to be powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. LG really needs the V30 to be a hit, as the company is dealing poor G6 sales, not to mention the fact that this latest phone will be going up against Samsung’s Note 8 and the upcoming Pixel successor from Google.SOURCE Android Authority LG’s latest flagship smartphone, the LG V30, will soon be here. Following invitations from the company earlier this month, it’s expected the device will be unveiled at the end of August at this year’s IFA event in Berlin. The good news is that it will be a short wait afterwards to actually get one, as the latest report says that the LG V30 will be available around the globe by the end of September. Story TimelineThis is the LG V30 in all its rendered gloryLG invite teases V30 unveiling at IFA next monthYou will finally be able to buy an LG V30 if you’re in EuropeLG V30 case by Ringke shows off back designLG V30 Geekbench scores will make you want to get it
The Pentagon has expanded a pilot program to allow some top officials to access documents with a ‘secret’ classification using 8-inch tablets. The move follows a similar program that gave some officials access to both ‘secret’ and ‘top secret’ classified documents on smartphones. With this program, the government hopes to make it easier for these individuals to access data when out of the office. The Defense Information Systems Agency announced the expansion of Department of Defense’s classified mobility pilot program to cover tablets. The idea here is that some officials need to be able to access classified documents and data while outside of the office, and things like tablets and smartphones are far more convenient than having someone with the right clearance deliver the info in person.The pilot program originally applied only to smartphones, and for good reason — phones are more convenient to carry around and you’re more likely to have one on you wherever you go. Tablets have their own convenience, though, namely in the form of a larger screen that makes it easier to read things that don’t scale down easily like PDFs. Talking about the expansion, DOD Mobility Portfolio Manager Jake Marcellus said, “We’re bringing the mobile device from something you use mostly to consume information from to being able to actually do work on the device.” Whereas the smartphones that can be used have a 5-inch screen, the authorized tablets have a larger 8-inch screen.Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Dr. John Zangardi was the first official to be issued a tablet that can be used to view secret classified documents. Since that first issuing, the agency has given 23 other people the same tablets. When these officials may be allowed to view documents classified ‘top secret’ using tablets is unclear.SOURCE: DISA
Story TimelineSanDisk 256GB Extreme microSDXC card is optimized for 4K videoSanDisk 1TB SDXC aims at 4K and 8K content makersSanDisk reveals Solid State USB Flash Drive, A1-spec microSDXC cardSanDisk iXpand flash drive and Connect Wireless Stick boosted to 256GB The reality is that many people probably don’t back up their phones as much as they should, and that can sometimes result in losing photos or videos without any realistic way of getting them back. With the iPhone’s only “official” backup options being limited to manually backing up to iTunes or (in a lot of cases) paying for extra iCloud storage, it probably goes without saying that a lot of people could use a device like this.The iXpand Base is a hockey puck-looking device that sits on your desk, almost like a wireless charging pad. It has as much as 256GB of on board storage and works in tandem with SanDisk‘s own iXpand Base app. All you need to do is connect your phone to the iXpand Base via Lightning cable and initiate backup through the app.To give you more incentive to actually backup your data frequently, the iXpand Base also supplies 15W of power to charge you phone as its backing up. So, not only will you disconnect from the iXpand Base with more juice than you had when you first connected it, but your photos, videos, and contacts will be safely stored. You can also restore content to a new or replacement iPhone by connecting it to the iXpand base and tapping the “restore” button that appears in the app.The iXpand Base is available in a few different storage flavors. $49.99 will get you a base model with 32GB of storage, though 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB varieties are also available for $99.99, $129.99, and $199.99 respectively. If this sounds like your kind of backup solution, you can find it now at SanDisk.com, Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H, but be warned that your phone needs to be running iOS 10 in order for the iXpand Base to work. Be sure to have a look at the our coverage from IFA 2017 for more from the show! Today’s a pretty big day for SanDisk that started with the reveal of its impressive 400GB microSD card. The interesting reveals keep on coming with the announcement of the new iXpand Base. This tool wants to make it easy for you to remember to back up your iPhone by doubling as a charging station that sits atop your desk.
Audi wants a taste of the luxury SUV market that stablemates Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini have been enjoying, and the 2019 Q8 is how it plans to get it. Promising to combine cabin accommodations that rival a Cayenne, with levels of technology that could make a Bentayga blush, the Q8 also shoulders the responsibility of ushering in a dramatic new age of Q-series styling. The Q7 goes luxeAudi isn’t short on luxury cars – the 2019 A8 is an excellent example of its particular recipe of comfortable cabins paired with all the high-tech trimmings – and its Q7 SUV isn’t exactly shabby inside. Still, the 2019 Q8 takes the idea (and the abilities) of the Q7 and gives it a more sporting, high-end edge. That’s right: we’re talking about the controversial “four-door coupe.”Bolder styling, shorter overhangs, and a wider, slightly lower stance single the Q8 out as Audi’s more aggressive, purposeful take on the SUV. If the Q7 is top tier family transportation, the Q8 would like to oust the Range Rover Sport from your garage instead. In the process it’ll take on the the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Even if you’re not in the market for a high-end SUV, the Q8 will have an impact on future crossovers and SUVs at more affordable price points in Audi’s line-up. The bold new design language will gradually trickle down through the range, the automaker has promised, including the new and more three-dimensional grille, and the dramatic rear lighting. AdChoices广告It’s all about refinementAudi’s latest cabins are masterpieces of technology blended with quality trim, and the Q8 doesn’t stint on either. It borrows the same dual-touchscreen infotainment system as in the A8, putting a larger display at the top for navigation and multimedia, while a second, smaller display underneath handles HVAC, comfort features, and text entry. The broad gear shifter is designed to act as a wrist-rest as you tap and scroll, and the driver instrumentation is all presented digitally using Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system. It’s a comprehensive upgrade from what rivals are offering, certainly. Fully connected, the Q8 can display traffic light timing changes in select cities, translate your handwriting into addresses, pull down personalization settings from the cloud, and recognize natural language speech instructions. All surrounded by high-end wood, metal, and leather trim, with plenty of options on the order form to choose different hides and patterns. Audi is also offering some advanced drivetrain systems. You can have active rear suspension, for example: the rear wheels can turn, either in the opposite direction to those at the front at low speeds in order to tighten up the Q8’s turning circle, or in tandem with the front axle for greater stability at higher speeds. There’s speed-sensitive power steering, too. It’s another step closer to autonomous drivingAudi has been working on driverless car technology for years now, though so far it’s yet to launch a system commercially. Instead, that research has been put to work helping with driver-assistance, and the Q8 is no different. In fact many of the sensors integrated into the Q8’s bodywork and grille are just what you’d find on a self-driving vehicle. That includes radar, ultrasound, cameras, and laser scanners, collectively covering 360-degrees around the car. They’ll help avoid collisions as you nose out of blind junctions, hit the brakes if you’re at risk of striking a pedestrian, and offset the danger of side impacts. In Europe, the Q8 will offer Audi Tour Assist, too: an adaptive cruise and assistance system that will work much like Tesla’s Autopilot on the highway. We’re mighty excited about the Q8 RSOkay, we’re getting ahead of ourselves: the 2019 Q8 won’t show up in US dealerships until later this year, after all. Still, the idea of an even more potent version of the four-door coupe has us salivating. All signs point to a 2019 Audi Q8 RS to satisfy those urges. If the rumor mill is to be believed, it’ll borrow the hybrid V8 system from Porsche’s Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. That means in the region of 670 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. Enough, therefore, to make the Q8 RS the most powerful production Audi in the history books. Figure on styling changes too, along with a reworked suspension system and more sporting trim. Perhaps the Lamborghini Urus should start getting worried. It’ll get electric company soonMORE 2019 Audi Q8 First DriveThe Q8 isn’t Audi’s only unusual SUV expansion this year. Going on sale by the end of 2018 – in some markets, anyway – will be the Audi e-tron quattro. That’s an all-electric crossover, which will take on the Tesla Model X and Jaguar’s I-PACE. Where the Q8 wants to convince drivers that luxury and SUVs aren’t unwelcome bedfellows, the e-tron makes a similar argument for SUVs and electrification. Might we one day see a Q8 EV? It’s too soon to say for sure, but one thing is clear: Audi is putting big bets on technology, luxury, and electrification, and the e-tron and Q8 are just the start of it. Don’t expect a third rowThe 2019 Q8 may be based on the same platform as the Q7, but Audi uses that space differently. Most notably, the luxury SUV does away with the third row of seats. Instead it puts its cabin to use with ample space for five and all their combined luggage. It’s probably a wise decision overall: the more arching roofline would cut into third row headroom, after all. The Q8’s focus is really more on transporting people in luxury, and making sure it has space for their monogrammed bags. Figure on a healthy 21.4 cubic feet