Mike Brown hits out at ‘bonkers’ TfL borrowing limits

first_imgMonday 16 September 2019 4:41 pm Mike Brown hits out at ‘bonkers’ TfL borrowing limits The TfL boss also said he had also received “no certainty beyond next year” from the Department for Transport (DfT) or the Treasury as to how the travel body would be funded, and that this was preventing him from signing crucial business contracts. Read more: TfL delays investment to ‘future years’ as debt climbs to £11bn “In any conventional business, your borrowing would be based on your existing asset base and how you could capitalise and get some revenue from that,” Brown said, citing the central tunnel of Crossrail. “There isn’t that mechanism to do that at the moment because it all sits under government. It’s clearly bonkers.” “I can’t sign contracts when I’ve got no stream of certainty of how I’m going to pay for it,” he added. “It’s questionable from a fiscal prudence perspective – the board wouldn’t let me do it and the mayor wouldn’t let me do it.” Transport for London (TfL) boss Mike Brown has criticised the government for imposing “bonkers” limits on its borrowing and for failing to provide it with long-term certainty over its funding. whatsapp A Treasury spokesperson said: “This month’s spending round was a fast-tracked, one-year event to give departments their budgets so we can get on with Brexit. A multi-year spending review will take place next year.” Read more: Tory mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey vows to strip TfL of housing powers Alexandra Rogers “I’m not asking for special treatment for London compared to other cities in the country or other regions in the country; I’m just asking for equal treatment,” Brown said. The TfL commissioner told City A.M. that the organisation’s borrowing caps, which are set by government, were based on “no logic other than discussions within government as to what they should be”. TfL has reached its borrowing limits for this financial year, making it difficult to finance transport upgrades, several of which have been temporarily shelved.center_img TfL boss Mike Brown Over the past year TfL has pressed pause on a number of transport upgrades, including the Bakerloo line extension and a signalling upgrade on the Piccadilly line, while the Northern line extension to Battersea has been delayed by a year. Brown said it was “unbelievable” that TfL was running the oldest trains in the UK on the Bakerloo line, which were built in 1972. “The reason I hark back to 1980s is not to frighten people, but I just want people to remember that it is actually quite a short step from things going well and progress being made, to things not going well and progress not being made – and that would be a travesty,” Brown said. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past Factoryzenherald.comDolly Finally Took Off Her Wig, Fans Gaspedzenherald.comMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStorybonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comPost Fun25 Worst Movies Ever, According To Rotten TomatoesPost Funmaternityweek.comWilliam and Kate Have Been Told Their Fate Once Charles Finally Becomes Kingmaternityweek.comautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.com Main image credit: Getty TfL is currently funded through a variety of sources, including a capital grant which is financed from a proportion of local business rates and which it receives through the Greater London Authority. However, the recent spending review announced by Sajid Javid only covered the years 2020/21.  Share Brown said “times are tough” for TfL, which is struggling with a £500m deficit, a reduction in fare income, the removal of the government’s £700m operational grant and Sadiq Khan’s fares freeze. whatsapp More From Our Partners Colin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still outthegrio.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgKansas coach fired for using N-word toward Black playerthegrio.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orglast_img read more

