TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona comms chief Vives denies Valdes kicked out back doorby Carlos Volcano15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona comms chief Josep Vives denies the club kicked Victor Valdes out the back door.Valdes was sacked as U19 coach this week.Vives said, “It is a technical decision and it is not the responsibility of any spokesperson. The club always tries to make people, not just the referents, leave in the best way possible. “We disagree with the issue that Valdés has gone out the back door.”He added: “It always hurts when a person leaves the club, and more with the history of Victor. The club wanted it to work well and that his stage was long and successful.”
EDMONTON – Alberta RCMP say three girls endured years of horrific sexual abuse and psychological imprisonment, allegedly at the hands of their father, before he was arrested and charged with 23 offences.The 41-year-old man, whose name is under a publication ban, was arrested in a small town west of Edmonton last November after an investigation by a coalition of Alberta law enforcement agencies known as ALERT.Staff Sgt. Stephen Camp said Friday that the man allegedly sexually abused his daughters multiple times over the last six years when they were under the age of 18. He declined to give their ages.He said one of the alleged victims was procured for sex on multiple occasions to strangers through online ads and the father video- recorded the assaults.“It is quite nauseating,” Camp said. “It makes the investigative community feel actually quite sick to think that for so many years of their childhood, they were psychologically imprisoned by their father for a sick and sexual purpose.“These crimes are quite monstrous to the family and to society at large.”On the day of their father’s arrest, “it was as if a dark cloud had been taken away and lifted from their lives,” Camp said.The girls, who lived with both parents and two brothers, were home-schooled and isolated from society, Camp said. Their mother was a victim as well, he added.“There was a significant amount of control and oppression that can happen in cases like this,” Camp said. “The mother was just unaware of what was actually going on.”A witness close to the family came forward to police with fourth-hand information that was “very surreal,” Camp said. The witness was extremely courageous and credible, he said, so police were able to start an investigation.The staff sergeant said there were a number of guns in the home, including a machine gun, so the situation was delicate.The accused has been co-operative so far and law enforcement agencies are trying to scrub the Internet of images of the girls’ abuse, he said. The victims are getting support to help them move on as best they can.“No child should have to endure what these three girls have survived,” he said. “There is no doubt they are going to have to manage this trauma to their lives for the rest of their lives.”The accused is to appear in an Evansburg courtroom on Monday to face charges that include five counts of sexual assault, two counts of incest, making child pornography and human trafficking.He also faces 17 firearms-related charges that were laid when his rural property was searched around the time of his arrest. Police said they seized roughly 40 restricted handguns and rifles, along with a machine gun and a dozen prohibited devices.
To celebrate War Child’s 20th Anniversary, the charity has released an album with Parlophone Records that brings together some of the best tracks from their five albums – including the legendary ‘HELP’ from 1995, which raised £1.5 million.Best Of War Child AlbumSubsequent releases have featured the hottest names in music and raised not only funds, but profile, for our vital work.War Child 20: The Best Of was released as a digital album only on 18 February.With all proceeds of the sale coming directly to War Child, the album tracks have been selected to show the diversity and quality of all the artists who have supported the charity for the last two decades.To further commemorate their 20th anniversary, long time supporters Muse are giving away a free track to fans. Over six minutes long, the track starts with Muse’s take on the classic ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ before turning into an explosive version of ‘Time Is Running Out’. Download it here.The track listing for the Best Of album is as follows: Come Together: Smokin’ Mojo Filters (Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher) Lucky: Radiohead Fade Away: Oasis Mourning Air: Portishead Fake The Aroma: Massive Attack Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head: Manic Street Preachers Shipbuilding: Suede Miss Sarajevo: Passengers (U2 and Luciano Pavarotti) House Of The Rising Sun: Muse Ghost Town: The Prodigy Calico Skies: Paul McCartney Everyone Says Hi (Metro Mix): David Bowie Vietnam: New Order How You See The World No.2: Coldplay Hong Kong: Gorillaz Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Keane Transmission: Hot Chip Leopard-Skin-Pill-Box-Hat: Beck Straight To Hell: Lily Allen (ft. Mick Jones) Running To Stand Still: ElbowTo find out how to download your copy of the album, click here.Source:War Child
