Chelsea manager Lampard announces Jorginho as vice-captainby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard has announced Jorginho is the club’s vice-captain.Last season Gary Cahill was selected as club captain whenever he was on the pitch by Maurizio Sarri, with Cesar Azpilicueta named as vice-captain – but the Spaniard has now become the club captain.Speaking ahead of the game against Southampton on Sunday, Lampard said: “Yes, Jorginho is vice-captain as it stands. [Azpilicueta] is the captain and that was clear at the start of the season and I think his professionalism and career here speaks for itself. “Jorginho, I keep talking about him, is a character and a driver. It is very evident to see on the pitch. That’s the situation as it stands.” While the 27-year-old is not fluent in English, he has been boosting his language skills in a bid to improve his standing as a leader. Lampard says he believes Jorginho is “a character and a driver” on and off the pitch.”It is obviously important, we always try here to push that along as soon as players come in because communication is key on and off the pitch,” Lampard said. “He crosses the borders as it is easy when you come in sometimes to stay within groups of nationalities. Jorginho doesn’t. He is a driver on and off the pitch.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
The Government has officially recognised the Church of Haile Selassie I as part of the religious expression of the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica.This follows the passage of the Church of Haile Selassie I (Incorporation and Vesting) Act, 2013 in the Senate on Friday, October 25, after it was approved by the House of Representatives on October 8.Piloting the Bill in the Upper House, Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, noted that the legislative establishment of the Church of Haile Selassie I will further legitimise the faith and religious practices of Rastafarians and their families.Noting that this signals a historic moment in Jamaica, Senator Golding said he is particularly pleased that after spending several years before the Private Bill Committee of Parliament, the legislation “has finally successfully emerged from that process”.The Bill seeks to make provision for the incorporation of the Church of Haile Selassie I and to vest certain assets in the church and to allow it to hold property.Supporting the Bill, Opposition Senator, Robert Montague, said he is pleased that a “home grown” religion, has finally received legal status and state recognition in Jamaica.“The Rastafarian movement has contributed significantly and positively to our history. There have been incidences in the past that would need, maybe, some investigation, and lessons can be learned from that…and to encourage the Minister to reach out to the other sector groups so that they too can be legitimate,” he said.Government Senator, Lambert Brown also gave his support for the Bill, contending that it “has been a long road for the Rastafarians” who have been setting positive examples and have been preaching self-reliance as part of the way forward for the country.“I’m happy to associate with all of the progressive and positive contributions that the Rastafarians (have made to the country). Despite oppression, despite brutality, despite all the negative things said about them by high society, they have led the way. I’m very happy that today, I can participate where we recognise the religious practices of a group of Rastafarians….I’m happy that we are recognising them today and allowing them to be part of the system, because they have been positive,” he said.Among the aims and objectives of the church are to develop the social and administrative mechanisms to organise and centralise the Rastafarian movement according to the operational guidelines, which the federation and the movement see fit; to achieve official recognition for the federation and Rastafarians, leading towards democratic representation; and to provide cultural and political education for members of the federation, Rastafarians and for others, who conscientiously wish to become informed about the movement.The Church of Haile Selassie I was formed in 1987, by Brother Emmanuel Fox, a Rastafarian activist along with other brethrens.
zoom Japanese shipping company Nisshin Shipping has been linked to an order for up to seven 82,000 DWT bulkers at China’s Jiangsu Hantong Ship Heavy Industries.The fleet modernization deal, dated last week, comprises five firm orders plus two options, according to the data provided by VesselsValue.The firm Panamax bulkers, valued at USD 24 million a piece, are scheduled for delivery in 2018, while the optional units would be handed over in 2019.Including the latest order, the company has 16 newbuilds on order: five chemical tankers at compatriot Usuki Zosensho, four LR1 tankers at Korea’s Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, and two more bulkers at China’s Jiangsu Hantong and Jiangmen Nanyang, respectively.Out of the above total, six ships are to join Nisshin’s fleet by the end of this year.As World Maritime News reported earlier, the company was busy over the recent period shedding some of its second-hand tonnage, including five Panamax bulkers since December 2016.World Maritime News Staff
The NCAA Board of Directors released a new, more stringent set of rules Tuesday for enforcing athletic programs’ adherence to codes of conduct. The new rules try to simplify and accelerate what has traditionally been a long and complicated rule-enforcing process. The rules also aim to increase the severity of the sanctions and make punishments more uniform instead of treating things on a case-by-case basis, according to the announcement posted on the institution’s website. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, first-year OSU football coach Urban Meyer and other Big Ten Conference football coaches voiced support of the revamped enforcement structure. Smith said he agrees with the new rules and says they help fix a “flawed” system. “I am supportive of the new legislation,” Smith said in an email. “It provides clarity and transparency to a system of enforcement and infraction management that was flawed. It also will improve the ability for cases to be handled more expeditiously.” Meyer said he was in favor of updating the “antiquated” system of enforcement as well. “I’m fully supportive of it. I appreciate the NCAA revisiting the discipline structure … I am in full support of very stringent penalties and keeping, or even restoring, the integrity of college football,” Meyer said during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference. “Throughout history, the only way to keep civilization and keep things in order is to have very strong rules and enforce them. Clear rules with very firm, swift punishment.” During the weekly teleconference, several coaches spoke on the issue, with Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini saying they were fine with added responsibility for a coach. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, who was also on the call, agreed with them. “There’s no question, the level of transparency and the level of accountability needs to go up,” Fitzgerald said. “And the No. 1 person that needs to be held accountable for the coaching staff’s actions are the head coach. That’s why you are called the head coach. I think the NCAA is taking some really positive steps.” Another change involves holding head coaches more accountable for the actions of their staff. Now, violations by any member of the staff will reflect on the head coach, unless he or she can prove their personal effort for “promoting an atmosphere of compliance.” There was also a change in tiers of violations. Rather than categorizing a violation as “major” or “secondary,” there will be four levels, with a Level I violation being the most severe. The NCAA could potentially disqualify a team for multiple years of postseason play and fine the program millions of dollars for a Level I violation. Other consequences for various levels of infractions include harsher scholarship reductions, recruiting limits and head coach suspensions. Suspensions for coaches, as well as programs, can range from 10 percent of the season to a full season. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions will expand from 10 members to 24, speeding up the infractions process and handing out violations in a more timely manner. In OSU football’s case, this could have meant serving out OSU’s bowl ineligibility during the 2011 season rather than the current season. The last of the most significant changes in the new set of rules includes a more consistent penalty system. Sanctions will no longer be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and the new standards will ensure equal treatment – and punishment – across the NCAA. NCAA President Mark Emmert said the rules aim to eliminate the temptation for teams to do whatever it takes to win. “We have sought all along to remove the ‘risk-reward’ analysis that has tempted people – often because of the financial pressures to win at all costs – to break the rules in the hopes that either they won’t be caught or that the consequences won’t be very harsh if they do get caught,” Emmert said during a press conference Tuesday. “The new system the board adopted today is the result of a lot of hard work and membership input devoted to protecting the collegiate model.” Emmert began the process of establishing a new set of rules in August 2011. The new enforcement structure will take effect on Aug. 1, 2013. Dan Hope and Evan Speyer contributed to this story.