Uber, Lyft in talks with Juneau officials over city sales tax

first_imgJuneau | Local Government | TransportationUber, Lyft in talks with Juneau officials over city sales taxJune 27, 2017 by Jacob Resneck, KTOO Share:Uber and Lyft ride-hailing recently came online in Juneau. (Photo illustration by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)Efforts are ongoing to collect sales tax from ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft that are now operating in Juneau.Alaska state law narrowly defines how local governments can regulate transportation network companies, or TNCs.Cities are legally able to collect sales tax, city attorney Amy Mead said.“What we’re hoping for is that the TNCs will work with us to figure out some process so that the sales tax can be paid,” she said. “So that they can ensure that the drivers are properly registered and they can facilitate enforcing our code.”Representatives from Uber and Lyft confirmed Tuesday that the companies are in talks with city officials.“We have been communicating regularly with Juneau city officials in an effort to find a tax collection solution that works for all parties involved,” Uber’s Alaska representative David Williams said in a statement. “We look forward to addressing this issue collaboratively.”Finance Director Bob Bartholomew said the city taxes the gross fare, which includes the company’s commission. How exactly the companies and drivers split the tax burden isn’t the city’s responsibility.“We don’t know how they are working it mechanically, that’s what they have to work out and we have to understand how it’s working,” Bartholomew said. “But either the companies work with us or the burden falls solely to the driver.”Local sales taxes have been contentious for both companies in other municipalities.The New York Times reported that a lawsuit in New York filed by a drivers group last year alleged that Uber was forcing the drivers to pay its share of the sales tax, which the drivers said amounted to wage theft.The newspaper said internal documents it examined pointed to millions of dollars in lost revenue for New York drivers.Uber has since vowed repay the drivers and correct the practice.Share this story:last_img read more

How genetically engineered viruses — and a rotten eggplant — prolonged a teenager’s life