The entertainment industry has once again joined together to lend support to the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.The 49th broadcast of the television fundraising event will air in primetime on ABC, Sunday, Aug. 31 (9 p.m. ET /PT, 8 p.m. CT/MT).Delivering one-of-a-kind performances of their new, hit or classic songs are Grammy winners Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, plus Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans.The long-standing Labor Day weekend tradition combines performances and celebrity presenters to engage viewers with powerful “stories of strength” and moving calls-to-action to help families affected by muscle diseases.Celebrity presenters on the telethon include Alyssa Milano, Brad Paisley, Chip Esten, Chris Powell, Jann Carl, Jordin Sparks, Josh Groban, Ke$ha, Kevin Frazier, Laila Ali, Ludacris, Nancy O’Dell, Pete Wentz, ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser, Susan Lucci, Terry Fator, Tom Bergeron and Victor Ortiz.“MDA’s telethon gives us a chance to celebrate the compassionate support of our celebrity friends, sponsors and individuals in communities across the country who give generously to help save and improve lives of those fighting muscle disease,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “With clinical trials of potential new therapies underway, this is a time of hope and progress for the children and adults we serve. We urge families and friends to gather together on Aug. 31 to watch, whether via broadcast or online, and see the fantastic performers and inspiring stories of those who are fighting muscle disease with grace and courage.”Next week, telethon premiere parties will take place in communities in every state in the nation to rally MDA families, sponsors and volunteers, as well as to engage new supporters. Public service and promotional campaigns to help promote the show have already started to air.While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, MDA says the real stars on the broadcast are the individuals and families served by MDA, including five families who will share their stories and give the public a glimpse of what it means to live with a muscle disease during the 2014 broadcast.MDA supporters are encouraged to visit mda.org/showofstrength to enhance their telethon viewing experience. On Sunday, Aug. 31, the site will have an online telethon tote board keeping track of all donations associated with the televised fundraiser, including those made by national sponsors, direct marketing donors and through calls, texts and online donations made during the broadcast.New this year, site visitors can submit their favorite MDA memories by sharing favorite stories and remembrances of how MDA and its telethon have touched their lives throughout the decades and years. The campaign is being tracked by the hashtag #MDAmemories and is being shared on MDA’s Instagram page and on mda.org.Additionally, visitors also can check out and share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the telethon with celebrities and MDA families and sign on to be a “Muscle Maker” for $11 a month. MDA social channels include Facebook at facebook.com/MDANational, Twitter at twitter.com/MDAnews, Google+ at mda.org/plus, Instagram at instagram/mda_usa and Pinterest at pinterest/mdanational.
APTN National NewsWith the help of a new pilot program called “24/7” a young mother of three children, who has been on the streets for four months, is turning her life around.The Edmonton project has not only helped her to find a new apartment, it is also given her a sense of hope.APTN’s Keith Laboucan brings us the story.
WASHINGTON – Buoyed by the sudden likelihood of a budget pact, lawmakers are on track to avoid a repeat of last month’s government shutdown — though President Donald Trump unexpectedly raised the possibility of closing things down again if he can’t have his way on immigration.“I’d love to see a shutdown if we can’t get this stuff taken care of,” Trump declared Tuesday, repeating the sentiment for emphasis.Trump’s comments were strikingly disconnected from the progress on Capitol Hill, where the House passed a short-term spending measure Tuesday night and Senate leaders were closing in on a larger, long-term pact ahead of a Thursday night deadline. The broader agreement would award whopping spending increases to both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs, as well as approve overdue disaster relief money and, perhaps, crucial legislation to increase the government’s borrowing limit and avoid possible default.Democratic leaders have dropped their strategy of using the funding fight to extract concessions on immigration, specifically on seeking extended protections for the “Dreamer” immigrants who have lived in the country illegally since they were children. Instead, the Democrats prepared to cut a deal that would reap tens of billions of dollars for other priorities — including combatting opioids — while taking their chances on solving the immigration impasse later.Tuesday night’s 245-182 House vote, mostly along party lines, set the machinery in motion. The six-week stopgap spending bill contains