first_imgArsenal’s forward Alex Iwobi has revealed that Sporting was lacking in composure in their Thursday night match, adding that the club deserves credit for being very compact and difficult to break.“We have to give credit to Sporting because they were very compact and they made it difficult for us, but maybe that composure was lacking a bit today,” Iwobi said via official club’s website.Discussing about the red card after Aubameyang found himself through on goal, he continued:Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“It’s a bit sad, especially when you’re seeing Pierre running and he’s so fast that we knew he was going to get there, but I guess it was a smart challenge from Mathieu, but it was unfortunate for us and we were unable to get the goal.”While also talking about Wolves at the weekend and aiming to finish top of the group, Iwobi concluded:“We will go again and start analysing Wolves and that’s not going to be an easy game because they’ve been doing well this season, so onto the next one.”last_img read more

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Now playing: Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Fold: Delayed, available Septembergalaxy-galaxy-fold-8The Galaxy Fold. Angela Lang/CNET As the biggest tech company to throw its hat into the ring, many were eager to learn about the Galaxy Fold when Samsung introduced it at Unpacked in February. Pre-orders began in April and quickly sold out on the first day. Soon after, Samsung hit a snag when a handful of tech reporters documented screen issues like screen breakages, flickering and, bulging with their pre-production review units. Samsung kept pushing the delay from a couple of weeks to months, until it recently announced the Galaxy Fold would be available in September. (For more information, read CNET’s Galaxy Fold FAQ on the matter.)  The phone itself has a secondary 4.6-inch display that serves as its “cover,” with all the usual features you’d expect on a phone. When you’re ready for something bigger, the Fold opens up like a book to a 7.3-inch tablet. The Fold also has six cameras. On the back, there’s the same triple-camera setup as the Galaxy S10 and on the front a single 10-megapixel camera. In tablet form, there are two additional cameras inside: a selfie camera and an 8-megapixel depth camera.   Nubia Alpha wearable smartphone review Now playing: Watch this: Now playing: Watch this: Watch Samsung’s Galaxy Fold stress test 1:02 Motorola: Confirmedmoto-sidebysideImages from a design patent filed by Motorola in 2017. The filing went public in December. Photo illustration by Ian Knighton/CNET Ever since its patent application file went public in December 2017, rumors began circulating that Motorola, which Lenovo acquired in 2014, would resurrect the popular Motorola Razr phone with a folding-screen. Later, a company exec at Motorola confirmed something was coming down the pipeline, likely in the summer.The Razr reboot will supposedly cost $1,500 on Verizon  and leaked renders have leaked online. Refreshing the phone would be a smart move on Motorola. Since its original launch in 2004, the beloved phone has gained an iconic status for its sleek design, thin profile and various color options at the time.  Now playing: Watch this: Royole FlexPai: Available now019-royole-flexpai-phone-ces-2019The Royole Flexpai. Sarah Tew/CNET Developed by a startup headquartered in Fremont, California, the Royole Flexpai was the first flexible phone to debut, in October 2018. The phone has a plastic, 7.8-inch AMOLED screen and it’s already on sale. You’ll pay $1,318 (£1,209) for the 6GB of RAM and 128GB variant. And it’s $1,469 (£1,349) for the 8GB of RAM and 256GB version. (Australian prices weren’t released, but they convert to about AU$2,180 and AU$2,440, respectively.)The FlexPai runs an OS called Water that’s layered on top of Google Android 9.0. Whichever way you choose to hold or bend the device, the screen adjusts to its many different orientations and viewing options. Though rough around the edges when we first got our hands on it, the FlexPai gave us one of the first solid glimpses of what the future of foldable phones will hold. Apple Huawei Mate X is a foldable phone with 5G Now playing: Watch this: #Motorola – #Razr – New Motorola RAZR (2019) leaks out https://t.co/jxoTZuUC9N pic.twitter.com/h2Y0NyCS3q— /LEAKS (@Slashleaks) April 28, 2019 1:56 Will Apple jump on the foldable phone trend? 6:37 reading • Galaxy Fold relaunches in September, but it’s not the only foldable phone coming 2:43 45 Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Because of the phone’s novel design, it costs a pretty penny at $1,980 (about £1,500 or AU$2,800). The Fold has what the company calls an Infinity Flex Display, which is a fancy plastic material that can fold. After the reported screen issues, Samsung also reinforced the phone’s design to include things like protection caps for the hinges and additional metal layers.The Fold may also not be the only foldable phone from Samsung. The company is said to be developing two more foldable phones, according to Bloomberg. Citing people familiar with the company’s plans, Bloomberg reported that one phone will fold vertically, while the other will fold inward instead of outwardly like the Fold. With this Galaxy Fold snafu, however,, plans may change for Samsung.Huawei Mate X: Available Septemberhuawei-mate-x-hands-on-mwc-2019-36The Huawei Mate X. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Jumping on the trends of foldable phones and 5G, Huawei’s’s Mate X has both. It has a 6.6-inch display when folded closed and an 8-inch OLED screen when you flip it open. And it features 5G connectivity that’s said to be four times faster than 4G, a 4,500-mAh battery and three rear cameras.Huawei originally planned for the phone to launch in May, but it pushed the release to September. In addition, UK carriers Vodafone and EE said they were pulling the Mate X from their device lineups for their 5G network launches., so the exact fate of the phone is tenuous. Similar to the Fold, the Mate X is also be very pricey at 2,299 euros, or about $2,600, £2,000 or AU$3,660. However, at its MWC 2019 keynote back when Huawei first announced the phone, the company hinted that cheaper models may be coming down the pipeline.It’s unlikely that the Mate X will be available in the US when it launches mid-2019 though. Calling it a security threat to the Department of Defense, the US government banned the sale of Huawei phones on US military bases. Retail giant Best Buy stopped selling them in March 2018 and Huawei’s CFO was arrested in Canada at the request of the US in an act her father said was politically motivated. Huawei devices are still available in more than 170 countries around the world, however, according to a Huawei spokesperson.center_img Galaxy Fold gives foldable phones a black eye Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Apple: Rumored, with patent applicationapplepatentflexiblephone.jpgAn updated patent by Apple shows various ways it could use a flexible or folding display. Apple/USPTO In February, Apple once again updated its patent application for a clamshell phone with a foldable display and body. The filings have been ongoing since Apple’s first one eight years ago, in 2011. Since then, rumors of a flexible iPhone reignite with every new updated document, which have been filed in 2014, 2016 and 2017.According to the filings, the phone “may have a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded.” But keeping with its usual style, Apple has remained mum on details. So far, nothing has come to fruition with any of these patents in the public eye, and there hasn’t been any info on what this device might be (and if it will even be a phone at all) or a timeline to expect such products. Mobile Tablets Phones Foldable Phones The Galaxy Fold. Angela Lang/CNET Three months after the Galaxy Fold was supposed to launch in April, Samsung confirmed on Wednesday that it fixed the phone’s screen problems and will relaunch the device in September with a slightly new look. But the company isn’t the only the one planning a foldable device. Other phone makers have either announced foldable phones or are rumored to have one in the works. Even despite this rather large blunder from Samsung, the tech industry still has foldable phones on the brain.Foldable phones are poised to transform the tech industry over the next five years, along with 5G. Any foldable phones we will see this year will just hint at what’s to come, as the devices become thinner, do a better job of managing battery life and let mobile apps take advantage of different display sizes. And all of this will develop with the help of Google too, as the company has committed to providing Android support for foldable designs. (Given some of its recent patent filings, it may even release a foldable phone of its own.)True, foldlabe phones are off to a shaky start, and we don’t know yet if Samsung’s relaunch is going to be enough to ease user concerns. But if all 11 companies below follow through with their plans, we are in for an interesting ride. Here are the brands that have announced plans, filed for a patent or are rumored to join the foldable craze. See All 1:54 Google: Prototyping, with patent applicationgoogle-patentGoogle’s patent application included several sketches of a potential foldable device. Google Back in December 2018, the tech giant filed a patent application for a foldable device. The patent is for a “foldable display of a computing device and includes a back stiffening layer, a transparent front-plate layer, a transparent cover window layer, and an OLED display layer disposed between the back stiffening layer and the transparent frontplate layer.” Fast forward later to May when  Google then confirmed that its been prototyping the technology, but didn’t see a clear use case for foldable screens yet. In addition, Google plans to support foldable phones with its Android OS platform to develop the technology from the software side as well.Lenovo’s CPlus concept phone. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET Lenovo: Rumored, with patent applicationAs mentioned before, Lenovo introduced the concept CPlus phone in 2016, which could bend and wrap around your wrist like the Nubia Alpha. While it was just a concept phone back then, Lenovo has been making inroads to release a real foldable phone to the masses. In July 2018 it filed a patent application for a “portable information device” with a “foldable configuration.”LG: Rumoredlg-v50-dual-screen-40The non-bending V50 with its non-bending second-screen attachment. Katie Collins/CNET Back in 2014, LG launched the G Flex, a phone with a curved screen. More recently at CES 2019, it showed off a rollable TV that will be on sale later this year. We know that LG has the technology in the works for a flexible phone and the company is said to be working on one.For now, we have no idea what the phone will look like, how much it will cost or when it will arrive. There were rumors that LG would introduce one at CES, but that turned out to be a false alarm. And later at MWC, LG had an accessory that added a second screen to its LG V50 phone, but unfortunately none of the devices fold.Originally published Jan. 26, 2019, 6:00 a.m. PT.Updates, July 28: Adds September availability of Galaxy Fold. Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Comments • Can Motorola’s Razr top Galaxy Fold by going smaller? 4:01 2:13 Royole FlexPai is a foldable phone you can actually buy Tags TCL: Confirmed, coming in 2020tcl-dragon-hinge-foldable-phone-dsc09339Several of TCL’s upcoming foldable devices. Shara Tibken/CNET Mostly known for its affordable televisions, Chinese tech company TCL is working on a number of foldable devices, which include two tablets, two phones and a cuff-like phone you wear around your wrist. Despite not being a household name in the US, you may know TCL better through other brands it owns, namely BlackBerry, Alcatel and Palm.The upcoming devices all have flexble AMOLED displays that can bend because of what TCL calls a DragonHinge. Patented by the company, the hinge enables the screens to fold both inward and outward. TCL estimates that its first foldable phone will be available in 2020 and that it could cost less than $1,000 — making it significantly cheaper than the Galaxy Fold.Xiaomi Dual Flex or Mix Flex. Xiaomi Xiaomi Dual Flex or Mix Flex: ConfirmedIn January, Chinese phone maker Xiaomi introduced its new foldable phone on the social media platform Weibo. Unlike previous phones we’ve seen, which have only one bend down the middle, Xiaomi’s phone folds down into thirds, with both sides folding down.Xiaomi co-founder and president Bin Lin said this form factor is “practical and beautiful” and that it “perfectly merges the experience of a tablet and a phone.” No specs or pricing information were given, but Xiaomi is currently taking votes on two possible names: Dual Flex or Mix Flex.Nubia Alpha: Available nownubia-alpha-mwc-2019-6The Nubia Alpha. Patrick Holland/CNET Nubia, an associate company of Chinese phone-maker ZTE, took the  concept of a foldable phone one step further with its Nubia Alpha. The $449 Alpha (£360 and AU$643, converted) is unique in that it’s a phone that wraps around a user’s wrist, similar to a smartwatch. It features a flexible 4.01-inch display, gesture controls and a water-resistant design. Its 5-megapixel camera can also record 10-second videos. However, it’s missing a lot of app support and it doesn’t have Instagram, Google Maps or an internet browser.This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a phone that looks like the Alpha. In 2016, Lenovo had a concept device called CPlus, which had a 4.26-inch display that you bent over your wrist. Unlike the CPlus, the Alpha is a real device you can get now. Xiaomi ZTE Google Huawei Lenovo LG Motorola Samsung Applelast_img read more