first_img General Assignment Reporter Eric focuses on narrative features, exploring the startling ways that science and medicine affect people’s lives. How the Navy brought a once-derided scientist out of retirement — and into the virus-selling business Privacy Policy Eric Boodman Of the three viruses that helped, Muddy’s origin story is by far the most conventional. After all, scientists have plucked phages from the dirtiest places imaginable and used them as last-ditch therapies before, harnessing the viruses’ natural bacteria-bursting powers to save patients’ lives. The two other viruses, meanwhile, had to go through a kind of reverse domestication — converted, with genetic engineering, from relatively docile microbial parasites into efficient killers of infection.“It is exciting. … This study is the first that we’re aware of using an engineered phage,” said Dave Ousterout, chief scientific officer of Locus Biosciences, a company not involved in the paper that is also working on enhancing the antibacterial capabilities of phages.advertisement While sifting through the vials in his freezer, he also sent out members of his lab to collect yet more soil and sludge. They visited flowerbeds and compost heaps, collected bits of poop from chicken and duck farms.But the only phage they could find that would work came from the freezer. It was Muddy.His concern was that giving a single phage as therapy would allow the bacteria to quickly evolve resistance to it. He needed at least two more, to make a cocktail. “We have one good one,” he remembers thinking. “Where on earth are we going to get anything else?”His team knew that they had other phages that were active against the patient’s bacterial strain — they just weren’t very good at killing it. Some of them slipped peaceably inside its genome; others did a little damage but hardly made a dent in a Petri dish full of bugs. “With a phage that kills efficiently, all the cells are dead,” Hatfull said. “You could read a newspaper through the hole it’s made in the lawn of bacteria.”These ones just made little cloudy spots.So they chose a few of them, and began tinkering with their insides. The technique they used took advantage of the microbial proclivity for rearranging genetic material — “They’re willing and able to exchange their genes,” Hatfull said — to delete the bits of DNA that suppressed these phages’ murderous instincts. Without those pieces, they were free to replicate like crazy, the asexual equivalent of rabbits, causing their host cell to explode. Related: First phage therapy center in the U.S. signals growing acceptance [email protected] For months already, excited whispers about this news have been spreading, with cryptic hints dropped at conferences, rumors passed from biologist to biologist, academic to entrepreneur. “I kept hearing tidbits,” said Jessica Sacher, who runs a directory that connects clinicians and patients looking to try phage therapy as an experimental last resort with the microbiologists who keep collections of the viruses. “Some other researchers were saying, ‘Just wait, there’s going to be the first report of engineered phage in therapy soon.’”But as with all such case reports, the impressive details of how this work was accomplished — on top of the eggplant scraping, it involved a chance encounter in the Republic of Georgia, a close examination of some bird guano, and a loophole in British regulation of genetically modified organisms — make clinicians wonder to what extent the development can be scaled up to help combat the global crisis of antibiotic resistance.“I still have real reservations about whether this kind of approach could be developed into something that could be usable on a large scale,” said Dr. Marcia Goldberg, an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The amount of science that needs to go into developing a therapeutic against any single strain is huge.”For the teenager in question, it all began with a double-lung transplant. She’d been born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that clogs the chest with mucus, allowing opportunistic bacteria to invade. The surgery itself, at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, was uncomplicated, and her doctors had blasted her bloodstream with antibiotics to keep any infections at bay. But the intravenous drugs gave the teenager severe nausea, diarrhea, and anorexia, and had to be stopped.Within a week, the surgical wound became red with infection. It turned out Mycobacterium abscessus, a slow-growing cousin of tuberculosis, was proliferating in her fluids, organs, and skin. The physicians tried all of the antibiotics they could, but the medications caused liver damage and didn’t have much effect. “Imagine your liver enlarging and coming down all the way to your groin area — that’s painful,” said Dr. Helen Spencer, the lung specialist in charge of the case. In the nine months after the transplant, Spencer watched her patient go from a sociable teenager to one who spoke only in monosyllables, if she talked at all. The medical team had no hope that she’d recover. She couldn’t eat. All they could do was to send her home with palliative care, so she could see her friends and her dog as she waited to die.It was at this point that the patient’s mother brought up the idea of phage therapy. Spencer didn’t know much about it, but there was a hospital microbiologist, Dr. James Soothill, who’d worked on the viruses and agreed to help.He knew that phages had been widely tried as therapy in the early 20th century, but that the practice had mostly disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. Back in the 1990s, when there was a small resurgence of interest in the West, he’d traveled to Tbilisi for what he called “a very strange meeting organized by an American startup company.” That’s where he’d first met Graham Hatfull, who studied the genetics of mycobacteria-attacking phages.So, late in 2017, when Spencer told Soothill about this teenager’s desperate situation, he sent an email to Hatfull’s lab at the University of Pittsburgh. The place had become an international repository for phages through a program Hatfull had helped develop in which college students around the world isolate and identify phages, learning about biology while expanding knowledge about these viruses that thrive by the trillions within and around us. Contributing to the scientific literature, he believes, is a lot easier than most people tend to think. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, you don’t need a Ph.D. — in fact, you don’t need anything,” he said. “You just need to have a scintilla of curiosity and you can come discover something new.”That was how Muddy ended up in his freezer, alongside more than 10,000 other viruses. Now, Hatfull agreed to look for a few that might help the English adolescent, so Soothill shipped him a smudge of the bacteria that was killing her.The trouble is that phages are notoriously picky, infecting only very specific strains of very specific bacteria. And most of Hatfull’s viruses were parasites of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a whole different species from the Mycobacterium abscessus that was multiplying inside the patient. They needed to find viruses that were versatile in exactly the right way. In 2010, an undergraduate in Durban, South Africa, found herself scraping muck from the underside of a partially decomposed eggplant. It was, in a sense, homework. She was taking a University of KwaZulu-Natal course on viruses that attack bacteria, and a semi-rotten vegetable seemed like a good place to find them. The “enriched soil sample,” she wrote, was dark and moist, wriggling with worms and other spineless lovers of decay.The sludge proved lively on a microscopic level, too, and the student had soon picked out exactly what she was looking for: a never-before-described bacteriophage virus that kills certain mycobacteria. She named it Muddy and got on with her life, earning more degrees, landing a job at a communications agency. Muddy, meanwhile, landed in a lab freezer in Pittsburgh — one frost-filigreed tube among thousands.But then, on Wednesday, a paper published in Nature Medicine pulled Muddy and two other viruses out of their frozen obscurity. These bacteriophages, the authors reported, beat back an antibiotic-resistant infection festering inside a 15-year-old in London. The patient wasn’t completely cured, but after more than six months of injections and topical treatments, she’d gone from bed-bound and tube-fed to school-attending and sushi-eating — a remarkable result given that some elements of her “phage therapy” had not previously been tested in humans.advertisement STAT+: Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. @ericboodman Leave this field empty if you’re human: For one of the viruses, they also looked for mutants among the population that proved especially efficient, using a toothpick to select the best killers of the lot.According to Hatfull, it was the fact that they had erased part of the viruses’ genetic code, without adding anything, that allowed them to get those two phages through regulations on genetically modified organisms and send the live cocktail to London, where it was first used on the patient’s external wounds, and then injected into her bloodstream. During the first two days of treatment, she felt sweaty and flushed, but the doctors didn’t find any other side effects.Slowly, the surgical wound on her chest began to close. The redness faded. The infected lumps in her skin flattened out into scars. The bacteria disappeared from her blood serum and her phlegm, the colonies in her organs began to subside. Nearly a year later, the mycobacteria are still present in some of her skin nodules, but she’s eating, writing exams, learning to drive.Spencer worries about the phage resistance they’ve seen when they’ve taken the fluid from the last remaining skin lumps and tested it in the lab, so Hatfull has been looking for new viruses to add into the mix. Exclusive analysis of biopharma, health policy, and the life sciences. As electrifying as the results are for the patient and her family, and as promising as they seem to companies working on similar personalized phage therapies, the story is exactly that: a story, albeit one with careful documentation in photographs, PET scans, and laboratory values. It doesn’t have the weight of a clinical trial.Companies are now trying to develop phage cocktails — some personalized, some pre-packaged, some natural, some engineered — into biologic drugs. Many say that studies in humans are imminent. But it’s still unclear whether the companies will be able to amass the kind of evidence needed to get these treatments approved.To Hatfull, the study doesn’t necessarily mean that other engineered-phage therapies will be easy, effective, or safe. But it does give him hope that phages might help with the worldwide crisis in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, which is caused by another bacterium in the same genus. “If you could use phages to simplify, improve, shorten TB therapy, to minimize the chance of antibiotic resistance, then that is a big general impact,” he said. “This case study, it sort of kicks the door open just a little bit.”For Lilli Holst, who’d first unearthed Muddy as an undergraduate, the excitement was more immediate. Hearing that one of her phages may have prolonged someone’s life gave her a “body reverberation kind of feeling.” After all, who expects this kind of news to emerge from a rotten eggplant in your parents’ compost pile? About the Author Reprints A patient’s legacy: Researchers work to make phage therapy less of a long shot Related: By Eric Boodman May 8, 2019 Reprints Related: HealthHow genetically engineered viruses — and a rotten eggplant — prolonged a teenager’s life Please enter a valid email address. Adobe Tags infectious diseaseresearchvirologylast_img read more