Urban Meyer looks on during the OSU Spring Game April 12 at Ohio Stadium. The Gray defeated Scarlet, 17-7.Credit: Mark Batke / For The LanternThe most publicized position in all of sports is arguably the quarterback position, and at Ohio State, even the backup spot is a point of emphasis.With senior Braxton Miller out for the spring after undergoing minor shoulder surgery in February, the competition to see who would be his backup became a big storyline throughout spring practice.The two players most likely to fall next in line behind Miller — redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett — both got their chances to shine in front of 61,058 people Saturday, and neither seemed comfortable for a majority of the game.Neither quarterback accounted for a touchdown. However, Barrett nearly broke free twice after keeping the ball on designed run plays before being whistled down. Both he and Jones sported black, no-contact jerseys once the game got under way.Barrett finished the game 17-33 passing for 151 yards, also rushing for 25 yards on six carries. He led a pair of 80-yard scoring drives, while also leading a 90-yard drive that stalled on fourth and goal.Jones, who coach Urban Meyer said after the game is in position to be Miller’s backup, got off to a very slow start. He headed into halftime just 6-15 passing for seven yards, including a pass play that resulted in a loss of 12 yards. After losing the ball in the end zone, Jones was forced to find a receiver in order to avoid a safety and dumped it off to junior wide receiver Kato Mitchell, who was well behind the line of scrimmage.Jones improved his game in the second half, as he finished the game 14-31 passing for 126 yards while also rushing for 21 yards on four carries.Meyer said he was unhappy with Jones’ performance.“Cardale was disappointing,” Meyer said after the game. “I thought he made some misses today, but I’m not going to let that ruin his spring. He’s had a good spring for us.”Despite a poor performance, Jones said he was excited to finally be on the field.“It was pretty cool,” Jones said after the game. “I’ve been waiting for a long time and I’ve still got work to do to enhance my ability.”Junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker, who sits as the lone returning starter on the OSU offensive line, said he was pleased that under the pressure of performing in front of a large crowd, the young quarterbacks didn’t buckle.“To see that calmness in a quarterback, even though they may be a new guy, it’s still good to see from an offensive lineman standpoint,” Decker, who hardly saw time on the field Saturday, said.The lone turnover committed by a quarterback was early on when Barrett — despite wearing the no-contact jersey — was hit from behind, forcing him to lose the ball in his own end zone. Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Rashad Frazier forced the fumble, then pounced on it, resulting in the Scarlet’s only touchdown of the game.When asked if he thought he had locked up the backup spot, Jones was concise.“Oh no, not at all,” Jones said.The Buckeye quarterbacks have all summer to improve before fall camp opens, and OSU is scheduled to open the 2014 season at M&T Bank Stadium against Navy on Aug. 30 at noon.
Members of the OSU field hockey team celebrate during a game against Ball State on Sept. 14 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU won, 3-2, in overtime.Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerJunior forward Peanut Johnson’s breakaway overtime goal gave the Ohio State field hockey team a 3-2 victory Sunday against the Ball State Cardinals to salvage a split of its weekend series.OSU (2-3) returned home Sunday after losing 1-0 to Ohio University (1-3) in Athens, Ohio, Friday night.The Buckeyes showed resiliency as they battled back in overtime after losing a 2-0 lead to the Cardinals.Ball State (3-2) converted off a penalty corner from senior midfielder Tori Widrick that led to an equalizing goal from sophomore midfielder Merinda Morley with 11 minutes left in regulation.In overtime, freshman midfielder Maddy Humphrey grabbed a steal in OSU’s offensive zone and quickly fired a pass to Johnson, who connected on the game winner in front of the net.“I kinda got in the zone,” Humphrey said about her crucial steal and assist. “Last week in our game against Ohio I had the same type of play, but I didn’t (center) it that well. So I did the same play, but I did it well.”OSU jumped out to its early lead thanks to two quick goals from freshman forward Annabel Sams.Sams crossed in front of the net a little more than seven minutes into the game and scored on a pass from Johnson for her first career goal.A minute later, Sams was on the board again off an assist from her fellow freshman, Humphrey.“We started out so quick,” Sams said. “We found each other. We found passes like with my first two goals.”OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she was proud of her team’s effort. She moved Sams from her normal forward position to the midfield Sunday in order to utilize her athleticism, and said was very pleased.“We were able to create more space for her there,” Wilkinson said. “She’s good at coming from behind and attacking.”Wilkinson said she was happy to see her freshman making contributions to the team in such a big way.“It’s exciting,” Wilkinson said. “I’ve been watching them play for a few years now at a different level, but it’s nice to finally get them on the field (for OSU) and competing.”The Buckeyes lost a closely contested matchup with the Ohio Bobcats Friday before their recovery against the Cardinals.The defenses were on display with both teams combining for four shots in the first half. The game picked up a little in the second frame, but the Buckeyes were unable to capitalize despite outshooting the Bobcats, 10-6.The game’s lone goal came off a rebound shot from Ohio freshman Megan Silveira with 18:55 remaining in the game. The goal snuck just past OSU freshman goalkeeper Liz Tamburro.Friday and Sunday marked the first two times Tamburro did not record double-digit saves in 2014. She saved three shots against the Bobcats and four against the Cardinals.OSU is set to begin Big Ten play Sept. 19 against Michigan State at 3 p.m. at Buckeye Varsity Field.
Juventus director Fabio Paratici recently launched a scathing attack on the doubters of Cristiano Ronaldo, suggesting only a madman will doubt his abilities even if he doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or.Reports are rife the Portugal international won’t make the top three for the accolade this year, despite helping Real Madrid to retain their third consecutive Champions League title.“Only a madman would say Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t a great player, one of the most important in the history of football,” Paratici told Football Italia just 24 hours after he was formally appointed new director general.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“It seems strange that he won’t win the Ballon d’Or after 15 decisive goals last season, and unfortunately we know about that, as some of them were against us.”Paratici replaces Beppe Marotta, who is now on the verge of taking on a new job with Inter.“I am very fond of Marotta personally, he is a great director and I am sure he’ll prove that at Inter too.”
WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington).#15) What you will do at the State House to ensure that our local police and fire departments have what they need to adequately protect us? Do you support a fire substation in North Wilmington? Did you/do you support the construction of the new center fire station in Tewksbury that was approved last year?I have and continue to be supportive of our local police and fire departments. As a taxpayer and prior member of the Wilmington Board of Selectmen, I have supported collective bargaining contracts, capital improvement expenditures and training for both departments throughout the years. As a future State Representative, I will continue to support the public safety officials of the 19th Middlesex District in any manner possible through state funding and programs that will ensure at the end of their shifts our public safety officials have the greatest chance of going home to their families safely. It has been an absolute travesty regarding the increase in police officers being shot and injured and in some cases killed. I would support state legislation that is focused on protecting the men and women who serve and protect us every day in our communities. For both police and fire, I would be open and supportive of state training initiatives that focus on the training, health and welfare of our public safety officials.Regarding the North Wilmington substation, I truly believe one is necessary more now than ever. The growth and development in Wilmington continues and there is a definite need in the north side of town especially with the train tracks near Elia’s and off of Salem Street. I fully recognize this substation will come with some upfront costs relative to the build and an increase in staffing, capital equipment, potential overtime costs, etc. However, I think this substation is vital and frankly long overdue. As a State Representative, I will be open and supportive of a project such as this assuming it is well planned out with fiscal responsibility and present and future needs in mind. As a State Representative, I would also be committed to seeking any available state funding sources to assist with this project.Additionally, I would support a new center fire station in Tewksbury that was approved last year. The people of the community have spoken and this project is coming forward because there is a need. Once again, I am very receptive and supportive of doing what is necessary for our 19th Middlesex District public safety. If this is a need and the current infrastructure will not be sustainable for the foreseeable future, I believe it makes sense to consider construction now as construction costs, financing options, etc. continue to be on the rise. Therefore, the project you don’t do today will definitely cost you more tomorrow. In closing, I will say that the police and fire departments of both communities within the 19th Middlesex District are the life line for all of us to turn to in a time of need. These fine men and women deserve our respect and our attention in ensuring they all have what they need to do their jobs to ensure our continued public safety as well as their own.#16) The Vietnam War Moving Wall recently visited Wilmington. It was a sobering reminder of what the men and women in our armed forces are willing to sacrifice to preserve our freedom. What will you do at the State House to support our local veterans and veterans statewide? What, if anything, have you done as a private citizen and/or locally elected official that shows a commitment to veterans? Do you personally have any family that serves/served?As a patriotic person and as a prior Selectman for the Town of Wilmington, I have always been supportive of our Veterans. As you have stated, these men and women in our armed forces have and continue to be willing to sacrifice to preserve our freedom. These people are the true heroes among us and they deserve to be respected and cared for in the most appropriate manners possible.As a State Representative, I will continue to support the Veterans’ programs throughout the state from VA services, to state hospital services, to Veterans’ housing initiatives, to social and emotional programs and funding and the list goes on. The needs for our Veterans is ever changing and spans across many subject areas. These brave men and women are often called upon to “unplug” from their current lives inclusive of their family and friends and go to foreign lands to serve and protect the American freedoms so many of us enjoy. It’s important as a society and for the next State Representative for the 19th Middlesex District to be cognizant of these facts and help these community heroes integrate back into their daily routine upon their return right here at home. This is not always an easy process as there are often health care needs and costs, mental health needs, etc. that our Veterans need help with as part of this re-integration and it’s imperative that local cities and towns and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continue to provide assistance across all these matters. The incidence of PTSD and suicide among Veterans is continuing to drastically rise and as a state and within our local communities we need to continue our care and concerns for these most deserving people who truly need our help. I am committed to this personally and as a future State Representative for many reasons and simply stated because it’s the right thing to do!As a prior elected official for some time I have always supported any Veterans’ related matter that came before the Board of Selectmen such as discussions about a Veteran’s related event and the list goes on. I can say that all of my colleagues on the Board of Selectmen have and continue to support our Veterans and the Veterans’ Services provided by Lou Cimaglia and his team in Wilmington. As a private citizen, I have attended fundraisers for Veterans, I have supported the Disabled Veterans and I have provided transportation for a friend and family to the various VA facilities when called upon. I have also been a supporter of the Wilmington Local Heroes and iPods for Wounded Veterans as I proudly wear my red, white and blue bracelet that was made for me and purchased at the Wilmington Senior Center a few months ago. Also, I was happy to volunteer for the Vietnam War Moving Wall that was just here last week. I attended multiple nights of ceremonies and I was truly moved by the whole experience. As Lou Cimaglia said it best, “the attendance during the time the wall was here shows that Wilmington doesn’t forget and will never forget our Veterans and more specifically our Vietnam Veterans.”Regarding family members who have served in the military, I have many who have served and also have been residents of the 19th Middlesex District. I am so proud of their service to our country and they will forever have my respect and admiration for wearing a military uniform. My great grandparents, grandparents, cousins and brother have all served in the armed forces. Also, I have step parents and in-laws who have also served in the military. My father-in-law from Tewksbury was a soldier and part of the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam who I respect tremendously as a human being, a family man, a friend and for his service to our country. He is also my personal historian who shared the facts about this war and history in general which I have so much appreciated throughout the years. In closing, I want to once again express my unwavering support for our Veterans and my commitment to advocating for as much funding, benefits and support as possible for the brave men and women of our armed forces both past and present who serve our country.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Judy O’Connell Addresses Allegations Of Federal Tax Liens On Her HomeIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses State Rep Pay, Environmental IssuesIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Pina Prinzivalli Discusses What She’ll Do To Support Police, Fire & Veterans If ElectedIn “Government”