first_imgRead related Tribune coverage: The state’s attorney general tried to ease concerns Tuesday over whether a state-based immigration enforcement bill could be successfully challenged in courts.The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 along party lines early Friday morning to advance a bill that would punish local government entities and college campuses that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02/07/texas-senate-tentatively-approves-anti-sanctuary-city-legislation/.Texas Tribune mission statementThe Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Share Marjorie Kamys CoteraState Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, answers questions regarding Senate Bill 4, better known as the anti-“sanctuary cities” bill, on Feb. 7, 2017 in the state Capitol in Austin.Editor’s note: This story was updated on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, to reflect the Senate’s final vote on Senate Bill 4. The Republican-controlled Texas Senate gave its final stamp of approval on Wednesday to a bill that would gut funding from local and state entities that don’t enforce immigration laws. Senate Bill 4, filed by state Sen. Charles Perry, would punish local and state government entities and college campuses that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials or enforce immigration laws. Wednesday’s vote was 20-10 along party lines, with state Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, absent. Rodriguez was present a day earlier, when the Senate tentatively approved it on a 20-11 vote. The bill would also punish local governments if their law enforcement agencies fail to honor requests, known as detainers, from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to hand over immigrants in custody for possible deportation. Entities in violation would be stripped of state grant funding and also be subject to civil fines. Department heads could also be subject to criminal prosecution if they violate the provisions of the bill. The bill doesn’t apply to victims of or witnesses to crimes, public schools or hospital districts. The legislation was listed last month as one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency items, which allows lawmakers to vote on the issue before the traditional 60-day waiting period to hear bills on the floor of either chamber. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also deemed the bill a legislative priority. The issue garnered national attention after Abbott made good on his promise this month to cut state funding for Travis County after that county’s sheriff, Sally Hernandez, enacted a policy that greatly rolls back her department’s cooperation with ICE. Wednesday’s vote followed an hours long debate on Tuesday where most of the amendments offered by Democrats were defeated. Like he did during a 16-hour committee hearing on the bill last week, Perry held his ground during the floor debate Tuesday, pushing back against accusations that his bill was a “deportation” bill after Democrats insisted the policy would cast a wide net and snare people in the country illegally but who are otherwise law abiding. Perry said it was about the rule of law and making sure every law enforcement agency follows the same procedures. He added that even if a person is in the country illegally, he or she would not have a reason to fear his legislation if they didn’t commit crimes. “This bill ensures that there is predictability that our laws are applied without prejudice” no matter who is in custody, he said. He also added that if a local government loses money because it adopted a “sanctuary” policy, the blame is on them. Perry amended his bill Tuesday to add tough civil and criminal penalties for entities that don’t comply with the bill’s provisions. One amendment would make a department head whose agency violates the provisions of SB 4 subject to criminal prosecution in the form of a class A misdemeanor. Another added a provision that would subject the local agency to civil penalties, including a fine at least $1,000 for the first offense and $25,000 for each subsequent violation. The severity of the proposals prompted state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston to ask Perry how far he was willing to go. “What’s the next [amendment] going to do? Take their first born?” she asked. The upper chamber also predictably shot down by party line votes several amendments Democrats offered to make the bill more palatable to their constituents, including a measure by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, that would have excluded college campuses. An amendment by state Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, which sought to require peace officers to learn immigration law was also voted down, as was another by state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. that would have prohibited the arrest of a person only because he or she was in the country illegally. Garcia also asked Perry to remove a section of the bill that would punish a local entity for “endorsing” a policy that prohibits or discourages enforcing immigration law. Garcia said that section could be a violation of an elected official’s right to free speech and could be interpreted broadly. Before the chamber began voting on the amendments, senators debated certain aspects of the bill for more than three hours. Republicans used the time to reiterate that the bill, as filed, would stand up to court challenges that might be brought over questions of constitutionality. That debate was preceded by a memo attorney general Ken Paxton sent Perry, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and State Affairs Committee Chair Joan Huffman, R-Houston, in which Paxton said concerns over the bill’s legal standing were overblown. “Our review of the law concludes CSSB 4 is constitutional, there are viable methods for covered entities to avoid liability regarding invalid detainers, and the remainder of the legal concerns are unfounded,” he said in the letter. “CSSB 4 would make great strides to keep communities secure by requiring state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal agencies as they take care to faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States.” During the debate, Perry also said that the measure would be the first-ever legislation to codify protections for victims of or witnesses to crimes that agree to cooperate with law enforcement. That came after Democratic lawmakers said that even though the protections are in place, the immigrant communities would still operate under a blanket of fear if they reached out to law enforcement for any reason, including reporting a crime. Perry said that the misinformation being pedaled about the bill might actually make it more difficult for police to get witnesses or victims to cooperate. But he said that left the door open for a “golden opportunity” for law enforcement to explain to the immigrant community what the bill actually does.  State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, said that although lawmakers might be familiar with the nuances of the bill, the general public isn’t and law enforcement officers from across the state have said repeatedly that hinders their efforts to investigate crimes and keep the streets safe. “It may be a shame that people are afraid. But it doesn’t change the fact that people are afraid,” Whitmire said. “I am listening to the experts. It may be a shame they feel that way, but it’s absolutely true.” After Tuesday’s preliminary vote, Abbott praised SB 4 in a statement. “Today’s action in the Senate helps ensure that Sheriffs and officials across Texas comply with federal immigration laws and honor Immigration and Custom Enforcement detainer requests that keep dangerous criminals off of our streets,” the statement read in part. “I want to thank Senator Perry for his leadership on this issue and look forward to final passage in the Senate tomorrow.” The bill now heads to the Texas House, though whether the lower chamber accepts the bill as it’s currently presented isn’t clear. State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, filed a companion bill to Perry’s original proposal, but the Texas House hasn’t yet named committees and isn’t moving as fast on this — or any other legislation — as the Senate is. last_img read more