Cooperative Poverty Reduction Strategy Needed

first_img By Kim Tae Hong – 2009.12.23 5:58pm News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News SHARE North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China AvatarKim Tae Hong North Korea should join hands with South Korea in order to escape from its terrible poverty and grave food insecurity, according to leading researchers at a recent forum.A researcher with the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, Im Eul Chul was just one attendee at the expert forum hosted by the Peace Foundation, “How to Approach the North Korean Famine Problem,” on the 22nd.Professor Im explained, “The most practical way for North Korea to proceed is to create a strategy to reduce its poverty through strategic cooperation with its biggest donor and partner, South Korea, and then to implement it.”“We should pay attention to the fact that Vietnam made its economic development plans with its donors and thus improved its chances of development.”He suggested some key ways to bring that about: planning a cooperative program to reduce poverty; jointly measuring the poverty level and sharing results; implementing cooperation between North Korea and international organizations in order to reduce poverty; and establishing a system of training and education in South Korea. “This study of poverty reduction strategies for North Korea is closely related to the Lee Myung Bak administration’s policy on North Korea; improving North Korean citizens’ quality of life,” he added, “These suggestions would also contribute to North Korea being incorporated into the international community by strengthening partnerships with the world.”Lee Tae Ju, a professor at Hansung University, agreed, “The poverty issue is no less than the most serious human rights problem of all. We have to make long-term, specific plans to solve this problem.” However, a senior researcher with the Korea Institute for National Unification, Im Kang Taek cautioned, “The thing is whether or not there is an agreement to deal with North Korea’s poverty within South Korean society. The most important thing we have to do first is to understand North Korea’s political and societal income system.”He additionally pointed out, “One other important thing is whether or not the North Korean authorities have any serious intention to solve this poverty problem. We need to think, see and concern ourselves with this poverty issue from the same view point as the North.”center_img There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Cooperative Poverty Reduction Strategy Needed News Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Jamaicans Praised for Maturity and Progress Since Independence