of space, in fact, rising to 62 cu-ft with the rear seats folded flat.It’s a hybrid, but just a mild oneElectrification may be spreading through Audi’s line-up, but not every hybrid is created equal. The 3.0-liter V6 TFSI engine that the US Q8 will launch with has the same mild-hybrid technology as we saw on the 2019 Audi A8. In short, think electric convenience, rather than zero emissions. It uses a 48 volt system, with an electric starter motor generator, and a li-ion battery. That gives an extra chunk of thrust to get you off the line more rapidly, as well as expanding how the stop/start system can run. European Q8 models, for instance, will be able to cruise at highway speeds with the gas engine completely shut down. Also in Europe will be diesel Q8 options. They’re not likely to make it to North American shores, mind. At this point, Audi hasn’t said whether the Q8 will follow the Q7’s example and adopt the 2.0-liter TFSI gas engine at some point in the future. That would certainly be more economical, but might not fit the Q8’s luxury positioning. This is no soft-roaderThe four-door coupe space is an odd category. On the one hand, it’s easy to dismiss such cars as merely borrowing the elevated driving position of true off-roadsers, but delivering little more in the way of practicality than a traditional sedan. Audi, however, hasn’t fallen into that trap. Instead, the 2019 Q8 has some legitimate off-road talents. This isn’t going to be the vehicle to replace your Discovery with for field-plugging, but permanent quattro all-wheel drive standard rear adaptive air suspension, and adjustable handling all mean mud shouldn’t be an insurmountable hurdle. There’s also tech like Trailer Assist on the options list. Story TimelineAudi E-Tron GT all-electric super sedan previewedAudi e-tron gets camera side mirrors (but there’s a catch)2019 Audi Q8 official: Luxury SUV with plenty of tech
Google has 15 million subscribers for its music-streaming services The best music apps for iOS and Android Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king? The best music streaming services What is Tidal? The hi-fi streaming music service fully explained Julian Chokkattu/Digital TrendsAmazon Music Unlimited is the fastest growing music streaming service, ahead of both Spotify and Apple Music, according to a new report by Midia Research published in the Financial Times. Amazon Music Unlimited has been booming recently, with a massive 70% growth in the last year. That brings its total subscribers up to 32 million.That’s still small-time compared to Spotify’s dominant 100 million paid subscribers, or Apple Music’s 60 million paid subscribers. But Amazon Music is catching up, as the explosive growth this year shows. Spotify is still growing too, but at a much slower rate of 25% per year.According to the report, Amazon Music’s secret weapon is Alexa integration, which is driving adoption. “Amazon has gained momentum in recent months, propelled by its ubiquity with consumers and Alexa, its popular intelligent assistant, which can play music through voice commands issued to its wireless Echo speaker,” the report says. “‘[Amazon] has gone all in on [music],’ said a senior music executive at one of the major record labels. ‘We see high engagement on their service.’”The other advantage that Amazon Music has is its different target audience. While most streaming and music services target the younger demographic, as they have been most receptive to new ways of listening to music, there is a growing audience among middle aged and older people. Now that so many people have an Alexa device in their home, they want a way to access music easily.The report backs this up: “About 14% of subscribers to Amazon Music are aged 55 or older, compared with just 5% of Spotify’s customers,” it said. Steve Boom, the vice president of the Amazon Music Unlimited service, confirmed this to the Financial Times. “We’re not battling for the same customers as everyone else,” he said. “For the industry to reach its full potential, we can’t just look at 15- to 22-year-olds.”Amazon Music has also been promoting itself with special events like a concert by Taylor Swift for Prime Day which Prime members can watch live. And earlier this year, Amazon launched a free version of its Music Unlimited service to bring in even more new customers. Editors’ Recommendations
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Hospital Records Link C. Diff To 2 Times More Deaths Than Federal Estimates Indicate USA Today: Far More Could Be Done To Stop The Deadly Bacteria C. DiffA USA TODAY investigation shows that C. diff is far more prevalent than federal reports suggest. The bacteria is linked in hospital records to more than 30,000 deaths a year in the United States — about twice federal estimates and rivaling the 32,000 killed in traffic accidents. It strikes about a half-million Americans a year (Eisler, 8/16).
Viewpoints: A Plan For Cheaper, Better Care; The Philly Abortion Trial Raises Questions About Regulations This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Washington Post: How To Build A Better Health Care System The four of us came together to change the conversation around how to improve health care and constrain cost growth. What we learned is that, until better care is prioritized over more care, our nation will continue to face a problem with health-care costs. The good news is that, through thoughtful policy, health-care practitioners can be encouraged through rewards to focus far more on what is best for their patients and less on the number of tests and procedures they can order. The even better news is that such a health-care vision can not only produce better care but also cost less (Tom Daschle, Bill Frist, Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin, 4/18). Los Angeles Times: Why Are Prices For Medical Care Such A Mystery? Ted Kamp wanted to make sure his daughter received the medical treatment she needed. That was his first priority. His second was making sure his insurance would cover things and that he’d pay a fair price for any procedures. The fact that this proved so difficult highlights one of the crazier aspects of the U.S. healthcare system: the inability of patients to know how much their treatment really costs (David Lazarus, 4/18).USA Today: Philadelphia Abortion House Of Horrors: Our View The ongoing trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is finally getting the attention it deserves, and for good reason. The 2011 grand jury report on Gosnell, charged with murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies, is a gruesome and disturbing document. It includes accounts of fully delivered, live babies having their spinal chords severed by scissors. And it describes horribly unsafe and unsanitary conditions at a business that allegedly operated as a pill mill by day and rogue abortion clinic by night. … Aside from the obvious — that regulators should do their jobs, and that criminal doctors should be harshly prosecuted — it’s hard to say what else should be concluded from the Gosnell case. Unless evidence emerges that clinics like his exist in other parts of the country, the case looks like an appalling anomaly (4/18). USA Today: Abortion Regulation Not Enough: Opposing View How do we prevent another Kermit Gosnell? That’s the question hanging over the trial of the Philadelphia abortionist accused of murdering a pregnant woman and seven babies born alive after attempted late-term abortions. … Abortion is one of the least regulated surgical procedures in America. Just 29 states regulate abortion centers at all, and a minority of these states have anything approaching comprehensive regulation. … So yes, let’s pass stronger “physician-only” laws and hospital admitting privileges requirements. And let’s mandate comprehensive reporting requirements for abortions and abortion complications (Lila Rose, 4/18). The Washington Post: Five Myths About Abortion When debating whether a fetus’s “right to life” trumps a woman’s “right to choose” — or whether the news media has paid enough attention to the trial of a Philadelphia doctor who allegedly killed seven babies born alive during late-term abortions, as well as a pregnant woman — Americans are bitterly divided on abortion. Before abandoning facts for rhetoric, let’s tackle some misunderstandings about this procedure (Rickie Solinger, 4/18). The Wall Street Journal: Back-Alley Abortion Never Ended Safety is one of the most potent defenses of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that imposed a national policy of abortion on demand. Women had abortions even before it was legal to do so, the argument goes, but restrictive laws forced them to go to back-alley quacks. In this view, the story of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist on trial for the murders of one woman and seven infants, is a cautionary tale about illegal, not legal, abortion. The facts tell a different story (James Taranto, 4/18).The Wall Street Journal: The Sanctity Of Life, Even In A Test Tube Sir Robert Edwards, the Nobel Prize-winning British “test tube baby” pioneer who died last week at age 87, devoted his career to developing in vitro fertilization as a technique to enable women afflicted with certain forms of infertility to conceive and bear children. As a result, there are millions of people in the world today—some now in their 30s—who otherwise would not have been born. According to Edwards’s admirers, their lives are his legacy. Yet Edwards was, and remains, a controversial figure (Robert P. George, 4/18). Des Moines Register: Medicaid Expansion Gives States Flexibility (Iowa Gov.) Terry Branstad says Medicaid is outdated. So he hired a consultant and whipped up an alternative called the “Healthy Iowa Plan.” In the unlikely event it is approved by both the Iowa Legislature and Washington, Iowa would receive a fraction of the federal money it would receive under a Medicaid expansion. What kind of health coverage would Branstad’s plan provide for 89,000 of the poorest Iowans? According to a one-page document released last week, it would cover everything from prescription drugs and hospitalization to mental health and home care with a cost to the state of only $23 million. Just do the math on that one (4/18). Miami Herald: Don’t Reject Medicaid Funds The Florida House’s refusal to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid stands as the most confounding action of the 2013 legislative session thus far, and probably the most irresponsible. Money that could be used to help more than a million needy Floridians who lack access to healthcare is in danger of being rejected for political reasons that fly in the face of common sense and elementary mathematics. The federal proposal is unquestionably favorable for Florida and its taxpayers (4/19).