first_imgBy George Kevin Jordan, Special to the AFROCongresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL 24th District) has a mission – pull young Black boys out of the school-to-prison pipeline. She hopes her 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project is the ticket to providing diplomas and degrees instead of prison sentences.Wilson had big help pushing her project during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest, D.C.The Rev. Al Sharpton, actress and activist Erika Alexander and Dr. Cedric Alexander, national president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. (Photo by George Kevin Jordan)The Rev. Al Sharpton was on the panel, as well as actor and activist Erika Alexander, “America To Me” director Steve James, Dr. Cedric Alexander, national president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and George Ray III, current contestant on the “Grand Hustle” series on BET Networks.The Excellence project started in Miami-Dade County when Wilson saw the young men her community rushed into the prison system, working in the drug trade or dropping out of school.On a national level there were 1,506,800 people in prison at the end of 2016, according to the Department of Justice. There were 487,300 Black prisoners, or 41.3 percent. This is in comparison to 39 percent White prisoners.When it comes to school drop outs, the number of Black boys who drop out between the ages of 16-24 has dropped nationally to 6.2 percent. But that number is still higher that the national average and White students’ 6.1 percent and 5.2 percent respectively, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.In 1993, when Wilson started her program, it almost immediately caught national attention. Several sitting presidents and vice-presidents, including Barack Obama have supported the project. The initiative provides leadership and mentoring to young Black boys during a critical time in their lives.The panel dissected many of the issues that impact a child’s trajectory to the school to prison system.  Dr. Alexander spoke about police officers using more discretion and thinking of the larger community when arresting people.“The law is what the law is,” Dr. Alexander said, who heads up the National Organization of Black law Enforcement Executives. “But what we can ask them  [police officers] to do is use some judgement. Do you really want to hurt someone over an infraction? We as police officers have to have discretion.”“I think what we are beginning to see as we’re training officers to have better relationships, we find some, not all, but some are mindful of the fact that there is a larger community watching you.”Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III, who is mayor of Miami Gardens, Florida, said citizens need to be mindful of how much they want police involved with their students at schools.“We can’t over police our schools,” Gilbert said. “We can’t use police at schools as conduct supervisors. Understand if you ask a police officer to come to our schools and they witness a crime that kid is going to jail.”Gilbert further cautioned, “We have to be careful of the part we are playing in this narrative.”For George Ray, III who currently stars on “The Grand Hustle” series, Congresswoman Wilson intervened at the right time in his life. “She’s my fairy godmother,” Ray said to the packed crowd. The business professor spoke of facing 15 years in prison at 15 years old. The congresswoman happened upon his life and “instead of peddling drugs I had someone peddling hope.”“She took me everywhere with her, she kept me so busy I couldn’t get in trouble if I tried,” Ray said of his relationship with Wilson.Currently, the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project services 105 schools within Miami-Dade County Public Schools (37 Elementary, 35 Middle/K-8, and 33 Senior High), according to the organization.last_img read more