first_imgJamaicans Praised for Maturity and Progress Since Independence UncategorizedAugust 9, 2007 Advertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Hundreds of Jamaicans in South Florida turned out for the annual ecumenical service in celebration of the nation’s 45th anniversary of Independence held recently at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale.Chief celebrant was the Rev. Robert Thompson, Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, who told the congregation that after 45 years of Independence, the level of maturity and the continued struggle demonstrated by Jamaicans in the Diaspora and at home, were indicative of a love for country and ultimately a desire to achieve the best for the people.He urged all Jamaicans to remain strong and united in the continued efforts for advancement and remain committed spiritually, as a nation, in order to accomplish the task ahead.In promoting “unity and love in defining ourselves as one”, Bishop Thompson used excerpts from the Old Testament chapter of Nehemiah to illustrate and reiterate the connectedness of nationals in the Diaspora with those on the island.As communities in the Diaspora continue to work for the good of their island home, Bishop Thompson assured his audience that Jamaicans at home were always appreciative of the ongoing prayers and goodwill in contribution to the development of the economy.Consul General to Miami, Ricardo Allicock, in his contribution, noted that Jamaica this year, not only celebrated 45 years of Independence and 169 years of Emancipation, but also the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.He said that the country has progressed over the decades, achieving political and national independence, while nationals have excelled in areas of education, academia, public service, sports, diplomatic affairs and other endeavours. He singled out the recent accomplishment of 23-year old Jamaican pilot, Captain Barrington Irving, Jr., who recently became the youngest and first person of African descent to successfully fly solo around the world, in a single engine Cessna aircraft.In congratulating Captain Irving, Mr. Allicock said that his recent achievement is testament to the “tremendous things we can accomplish as a nation of gifted people.”He encouraged nationals to continue loving and representing Jamaica positively, as well as in prayer, “so that our earnest prayers can bring all the peace, unity, justice and prosperity we desire for our nation.”The congregation of almost 1, 000 nationals and friends enjoyed a selection of performances from the Jamaica Independence Mass Choir, the Jamaica Folk Revue, the Sierra Norwood Calvary children’s choir as well as a dance tribute by Lois Requa-Dunn, formerly of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), accompanied by her daughter, Sasha Dunn.Proceeds of collection from the service will go towards the Swift Purscell Boys’ Home in St. Mary.Following the service, persons fellowshipped at a reception hosted by the staff of the Consulate in Miami. RelatedJamaicans Praised for Maturity and Progress Since Independencecenter_img RelatedJamaicans Praised for Maturity and Progress Since Independence RelatedJamaicans Praised for Maturity and Progress Since Independencelast_img read more