LOWELL, MA — The Middlesex Community College Foundation awarded $43,000 in scholarships for outstanding academic achievement to 21 Middlesex students as part of its 2019 spring fundraiser, “Piano Men,” held recently in the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.Pranay Rai, of Lowell, was awarded the James C. and Judith G. Mabry Completion Scholarship. This award was established at the inauguration of MCC President James Mabry in 2015. The scholarship is awarded to assist a worthy student with the completion of an associate degree at Middlesex.Michelle Davis, of Lowell, was awarded the Dr. Carole A. Cowan Scholarship. Established in honor of Cowan, former MCC President, this award provides financial assistance to a deserving Middlesex student who is a member of the Commonwealth Honors Program.Kaitlin Fung, of Acton, was awarded the Debra Chemelli-Evans Scholarship. This award was established in memory of the daughter of William Chemelli, former chairman of the MCC Board of Trustees, and member of the MCC Foundation Board.Eight students were awarded Commonwealth Honors Program Scholarships:Juan Breton (Lowell)Brittany Brown (Westford)Adam Goulet (Waltham)Joseph Ivers (Bedford)Genesis Martinez (Lawrence)Isabel Pagano (Peterborough, N.H.)Connor Powell (Andover)Abigail Zegowitz (Westford)Ten students were awarded Lowell Connections Scholarships:Thearith Chhom (Lowell)Trevor Dumais (Lowell)Ari Primak (Andover)Kiss Quick (Lowell)Leang Sam, LowellNatalia Silva (Nashua, N.H.)Eliza Slocum (Haverhill)Theara Sok (Lowell)Vilyratna Sok (Lowell)Erin Trodden (Wilmington)Since 1988, the Middlesex Community College Foundation has generated income through revenue from investments managed by the MCC Foundation Board of Directors, proceeds from the college’s spring fundraiser, the Middlesex Fund, and other programs and campaigns.(NOTE: The above press release is from Middlesex Community College.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Tavares Receives Scholarship At Middlesex Community CollegeIn “Education”Middlesex Community College Offers To Help Wilmington’s ITT Tech StudentsIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Katie McManus Receives Scholarship From New England Parenteral Drug AssociationIn “Education”
0 Post a comment $999 All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 $999 Justin Jaffe/CNET Samsung announced new software for its smart refrigerator, the Family Hub, during its press conference at CES in Las Vegas. The upgrade features some new interface tweaks and puts more emphasis on the company’s virtual assistant, Bixby. It doesn’t seem to mark a serious departure form the original Family Hub, which debuted in 2015.The Family Hub already has built-in Bixby controls, and the touchscreen on the fridge is basically a big Tizen device with an extremely limited number of apps. Samsung keeps updating the software with tweaks to the layout and the Bixby capabilities, but, so far, it’s been mostly baby steps.In addition to all of the standard features you’d find in a refrigerator, the Family Hub, through Bixby, can provide answers to questions and handle a bunch of kitchen-related tasks including searching for recipes. Bixby can also give family members a “morning brief” that includes both a verbal report and screen-based readout of the weather and news. The Family Hub also includes a “View Inside” feature that uses cameras to let you see what’s inside your fridge remotely. New features will be available via an automatic update for most earlier Family Hub models.This year, Samsung said Bixby will be embedded in its 2019 QLED and premium TVs, and other smart appliances like washers as well as air conditioners, mobile devices, AI speakers and more. See it Boost Mobile See It CES 2019 1:48 Samsung MicroLED TV comes closer to reality in 75-inch… Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Share your voice Over-the-air wireless charging will come to the smartphone Samsung’s CES 2019 robots just want to give you a helping hand The weirdest, wackiest products from the show See all our CES coverage See also $999 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Smart Home Refrigerators Best Buy $999 See It 85 Photos CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Sprint Now playing: Watch this: See It CES Products Samsung Apple iPhone XS CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Tags
Post a comment Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 1:53 Niantic is expanding its footprint in Harry Potter’s home country. Portkey Games It’s a big week for Niantic, which expanded its UK studio just before Harry Potter: Wizards Unite lands in the US and UK (here’s how you get started playing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite). The Pokemon Go developer acquired London-based Sensible Object, known for games like the AR-tabletop hybrid Beasts of Balance and Amazon Alexa-powered When in Rome, which basically combine physical and digital experiences.It’ll spearhead Niantic London along with Matrix Mill, an AI and machine vision research team Niantic bought in 2018, GamesIndustry noted. The studio’s older games will still be supported, former Sensible Objects studio head Alex Fleetwood (who’s now leading Niantic London) said in a blog post.Versus: Harry Potter: Wizards Unit beats Pokemon Go every way but one Tags 19 Photos Pokemon Go Harry Potter Mobile Gaming The coolest Pokemon collectibles “CEO John Hanke and his team have an incredible, progressive vision for the future of play that resonates deeply with us; building global communities, pioneering new forms of augmented reality, and helping people get outside, get exercise and connect with one another in the real world,” he wrote.The post includes a photo of the team, one of whose members is holding a Vaporeon plush — perhaps suggesting that they’ll be focusing on Pokemon Go initially.Hanke, Niantic’s boss, hinted that the London team’s experience fits nicely with the company’s gaming ambitions.”We’re excited about Sensible Object joining Niantic as it significantly advances our efforts in developing a wide range of gaming experiences that bring the physical and digital world closer together,” Hanke said in a separate post. “The team’s deep roots in large-scale outdoor activations in particular is very complementary to the many Niantic real world events we host around the world to engage with our loyal players.”It’d be pretty exciting to see the former Sensible Object team bringing its hybrid approach to Pokemon Go or Wizards Unite, especially as Niantic faces major competition from Microsoft’s upcoming AR game Minecraft Earth.First published at 3:25 a.m. PT.Updated at 4 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. 0 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay details revealed
When monsoon hits in, its prudent to take care of your swimming pools for your health.Though a proper circulation will ensure cleanliness by default, one may have to make just a bit of an extra effort to continue the delightful swimming experience during the monsoons. Vivek Mishra, MD of Premium Pools suggests some ways to go about it.When it rains, the pH levels of the water in the pool needs to be monitored all the more as the first rain at times is acidic, can play havoc in addition to getting dirty and contaminated water. It can get dangerous as well since harmful and toxic substances from the atmosphere may get mixed with the pool water. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’So overall, the imbalance in the chemical composition of the pool water may rise. The rains will also bring along a lot of organic materials like pollen etc that gets accumulated in the pool. Within hours of the first shower of the monsoon, a significant variation in pool’s water quality can easily be noticed. For extreme weather conditions including monsoons, one can go for a pool enclosures or covers to eliminate any kind of water contamination. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA few more things can be done on an ad-hoc basis:Brushing the pool walls : this helps in eliminating the wild shrubs that might grow within the wall tiles. Also, this would help remove any fungal growth on the tiles surrounding the pool even deck area. Regular Chlorination : Adding chlorine tablets will help in preventing the growth of bacteria and even algae. Although the main cause of algae is stagnant water, routine chlorination would help prevent against health hazards like ear infections, athlete’s foot, skin rashes etc which become quite common with bacterial growth in water. Filtration : running the filters to clean the water on a daily basis is a good practice during rains. This way the debris and dirt can be completely cleared. Also, filtration helps in circulating the fresh water added to the pool as well. the said filter should also be regularly cleaned by the maintenance personnel.