first_img CORAL SPRINGS Fla. – University of Louisville women’s golfers Olivia Cason, Lauren Hartlage, Delaney Shah, and Lauren Thibodeau were named Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholars, the organization announced Monday (July 8). Cason, who also earned the honor last season, graduated in the spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She wrapped up her Cardinal career ninth on the all-time scoring average list. Thibodeau earned the honor for the first time. The freshman was third on the team with a 74.91 average, which ranks fourth all-time by a freshman in program history. Her 5-under-par 67 during the first round of the Moon Golf Invitational was tied for the second lowest round of the season. Hartlage earns another accolade to add to the collection as she was recently named a Golfweek All-American Honorable Mention, All-ACC Academic Team, and All-ACC Women’s Golf Team. She led the Cardinals with a 72.60 stroke average, which ranks third all-time in program history. She finished her junior campaign 49th in the Golfstat NCAA Division I player rankings and 61st in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She opened up the spring season by earning medalist honors at the Moon Golf Invitational for her second collegiate victory. Louisville has placed at least three on the list each year since 2012, and had multiple honorees each of the last 11 years. Shah and Hartlage have earned the honor all three years at UofL. For the third straight season the Cardinals led the Atlantic Coast Conference in total selections. The WGCA recognized 1,097 women’s collegiate golfers from Divisions I, II, and III with the prestigious honor for maintaining at least a 3.50 cumulative grade-point average and playing in at least 50% of the team’s rounds. For the latest on Louisville women’s golf, visit GoCards.com, or follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter @UofLWGolf, Facebook /UofLWGolf, and Instagram @UofLWGolf. Print Friendly Version Story Links Shah ended the season with a 76.11 average, which included three rounds of par or better, and a pair of top-10 finishes.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Rod Hilton, the Australian Deputy High Commissioner, said on Thursday that among the various states which are said to be the main focus of Australia, Bengal occupies the top preference.He took part in an interactive session at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday afternoon.According to Hill, Bengal is of special importance to Australia in sectors like mining, resources, education, infrastructure, start-ups and tourism.Australia will be opening its fourth Consulate in India when it starts one in Kolkata end of this year or early January next year. The goal is to lift India among the top three export markets and make it the third largest destination for outward investments ($100 billion by 2035). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeEfforts of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to make the state a preferred business destination seems to be paying off as the Bengal Global Business Summit 2019 is likely to see a strong presence of Australian companies. This was revealed during a recent visit to Australia by the delegation of The Bengal Chamber of Commerce of Industry (BCC&I). Australian interest in Kolkata and Bengal received a big fillip after a report “An India Economic Strategy to 2035: Navigating from Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPotential to Delivery” commissioned by the Australian government, was released to the public on July 12, 2018. The delegation from The Bengal Chamber had an extensive meeting with Tania Constable, CEO of MCA, the apex body of Australian mining companies, in the Australian capital Canberra. At the meeting, the BCCI was represented by past president CS Ghosh, newly elected president Indrajit Sen and Director General Subhodip Ghosh.last_img read more

first_imgThe newspaper titled The Sentinel, supports ‘Tohoku 365’ a project co-partnered by ‘Uranomi’ (a student group). The project aims at promoting the tourism and economy of Tohoku, post the destructive East Japan earthquake and tsunami. The project had launched a contest to award JPY 1 million ($ 9,385) each, to 6 people in order to tour the Tohoku region for a month and to write about its culture, food, scenic beauty and tourist destinations along with lesser-known places.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The main motive is to attract more tourists and to support the local economy. This competition is open to everyone above 18 years old and is on till June 30. To participate, one must visit the website- www.tohoku365.com.  There are three rounds of selection process, where one has to upload a self promoting video on a video sharing website, and then get their CV judged and finally give an online interview. Out of all the applicants, 10 worthy ones will be chosen and will be paid an amount to travel the area, try the cuisine and write or create videos of their travel experience. It is a great opportunity for people to travel abroad and gather experience of new places, food and culture. People interested in photography, videography, food, and writing must try out the contest to get an experience of a lifetime in Japan!last_img read more

first_imgBeat the winter hair-related blues with interesting, do-it-yourself recipes using castor, coconut and jojoba oils, says an expert.Jojoba oil is indeed a blessing as it is rich in important vitamins and minerals. And guess what? It suits all skin types. It is light, non-sticky, odorless, and has a long shelf life. This amazing oil offers a plethora of benefits. Read on to know more.* Three-oil warm massage: Take equal portions of castor oil, extra virgin coconut oil and jojoba oil and mix them. Warm the oil mixture in a microwave for 30 seconds and add an egg yolk, mix all the ingredients well and massage the mixture on your hair length. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfCastor oil and extra virgin coconut oil help in replenishing dry and dull hair, whereas the egg yolk helps in improving the texture, leaving the tresses soft and shiny.*Banana voluminising mask: Even if you have fine hair, sometimes dryness can occur, specially in winter. To make sure that you hair look hydrated, mix one mashed banana with a few drops of jojoba oil and one eggwhite. Apply this mixture and keep it on for half an hour before rinsing it with warm water.* Oil massage and towel wrap: Simply apply jojoba oil on your hair whenever you know that your hair feels dry and rough in winters. Massage the oil into your hair, section by section starting from the scalp to the ends, pack in a warm towel for 15-20 minutes. Rinse, wash and condition as usual.last_img read more