NSW Government fails to address lack of funding and support for public schools

first_imgNSW Government fails to address lack of funding and support for public schools TFEDToday’s announcement by the Berejiklian Government to replace the discredited ‘Local Schools Local Decisions’ (LSLD) policy with ‘The School Success Model’ is more about spin than substance. It is yet another attempt to blame teachers and principals for system failures and the lack of adequate funding and support in our public schools.“There is no evidence in today’s announcement of the restoration of the cuts in provision of specialist support to schools and the process of teaching and learning,” said NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos.“The introduction of LSLD saw the loss of over 800 officers from the Department of Education who worked directly with schools across NSW to support student learning.”“The Government’s evaluation of LSLD admitted the policy was not designed and did not specifically aim to improve student outcomes.”“The new policy will not address crippling administrative burdens placed on teachers and principals outlined in the Government’s own evaluation of LSLD.”“As part of an ideological obsession, LSLD delivered massive cuts to resources and support for public schools. It shifted blame and responsibility onto schools and deflected accountability away from the Government and Department of Education.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Berejiklian, education, Government, Loss, NSW, outcomes, President, resources, school, Studentlast_img read more

Early humans, giant Patagonian beasts: Then they saw them, now we don’t

first_img Published: June 17, 2016 Some of the beasts living in Patagonia 13,000 years ago were an intimidating bunch: Fierce saber-toothed cats, elephant-sized sloths, ancient jaguars as big as today’s tigers and short-faced bears that stood 12 feet tall and weighed nearly a ton.But by 12,000 years ago, they had disappeared. What happened?A study led by the University of Adelaide and including CU-Boulder shows giant ice age-era mammals that roamed Patagonia were finally felled by a rapidly warming climate, not by a sudden onslaught of the first human hunters.Led by the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), the study revealed that it was only after the climate warmed, long after humans first arrived in Patagonia, that the large animals known collectively as megafauna suddenly died off.The timing and cause of the rapid extinction of the megafauna in Patagonia – a geographic region at the base of South America that includes the lower sections of Argentina and Chile – has been a mystery for decades.University of Adelaide Professor Alan Cooper, study leader and ACAD director, said cold temperatures in Patagonia were present for more than the first 1,000 years of early human occupation there. After the region went through a rapid warming event around 12,500 years ago, the megafauna were extinct within a century.The bottom line was that hunting of the so-called megafauna by early humans in Patagonia were to primarily blame for the subsequent extinctions. But the humans required but a warm climate to help them to do the job.CU-Boulder Senior Research Associate Jessica Metcalf, lead study author and a former postdoctoral researcher at ACAD, explains the study helps to clear up a muddy picture of now-extinct South American megafauna.“The DNA and age of bones from South American megafauna showed the extinctions occurred long after human arrival there and coincided with climate warming,” says Metcalf, of the ecology and evolutionary biology department. “We found that members of the camel family, for example, considered resilient survivors of the last ice age, suffered huge losses in genetic diversity.”The researchers studied ancient DNA they extracted from bones and teeth found in caves across Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego to trace the genetic history of the ice age mammals. As part of the research they also radiocarbon dated the samples, more than doubling the number of existing radiocarbon dates for Patagonia megafauna.The earliest Americans are thought by most scientists to have traveled from northeast Asia over the Bering Land Bridge and into present-day Alaska some 16,000 years ago.“The Americas are unique in that humans moved through two continents, from Alaska to Patagonia, in just 1,500 years,” says Professor Chris Turney of University of New South Wales, a study co-author. “As they did so they passed through distinctly different climate states – warm in the north and cold in the south. As a result, we can contrast human impacts under different climate conditions.”As part of the study the team amplified fragments of ancient DNA and pieced them together like a high-tech jigsaw puzzle to reveal genetic histories of the megafauna.“This is a good example of how researchers from different disciplines and institutions can work together to answer long-standing and important questions in science,” says Metcalf. In 2014, Metcalf led a study on the genetics of the endangered greenback cutthroat trout, work that led to the re-introduction of the splashy fish back into its native waters. “The DNA and age of bones from South American megafauna showed the extinctions occurred long after human arrival there and coincided with climate warming,” said Jessica Metcalf, of the CU-Boulder ecology and evolutionary biology department. “We found that members of the camel family, for example, considered resilient survivors of the last ice age, suffered huge losses in genetic diversity.” Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Categories:Science & TechnologyNews Headlineslast_img read more