Administration’s Proposed Cancellation Plan Raises A New Set Of Questions, Concerns News outlets explore a variety of issues related to President Barack Obama’s proposed cancellation ‘fix’ — including how this approach could alter the landscape for consumers, insurers and state insurance regulators. Kaiser Health News: For Insurers, Obama’s Proposed Cancellation ‘Fix’ Changes Health Law CalculationsDespite numerous problems with the health law rollout, WellPoint CEO Joseph Swedish told analysts last week he was still ‘confident’ in the company’s bet to be the biggest seller of Obamacare insurance. Two days later President Barack Obama changed the rules. Suddenly subscribers who were expected to buy coverage through the health law’s marketplaces from WellPoint, the nation’s No. 2 medical carrier, may end up keeping the plans they have now (Hancock, 11/22).The CT Mirror: As Obamacare Fix Is Debated, Aetna Says It Discontinued 12,500 Policies Aetna notified 12,500 individual policyholders in Connecticut that their health plans would not be renewed when they expire. But about 40 percent of them so far have chosen to buy a new policy that begins this year, allowing them to get 12 months of coverage from a plan not subject to the requirements of the federal health law. The number of canceled policies in the state, and the reasons for cancellation, have been sources of contention this week as lawmakers skirmish over whether Connecticut should allow insurers to extend plans that don’t meet the requirements of the federal health law (Becker, 11/21). The Texas Tribune: Report: Canceled Health Plans Should Be Kept In PerspectiveCritics of the Affordable Care Act have lambasted President Obama’s signature legislation as it struggles with technical glitches and as thousands of people nationally report the cancellation of their existing health insurance plans. But a report released Thursday by Families USA, a national health consumer organization, attempts to put the numbers in perspective (Aaronson, 11/21).Stateline: Q&A: Sorting Out The Controversy Over Canceled Insurance Policies Turns out, the president’s request is not so straightforward at all. That is why, a week later, many state officials and insurance carriers are still wringing their hands over whether to comply with Obama’s request. Here is an explanation of the cancellation issue and a chart showing how states have responded so far to the president’s request (Vestal and Ollove, 11/22). The Associated Press: Mo. Lets Insurers Renew Canceled Health PoliciesMissouri will allow health insurance companies to continue offering policies that otherwise would have been canceled because they don’t comply with federal law, Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday Nationwide, more than 4 million people who buy their own insurance have received notices that their policies are ending because they don’t meet minimum coverage requirements due to kick in next year under the federal health care law enacted by President Barack Obama (Lieb 11/22).The Associated Press: Hamm Urges Renewal Of Canceled Health PlansNorth Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm on Thursday asked health insurance companies doing business in the state to renew policies that are being canceled under the federal health care law. Millions of people nationwide who buy their own insurance have gotten cancellation notices because their plans don’t meet the higher benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act (Nicholson, 11/21). 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 News Share this storyCanada Goose delays Beijing store opening at last minute as Huawei protest mounts Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn December 14, 20189:02 AM EST Filed under News Retail & Marketing Facebook Canada Goose has been targeted for a boycott of its brand on media platforms since Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, given its prominence as a Canadian label.Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg Bloomberg News Canada Goose delays Beijing store opening at last minute as Huawei protest mounts Stock has slumped 20% since Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Canada Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is delaying the opening of its flagship store in Beijing, as escalating tensions between China and Canada triggered by the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s finance chief threaten its ambitions in the world’s second largest economy.The Toronto-based maker of premium parkas said on its Weibo account late Friday that it was postponing the store’s debut, scheduled for Saturday in Beijing’s trendy Sanlitun district, “due to construction reasons.” The posting came after Weibo social media users threatened to protest the opening. The company has been targeted for a boycott of its brand on media platforms since Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, given its prominence as a Canadian label.The company didn’t give a date for when the store would open. Canada Goose representatives didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking further comment.Our trade with China is bigger than you think — and exporters are getting worriedCanada Goose is getting hammered by China’s anger over the Huawei arrestCanada Goose pushes ahead with China expansion in a market overflowing with knockoff parkasThe timing could not be worse for the luxury jacket maker, which just last month launched a splashy entry into greater China with a store in Hong Kong and plans for the Beijing flagship, betting that the country’s growing middle class is ready to spend on its Arctic-ready, $1,000 plus parkas. The company has seen its shares slump 20 per cent since Meng’s arrest was made public last week.The detention of the Huawei executive has ignited an anti-Canadian backlash in China, although other Canadian brands like IMAX Corp. and Tim Hortons Inc. have not faced similar calls for a boycott. It may be that consumers are unaware that these brands are Canadian, whereas there’s no mistaking Canada Goose’s origins.China’s spy agency has also detained two Canadians in the past week, which some view as retaliation for Meng’s arrests, although China has deflected questions about any links.Bloomberg.com Recommended For You’We were experiencing headwinds’ — Canopy Growth stock heads south on poor sales ramp-upShaw Communications is selling its stake in Corus Entertainment for $548 millionB.C. vows to appeal after top court says province can’t restrict oil shipments across its bordersProtests, legal challenges planned to block Trans Mountain expansionFINCAD Now Accepting Applications for its 2019 Women in Finance Scholarship Comment Twitter 0 Comments Reddit More Email Join the conversation →
Source: Tesla, Bloomberg Tesla can’t quite seem to make up its mind about its retail sites (or “galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers” if you prefer). Two weeks ago, the company announced plans to close most of its stores “in order to pass the savings along to our customers.” Now this decision seems to have been partially reversed.“Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months,” said Tesla in a blog post. “When we recently closed 10% of sales locations, we selected stores that didn’t invite the natural foot traffic our stores have always been designed for. These are stores that we would have closed anyway, even if in-store sales made up our entire sales model. A few stores in high visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened, but with a smaller Tesla crew. In addition, there are another 20% of locations that are under review, and depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open.”Tesla continues to make a direct link between the expense of running the stores and the prices of its vehicles: “As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide. In other words, we will only close about half as many stores, but the cost savings are therefore only about half.”“Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18th. There will be no price increase to the $35,000 Model 3. The price increases will only apply to the more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X.”The stock market didn’t care for the news about the store closings, but it didn’t dig the waffling either – after recovering from the first announcement, TSLA shares stumbled the morning after the second. Morgan Stanley lamented what it called “an air pocket in demand that is coming earlier than we expected,” as Bloomberg reported. “For what many investors believe to be a high growth tech firm, TSLA has made notable moves to cut costs/prices & stimulate orders,” wrote the investment firm. Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine
Automotive manufacturer Volkswagen Group has selected Cree as the exclusive provider ofsilicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors for its Future Automotive Supply Tracks(FAST) program. Founded in 2015, FAST aims to optimize the collaborationbetween Volkswagen and its suppliers.According to Cree, the use of SiC semiconductors makes EVs more efficient, allowing for reduced costs, quicker charging times, and longer driving range.“Cree’s technology is at the heart of the dramatic changeunderway in EVs, and we are committed to supporting the automotive industry asit transitions to more efficient, higher performing silicon carbide-basedsolutions,” said Cree CEO Gregg Lowe.“Our FAST partners are our strategic partners, each of them outstanding in their respective field. We want to shape the automotive future together,” said Volkswagen’s Michael Baecker.Source: Cree Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine
Facebook Wimbledon Share on Facebook No I’m not. But if he is. I acn’t see the point. Humour needs to be based on truth to some degree, and this piece is nonsense in the unfunniest possible way. Reply Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter | Pick Twitter Share on Twitter Share 28 Jun 2008 22:39 2 Report This is a really idiotic, slightly bigoted article born of the kind of deluded British self-satisfaction that is the real source of Britain’s perennial sporting failure. Most of the US has a higher standard of living than the UK, as does most of Europe. More people go to university in the US than do in Britain, and universities in the US are seen as fertile ground for new athletes. And the “screw-ups” Mitchell mentions are not screwed up because they are poor.Some of Britain’s greatest athletes – Steven Redgrave, Sebastian Coe etc. – are posh. The privileged classes have an advantage in sport as they do in everything else. … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. a few off the wrist for teenage wankers then it’s back to the mannschaft Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment Facebook Report This is such nonsense. Slums? Poverty? Frozen Siberian wastes or grim American inner cities???What century are you living in mate? Nowadays, if you look at world tennis and indeed sports as a whole, for every succesful sportsman/woman coming from that sort of background there’s a couple of middle class guys who were raised and born in a rich country in a normal town or a leafy suburb, and are not uncultured brutes.Also, I can think of a good bunch of grim British inner (and coastal) cities anyone in their right minds would want to escape from. Just like in any other country, but you seem to be deluding yourself for some reason. comment Facebook Im slightly in shock that your writing for the Guardian. Can we please have a self-referential plug of the Guardian in the next series of Peep Show. Something along the lines of you catching Robert with a picture of Ana Ivanovic in the paper or something… Great blog. I agree entirely, reading geography at exeter or doing business/medicine/engineering at leicester/brunel/birmingham city university for us british asians is what has caused the complete dearth of talent in British sport. We are just too comfortable with ourselves, sport isnt a route out of poverty for the relatively socially mobile brit. If one looks at the horrible favelas of Brazil, football appears to be the only way out, thats why they learn to play so good and they play with such desire to improve. Here there is no added pressure, if one is good at the sport, they are good, they dont have 35 relatives depending on them for their financial security. Share on Facebook 28 Jun 2008 11:04 Reply 28 Jun 2008 17:46 28 Jun 2008 17:59 28 Jun 2008 20:59 A good article David, well done you!For my two pence I think Peep Show is much funnier than That Mitchell and Webb Look ….. the thing with the tramp, not funny, never been funny. Peep Show’s class though.Mitchell’s piece from a week or two ago was about how Wimbledon is classier and more aestheticly pleasing than most sporting events however what ruins the pleasing spectacle of Wimbledon is the womens grunting, yelping and squeeling.It’s just ugly, ruins my enjoyment of watching any Sharapova match, reminds me somehow of the incessant dissent to referees we see in football. It’s ugly, unpleasant and unnecessary, should of been stamped out right at the off but it now it’s so established it will be very difficult to root out. Share on Twitter jamiepk Reply 0 1 | Pick 0 1 25 50 smifee Report Share on Messenger Share on Twitter 0 1 Whoops. Sorry. Thought this was the podcast.erm… A very interesting theory, and soooo much funnier than that fellow Brand. I suppose Wimbledon being the subject matter helps.I like the way you stick in that playing at/for Wimbledon-MK Dons gag and flesh out the ‘trouser-rubbing’ thingy. It’s always encouraging to see good ideas recycled.The which should come first, the model or the tennis player, is a question that will haunt me for some time to come. I shall probably never know the definitive answer but it’s going to be fun research. Facebook Reply | Pick @CzarnyKot,You have to admit that that sort of central planning for the creation of champions does work as the old GDR and USSR proved all too well. The thing is, you need a stick, in the form of food for the family or some such, to make it work. It has never been determined, though, whether it was the hunger or the central planning that made it work. I would say hunger, as most of the champions ended up defecting as soon as they had the chance. So, don’t blame the LTA’s of this world unless you’re willing to let them use the same carrot and stick as the Eastern Europeans used to. Share Wimbledon 2008 Loading comments… Trouble loading? 0 1 Twitter Reason (optional) Share 28 Jun 2008 14:16 Twitter Share on Facebook Comments 41 Twitter Share Report Share on Facebook Facebook HenryLloydMoon Facebook Twitter thinred Sportblog Report Reply Order by oldest View more comments delhiblue Share on Twitter Reply Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Report The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Twitter Report Report windbag Share on Twitter Tennis Since you’re here… Share Share “Monica Seles, Justine Henin and Jennifer Capriati are all women who’ve been to psychological hell and back”Monica Seles fact: The kraut who stabbed her got off with it.He didn’t even plead insanity.Now here’s a nation that takes both slav hatred and sport seriously. Facebook Reply Share Twitter | Pick Report comments (41)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Reply Wimbledon Share unthreaded Twitter 1 Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick oldest Report 0 1 Share Thats was quite an amusing article. I’m not sure I accept all the points at why Britain is crap, but the article was a lot funnier that the usual dross. Reply Email (optional) JacintaN 28 Jun 2008 17:47 Share on Facebook Share Reply Just to redress the balance: I recognise David Mitchell now. He’s the guy off the side-splittingly funny Peep Show and the super Mitchell and Webb show. Share Share 0 1 Share Reply Share on LinkedIn Read more Share on Facebook 0 1 | Pick Share on Facebook Facebook 0 1 0 1 First! Facebook | Pick Share on Facebook 0 1 0 1 0 1 newest | Pick Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp 28 Jun 2008 8:27 There was a similar article last year on the same topic suggesting that it was desperation to get out of poverty that was causing so many driven Eastern European tennis players to emerge. Then, as now, it’s simply not true. Almost all of them are from wealthy backgrounds – their parents ranging from doctors, lawyers and economists to the head of the Russian Tennis Federation. There’s an automatic assumption that because someone’s Ukrainian or Serbian they must have been raised on a diet of thin gruel and misery. bluerider Twitter Reply So, in other words, Britain is the worst, so it’s the best. Brilliant piece of logic! And it applies to a lot of things other than sports, too. Like “I’m the worst comedian, so I’m the best”. Share on Facebook Tomorrow it will be settled, will Spain or Germany be ghastly enough to win it? Twitter Twitter FishCake expanded 0 1 28 Jun 2008 21:57 | Pick | Pick | Pick Share on Twitter Report And British fans in particular need something to differentiate between players when all the British women are inevitably knocked out in the first couple of rounds. I actually think that this lack of success reflects rather well on us as a country. Our women players are always finishing their A-Levels or thinking about university as something to fall back on. They seem to have nice normal middle-class existences. They haven’t all come from the frozen Siberian wastes or grim American inner cities, forced to practise by weird domineering fathers who are trying to escape their lives. Our players will lose at tennis because they just haven’t got the hunger – they don’t really need to win – but they’ll almost certainly have better lives as a result.The top of the women’s game has always been crowded with screw-ups. Monica Seles, Justine Henin and Jennifer Capriati are all women who’ve been to psychological hell and back – and they’re the success stories. What happens to the larger number of girls who are made to practise from childhood to help their families escape poverty, aren’t good enough and end up back in poverty trying to pawn tennis equipment? Attempting to make it in professional sport is hardly what you’d advise a loved one to do unless it’s the only route out of horrendous circumstances. With a nice, comfortable British background, the most a parent is going to say is “Give it a go, darling, but Geography at Exeter’s a great opportunity as well.”And it’s not just in the posh world of British tennis that this holds good. Essentially we have too high a standard of living to produce large numbers of driven sports stars. There aren’t enough people whose lives are ghastly enough that they’ll grasp at professional sport with the almost insane tenacity that will give them a chance of success. And, even for the not inconsiderable numbers of Britons who do live in horrible poverty, is sport really the best chance of escape? It might be hard to get into university if you’ve grown up on a violent inner-city estate but surely it’s statistically a piece of cake compared with winning Wimbledon, or even playing for Wimbledon (now, of course, recast as MK Dons)? The reason for British sporting mediocrity is not a lack of sports funding or national character; it’s that we’re fortunate enough to have a society where self-betterment is available not only to sporting geniuses. And, while that may make Wimbledon fortnight a tough watch for the patriot, it’s hardly regrettable in a wider context. 