first_imgEpic Games CEO, Tim Sweeney has accused Google of being “irresponsible” for disclosing a major security flaw in the Fortnite Android Installer to the public eye before patch of this game was widely available. After the Fortnite installer went live, Google security engineers pointed out a security bug. This showed that installing the file (with .apk extension) shared by Epic Games, enabled the hackers to push malicious apps that could take over a user’s device. To make things even worse, the .apk file shared by Epic Games is the first step to follow while installing the Fortnite game. As mentioned in the Google thread, “Any app with the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission can substitute the APK immediately after the download is completed and the fingerprint is verified. This is easily done using a FileObserver. The Fortnite Installer will proceed to install the substituted (fake) APK”. Epic was quick to respond to this and took appropriate action to secure the newer Android devices from being vulnerable to the attacks. Additionally, Epic had asked Google for 90 days before making the security issue public as it would provide users with enough time to update the installers. However, last Friday, Google released a thread titled “Fortnite Installer downloads are vulnerable to hijacking” that talks about the vulnerability issues in the installer, clearly not granting Epic the requested 90 days. Google proceeded to “unrestrict the issue in line with Google’s standard disclosure practices”. Google spokesperson said that “User security is our top priority, and as part of our proactive monitoring for malware we identified a vulnerability in the Fortnite installer. We immediately notified Epic Games and they fixed the issue”. Epic games didn’t appreciate the move, and its CEO Tim Sweeney released a statement saying how “Epic genuinely appreciated Google’s effort to perform an in-depth security audit of Fortnite immediately following our release on Android, and share the results with Epic so we could speedily issue an update to fix the flaw they discovered. However, it was irresponsible of Google to publicly disclose the technical details of the flaw so quickly, while many installations had not yet been updated and were still vulnerable.” Sweeney also took to Twitter to express his disapproval regarding the situation. He even went ahead to say that this was Google’s attempt to “score cheap PR points” against Epic as they decided to release Fortnite via their own website instead of Google Play Store. This would have left Google out of the 30% cut it would’ve received with in-app purchases made on Fortnite Android. “Google’s security analysis efforts are appreciated and benefit the Android platform, however a company as powerful as Google should practice more responsible disclosure timing than this, and not endanger users in the course of its counter-PR efforts against Epic’s distribution of Fortnite outside of Google Play” as mentioned on the Fortnite blog. This is not the first time that Google has been criticized, Microsoft also accused it of disclosing its vulnerabilities before patches were made widely available. Now, whether this was really a PR move by Google against Epic cannot be verified. Epic games have now come out with a 2FA or two-factor authentication to “ help protect user accounts from unauthorized access by requiring them to enter an additional code when they sign in”. Read Next Google’s incognito location tracking scandal could be the first real test of GDPR 1k+ Google employees frustrated with continued betrayal, protest against Censored Search engine project for China Google gives Artificial Intelligence full control over cooling its data centerslast_img read more

first_img Posted by LONDON — Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise review site and online cruise community, has announced the winners of the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. The awards name the best cruise destinations of the year – across 15 regions around the world – based entirely on reviews posted to the Cruise Critic website.Popular ports include the Caribbean’s St. Maarten, which receives visits from lines including P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, and Alaska’s Glacier Bay which is visited by a number of cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line.For the British Isles and Western Europe awards, Amsterdam, which sees calls from the likes of Regent Seven Seas and Azamara Club Cruises was rated top, while Cork’s Cobh and Glasgow’s Greenock ranked second and third respectively.UK travellers rated Baltic destinations in their top three, with Stockholm first, followed by Tallinn and Copenhagen.Here’s a list of First Place Cruise Destinations:More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedTop-Rated British Isles and Western Europe Port: AmsterdamTop-Rated Alaska Port: Glacier BayTop-Rated Asia & South Pacific Port: Mystery IslandTop-Rated Australia & New Zealand Port: SydneyTop-Rated Private Islands Port: Castaway CayTop-Rated Baltic & Scandinavia Port: St. PetersburgTop-Rated Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda Port: St. MaartenTop-Rated Southern Caribbean Port: BonaireTop-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Port: CozumelTop-Rated Eastern Mediterranean Port: VeniceTop Rated European River Port: ParisTop Rated Western Mediterranean Port: BarcelonaTop-Rated Hawaii Port: KauaiTop-Rated Mexican Riviera & South America Port:  Puerto VallartaTop-Rated US & Canada Port: San FranciscoFor the full list of winners, go to cruisecritic.co.uk/memberreviews/destination-awards/. Wednesday, September 14, 2016 What are the world’s top cruise destinations? Cruise Critic says Amsterdam, St. Maarten & more << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Michael Smith last_img read more

first_img Monday, August 28, 2017 Share TORONTO — VisitBritain has announced the appointment of Gavin Landry as its Executive Vice President for the Americas, with a focus on driving new and repeat visitor growth to Britain from Canada, the U.S. and Brazil.In his new role, effective immediately, Landry’s remit is to drive new and repeat visitor growth to Britain from the Americas, focusing on key segments and top performing regions including Brazil, Canada and the U.S., as well as cities with new routes to build connectivity.His focus is also to convert the inspiration to visit into bookings by getting the right products to the right customers at the right time, developing bookable regional and seasonal products that showcase more of regional Britain working closely with tourism industry partners.With tourism a critical part of the UK Government’s agenda ahead of future trade deals, Landry will also continue to develop and strengthen strategic partnerships across the three regions.“Gavin brings a wealth of market knowledge, industry contacts and public diplomacy experience to the role,” said VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe. “We are delighted to have such an experienced industry professional leading one of our most important global regions as we continue to inspire more visitors from the Americas to put Britain top of their list as the must-go-now destination.”“I am thrilled to be joining VisitBritain at such an exciting time for tourism globally and look forward to working together with our partners across the industry to convert the desire to visit Britain into bookings and drive growth from the Americas,” said Landry.“Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and while latest statistics shows strong growth from the Americas we need to be out there promoting the message of welcome, working with partners to make it easier to travel and showcasing the amazing experiences that you can only get in Britain.”The announcement comes on the back of data released last week from the UK’s Office for National Statistics which showed that visits from North America to the UK were up 35% in June this year compared to the same month in 2016. It brings the overall number of visits from North America to the UK for January to June this year to 2.2 million visits, up 25% on the same period last year.Landry joins VisitBritain from New York State where he was Executive Director of Tourism, having led the iconic I LOVE NEW YORK (NY) program, and where he developed and implemented strategies to support growth of the tourism industry. During his tenure at I LOVE NY, Gavin and his team increased visitation to New York State by 40 million and set a program record total economic impact of US$100 billion. [PEOPLE] VisitBritain names Gavin Landry as Executive VP for the Americas Travelweek Group center_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Britain, Peoplelast_img read more

first_img Monday, June 18, 2018 Share Tags: Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines file for joint venture KAILUA-KONA — Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines have submitted paperwork seeking to join forces to potentially bring hundreds of thousands of more people to Hawaii.The airlines have recently filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Japanese government requesting immunity from antitrust laws to create a joint venture, West Hawaii Today reported Saturday.The partnership would allow the companies to co-ordinate flight schedules and share certain costs and revenues as well as work together on marketing and advertising, the airlines said in the filings.The venture would “dramatically increase seamless service options for the travelling public,” allowing the airlines to link operations in the region, they said.The partnership would open up 34 destinations to Hawaiian Airlines passengers, including service to 28 locations in Japan and six other sites, such as Guam and Hong Kong. Passengers of Japan Airlines would have access to six additional locations in Hawaii.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agency“Hawaiian, a relatively small carrier, has encountered difficulties trying to break into international markets as a new entrant,” the airline stated in the application. “The Department’s grant of (antitrust immunization) in this proceeding would allow Hawaiian to overcome these obstacles, leading to increased competition and more choices for consumers.”The companies estimate the partnership would bring an additional 162,000 to 350,000 passengers to Hawaii and generate between 1,855 and 4,049 jobs in the U.S. The U.S. economy could see annual contribution of up to $402.3 million, according to the airlines.The airlines are hoping to launch the joint venture next year if they are granted approval this year. By: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgAlmost half of all devices that receive TV services from the largest global pay TV service providers by 2015 will be PCs, smartphones, tablets and other multiscreen devices, according to the latest report from IHS Screen Digest.IHS predicts that the top 43 global pay TV operators will supply TV services to 310 million active multiscreen devices by 2015, compared with 322 million set-top boxes. Set-tops will account for 51% of receiving devices, down from 82% today, according to the report.The global set-top box base from multiscreen operators is expected to grow by 17% between 2011 and 2015, compared with 400% growth for multiscreen devices receiving pay TV services. However, multiscreen operators will account for only about a third of all set-tops installed globally by 2015, compared with about half of all set-tops today, meaning that globally, set-tops will still account for the majority of pay TV screens.last_img read more