Kolkata: Stressing the importance of cyber security, State IT Minister Bratya Basu on Wednesday said the compilators of various social media channels must be stricter to curb fake news.He was speaking at Cybercon 2018 and Technology Excellence Awards organised by the ASSOCHAM at a city hotel on Wednesday. Basu said the compilators of social networking sites must be on high alert to prevent such incidents.”We cannot take action against those who circulate fake news on social media. We can only identify them. It is the responsibility of the internal teams of various social networking sites to ban those who are involved in social crime from using their platforms. The nature of cyber crime is different from the others,” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBasu maintained.Earlier on the day, State Additional Chief Secretary of IT department Debashis Sen said Blockchain technology, which the Bengal government has embraced, and the introduction of Fintech hub in New Town will bring a new dimension to the field of cyber security in the state. Nowadays, people are exposed to cyber threats. The onion server also poses a threat to people. Sen stressed on the need of Blockchain technology to check the cyber threats. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”If the introduction of Blockchain technology and fintech hub works out well, we will be able to tackle cyber crime. We have to pull our resources together and maintain cooperation between various fields like Telecom, E-commerce, emerging technology like Blockchain,” Sen said.Fintech hub is the brain child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that will give a big boost to the IT department in fighting cyber threats. It is the Banerjee government that introduced Blockchain technology in the state. It may be mentioned that Blockchain provides secure public databases that are free from cyber attacks. There is a deep connection between Blockchain and Fintech, data sciences and cyber security and all of this are related to each other.Sen also sought co-operation from our neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and others to fight cyber security issues as they go beyond boundaries. He also had a detailed discussion with Information and Communication Technology Minister of Bangladesh Zunaid Ahmed Palak on how both the countries can work together in this regard. Bengal has selected Blockchain as a technology for the future. The state IT department has tied up with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-Dac) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology to provide training and awareness about cyber security.A 24-hour online help-desk has also been thrown open by the department so that people can report any cyber security issues that they might have encountered.The state government is going to organise an international conference on how to check human trafficking in the digital arena. The event is scheduled to take place in December this year and state Women & Child Development and Social Welfare department will host the programme.
Have you ever wondered if that lemon twist on top of your martini or a dollop of cream on the ‘daal makhani’ is anything more than a quirk? Celebrity Chef Vikas Kumar delves deeper into the world of garnishes and shares his insights.CHERRY ON TOP So really, why are we discussing garnishes, I mean aren’t there more pertinent culinary topics that need more focus and attention? Sure there might be, but for the moment, let me tell you a story. Once when I was working for a certain organisation as a Galley Chef, I was asked if I’d want to be the ‘garnish man’. And I was like, sure! It’s just garnish, like a cherry on the cake, right? Wrong. So the job of the garnish man was to prepare all the garnishes of all the dishes across the sections – we are talking about some 3000 meals, almost 20 dishes, all intricately prepared and the garnish was, well,’the cherry on the cake’ and had to be just perfect since it was the first visual that the guest will get of the dish and will make up his own judgements before actually tasting (or not tasting) the dish. Apparently, the garnish man himself had to be the proverbial cherry just discussed, and in terms of skills and speed had to be second to none in the kitchen. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSo let’s then discuss the ubiquitous crowning glory of the food dishes, the garnish. WHY GARNISH Why indeed? To put it anecdotally, well why do we wear jewellery/ make up? To look good, complete in a way perhaps. I’d say, same with food. If good food is the foundation of genuine happiness, the garnish on that food is what entices you towards it, makes you want it more and provides the visual stimulus to appreciate a food prior to sinking your teeth in. Garnishes are usually in colours opposite to the colour of the main dish, and to that extent provide a burst of colour and liveliness to the food dish. Imagine a plate of pasta in white sauce, white cheese and cream sitting in front of you. Now imagine it with a bright green sprig of parsley, some bright red cherry tomato and a splash of gorgeous light green olive oil. Imagine the difference. Get it? Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe second and a very important reason for food garnishing is that the garnishes always enhance the flavour of the main dish and complements it in the overall taste profile. Think about lemon with fish, birista (deep fried onion) on top of biryani, pistachio on Gajar Halva or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on a salad, all these enhance the flavour of the main dish and make it taste better. Another reason for food garnishing is for the purpose of identification of the ingredients of the dishes. You will find, at most times the garnish tells more about the dish. For example, garnishing a pineapple pastry with pineapple and cherry, a dollop of cream on a cream soup, some makkhan on daal makkhani,…well you get the idea. Stop salivating! Filling up a plate or a serving dish is also quite functional of garnishes and many times garnishes are used to make the dishes look more full and complete. This is specially true for dishes that are served in a buffet or on a dinner table. A pertinent example will be a Christmas Turkey which has so many garnish components that it makes the dish look really fancy and celebratory, ditto for a salad or a dessert. Indian Food Garnishes Well from our childhoods we have seen all our food dishes integrated with their garnishes to an extent that we have always considered them to be a part of the dish itself. Think our dals without the garlic and cumin tempering, our Halvas without the tiny sprinkling of crushed cardamom seeds or a plate of chholey without the chopped dhania or the ginger juliennes. I have always maintained that Indian food is by far the most advanced, balanced and varied of all culinary styles of the world and has always been ahead of its times. Let me give you some examples of how the food garnishes have become integral to our food culture that we don’t really think much of them but they do indeed tick all boxes to be a worthy garnish and serves its full purpose. So there obviously are millions of Indian dishes that I could table here but will stick to the best known and easily relatable by all. First, the very popular Pao Bhaji – do you realize that a dollop of half melted butter, the chopped onions and coriander, tomato, lemon all are essentially garnishes and yet you will find at least all these in all pao bhajis served anywhere in the country or the world. In Bengal they serve ‘Masala Muri’ a more pungent and humble cousin of the bhelpuri and you will almost always find it garnished with some peanuts, a slice of coconut and some sprouts, nobody really thinks much but classic garnishes look good, taste good and provide an interesting contrast to the main food item. Similarly, almost all Indian food items have inherent garnishing that gives the food complexity, texture and colour. The case in point is the huge Indian Thalis that are served with a multitude of dishes in small bowls or saucers, yet all these will almost always have their individual garnishes, often different from each other. RECIPE So I have been scratching my head as to which recipe to give that will do justice to a topic such as this. Obviously, I had to find a recipe where the garnish is highlighted and stands out. To that extent, I am giving the recipe for a French dish. In French cuisine, there are many dishes that are known by their garnishes and are distinguishable only based on that. The name of the dish is ‘French Onion Soup’ and is always served with a rather discernible garnish which is a large bread and cheese crouton. FRENCH ONION SOUPIngredients 100 g Butter 30 ml Olive oil 450 g Sliced onions 500ml Chicken/Beef /Vegetable stock 30 ml Red wine (optional) 1 g Dried thyme Salt and pepper to taste For the toast 2 slices French bread 2 slices cheddar cheese 20 g Grated Parmesan cheese Method Melt butter with olive oil in a stock pot on medium heat. Add onions, and cook on a medium flame until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions. Add the stock, wine and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes. Layer each slice of bread with a slice of cheese, and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Ladle the soup in warm bowls. Just before serving, place the toast on the soup and put under a hot salamander/grill until the cheese melts and bread turns toasty. Serve immediately.