28 Jun 2008 15:24 Share via Email Facebook You are kidding, right, thinred…? David Mitchell 0 1 Share on Twitter Facebook 28 Jun 2008 17:11 windbag Share on Facebook Report Share Twitter HenryLloydMoon Share on Facebook SharpMango 28 Jun 2008 17:38 Twitter First published on Fri 27 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT | Pick Share Reply On the one hand, tennis is too middle class for Britain- the usual excuse. On the other, Britain is too middle class for tennis. So now we know. There had to be a good reason. Report Share on Facebook Facebook Facebook This isn’t the first article he’s written for GU Sport, he’s done a few already and most of them raise a chuckle. Anyway, Peep Show is so funny he can write whatever crap he wants to.The article does make a serious point though. Before I left the UK I was a Radio 5 addict and they invariably had at least 1 interview a week with the ‘tsar’ of UK athletics/tennis/swimming/water-polo/whatever in which they would talk about their new $20m. state-of-the-art ‘centre for excellence'(usually in some obscure place like Loughborough or somewhere) and how it would ensure British success in future Olympics.Listening to these people was like listening to New-Labour politicians drone on about ‘choice’ and ‘excellence’. All the money spent, all the PR hype and you still know deep down that the medals will be won by somebody who was taught tennis in an empty swimming pool while NATO jets bombed their house, or someone who learnt to run while hearding goats.Of course, people like Federer and Nadal show that hardship is not important but hard-work, total commitment and self-belief will get you to the top with or without a new $20m. ‘centre for excellence’ in Tunbridge Wells. Whose money are they spending?? Bah, it’s as pointless as watching men’s tennis. | Pick 28 Jun 2008 19:04 Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Reply | Pick Scratch Facebook Support The Guardian Share on Facebook 28 Jun 2008 20:49 DiMatteo Reply Twitter Share on Twitter | Pick Twitter 1 0 1 0 1 smifee Reply Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Gallinaingles Reply 28 Jun 2008 22:50 Twitter Share on Facebook Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter 0 1 Facebook Twitter 2 Threads collapsed Share Oh hai, man off Peep Show!Funny article, I enjoyed it, even if my interest in tennis is only passing.http://zummer.blogspot.com/ Ana Ivanovic caused quite a stir at Wimbledon before being knocked out, largely because she’s pretty. This has a particularly amusing effect on the BBC’s ageing male commentators, who struggle to find a way to refer to the fact without saying anything sleazy. Their discomfort is palpable as they struggle with phrases like “very mobile and athletic”, “nice dress”, “young lady” and even “lights up the court”. They’re like tremulous uncles, weary and nervous of their own arousal.They know they’ve got to mention it, you see – it’s good for the business that is women’s tennis. So they’ve got to say something but they know it mustn’t be “I, for one, would like to bang her!” or “What’s great about a player like Ivanovic is that she attracts a lot of teenage wankers as well as the tennis fans”. They don’t want metaphorical jizz on everyone’s mental centre court but, at the same time, they know that, if the internet’s taught us anything, it’s not to underestimate the masturbatory pound.I feel sorry for them – they’re struggling to reconcile their hazy sense of political correctness with the need to stay on message about a new financial and marketing asset to the sport. Of course it shouldn’t matter what anyone looks like. It should all be about who’s best at tennis, and all avid followers of the women’s game have been made bitterly aware over the years that attractiveness and skill at tennis are two different things that often happen to different people. But the fact is that tennis is a roadshow that has to sell tickets and needs its lookers at least as much as a Hollywood movie.Sometimes their desperation to find someone sexy enough for a magazine cover is embarrassing. Anna Kournikova was the perfect tennis player in every way apart from the tennis, where she tended to go a bit British. That must have been so frustrating for those trying to raise the sport’s profile. “What’s the quicker solution?” they must ask themselves. “Teach supermodels tennis or give tennis players plastic surgery?” Luckily, and oddly, the world is not yet that sick but it’s no wonder they all get a bit over-excited by the sight of a pretty face – after all, for them, it’s covered in money. Share Facebook Report thinred Report 28 Jun 2008 12:13 Reuse this content,View all comments > CzarnyKot 0 1 Share collapsed Share on Facebook Reply Share on Twitter Report Britain is not ghastly enough to spawn winners Share on Facebook Reply Share on Facebook SV80 | Pick 0 1 Share on Facebook | Pick 0 1 Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Report Report The penny has just dropped! – You’re from that crappy BBC comedy ‘That Mitchell Webb Look’ Hetisjantje 28 Jun 2008 9:34 recommendations Share on Twitter Reply Or from the slums of Basel and Majorca. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Twitter Facebook Twitter Share Close report comment form | Pick Share 28 Jun 2008 8:38 Share on Facebook Share Share All Reply | Pick Share on Twitter Share on Twitter ghastly is one thing, mentality is another. it seems you have to be poor/working class to compete and win?otherwise funny, although the mugshot looks peculiar – did someone mention brand?alas, with ana’s departure, the court is darker….. Report Share on Pinterest 28 Jun 2008 22:38 mmm… someone missed the news footage from New Orleans.I mentioned Brand … why? 100 Reply Share on Facebook | Pick 0 1 Johannes Share 0 1 0 1 Fri 27 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT Johannes Report 28 Jun 2008 8:39 Report Twitter | Pick Report | Pick smifee route22 Share Report 0 1 Share on Facebook kevoir Facebook Twitter 28 Jun 2008 15:30 Show 25 Share on Twitter Why are people so negative? This was a decent article and amusing. Yes he´s the comedian from peep show. so what, how about commenting on the article at hand and giving some decent feedback which this article deserves. And David Mitchell is a decent comedian. 0 1 Facebook Report Facebook Twitter 28 Jun 2008 22:29 Facebook Reply those of you taking this so seriously are idiots. i am moved to tell you this. Where’s The Johnson when you need him..he’d sort you out. Report Sportblog 28 Jun 2008 23:51 Share Share on Twitter Reply 28 Jun 2008 18:43 | Pick Report Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter | Pick 28 Jun 2008 14:53 Shares22 Reply Share on WhatsApp Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other Share via Email | Pick Facebook Topics Share on Facebook
FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Learn More & Register Yesterday, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden deliver this speech in Washington, D.C.Sure, like a prior recent speech, McFadden did read from the “DOJ’s FCPA script,” but to his credit he did say some important things about FCPA compliance that is refreshing to hear from the DOJ. In addition, McFadden’s statement that his “intent is for our FCPA investigations to be measured in months, not years” should be welcome news to the business community. However, the DOJ has been saying the same thing for years and a wait and see approach is most prudent. For instance, in this 2005 speech then DOJ Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Christopher Wray talked about “real-time enforcement” and stated: “in other words, punishing wrongdoers promptly after they commit their crimes. Simply put, speed matters in corporate fraud investigations . The days of five-year investigations, of agreement after agreement tolling the statute of limitations-while ill-gotten gains are frittered away and investor confidence sinks-are increasingly a thing of the past.”Moreover, as highlighted in more detail below, McFadden made sense when talking about DOJ “declinations” and his reasons for why the DOJ may not bring a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action in an instance of FCPA scrutiny undermines the “declination” definition used by certain FCPA Inc. participants.When McFadden assumed his DOJ position after a private practice stint, this prior post highlighted his spot-on observations regarding certain aspects of FCPA enforcement.McFadden began his speech with mentioning his private practice experience and it was refreshing to hear a DOJ FCPA enforcement official offer the following words.