increases for the military that long have been demanded by Trump and his GOP allies. But the measure appears increasingly likely to be rewritten by the Senate to include legislation implementing the brewing broader budget pact.House Democrats cancelled a scheduled three-day retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to develop a strategy for the midterm elections. A spokeswoman blamed the cancellation on “the pressing issues Congress will likely vote on over the next three days.”The budget negotiations, conducted chiefly by the Senate’s top leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer of New York, have intensified in recent days — and the looming government shutdown at midnight Thursday added urgency to the talks. In addition to the military and domestic spending, the deal taking shape would approve overdue disaster relief money and, perhaps, crucial legislation to increase the government’s borrowing limit and avoid possible default.Both McConnell and Schumer reported progress Tuesday morning.“I think we’re on the way to getting an agreement and getting it very soon,” said McConnell.Prospects for dealing with immigration, however, were as fuzzy as ever. The Senate is slated next week to begin a debate to address the dilemma of immigrants left vulnerable by the looming expiration of former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.Weeks of bargaining have left the two parties divided over how to extend protections for such Dreamer immigrants and a court ruling has blunted a March 5 deadline.McConnell said Tuesday that while he hopes “we will end up having something,” he was unsure if any proposed measure would get the 60 votes needed for approval.On Tuesday, White House chief of staff John Kelly threw fuel on the dispute as he defended Trump’s proposed solution. The retired general noted the White House proposal would expand protection for some 1.8 million immigrants. That group includes both the 690,000 currently shielded and also “the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up,” he said.No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois, his party’s chief immigration negotiator, bristled at the comment.“I’m sorry for that characterization. It doesn’t surprise me from Gen. Kelly,” he said.The budget talks appeared to be going more smoothly.GOP defence hawks were prevailing over the party’s depleted ranks of deficit hawks, championing major new spending on military programs. Democrats, meanwhile, leveraged their influence to increase spending for domestic priorities such as combating opioid misuse.The result could be the return of trillion-dollar deficits for the first time since Obama’s first term.The stopgap spending bill would keep the government open through March 23 to allow time to write and pass detailed follow-up “omnibus” legislation to fund the government through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.The prospective longer-term budget agreement would give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies relief from a budget freeze that lawmakers say threatens military readiness and training as well as domestic priorities such as combating opioid abuse and repairing the government’s troubled health care system for veterans.The temporary funding measure would also reauthorize funding for community health centres, which enjoy widespread bipartisan support.Aides in both parties said the budget measure may also contain a provision to raise the government’s $20.5 trillion borrowing limit. Legislation to increase the debt ceiling is always a headache, especially for House GOP leaders whose rank and file have in the past used the votes to register objection to deficit spending.Another likely addition is more than $80 billion in long-overdue hurricane relief for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a top priority of lawmakers in both parties.Under Congress’ arcane ways, a broad-brush agreement to increase legally binding spending “caps” — which would otherwise keep the budgets for the military and domestic agencies essentially frozen — would be approved, then followed by a far more detailed catchall spending bill that would take weeks to negotiate.It’s clear that Senate Democrats have no appetite for another government shutdown. Their unity splintered during last month’s three-day closure.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had linked progress on the budget with action to address the immigration program, but other Democrats are beginning to agitate for delinking the two, lest the opportunity for a budget pact be lost. And having tried and failed to link progress on the budget to DACA during last month’s government shutdown battle, many Democrats aren’t spoiling for a repeat.“It’s hard. If we can get a good deal that funds disaster relief, funds domestic priorities, funds the opioid crisis it would be a difficult call,” said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. “DACA’s important and it ought to get done. But what’s the path?”Schumer said he and Pelosi are “working from the same page,” appearing to discount speculation that she might oppose the coming pact.___AP Writers Jill Colvin, Ken Thomas and Darlene Superville contributed.