Newsom sets new tone for California, White House partnership

first_imgHomeNewsNewsom sets new tone for California, White House partnership Jan. 20, 2021 at 5:00 amNewsNewsom sets new tone for California, White House partnershipAssociated Press5 months agoBidenCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsomtrump Kathleen Ronayne, Associated PressAfter four years of sparring with President Donald Trump, California is ready for a more productive, friendlier chapter with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined his areas of agreement and places where he hopes to collaborate with the new administration Tuesday in a letter to Biden. Among his requests are federal support for California’s efforts to house homeless people in hotel and motel rooms and a restoration of money for the state’s troubled high-speed rail project, which Trump revoked.“I offer you my full partnership and support as you take office and inherit the tremendous responsibility to restore our nation’s economy and place of leadership on the global stage — all while working to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end,” Newsom wrote.It’s a notably friendlier tone than Newsom often took with Trump, particularly during the first year of his governorship in 2019, when the two sparred over wildfire management, immigration and climate change. California, the nation’s most populous state, was often an easy punching bag for Trump. His administration tried to revoke California’s authority to set its own auto emissions standards, took away $1 billion for the high-speed rail project and adopted a slew of policies detrimental to the state’s millions of immigrants.Newsom’s tone was more muted in 2020 as he sought not to anger, and even occasionally praised, Trump amid a scramble for federal help to contain the coronavirus. The federal government fulfilled many of his requests for assistance.But a Democrat in the White House will automatically improve the relationship. California will have extra clout with Kamala Harris as vice president and potentially Xavier Becerra, the state’s current attorney general, as head of the federal health and human services agency.Newsom’s letter outlines his support for initiatives Biden has already announced, including more federal resources for vaccinating people and reopening schools. Newsom also supports a proposed a $1,400 relief payment for people. California is using state money to provide a one-time check of $600 to low-income individuals.His letter further requests the federal government boost California’s efforts to house homeless people in hotels and motels, a new program during the pandemic. Biden has proposed $5 billion in aid nationally to purchase and convert hotels and motels. Newsom requested Biden support efforts to make the programs permanent and expand the use of housing vouchers.Elsewhere, Newsom highlights funding for the high-speed rail project as a top priority. The state has been working to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco for more than a decade, but the project has been beset by delays and cost overruns. Most recently, one of the project’s main contractors blasted the pace of work, and even some Democratic lawmakers oppose continuing it. Newsom made no mention of the challenges in his letter.Newsom further requested Biden restore California’s ability to set its own vehicle emissions standards, a power the Trump administration revoked as it dismantled climate change regulations. On immigration, he’s asking the administration to reverse rules aimed at denying green cards to immigrants likely to access public benefits and eliminate religion-based travel bans.Biden has already indicated plans to undo Trump’s travel ban on majority-Muslim nations and to outline a pathway to citizenship for people living in the country illegally.“Having a true partner in the White House — and an Administration aligned with so many of our values — is a game changer for Californians,” Newsom wrote.Tags :BidenCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsomtrumpshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentA new COVID-19 challenge: Mutations rise along with casesCurious City – HAPPY INAUGURATION DAY!You Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall5 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press16 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press16 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson16 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter16 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor16 hours agolast_img read more