“I have rejoined the Department of Justice after a four-year stint in private practice. While I am glad to be back at the department, my experience on the private side was extremely valuable to me. Having worked regularly with general counsels and corporate executives, it is clear to me that the vast majority of international businesses and business leaders want to get compliance right. I saw companies working hard to do the right thing – not because they were afraid of getting caught – but because that’s how they wanted to run their businesses. In my experience, most corporate leaders care about their corporate values and ethos, and they don’t want anything to do with corrupt deals or shady transactions. I’ve seen companies give up potentially lucrative business opportunities or forgo entry into certain markets because they valued their brand reputation over additional profits made under dubious circumstances. This is quite impressive to compare the status quo to when the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was enacted 40 years ago, when bribing foreign officials in order to gain business advantages abroad was often considered a routine business expense.” (emphasis added)In the speech, McFadden made sense when talking about DOJ “declinations” and his reasons for why the DOJ may not bring an FCPA enforcement action in an instance of FCPA scrutiny undermines the “declination” definition used by certain FCPA Inc. participants.First, a bit of background.Ever since the term “declination” became part of the FCPA vocabulary circa 2012, FCPA Professor has called out (see here, here and here among other posts) certain FCPA Inc. participants overly expansive definition of the term.I long maintained that the proper and responsible definition of a declination is an instance in which an enforcement agency has concluded that it could bring a case, consistent with its burden of proof as to all necessary elements, yet decides not to pursue the action.I long used the following analogy.A driver approaches a law enforcement sobriety checkpoint and successfully passes through because the driver has not had anything to drink. It would be absurd to say that the police “declined” to charge the driver with drunk driving, rather the police did what the law commanded and such reasoning applies in the FCPA context as well.It was nice to see McFadden burst overly expansive definitions of “declination” and explicitly state, consistent with the above definition and analogy, that sometimes there are not corporate FCPA enforcement actions because of “insufficient evidence of corporate criminal misconduct.”In pertinent part, McFadden stated:“Let me take this opportunity to address a few additional matters regarding our FCPA enforcement practices. The Criminal Division’s aims are not to prosecute every company we can, nor to break our own records for the largest fines or longest prison sentences. Our goal is for companies and individuals to voluntarily comply with the law. And it is by working with companies transparently and in partnership that we can achieve this goal. Indeed, working with cooperating businesses is a very important element in fighting corruption, whether by preventing violations before they occur or dealing with past violations. We recognize that businesses are our partners in the fight against corruption, because they are in the best position to detect risk, to take preventative measures, and to educate those who act on their behalf on appropriate best practices.With that in mind, the Fraud Section’s FCPA prosecutions are intended to level the playing field for honest businesses that are undercut by businesses that engage in corrupt behavior. Our responsibility as prosecutors is to follow the facts wherever they lead us. Sometimes the facts lead us to stop and close an investigation. Other times, the facts convince us that a criminal resolution is required. When we do not have evidence of the requisite criminal intent, there is no justification for a Criminal Division resolution, and we will defer to our regulatory colleagues to handle the matter. As prosecutors, we have significant enforcement tools, but we also have heightened evidentiary and scienter standards, and we take those requirements seriously.[…]As you may know, in the last year as part of the FCPA Pilot Program, the Fraud Section has begun publishing information on cases we have declined to prosecute, where we would have brought criminal cases but for the companies’ voluntary self-disclosure, full cooperation, and comprehensive remediation. There have already been five such cases. Of course, this number does not include the many cases we routinely decline for various reasons including insufficient evidence of corporate criminal misconduct. This is part of our long-standing effort to lay out transparent and clear guidelines and benefits for those companies and individuals subject to the FCPA.Transparency about our enforcement policies and practices is important. The Fraud Section’s Pilot Program is one example of an effort to provide more transparency and consistency for our corporate resolutions. The program began a year ago, and we are now conducting a full assessment of it. In our review, we are examining whether there is more that we can do to promote voluntary compliance with the law and what more we can be doing to provide appropriate transparency regarding our expectations and prosecutorial priorities. In the meantime, the Program will continue in full force.” (emphasis added).Even though McFadden provided a sensible framework for analyzing DOJ declinations, it should be noted (as highlighted in prior posts here and here) that in three of the five DOJ self-declared declinations (all before McFadden assumed his position at the DOJ) the salient question needed to be asked: just what viable criminal charges did the DOJ actually “decline.” Based on the only information in the public domain about the enforcement actions, the answer appears to be none.McFadden next spoke about the timing of FCPA investigations.In terms of background, FCPA Professor (see here) and many others, including perhaps most prominently Paul Pelletier (former Principal Deputy Chief of the DOJ’s fraud section) (see here and here) have frequently written about the long time periods often associated with FCPA inquiries. (See here for the FCPA Flash podcast episode with Pelletier in which he discusses this issue).On this issue, McFadden stated:“We are also making a concerted effort to move corporate investigations expeditiously, and we expect cooperating companies to do so as well. This will maximize our ability to bring cases against responsible individuals, before applicable statutes of limitations have run or evidence is lost. Of course, this should also be good for cooperating companies. No executive wants to deal with a lingering government investigation or the associated costs and distraction from the company’s mission. Over the last few years, we have hired additional trial attorneys in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section’s FCPA Unit to help investigate cases more quickly, and the Fraud Section leadership and I are focused on wrapping up old investigations. We expect cooperating companies to work with us to prioritize internal investigations and to respond to Fraud Section requests promptly to ensure there are no unnecessary delays. My intent is for our FCPA investigations to be measured in months, not years.”This should be welcome news to the business community.However, actions speak louder than words and a wait a see approach is most prudent as the DOJ has been saying the same general thing for a couple of years now.In the meantime, the facts are the facts and as highlighted in this 2016 year in review post, 4.25 years was the median length of time companies that resolved FCPA enforcement actions in 2016 were under scrutiny.As to international cooperation, McFadden stated:“Just as many American companies have been leading the way globally in CSR and compliance standards, I am proud of the department’s role in encouraging and assisting other regulators around the world to fight corruption where it arises. Indeed, there has been growing international recognition of the need to disrupt corrupt payments in order to create a level playing field in the global marketplace. Countries around the world have strengthened their domestic laws and central authorities, and have increasingly prioritized anti-corruption prosecutions. We are proud to be partnering with countries like the UK, Brazil, the Netherlands and others who are taking new strides to fight corporate corruption at home and around the world.Corrupt conduct may be investigated and prosecuted by the United States, but also by other countries with concurrent jurisdiction over the corrupt conduct. As part of our cooperation with our international partners, where appropriate, we seek to reach global resolutions that apportion penalties between the relevant jurisdictions so that companies that want to accept responsibility for misconduct are not unfairly penalized by multiple agencies. This is similar to how we have worked with sister regulators here in the United States – most notably the Securities and Exchange Commission – for years. I should note that our willingness to apportion or credit penalties based on resolutions with other regulators assumes that the company cooperated with our investigation and did not engage in forum shopping to avoid department involvement in the matter.We also refer evidence of violations of foreign law to our international law enforcement partners where we do not have jurisdiction over the wrongdoers. We offer them other assistance as well. This is all part of our effort to ensure that companies and individuals subject to the jurisdiction of the FCPA are not disadvantaged as compared to other companies. Similarly, over the years, Congress has expanded the jurisdictional reach of the FCPA in order to maximize our ability to level the playing field for companies and individuals that refuse to engage in corrupt conduct.”As to the “script-like” comments in his speech, McFadden stated:“Although Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means many things, at the very least it must mean that a company rejects bribery of government officials as a means to get ahead. Today, corporate leaders recognize the high costs of official corruption. Corruption impedes free competition and creates a high