LEICESTER, England – The flight data recorder from the helicopter that crashed with the Leicester soccer team’s owner on board is being examined by investigators, authorities said, as his family and players paid tribute Monday at a makeshift shrine.Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others were killed when the aircraft spiraled out of control, crashed and burst in flames outside the King Power Stadium following a Premier League game Saturday.Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, son of the Thai retail entrepreneur, brought a wreath to add to a collection of flowers, jerseys and club memorabilia that was growing after the disaster. Fans who gathered to pay respects broke into applause when Aiyawatt returned to the memorial with the players.Investigators are expected to remain at the site until the end of the week, when the wreckage is to be taken to special facilities for examination, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said.“We recovered the digital flight data recorder (voice and data) on Sunday afternoon and one of our inspectors travelled back to Farnborough with the recorder the same evening,” the AAIB said in a statement. “Today, our inspectors in Farnborough will start working on the recorder, which was subject to intense heat as a result of the post-accident fire.”Police have not given an update on the investigation but wrote on Twitter its drone “was not in flight at the time the helicopter left the stadium.”Although only with Leicester for eight years, Vichai had a lasting impact on English soccer as the owner of the team that produced one of the greatest shocks in sports by winning the Premier League title at 5,000-1 odds in 2016.Through horse racing and polo, the owner of Thailand’s King Power duty-free chain became known to members of the British royal family, playing on occasion with Princes Charles and William. He spent millions establishing his polo team, the King Power Foxes, which began in 2014 and has enjoyed success at the top levels of competition in Britain.“I was lucky to have known Vichai for several years,” said Prince William, the second-in-line to the British throne. “He was a businessman of strong values who was dedicated to his family and who supported a number of important charitable causes. He made such a big contribution to football, not least through Leicester City’s magical 2016 season that captured the imagination of the world.”Vichai’s close bond with the community in Leicester was reflected in the tributes to the owner who bankrolled the team’s return to the Premier League in 2014 and the improbable title triumph.“The outpouring of grief is a testament to how many people’s lives were touched by those on board,” Prime Minister Theresa May said.Two members of Vichai’s staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, also died along with pilot Eric Swaffer and co-pilot Izabela Roza Lechowicz. In a regular scene after matches that had become a symbol of Vichai’s ownership, the helicopter took off from the centre circle on the field after Saturday’s game against West Ham. It cleared the stadium roof before it plummeted into an adjacent parking lot in flames.Leicester’s next game, which had been scheduled for Tuesday against Southampton in the League Cup, has been postponed.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the fourth time this year to reflect the U.S. economy’s continued strength but signalling that it expects to slow hikes next year.The quarter-point hike, to a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent, lifts the Fed’s benchmark rate to its highest point since 2008. The increase will mean higher borrowing costs for many consumers and businesses.The Fed’s policy statement says “some” further gradual rate increases are likely. But its updated forecast projects just two rate hikes next year, down from three that the Fed had predicted in September. In another sign of fewer rate hikes ahead, the new forecast reduces the long-run level for the Fed’s benchmark rate to 2.8 per cent, down from 3 per cent.The Fed has raised rates with steady regularity as the U.S. economy has strengthened. Wednesday’s was the Fed’s ninth hike since it began gradually tightening credit three years ago. But a mix of factors — a global slowdown, a U.S.-China trade war, still-mild inflation, stomach-churning drops in stock prices — has led the Fed to consider slowing its rate hikes in 2019 to avoid weakening the economy too much. It’s now likely to suit its rate policy to the latest economic data — to become more flexible or, in Fed parlance, “data-dependent.”The Fed has so far managed to telegraph its actions weeks in advance to prepare the financial markets for any shift. But now, the risks of a surprise could rise. Next year, Chairman Jerome Powell will begin holding a news conference after each of the Fed’s eight meetings each year, rather than only quarterly. This will allow him to explain any abrupt policy shifts. But it also raises the risk that the Fed will jolt financial markets by catching them off guard.The reasoning for any shift in the Fed’s communications, some analysts say, is that it may want to pause in its credit-tightening to assess how the economy fares in the coming months in light of the headwinds it faces. Contributing to this view was a speech Powell gave last month in which he suggested that rates appear to be just below the level the Fed calls “neutral,” where they’re thought to neither stimulate growth nor impede it. Powell’s comment suggested that the Fed might be poised to slow or halt its rate hikes to avoid weakening the economy.For now, most U.S. economic barometers are still showing strength. The unemployment rate is 3.7 per cent, a 49-year low. The economy is thought to have grown close to 3 per cent this year, its best performance in more than a decade. Consumers, the main driver of the economy, are spending freely.In such an environment, the Fed would normally keep gradually raising rates