1. Pick one of the cheapest places to travel in the CaribbeanIf we’re going by geographic area, Mexico, Colombia and other countries in Central America are still part of the Caribbean, as they border the Caribbean Sea. Statistically, these are also some of the most affordable places to travel in the Caribbean too.Cheapest areas to travel in the Caribbean:Riviera Maya (Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Mexico) Santa Marta, Colombia CubaDominican RepublicTop tip: By using Skyscanner Hotels and searching for ‘Caribbean Sea’ or ‘Caribbean Islands’, and setting the filter to display ‘Low to High (price)’ you can narrow down your search to include the most affordable places to stay. 9. Split expenses with other travellersWhether you’re in a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast or guest house, socialise with the other travellers. Not only will this mean new friends to share a bottle of rum with, but you’ll be able to split taxis and guides. These are the best ways of getting around most Caribbean islands (the buses are cheap, but unreliable). If you’re wanting to get from A to B on Barbados, Antigua, St Kitts or Jamaica, this is going to be one of the most cost friendly ways to do it. Search for cheap flights to the Caribbean10. Learn about the best currency for your islandThe Caribbean Islands use a variety of different currencies. If you plan on travelling around a number of islands, it’s worth taking US Dollars as well as your credit card and local currency in case you need to exchange and an ATM is not available. Similarly, if you’re travelling to Cuba, it’s worth getting hold of the local currency (pesos) instead of the tourist currency (convertible pesos). Likewise, the French islands of St Barts, Martinique, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe and French Guiana all use the Euro. 6. Stick to ‘budget-friendly’ activitiesScuba diving and adventure sports aren’t the cheapest ways to spend your holiday, so instead, sink your teeth into local culture, national parks and beaches. One of the best parties in the Caribbean takes place on Shirley Heights in Antigua every Sunday, however, it’s $16USD to enter. Instead, try another day so you can watch the sun set over the English harbour and Galleon Beach. Viñales is a town in western Cuba with plenty of hikes and tobacco farms you can tour, and Trinidad, southern Cuba, is a colonial town that’s a treat to walk around for free. Willemstad (Curacao), Cartagena (Colombia) and Santo Domingo (Dominican) have equally pretty brightly coloured towns for getting lost in. Ready to book that Caribbean holiday? Check flights to the Caribbean, including Barbados, Jamaica and Cuba.More tips for living the island life 10 of the best Caribbean islandsTake your pick between the edgy streets of Kingston in Jamaica, rum tours in Barbados or honeymoon territory in St. Kitts. How to holiday in Barbados on a budgetThere are no private beaches in Barbados – which means you can stroll on over Sandy Lane!A guide to 20 beautiful Greek islandsFrom the palm trees and rum shacks of the Caribbean to the Greek islets and white washed houses of Santorini – choose your favourite island now. Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.*Sorted by the average hotel price for 2 adults found on Skyscanner.*Published May 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 4. And eat the local food, too!See the local stands on roadsides, in the beaches and in the cities? That’s where you’ll find dinner for a few bob. Chicharrones (deep fried pork rinds) are popular in Cuba and in the Dominican Republic. Oistin’s Friday night fish fry (Barbados) does legendary fish cakes, to be eaten off the foil tray with fingers and a cold beer. Our guide to Barbados on a budget is mostly comprised of eating at Oistin’s. Empanadas can be found almost everywhere, but Jamaica, Cuba and Colombia are particularly good at the beef-filled varieties. If you’re a fan of jerk chicken, you’re in luck. Scotchie’s serve up glistening hot smoked wings and legs street side at Ocho Rio in Jamaica, for less than a few Pounds a head. 5. Pack everything you needYes, we’re typically advocates of packing light. However, if you’re on a Caribbean island and you need medicine, sunscreen, shampoo, or anything else that won’t be manufactured there, they will have imported it. This means you might be forking out £20 for a bottle of SPF that might cost you £7 at home. Check out our essential packing list to make sure you’ve got everything. 2. Fly during the off-seasonIf you travel during December-March, you’re flying into peak season and peak prices. If you can wait until mid-April onwards, you’ll save on your accommodation as it becomes much less busy. Plus, visiting during the end of April will almost guarantee you the same weather, before the summer’s humidity kicks in. 7. Island hopThe Caribbean is one of the most popular places to sail in the world, and thus the marinas are often lined with multi-million dollar yachts – that need deckhands. Whilst it might not be an ideal way to travel with young children, it’s definitely an interesting way to see the Caribbean, and go sailing for a fraction of the price. If you find a crew through this website, you might be cooking, cleaning or skippering, depending on where your skills lie, in return for a few weeks on board. 8. Go off the gridThe cheapest way to travel is always to live like a local. In Cuba, you can do so with casa particulares. Many of these you can’t book online, but if you wait till you arrive you can find bargains for $30USD (or Cuban Dollars) per night. There are also a number of camping spots around the Caribbean. At Ivan’s Stress Free Bar & White Bay Campground on the British Virgin Islands, camp sites start at $20USD a night – arguably the cheapest place to stay on the BVI. 3. Drink the local spiritsIf you continue to drink Coronas, Heinekens or Budweisers, you’ll be paying a premium. Most of the islands produce their own beer and, of course, rum – so take advantage. If you’re in Jamaica, the local sup is Red Stripe, Barbados’ is Mount Gay Rum (it costs £7 for a local bottle, bargain), Carib comes from Trinidad and Tobago and Sol is a light Mexican beer that goes well with sun, food, or just about anything. RelatedEssential guide to 10 of the best Caribbean islandsConsidering a holiday to the paradise islands of the Caribbean? Planning a Caribbean cruise and trying to decide which beaches to hit? Whether you’re booking a family holiday, searching for a dream honeymoon or just wanting sand, sea and rum cocktails, here’s an essential guide to 10 of the best…The BEST time to holiday in the most popular destinationsDeciding when you should jet off can make or break a holiday. After weeks or months of planning, the last thing you want is a holiday plagued by monsoon rains or unbearable heat and crowds. Luckily for you, we’ve done the research and found the best times to visit all…Where’s hot in May?Spring is in full swing, and summer’s on its way: May is an ideal month to beat the crowds, and still find a spot for your towel on the beach. Here’s where’s hot in May, from Cancun to Cairo.
Ignas Scheynius has taken a role at Sweden-based dubbing and subtitling business Hippeis Media.Until the end of last year Scheynius was managing director, Nordic & Baltic at Turner Broadcasting.He left after Turner closed elements of the Millenium Media Group production and distribution business that it acquired in 2010. Scheynius was one of the founders of MMG.He is now chairman of the board at Hippeis, which has also brought on Eduardo Afonso, a former director of PrimeText International and subtitling expert Martin Herclik. They will serve as managing director Nordic, and deputy MD, Nordic respectively.Scheynius said: “I am excited to join forces with a highly experienced team and to yet again be part of a language company. With the current growth in the market, Hippeis Media is well positioned to grow the business with the view to becoming market leader.”DTVE sister title TBI revealed that Turner had closed NonStop Sales in February. Turner said at the time it was not part of wider company restructuring and CG Anderson, the other MMG cofounder, remains in his position as MD, Turner Broadcasting Nordic and Baltic.