first_imgNews Corp’s board has approved the company’s split into separate media and publishing businesses and has named the boards of the new media company, 21st Century Fox, and the new News Corp publishing business.The formal separation of the companies is expected to take place on June 28. News Corp’s board has approved the distribution of all shares of the new News Corp to the company’s stockholders in a ratio of one share of the new News Corporation for every four shares of News Corp.The board also authorized a US$500 million (€390 million) stock repurchase programme for the new News Corp following completion of the separation.The 21st Century Fox board will comprise Rupert Murdoch, James Breyer, Chase Carey, David DeVoe, Viet Dinh, Sir Roderick Eddington, James Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and Álvaro Uribe as well as new additions Delphine Arnault, director of Christian Dior, Jacques Nasser, a non-executive advisory partner of One Equity Partners and Robert Silberman, the executive chairman of Strayer Education.The new News Corp board will comprise Rupert Murdoch, José Maria Aznar, Natalie Bancroft, Peter Barnes, Elaine Chao, Joel Klein, James Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and new additions John Elkann, Ana Paula Pessoa, Masroor Siddiqui and Robert Thomson.last_img read more

first_imgThe majority of BBC staff are now based outside of London for the first time in the corporation’s history, with the shift to the regions occurring one year ahead of target. The BBC set a 12-year target in 2004 to have half its staff working in regional offices, with staff moves to Media City in Salford and Pacific Quay in Glasgow, as well as the closure of TV Centre and other London premises, designed to change the geographical bias of the BBC and make it more representative of the UK as a whole.Announcing the milestone, the BBC said that In 2007 London accounted for 58% of BBC staff, whereas now this figure has fallen to 49%.Of the non-London based staff, 17% of the corporation’s workforce is now in Salford. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland account for a further 18%, while 15% are spread throughout the rest of England.“We have sold off costly London buildings like Television Centre and moved more of our staff and programmes into the regions. It is all part of our plan to make the BBC ever more efficient and reflective of the country, with more than half our staff based outside London. The savings we are making mean more of the licence fee than ever is going on producing the best quality shows,” said Anne Bulford, the BBC’s managing director of finance and operations.last_img read more

first_imgSamsung has launched what it described as its “smartest TV ever” ahead of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.The new QLED TV series – Q9, Q8, and Q7 – is designed to let users control “most connected TV devices” from a single source, with the Samsung Smart Remote.Viewers can also use their mobile device to select and start live TV programs and video-on-demand services using Samsung’s Smart View mobile app.“In 2017, Samsung is focused on the continued evolution of its much lauded Smart TV offering, giving people the simple, unified user experience they want for all their entertainment content,” said the company.Samsung claimed that the QLED TVs offer “dramatically improved colour performance” and are capable of reproducing “100% colour volume”.HyunSuk Kim unveils the new line“With the advent of QLED TV, we provide the most true-to-life picture on screen,” said HyunSuk Kim, president of the visual display business at Samsung Electronics.Other new design features include a single, transparent ‘invisible connection’ cable, through which all peripheral devices can be gathered and connected to the TV.The news comes after Samsung announced it would introduce new smart TV services at CES this week, including personalised Sports and Music offerings.last_img read more

first_img With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passing a recommendation to bomb Syria, including McCain’s amendment to directly support the rebels, we are moving toward a new rise in the war spending trajectory. For a historical perspective, below you see a chart I developed in 2007. It calculates the inflation-adjusted costs of the Vietnam War and estimates that the war with Iraq would cost over $1 trillion or 37% more than the Vietnam War. Expenditures in Vietnam led to a self-reinforcing cycle of higher interest rates and inflation during the 1970s—leading in no small part to Nixon’s decision to remove the $35 per ounce gold exchange rate for the dollar, and to interest rates eventually rising to almost 20%. This article is about why I think interest rates are heading higher, viewed through the context of the politics of the US government’s next war. While I’d prefer to convince the world to change its course toward a more peaceful future, given the futility of trying to do so, I’ll use my time with you today presenting data, analysis, and a few opinions about the economic consequences of the march toward war that US policy is now set upon. The chart below combines defense, veterans benefits, homeland security, the State Department, and defense-related interest payments, to create a more comprehensive picture of our military spending. The chart shows the dollars spent each year; no correction is made for inflation or the relative growth of our economy and population. Such re-jiggering would make World War II and earlier wars appear more dramatic. The key point is that the US is spending a huge amount of money on its international security. With each war, or rumor of war, that came along, military spending increased. Following Iraq, we added another war in Libya and extended the war in Afghanistan far longer than planned. The combined costs, by my calculations, have now reached around $3.4 trillion. My method is simple: I add up the military spending that exceeds the 2002 level for all the years since then. If we hadn’t been facing significant international conflicts, I believe the military spending baseline of $507 billion in 2002 would have remained fairly static. The $3.4 trillion is just the increase over that baseline to date. Using the modest projections from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), my estimate is that by 2018, all future increases combined could easily add up to another $2.5 trillion. It could be much more, and it might even be less, but the most reasonable expectation is that the current crop of politicians will spend at least at that level. Those who want war seem to be able to get war. That is my basic assumption. Along the way, Congress is supposed to deal with its self-imposed ceiling on federal debt, now set at $16.73 trillion. In fact, the operations of government have already exceeded that level, but the federal government is adept at playing Enron-like games. Current Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew says he can hold off hitting the ceiling until mid-October, when the government would hypothetically shut down without Congress’ authorization for a raise. For the record, Newt Gingrich actually forced such a shutdown to happen under the Clinton presidency, which resulted in the government being forced to actually take tangible measures to cut spending at the time. The chart below shows the amount of current outstanding government debt as reported by the Treasury. The flat line at the right of the chart is the suppression of debt financing the government is now undertaking in the attempt to avoid a shutdown. Being completely distracted by the situation in Syria, Congress is not addressing the fiscal issues, and time is running out. The last time this crisis became important was in 2011, when the stock market dropped, our government debt rating was downgraded by S&P, and Congress legislated the sequester on spending that only slowed but certainly didn’t reverse the government’s accumulation of debt. Of course, this debt crisis will be resolved, as it has been in the past, by raising the ceiling. The focus on war probably means that the immigration bill won’t reach final approval, that efforts to derail Obamacare won’t reach political mass, and we already know that gun control has pretty much seen its day and gone away. But war spending and government deficits are here to stay. The attitude of our leaders is clear: they don’t care what the people think, they will be moving ahead with more spending on wars, continuing to worsen the deficit, ultimately leading to further debasement of the currency. That means higher prices, leading to inflation, and higher interest rates. On that last point, as you can see in the chart here, the rate on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury is now just two basis points below 3% and moving higher as I write: There is, of course, much more to this discussion than time and space allow for here. In the next edition of The Casey Report, I’ll go into details on what’s coming and the specific actions you can take to successfully invest in an environment of rising interest rates. As it is standard policy at Casey Research to offer risk-free 3-month trials with money-back guarantee for all our publications, you can sign up to read my deeper research in the next edition of The Casey Report by clicking here.last_img read more