risk that prices will be distorted and products and services will be substandard. Of course, corruption disadvantages honest businesses that do not pay bribes. In fact, these bribes actually impede economic growth, undermine democratic values and public accountability and weaken the rule of law.This has particularly harmful effects on the most vulnerable citizens of countries in which the corruption occurs. If corrupt officials can extort multinational businesses with impunity, think of the expectations that sets for their interactions with the poor and unprotected in their countries. Moreover, bribes to officials often come at the expense of legitimate fees that should have been paid to the government fisc.It is my hope that companies recognize the importance of effective compliance with the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws is not only to avoid prosecution. Fighting corruption leads to a robust and transparent marketplace. My fellow prosecutors and I at the Justice Department are intent on creating an even playing field for honest businesses. Corruption introduces significant uncertainty into business transactions, and it actually increases the cost of doing business. Bribery has destructive effects within a business as well, undermining employee confidence in a company’s management and fostering a permissive atmosphere for other kinds of corporate misconduct, such as employee self-dealing, embezzlement, financial fraud and anti-competitive behavior. Companies that pay bribes to win business ultimately undermine their own long-term interests and the best interests of their investors.We are certainly far from seeing an end to the global problem of corruption, but I think it is safe to say that we are headed in the right direction. And this is in large part thanks to our allies in the private sector – people like you – who are leading the way in CSR and anti-corruption compliance efforts.That is not to say that companies that reach a resolution with the department are “bad companies,” or that they don’t care about corporate compliance. Indeed, many of our resolutions are with companies that voluntarily self-disclose past mistakes, and I know from having been on both sides of this process that companies that reach a resolution with us typically work hard to improve their compliance systems to ensure their compliance failures are not repeated.We recognize that companies with good intentions can make mistakes. That said, compliance requires more than good intentions, and companies – particularly those that operate in high-risk environments – must ensure that their compliance policies go beyond ink on paper and actually become part of a company’s culture. The example is set at the top and management must ensure that an appropriate system is in place to ensure corporate expectations are followed. I have also seen how companies that expand quickly – especially into new markets or through acquisition of foreign companies – often struggle to maintain compliance standards that they may have taken for granted as a smaller business. We frequently note in these types of compliance symposiums that no “one size fits all” when it comes to compliance programs, and a compliance program that worked for a domestic company of 500 employees will rarely be appropriate if that company triples in size or enters foreign markets.As I have said before, and more importantly as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated in his confirmation process, the department remains committed to enforcing the FCPA and to prosecuting fraud and corruption more generally. The department does not make the law, but it is responsible for enforcing the law, and we will continue to do so. Also, the department continues to prioritize prosecutions of individuals who have willfully and corruptly violated the FCPA – Attorney General Sessions has noted the importance of individual accountability for corporate misconduct. Finally, and just as successive Deputy Attorneys General under both Republican and Democratic administrations have directed, the department regularly takes into consideration voluntary self-disclosures, cooperation and remedial efforts when making charging decisions involving business organizations.”Certain aspects of this script, represent hollow rhetoric.For instance, here are the facts about DOJ individual FCPA prosecutions.The last 17 DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement (4 in 2017 thus far and 13 in 2016) have lacked related DOJ charges against company employees. Indeed, in the past decade over 75% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions have lacked related DOJ charges against company employees. Moreover, as highlighted in this prior post, the number of DOJ individual FCPA enforcement actions in 2016 and 2015 were fewer than the following years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014.McFadden knows certain of these statistics, indeed some of them appeared in his 2015 article titled “Why DOJ Struggles to Convict Individuals in FCPA Cases.” (See here for the prior post).
Source:https://ncdalliance.org/news-events/news/statement-underscoring-the-importance-of-mass-media-campaigns-to-prevent-ncds-in-jamaica-and-around-the-world May 2 2018Heart Foundation of Jamaica Mass Media Campaign ‘Are you drinking yourself sick?’ for Public HealthNCD Alliance, together with World Heart Federation, Coalición Latinoamérica Saludable, Healthy Caribbean Coalition, World Obesity Federation and Union for International Cancer Control, wishes to underscore the importance of mass media campaigns to protect and promote public health. We make this statement specifically in light of the news of the lawsuit brought by Wisynco Group Limited to the Heart Foundation of Jamaica regarding, ‘Are you drinking yourself sick?’, their campaign alerting Jamaicans to the harmful health effects of excessive sugar intake and encouraging them to consume less sugarNoncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, accounting for 78.5% of mortality in Jamaica in 2015, and 70% globally. Much of the suffering from these conditions are attributable to four major and modifiable risk factors, including unhealthy diet. Unhealthy diets can specifically lead to obesity, cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, among other chronic yet preventable diseases.Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are markers of and contributors to unhealthy diets, and can lead to obesity, with childhood obesity rates in Jamaica of particular alarming concern. To reduce the contribution of sugar to unhealthy diets, the World Health Organization recommends “reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake” in both adults and children. Jamaica’s sugar intake has increased significantly in the past 15 years, and population level consumption exceeds WHO recommended limits, particularly in children.Globally, the commitment to protect populations from sugar sweetened beverage (SSBs) is gathering speed. A package of evidence-based and cost-effective policy recommendations for NCD prevention and control, developed by the World Health Organization, is being implemented by many governments. Suggested interventions within this package include mass media campaigns, nutrition education, improved nutrition labeling, and taxes on SSBs. The work by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica specifically responds to the recommendation for “mass media campaigns on healthy diets, including social marketing to reduce the intake of total fat, saturated fats, sugars and salt, and promote the intake of fruits and vegetables”.Related StoriesWHO declares the deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo a global health emergencySmoke-free generation ‘in sight’ as numbers of smokers drop dramaticallyIt’s never too late to take up exercise, advise researchersIn promoting the campaign ‘Are you drinking yourself sick?’ the Heart Foundation of Jamaica has sought to ensure that the population of Jamaica are able to benefit from similar measures to those which have already been implemented around the world. The governments of Hungary, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Tonga have all implemented public awareness campaigns to reduce sugar consumption. Similar efforts have been made by subnational departments of health including in New York and other US states, while civil society organizations in Australia, Colombia and Mexico have strengthened official government responses.,With world leaders convening for the third United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on NCDs later this year in New York, the NCD Alliance is calling on all governments to accelerate action on NCDs, scale up action on childhood obesity, and implement smart fiscal policies for health, such as SSB taxes. We hope the UNHLM will provide an opportunity to showcase good practice and leadership by governments in the fight against NCDs, such as that of Jamaica, and incentivize others to take bold decisive action to bend the curve on these diseases.We strongly urge priority be placed on the health of citizens, with the global market shifting toward healthier beverages. We cannot afford for industry interests to dominate public discourse at the expense of protecting the health of populations. We stand firmly with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and commend its commitment to educating Jamaicans about the harms of excessive sugar consumption. Such actions are in full alignment with its mandate to ensure Jamaicans have a longer and better quality of life through the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease.