Telefonica creates infrastructure company

first_img Telefonica set up a  firm called Telxius to house its global infrastructure assets, with a brief to get involved with growth opportunities “including the possibility of incorporating third party assets”.The business will be headed by Alberto Horcajo, currently CFO at Telefonica Brasil.Initial assets include around 15,000 Telefonica telecommunication towers in Spain and other countries, as well as the Telefonica Group’s international network of 31,000 km of submarine fibre optic cable.The creation of Telxius “is part of the optimisation strategy for the Telefónica Group asset portfolio,” the operator said, and will enable the management of the Telefónica Group’s infrastructure on a global scale with a more specialised and focused approach.The idea is to offer more services to other operators, as well as improve the return on capital invested. In addition, the new move will allow Telxius “to participate in the growth opportunities that exist in the industry, including the possibility of incorporating third party assets”, which seems like a reference to M&A possibilities for the new firm.In addition to is domestic towers and international undersea cable, Telefonica also has a backbone network connecting more than 40 countries in Europe and the Americas, including the US.“Over the coming months, a number of newly created companies, including the aforementioned assets, will be gradually integrated into Telxius,” said the statement.Last month it was reported that Telefonica was working on a spin-off of its domestic infrastructure unit and could either list it or look for a trade buyer for a minority stake. A source placed a valuation of between €5 billion and €6 billion on the unit.The current announcement regarding Telxius makes no mention of a potential sale or listing.Telefonica previously sold more than 1,000 masts in its home market to Spanish infrastructure firm Cellnex several years ago. Home Telefonica creates infrastructure company Español Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters – creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews…More Read more Author Saleha Riaz Previous ArticleMillicom Q4 hit by weak emerging market economiesNext ArticleNokia to fall short of squeeze-out target Telefónica refuerza la seguridad de las cadenas de bloquescenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 10 FEB 2016 Telefonica bolsters blockchain security Related Luz verde a la fusión entre Telefónica y Liberty Global en el Reino Unido Tags Telefonicalast_img read more

Flat European car sales fail to dent autologistics prospects

first_imgBy Alex Lennane 19/06/2013 News that the European automotive market will remain flat, with severe overcapacity in production, shouldn’t worry logistics providers, according to an analyst. A survey conducted by AlixPartners (here) revealed that nearly 60% of European automotive plants are operating at below breakeven levels, a figure which has risen 50% in just two years. Alix Partners further believes that this downturn marks a structural change in the automotive business in Europe.“The under-utilisation of plants in Europe has reached a critical level, and the announced capacity cuts to date will most likely not be enough to cure the situation”, said Stefano Aversa, co-president and managing director at AlixPartners. “In order to adjust production to what appears to be low sales expectations for many years to come, capacity would need to be cut back by three million units.”But Thomas Cullen, chief analyst at Transport Intelligence, told The Loadstar that the complexity of automotive manufacturing meant it was hard to make generalisations. “The production business in Europe has been like this for decades. There has been under-utilisation of capacity for years.”He added that it has depended on demand for types of car. “There are some larger manufacturers who concentrate on small cars and high utilisation, but they  don’t make cars people want buy. But if you look at German car makers and companies like Jaguar Land Rover, they don’t have enough capacity.” He added that demand in the UK had been growing at double-digit rates. The study showed that BRIC countries and the US would be driving growth, noting a “three-speed world”, and suggested that auto production would continue to move east.Mr Cullen added: “Auto capacity is growing in other parts of the world too. But Chinese producers have overcapacity too – there are vast factories, as no one wants the cars. There is very substantial production around the world, but for core products, Europe is still quite attractive. I think we will see more production in countries like Spain – it would be logical to expand there as there will be cheap labour. There are lots of options to produce cars in Europe and I think Europe will concentrate on exports.”He said that challenges such as trade barriers and currency fluctuations also affected the market.“The globalisation model has never really held true in the auto market. If you are selling volumes, you want some production in that region. If you are BMW, your cars are twice the price anyway, so you may as well keep it in Germany.“I don’t see a lot of change, and I think there are still opportunities for logistics companies in Europe who will benefit from an increase in exports.”The survey also indicated that the auto market would break up into global mega-platforms, with plants able to produce 10 types of vehicles with local adaptationsJohn Hoffecker, co-president of AlixPartners in the Americas and head of the firm’s Automotive Practice, said: “After years of striving to shed brands and to become ever more ‘common,’ well-executed mega-platforms have the potential to allow manufacturers to field more brands and models, in more geographies, and to do so cost effectively. However, though there is tremendous up-side, companies will face monumental challenges learning how to set up and control product-development and supply systems so complex they’ll make today’s already-sophisticated systems look like child’s play.”last_img read more