first_img TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 15,569.92 15,187.71 12,845.06 Oil 93.29 97.38 108.37 Rock & Stock Stats Last Gold 1,268.80 1,284.60 1,372.60 One Year Ago Dear Reader, We want to know what you think. In his article below, Jeff Clark outlines several reasons to be bullish or bearish on precious metals. You know what we think, but we’re interested in your take—and your intentions. If you’re game, please send an email to subscribers@caseyresearch.com and in 25 words or fewer, tell us your position and reasoning. For example: BOLD: Wall Street is due for a fall, and gold will rise in response. HOLD: Phony government numbers have fooled the public into thinking all is well, so gold may not rise for some time. FOLD: Obama saved us all, and you guys don’t know what you’re talking about. I only subscribe because I think Jeff Clark is cute. We may quote some of the more interesting remarks (light editing for grammar/spelling only), but will include only a first name and last initial to respect your privacy. Note that we recognize various points of view, which is why we have some bets on metals other than gold and silver—our platinum-palladium miner has worked out quite well this year, for instance—and we’ve taken out a new “gold insurance policy” via puts on GLD, in case the market turns against us for a while. The latter is already in the black, as of last week. Remember also that Doug Casey always says that smart speculators don’t put all their eggs in one basket, which is why these dispatches focus on metals and mining on Mondays and other market sectors on other days. Our colleagues in other Casey departments have some great opportunities shaping up. The right tech specs, for example, could hedge your mineral exploration specs. Some of our tech picks have already yielded triple-digit returns this year. As it happens, we’re offering subscribers our best bargain on a subscription package deal, but only for a limited time. When you upgrade your subscription to a Casey OnePass, you get ALL of our monthly newsletters for $1,749 per year. That’s over $2,000 off. Special discounts for Alert subscribers apply. Check it out, diversify, and don’t miss out. Sincerely, Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Gold Producers (GDX) 25.07 26.10 27.53center_img Silver 19.20 19.83 23.21 Silver Stocks (SIL) 12.75 13.70 15.09 Copper 3.16 3.20 3.24 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 39.30 41.33 46.07 One Month Ago TSX Venture 994.89 993.87 947.78last_img read more