Source:https://www.jcu.edu.au/ Jun 7 2018James Cook University scientists have discovered a technique to apply natural plant extracts such as Tea Tree Oil as a coating for medical devices, a process which could prevent millions of infections every year.Professor Mohan Jacob, Head of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at JCU, leads a team investigating the problem. He said an increasing number of unplanned surgeries are being performed to fight infections – mostly caused by bacterial activity on medical devices and a subsequent ‘biofilm’ forming on them.”Just in the US, about 17 million new biofilm-related infections are reported annually, leading to approximately 550,000 fatalities each year. It’s thought about 80% of worldwide surgery-associated infections may relate to biofilm formation,” he said.Professor Jacob said the team converted plant-based products – known as Plant Secondary Metabolites (PSMs) – into polymer coatings for medical devices, including implants.”They’re derived from such things as essential oils and herb extracts and they have relatively powerful broad-spectrum antibacterial activities. PSMs are a low-cost renewable resource available in commercial quantities, with limited toxicity, and potentially, different mechanisms for fighting bacteria than synthetic antibiotics.”Professor Jacob said the group’s research tackled the persistent problem of how to convert the plant extracts from a liquid to a solid state as a coating for medical devices, without a significant loss of effectiveness.Dr Katia Bazaka is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow and team member. “We used plasma-enhanced techniques within a reactor containing the essential oil vapours. When the vapours are exposed to a glow discharge, they are transformed and settle on the surface of an implant as a solid biologically-active coating. These have shown good antibacterial properties,” she said.”The main advantage of this approach is that we are not using other chemicals, such as solvents, during the fabrication process. As such, there is no threat of potentially harmful chemicals being retained in the coating or them damaging the surface of the material onto which the coating is applied. It also makes the fabrication process more environmentally friendly,” said Dr Bazaka.Related StoriesStudy shows link between gut microbiome health and successful joint replacementResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerProfessor Jacob said the JCU group are currently the global pioneers in the development of plant-derived polymer thin films – publishing over 70 research articles and six PhD theses in the field.Professor Ian Atkinson, Director of JCU’s eResearch unit and a collaborator on the project, said the work had recently been extended to target marine organisms, to prevent the growth of biofilms on aquatic sensors and their subsequent failure.”Another attractive feature of these coatings is their optical transparency, which may be quite important if you are using them to coat contact lenses, or optical windows in aquatic sensors,” he said.Professor Jacob and his PhD students are now collaborating with the Dr Peter Mulvey and Associate Professor Jeff Warner at the JCU-based Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine to study the activity of different types of bacteria on the plant- based coatings.BackgroundEven though synthetic antibiotics have been the best weapon for eradicating microbial infections since the arrival of penicillin, the overuse of these medications is gradually rendering them ineffective. Scientists think that if new strategies are not developed soon, medical treatments could retreat to the era where slight injuries and common infections develop into serious medical problems.Most plants produce organic molecules as antimicrobial agents to combat harmful microorganisms. In the past few decades, progress in the synthesis of nanoscale materials, in particular plasma-assisted fabrication, has provided the means to retain the antimicrobial activities of plant secondary metabolites within bioactive coatings.Though the JCU team investigated many natural precursors, their main focus was on the Australian based essential oil, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) and its components. As part of a PhD project, Dr Katia Bazaka developed antibacterial coatings from terpene-4-ol, which is a major component of Tea Tree Oil.
Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-blog/2018/july/is-collaborative-care-the-answer-to-the-mental-health-epidemic Jul 23 2018Mental health has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons, from unexpected celebrity suicides to a reported increase in depression diagnoses. Additionally, a recent CDC report found that the suicide rate has increased by 30 percent since 1999-;and 90 percent of the people who commit suicide have a preexisting psychiatric condition.While there are many effective ways to treat mental health conditions, most people do not receive adequate care due to an associated stigma with mental health treatment and the functional impairment from mental health symptoms, such as the sense of hopelessness and lack of motivation that coexist with depression. Conversations around mental health are very different than the way many might talk about or even track other physical illnesses such as diabetes or the flu.”One of the issues that we are grappling with in this country and in many places all over the world is that not everyone who needs attention gets attention -; or even knows that he or she needs psychiatric care,” said Maria A. Oquendo, MD, PhD, chair of Psychiatry at Penn Medicine, whose department is partnering with experts in primary care to offer a unique service that hopes to combat these issues.The initiative, called Collaborative Care Behavioral Health (CCBH), launched in January, and in just six months has already made a significant impact that program leaders say drives home just how surprisingly rampant the need for mental health services is. Its goal is to catch previously untreated mental health issues through a relationship that already exists-;the primary care physician.CCBH puts licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) specially trained in mental health care into primary care offices. So far five LCSWs work in eight Penn Medicine primary care practices in West Philadelphia and Center City and are available to over 100,000 patients. These experts work with a primary care provider and a psychiatrist to assess and treat patients as needed during their primary care appointments. Services range from screening for depression to supporting those who are struggling with addiction. Furthermore, if a patient is in acute distress or has a safety concern, such as suicidal thoughts or impulsive behavior, a physician will facilitate a warm handoff -; a real-time transfer of care -; to the LCSW for assessment, risk-stratification, and referral to the appropriate level of care.The program also works to proactively identify patients who are high risk or who may benefit from enrollment in CCBH due to comorbid medical and psychiatric issues. This population-health strategy emphasizes prevention and access to ensure that patients’ suffering is addressed early and often.In addition to the collaboration between primary care physicians and the LCSWs in each office, the program is a piece of a larger data-driven network that connects these experts to case managers who support each patient by assisting with follow-up assessments, scheduling appointments, and following up to ensure patients are engaged with their care. The system also incorporates measurement tools to track quality, treatment, and accountability metrics -; such as timeliness of access to care, symptom remission, and use of the emergency room.Related StoriesResearchers set out to define recommended ‘dosage’ of work for optimal wellbeingBiden calling ACA ‘breakthrough’ for mental health parity highlights gapsInternational study aims to more accurately describe mental health disorders”The technology we’re using allows us to track, treat, and continue engagement with these patients throughout their care,” said Matthew Press, MD, MSc, associate medical director of the Penn Medicine Primary Care Service Line. “Just as physicians would follow and track blood sugar levels with a diabetic patient, you can track depression levels through this program. Many patients who are at risk for depression are not proactive about it, but this system allows us to catch patients at an early stage and aims to affect medical outcomes early on.”When the program first launched, the team expected to see about 500 patients in the first year. About six months in, there have been over 3,000 patients referred. To date, CCBH has been able to help almost 300 patients with PTSD, more than 210 who were suicidal, about 100 with addiction, more than 85 with active psychosis, and 65 with mania.”These numbers show a huge, previously unknown and pent-up demand for treatment,” said Cecilia Livesey, MD, medical director of strategy and integration for the department of Psychiatry. “We’re not only surprised by these numbers, but also the severity of illness we’re seeing. For example, at the beginning of this initiative, we estimated that a majority of patients seen through this program would have mild depression or anxiety. So far, the rates are much higher with average scores showing moderate depression.”The numbers show just how much a program like this can improve care by integrating medical and mental health care. And this experience is not unique to the City of Brotherly Love.Collaborative care models have proven to be successful across the Unites States. The model has been shown to control costs, improve access to mental health care, improve clinical outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction in a variety of primary care settings – rural, urban, and among veterans. Collaborative care is also known to increase response to mental health and substance use treatments by 60 percent.”Even though we’re just six months in, we’re showing that a collaborative care program is a win-win-win. There are better patient outcomes, improved patient and provider satisfaction, and reductions in health care costs,” Livesey said. “But at the end of the day, what matters most is that patients who might have never had mental health support before are getting the care they need.”
Did asteroid impacts spark life on Earth? Why is comet dust cropping up in Antarctica? And does smoking erase Y chromosomes? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi. Plus, Erich Jarvis sums up the findings from sequencing 40-plus bird genomes.
Whether spotting danger from across the desert or getting a good view at a concert, height has been an advantage for millennia. Now, new research suggests that how taller people learn to see the world helps them better judge distances in dark environments. When calculating the distance of an object, the human brain relies on cues learned over time to estimate depth. These cues can include the size of one object relative to others, how much texture the object appears to have, and the object’s perceived height from the ground. However, a dark room in which a person can see only the object removes many of the brain’s tools for judging distance. Researchers tested 24 people, split into two gender-equal groups of tall and short, by putting them in an unfamiliar, dark room with only dim red LED lights on the ground or the ceiling for reference. The subjects were shown a suspended Ping-Pong ball with an LED that flashed for 2 seconds. The Ping-Pong ball was then removed, and the subjects then had to walk across the room along a guide rope and indicate where they thought the ball had been. For the targets located more than 3 meters away, the taller subjects were better at accurately guessing the distance of the Ping-Pong ball, according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances. When the experiment was moved to a fully lit outdoor field, taller subjects were still better at guessing the distance of the Ping-Pong ball, even when they were made to sit and shorter subjects were allowed to stand. The researchers suspect that the tall advantage comes down to angle: The higher up a person’s eyes, the more easily they can look down and see the distance between two objects. With this additional information, a taller person’s brain creates a better internal map for processing distance that works—even when the lights don’t.