The dollar index opened at the 81.40 mark…and closed around 81.53. The low of 81.24 came just before 8:00 a.m. Eastern time. There was a big 50 point intraday move in less than an hour during the New York lunch hour…and I guess that would partially explain some of the price moves in gold and silver during that time period…but it certainly doesn’t explain all of it. And it certainly doesn’t explain some of the price patterns in the other two precious metals, either.The gold stocks gapped down at the open…and hit their low of the day at the low price tick for gold at 12:40 a.m. Eastern time. Then they blasted into positive territory from there, but couldn’t hold those gains once the sell-off began after the 2:20 p.m. high tick in gold was in. Still, the HUI only finished down 0.82%…which isn’t too bad, all things considered.It was mostly down for the silver stocks yesterday…but I did have a decent number of green arrows mixed amongst the red ones. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index actually closed up a hair…0.09%.The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 42 gold contracts were posted for delivery on Friday.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV…and the U.S. Mint didn’t have a sales report, either.The Comex-approved depositories reported that 543,869 troy ounces of silver were added on Tuesday…and only 1,004 ounces were withdrawn. The link to that action is here.As usual, The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated their website yesterday. It showed that they had added another 500,000 ounces of gold to their reported reserves in May…which now sit at 29.3 million troy ounces of fine gold. The excellent chart below is courtesy of Nick Laird, for which I thank him on our behalf.(Click on image to enlarge)I have more than the usual number of stories for a midweek column…and I hope you have to time to read the ones that interest you.It is clear that China intends to be the world center for buying and selling gold…The plus in all this for Americans is that the price of gold will be out of the grip and manipulations of the Federal Reserve and the Comex. – Richard Russell, 20 June 2012Well, it was certainly a different day yesterday. I suppose that it’s possible that it was entirely free-market forces at work in all the precious metals on Wednesday. But if I had to bet a ten spot…that’s not the way I would bet it.Of course, all this had to happen on a Wednesday…and none of that price action will be in tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report. We’ll have to wait until the COT report on the 29th to get some idea of what may, or may not, have transpired.Yesterday at this time I was mentioning that silver had not been allowed over the $29 spot mark for several weeks running. Twenty-four hours later in Far East trading on their Thursday, silver is now a hair under the $28 mark. Here’s the 1-year silver chart…(Click on image to enlarge)You may have also noticed that gold ‘failed’ in its attempt to break solidly above its 50-day moving average. Here’s the 1-year chart for gold…(Click on image to enlarge)I’d be happy to bet a fair amount of money that this price action is not accidental…and where we go from here is a big unknown, at least to you and I. But I’d guess that JPMorgan et al have a much clearer picture, since they’re running this precious metals show. As a matter of fact, the two above charts were painted by JPMorgan. They haven’t signed them per se, but their footprints are everywhere…and you don’t even have to look that closely to fnd them.In Far East trading on their Thursday, the gold price dipped below the $1,600 mark on a few occasions…and about thirty minutes into the London trading day, the gold price is hanging onto that round number by its fingernails. Silver tried to rise above the $28 spot price…but obviously ran into the same sellers that prevented it from rising above the $29 spot price mark. Gold’s net volume is pretty light for this time of day…3:37 a.m. Eastern time…and silver’s net volume is more elevated, as the roll-overs out of the July delivery month gather momentum. The dollar index isn’t doing a thing.As I hit the ‘send’ button at 4:21 a.m. Eastern time, I note that gold has now slipped below the $1,600 price mark…and is down about eleven dollars from Wednesday’s close in New York. Silver is now down 42 cents from yesterday’s close…and was down well over 50 cents at one point. The dollar index is up about 20 basis points in the last hour or so, but doesn’t explain the magnitude of the sell off, as the metals were declining long before the dollar index showed any signs of life to the upside.And as I said in this space yesterday, most of the relevant price action would occur during the Comex trading session on Wednesday…and that certainly turned out to be the case. And unless something out of the ordinary develops during the morning trading session in London, I expect the same again today.I’m off to bed. I hope your Thursday goes well…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. The China CatastropheChina is about to make an announcement that will shake the world to its foundations – and that will destroy everything you’ve ever worked for.So says a renowned financial journalist on assignment in Asia – and the crazy thing is, he’s famous for being right. He was one of the few to warn of the great tech stock meltdown of 2000 … the housing and banking bust of 2007 … and the recent boom in gold and commodity prices.Is he right again? Watch this shocking video for free and judge for yourself. Of course, all this had to happen on a Wednesday…and none of that price action will be in tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report.The gold price did nothing during the Far East trading day on their Wednesday…and this sideways price action lasted until a few minutes before 10:00 a.m. in London. At that point the engineered price decline began, with the most egregious part of the take-down coming during the New York lunch hour…around 12:40 p.m.This turned out to be the low price tick of the day…$1,589.20 spot. From that low a $30 short covering rally commenced. This rally lasted for about thirty minutes…and from there the gold price traded sideways into the close of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. Gold’s New York high tick of the day [$1,622.20 spot] came around 2:20 p.m…and from that high, the gold price got sold down $16 into the close of electronic trading.Gold finished the Wednesday session at $1,606.80 spot…down $11.10 from Tuesday’s close. Net volume was an enormous 205,000 contracts.But, as always, it was silver that drew the short straw once again yesterday. I’m not even going to bother calling the price action, as it’s more than visible on the Kitco chart below…and little of the New York action had anything to do with free markets.From its New York high of $28.76 spot…to its low of $27.60 spot, silver had an intraday price move of $1.16…4.03%…in less than ninety minutes.By the time the dust had settled, silver closed at $28.12 spot…down 30 cents from Tuesday. Net volume was a very chunky 45,000 contracts.Here are the charts for platinum and palladium, so you can see that the price shenanigans didn’t just occur in gold and silver. Sponsor Advertisement
For many breast cancer patients, one of the most difficult treatment decisions is whether or not to go through chemotherapy.Now, the choice is getting easier for some patients. A study published Sunday finds that many women with early-stage invasive breast cancer could safely forgo chemotherapy, if they score in the midrange or lower for risk that their cancer will recur, as measured by a commonly used genomic testThe study, published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that patients who fall in the intermediate risk zone do as well with hormone therapy alone as with chemo plus hormone therapy after surgery. “[The findings] are both important and significant, and also practice-changing,” says, Dr. José Baselga, a medical oncologist and physician in chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who was not involved with this research. “Basically, it’s going to spare a lot of unnecessary chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer.”The genomic test for this type of breast cancer, called Oncotype DX, measures the expression of 21 genes in tumor tissue removed at the time of surgery and predicts risk of recurrence on a scale of 0 to 100.Oncotype DX first hit the market in 2004. Earlier research found that a patient with a high-risk case, or score of 26-100, would benefit from chemotherapy, while a patient at the lower end with a score of 10 and under would not. This left a lot of women, an estimated 65,000 in the U.S. each year, in a gray zone, unsure if they would benefit from chemo.The new study, called TAILORx, is a large, randomized trial involving thousands of patients. It found