first_imgIt was the first — and only — time Dr. Naveed Khan, a 35-year-old radiologist, ever rode in an all-terrain vehicle.Khan took the wheel from his friend and drove circles in the sand, on a trail along the Red River in Texas.”As soon as I turned to the side where my body weight was, this two-seater vehicle … just tilted toward the side and toppled,” Khan recalled. It landed on his left arm.”I had about a 6-inch-wide exposed flesh gap that I could see below, on my forearm,” he said. “And I could see muscle. I could see the fat. I could see the skin. The blood was pooling around it.”Khan, feeling lightheaded, tied his jacket around his arm like a tourniquet. He and his friend managed to right the ATV, drive back toward the street and call 911.When an ambulance delivered him to the emergency room at United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Khan was surprised to hear a doctor murmur that it was the worst arm injury he’d ever seen.Khan needed immediate helicopter transport to a trauma center for surgery in Fort Worth, if there was any hope of saving the arm.Groggy from painkillers, Khan managed to ask the doctors how much the flight would cost and whether it would be covered by his insurer. “I think they told my friend, ‘He needs to stop asking questions. He needs to get on that helicopter. He doesn’t realize how serious this injury is,’ ” Khan recalled.Flown 108 miles to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, the closest Level I trauma center, Khan was whisked into surgery to clean out the wound, repair his shattered bones and get blood flowing to the tissue.He had a total of eight operations to try to save his left forearm before he finally gave up. After weeks in the hospital, he asked the doctors to amputate, so he could get on with his life.And then the bill came.Patient: Naveed Khan, 35, a radiologist and married father of three young children in Southlake, Texas.Total bill: $56,603 for an air ambulance flight. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Khan’s insurer, paid $11,972, after initially refusing altogether; the medevac company billed Khan for the remaining $44,631.Service provider: Air Evac Lifeteam, an air ambulance company that operates 130 bases in 15 states. It’s owned by Air Medical Group Holdings, a holding company that owns four other air ambulance companies and one ground ambulance company. Air Medical, in turn, is owned by the giant private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.Medical service: Khan was flown from the United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Texas, to the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.What gives: Khan got his first call from Air Evac Lifeteam just three days after the accident, while he was still lying in the hospital. A company representative told him the helicopter ride would most likely cost more than $50,000 and asked him how he planned to pay.For Khan, rapid transportation to the trauma center was essential since the blood supply to his arm had been cut off, said Dr. Rajesh Gandhi, the medical director for trauma services at JPS Hospital.”If there’s no blood going that means there’s no oxygen,” he said. “It there’s no oxygen, that means those cells are going to die.” Minutes are precious and the helicopter can get from Wichita Falls to Fort Worth in an hour or less, half the time it takes by ground ambulance, he said.But complaints about sky-high bills to patients for air ambulance services are common. Since launching the “Bill of the Month” series in February, NPR and Kaiser Health News have received more than a dozen bills from patients like Khan who were charged tens of thousands of dollars for an air ambulance ride even after insurers’ payments.Air ambulance companies defend their charges.Rick Sherlock, president of the Association of Air Medical Services, a trade group, said air ambulances require a more highly trained crew than a ground ambulance, because only the sickest or most seriously injured patients need air transport.AAMS commissioned a study to determine the actual cost of a medevac ride. The report found it takes about $2.9 million a year to run a single helicopter base. Each base handles about 300 transports a year, and the rides cost about $11,000 each, according to the report.A spokeswoman for Air Evac Lifeteam said the company bills people so much because it is trying to make up for what she said are meager payments from Medicare and Medicaid.”Our real cost per flight is the $10,200 plus the unreimbursed cost on each flight for Medicare, Medicaid and patients without any coverage,” wrote Shelly Schneider, the company spokeswoman.The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it pays an average of $4,624 per ride, plus $31.67 a mile, which works out to an average Medicare reimbursement of $6,556 for helicopter ambulance rides for seniors. Medicaid in most states pays less.The industry has been advocating hard to get Medicare to boost its reimbursements, Sherlock said. There are bills pending in both the House and Senate that would do so, but there hasn’t been much movement on them.But others say the industry’s cost estimates are inflated by profit-driven expansion of a lucrative industry. Ground ambulances often carry critically ill patients, too.Too many air ambulances sit idle much of the time, said Dr. Ira Blumen, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Chicago and medical director of the university’s Aeromedical Network.Blumen said the industry — which is dominated by a few companies owned by private equity firms — expanded dramatically in 2002, the last time Medicare boosted its payments. And now there are too many helicopters — 908 as of last year — fighting for patients and profits at the same time.”The number of helicopters is outrageous for the continental United States,” he said. In the 1990s, most helicopters ran more than 500 flights per year on average. At that rate, the cost per flight today would be less than $6,000.A BCBS of Texas spokesman said the insurer does have a contracted rate with an in-network air ambulance company, but it is not Air Evac Lifeteam. After initially refusing to pay anything for an out-of-network claim, it agreed to the $11,972 payment.But in some sense, the reason ambulance companies charge so much is simply that they can: Air ambulances are largely regulated not as health care but as part of the aviation industry. Federal laws prevent states from limiting aviation rates, routes and services.So many people have been hit with shockingly high air ambulance bills that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are trying to do something about it. Legislation to reauthorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration that is moving through Congress now would create a council of industry experts to address balance billing and other issues and set up a complaint line for consumers.Resolution: Khan has allowed Air Evac Lifeteam to negotiate with BCBS of Texas over the remaining $44,000 air ambulance bill. The company has asked him to appeal to the state’s Department of Insurance, and though he first balked at the suggestion, he is now considering doing so. Khan says he doesn’t understand why the helicopter flight, which was an integral part of the emergency medical care he received, is treated differently from his surgeries, nursing care and physical therapy.”I thought that this was another piece of that puzzle,” he said. “It turns out that this was glaringly different.”He is waiting for resolution as he gets accustomed to life with his disability. Holding his baby son, he asked in frustration: “How do I hold him while he’s crying and at the same time heat up his bottle?”Khan, who has had to fight with his insurance company to get coverage for a prosthetic arm, is frustrated when he learns that the air ambulance company expects him to pay far more than the actual cost of his flight.”It’s unfair,” he says. “It’s random; it’s arbitrary. It’s whatever price they want to set. And to put that onto a person who’s already been through what I’ve been through, I hate to say it, but it’s cruel.”The takeaway: Most people with health problems serious enough to require a helicopter flight are in no position to ask whether the medevac company is in-network or there’s a choice. But if you or a family member has time to ask, it could pay off.If you’re faced with a huge bill for a medevac ride, there are a few steps you should take.First, let your insurer’s process play out. BCBS of Texas first denied Khan’s claim altogether. But he looked closely at his policy and saw that the threat of loss of limb was explicitly covered. He appealed, and that’s when the insurer paid $11,972.Second, negotiate! The air ambulance company might be willing to negotiate a settlement for a fraction of the bill to avoid turning to debt collectors, who would pay them pennies on the dollar.Both Sherlock of the Association of Air Medical Services and Schneider of Air Evac Lifeteam said companies will try to determine what a patient can afford. So people with high incomes may find it hard to obtain a substantial reduction for their bill. Still, if patients know the true cost of the service they received, they may be better equipped to negotiate a discount.Many air ambulance companies offer membership plans that can cost less than $100 a year and guarantee that the company will accept whatever payment an insurance company makes without billing the patient for the rest. But buyer, beware: When people need an air ambulance, they are often not in a position to choose which company will respond to the call.Bill of the Month is a crowdsourced investigation by Kaiser Health News and NPR that dissects and explains medical bills. Do you have an interesting medical bill you want to share with us? Tell us about it! Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

first_imgA disabled lawyer could seek a judicial review of the Scottish government’s draft budget, which he claims discriminates against disabled people by cutting hundreds of millions of pounds from local authority funding.Daniel Donaldson (pictured), director of Legal Spark Law Centre in Glasgow, is discussing a possible legal action with disabled people and their organisations concerned about the implications of this month’s budget.He said Legal Spark was being contacted by increasing numbers of disabled people who have faced “unfair reassessments” of their support packages by cost-cutting councils, even before the SNP budget saw proposed cuts of £350 million to council funding, a reduction of 3.5 per cent.Donaldson said: “We cannot see how the Scottish government’s current budget complies with their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.“It is reasonably foreseeable that if you cut services within the public sector, that the people who rely the most on those services will be adversely affected.“Disabled people and the carers of disabled people rely on the support they receive from the public sector.“It is therefore arguable that the budget proposed by the finance secretary discriminates against both disabled people and their carers.“No-one should have to face discrimination, or have their dignity violated as a result of cuts in the public sector.”Donaldson pointed to last week’s statement by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), which described the budget cuts as “totally unacceptable” and “catastrophic for jobs and services within Scottish local government”, including those for older and disabled people.He is hoping to avoid a judicial review by obtaining a written pledge from finance secretary John Swinney that support for disabled people and carers will not be cut as a result of the budget.A Scottish government spokeswoman said its budget “does not discriminate” and that its budget equality statement had been an “integral part” of the budget process.She said: “Despite ongoing cuts to our budget as a result of the UK government’s continuing austerity programme, the Scottish government is continuing to protect people and treat local government very fairly with settlements maintained on a like-for-like basis over 2012-16.“This is part of an overall budget which has protected the third sector and equality budgets, maintained welfare mitigation funding, invested in energy efficiency and fuel poverty measures, and will see us boost the supply of affordable homes and homes for social rent.“Local government in Scotland starts from a healthy base, especially compared to the position in England where councils faced a significant real terms cut in funding.“This funding proposal delivers a strong but challenging financial settlement for local government which will be strengthened by our joint working to improve outcomes for local people through health and social care integration.”But Donaldson said that the Scottish government’s Fly the Flag for Human Rights campaign and its consultation on implementing the UN disability convention were meaningless unless it took positive action to give “tangible meaning” to words such as “equality, human rights, dignity and respect”.He is now hoping to hear from more disabled people interested in taking legal action against the Scottish government*.*Daniel Donaldson can be contacted via email at contact@legalspark.co.uklast_img read more