that for patients in the middle, with scores between 11 and 25, there is a similar rate of cancer-free survival for those who had chemo combined with hormone therapy, and those who had hormone therapy alone, after nine years. Women younger than 50 still saw some benefit from chemotherapy, especially with scores between 21-25.This means in practice doctors can tell 70 percent of these patients they don’t need to agonize over whether to get chemo, says study co-author Dr. Kathy Albain, a hematology and oncology professor at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois. “Our uncertainty is over,” she says.In the trial, researchers gene tested more than 10,000 patients across six countries with the most common form of early breast cancer, hormone-receptor positive, HER-2 negative breast cancer that hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes. Nearly 7,000 patients’ scores fell into the middle range, between 11 and 25.This researchers split the middle-scoring group into two randomized subgroups: one treated solely with estrogen-blocking hormone therapy, and one with chemo combined with hormone therapy. The researchers tracked the patients’ health outcomes over nine years.In the U.S., the most recent data shows around 135,000 new cases yearly of the specific breast cancer studied, says Dr. Joseph Sparano, an oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the lead author of the study. Twenty-five percent of those patients won’t qualify for chemotherapy because of age or medical problems.Out of the 100,000 or so patients who could take the gene test to help make a decision about chemotherapy, he says at least two-thirds fall into the middle range that can benefit from the study findings.”This information really addresses a major unmet medical need to have a very high level of evidence to make potentially life-saving decisions,” Sparano says. “This has very important public health implications. It helps direct patients to the right therapy, so that we’re treating the right people with the right therapy at the right time.”This research, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, comes at a time when rates of chemotherapy for breast cancer are already decreasing. A 2017 study showed that for breast cancer that hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes, the rate of chemotherapy has dropped from around 27 percent in 2013 to 14 percent in 2015.This decline likely came about thanks to earlier research into gene testing, showing that chemo wasn’t helpful for low-risk patients and of marginal benefits for others, says Baselga.All the same, he says, the message of the new study isn’t that chemotherapy is irrelevant.”Chemotherapy has saved a tremendous amount of lives, and will continue to do so,” Baselga says. “But we need to be precise on when to use it and who to recommend it to. The era of one- size-fits-all is basically coming to an end, which is great news.”These results provide assurance that getting gene tested is a valuable first step for patients with this type of breast cancer.Knowing a patient’s recurrence risk can spare them from enduring chemotherapy, but also can direct them towards it if they discover that they are at a higher risk, Sparano says.The Oncotype DX test costs $4,600 and is typically reimbursed by insurance, according to Dr. Steven Shak, chief medical officer of Genomic Health, the maker of Oncotype DX. Currently only about 60 percent of U.S. patients who could potentially benefit from it are taking the gene test, he says.These gene tests are only applicable to patients with early-stage invasive breast cancer, Loyola’s Albain says. Chemotherapy could still be on the table for people who fall outside of this group.Albain is excited to share the study results with her clients in her practice. One of them, a 59-year-old woman came to her office recently with a recurrence score of 17, and was seriously considering chemotherapy.”My first clinic when I get back, she’s on my schedule and it’s going to be fun showing her this,” she says.Women can have the tendency to turn towards chemo, even if the results have a relatively small benefit, Albain says. A little boost can outweigh the risks of the treatment for these patients. “Now, we’re not going to have to have that long discussion,” she says.Looking ahead, Sparano hopes to see if this research could be applied to patients whose cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes, which is prognostic for a higher rate of recurrence. Further research could mean sparing some higher-risk patients from chemotherapy.Sara Kiley Watson is NPR’s Science Desk intern. Her Twitter handle is @SaraKileyWatson. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
A disabled activist who has campaigned to save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) is celebrating after the Welsh Labour annual conference voted to back his campaign.Nathan Lee Davies has led a campaign to force the Labour-run Welsh government to reverse its decision to scrap the grant, which was introduced to support disabled people with high support needs in Wales to live independently after the UK government closed the Independent Living Fund in 2015.An estimated 1,300 people in Wales receive support through the WILG scheme.And this week, at their annual conference, members of Welsh Labour voted in favour of a motion that called on their government to maintain WILG, at least until the next Welsh assembly elections in 2021.Before the vote, Davies had also secured support from Labour’s UK leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who posed for a picture holding one of the campaign’s “WHERE THERE’S A W.I.L.G. THERE’S A WAY” tee-shirts (pictured).After the vote, Davies posted a blog in which he described his “emotional day” following a victory he said was “key for disabled rights across Wales and throughout the UK”.He added: “We should all rejoice while remembering the fight is far from over as we need to ensure Welsh Labour listen to the will of their members.”Davies has previously described his terror at the prospect of his cash-strapped local authority taking over full responsibility for providing his care package, having been told that without WILG his own care package would be reduced from 86.5 hours to just 31 hours a week.He has described the campaign as a “life or death” fight.He told Disability News Service yesterday (Wednesday) that the passing of the motion was “obviously the high point of our ever-growing campaign” but that it “does not mean that we have succeeded in securing WILG”.He said: “We must continue with our campaign and ensure the Welsh government listen and act upon the wishes of their members.“One thing is for sure, we won’t rest until we preserve and improve the Welsh Independent Living Grant.”He thanked the cross-party and union support for his campaign – including the “wonderfully supportive” Clwyd constituency Labour party, which proposed the motion – and the other recipients of WILG.He particularly praised members of Welsh Labour Grassroots – which represents the Momentum movement in Wales – who he said had “worked tirelessly to ensure independent living remains an option for those with high care and support needs”.Davies is hoping that the Welsh government – which will have a new first minister in the autumn after Carwyn Jones announced that he would be standing down – will now reverse its decision to scrap WILG.A spokeswoman for Welsh Labour said: “As with all motions passed at conference, this will now be considered by Welsh Labour’s policy process ahead of the next assembly elections.”The Welsh government announced in 2016 that, after a two-year transition period, it would transfer all the £27 million-a-year provided by the UK government to support former ILF-users in Wales directly to councils.It decided there would be no continuation of the interim WILG scheme it had been running as a stopgap since the Department for Work and Pensions closed ILF in June 2015, and would not set up a new Welsh ILF, even though such a scheme had been set up in Scotland.All the £27 million-a-year funding is set to be transferred to Welsh local authorities this year, and they will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients by 31 March 2019.The Welsh government’s new Social Services and Wellbeing Act is supposed to provide new rights for people to access a re-assessment of their support at any time, with local authorities under new legal duties to support independent living.It believes that this is a more progressive system than the one operating in England.But Davies has said previously that the decision to transfer the £27 million to councils and close WILG meant the Welsh government had “sold disabled people down the river” and was “washing their hands of all responsibility for social care to former ILF recipients and transferring the pressure onto local authorities”.Picture by Delyth Lloyd Williams