to make sure the economy didn’t overheat and ignite inflation. But this time, the risks to the economy seem to be rising. From China to Europe, major economies are weakening. President Donald Trump’s trade conflict with Beijing could, over time, undermine the world’s two largest economies.There are also fears that the brisk pace of U.S. growth this year reflected something of a sugar high, with the economy artificially pumped up by tax cuts and a boost in government spending. The benefit of that stimulus will likely fade in 2019, slowing growth to a more modest pace. And as U.S. interest rates have risen, loan-sensitive sectors of the economy, from housing to autos, have begun to weaken.In addition, the Fed has been gradually shrinking the vast portfolio of Treasury and mortgage bonds it built up after the 2008 financial crisis. This process is thought to have had the effect of putting further upward pressure on borrowing rates for consumers and businesses.Economists appear unified in the view that whatever the Fed does, it won’t be influenced by the attacks Trump has made on the central bank and on Powell personally since the stock market began tumbling this fall. In a highly unusual move for a president, Trump has repeatedly and publicly denounced the Fed’s rate increases. At one point, the president called the Fed and its string of rate hikes this year “my biggest threat.”This week, Trump fired off two tweets objecting to a likely rate hike. In one of them, he called it “incredible” that the Fed would consider raising rates again when “the outside world is blowing up around us.”Powell, who was Trump’s hand-picked choice to be chairman, has stressed that the Fed will pursue its mandate of managing rates to maximize employment and stabilize prices, regardless of any outside criticism.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
“Every piece of information can help the investigative team, and we encourage you to contact the police,” said Cst Amy Floyd, North District Traffic Services.Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or have information that will assist the investigators are urged to contact the Fort St John RCMP at 250 787-8140. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP continue to investigate a fatal hit and run at the Halfway River First Nation that happened over three years ago.On April 5, 2015, at 10:07 p.m., the RCMP responded to a call of a deceased woman on Road 5 of the Halfway River First Nation. At the time, police immediately located evidence that led investigators to believe the woman may have been the victim of a hit and run.There is still no description of the suspect vehicle, but the RCMP believe someone has information that will help them solve this crime.
CALGARY, A.B. – Pembina Pipelines has confirmed they will spend $1.6 billion on capital projects in 2019 on previously announced projects.Of that, almost 53 percent or $900 million will be spent in the pipelines division. The 2019 capital budget for the Pipelines Division includes spending associated with the Phase VI and Phase VII expansions of the Peace Pipeline System, both of which are currently underway and anticipated to be in-service in the second half of 2019 and the first half of 2021, respectively.Funds will also be spent on the completion of NEBC Montney Infrastructure and the Wapiti Condensate Lateral both of which are expected to be in-service in the second half of 2019. Additional capital will be spent relating to previously known and anticipated final cleanup costs along the Peace Pipeline right-of-way, as well as communication and SCADA infrastructure upgrades.The company will also invest $210 on the development of Duvernay II & III which includes gas processing, condensate stabilization and related infrastructure under the previously announced 20-year infrastructure development and service agreement with Chevron Canada Limited. Duvernay II & III are expected to be in service in mid to late 2019 and mid to late 2020, respectively.Additional spending will be directed towards progressing the Prince Rupert LPG Export Terminal, the Empress Expansion and the recently announced Hythe Developments project.
New Delhi: Accusing the Congress of insulting institutions, including Parliament, judiciary, media and the armed forces, when it was in power, Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged people to think wisely before casting their vote in the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11.His government has changed things as it puts institutions above everything else, the prime minister said in a blog post. “As you go to vote – remember the past and how one family’s desire for power cost the nation so greatly. If they could do it then, they can surely do it now,” Modi wrote. “Think wisely: From the press to parliament. From soldiers to free speech. From the constitution to the courts. Institutional insult is the Congress way.” “Everyone is wrong, only the Congress is correct,” he said, taking a dig at the principal opposition party. India has seen that whenever dynastic politics has been powerful, institutions have taken a severe beating, he said. Referring to parliamentary proceedings, he said, “The nation knows the numerical dynamics of both houses. It is clear that when a non-dynasty party [has a] higher number, its tendency to work more is visible … which were the forces disrupting the House and why.” Discussing the freedom of expression, the prime minister alleged that dynastic parties have never been comfortable with a free and vibrant press. “No wonder, the very first constitutional amendment brought in by the Congress government sought to curtail free speech. Speaking truth to power, which is the hallmark of a free press was seen as vulgar and indecent,” Modi wrote. He pointed out that the UPA years saw the bringing of a law that could land you in prison for posting anything offensive . “A tweet against the son of a powerful UPA minister could land innocent citizens in jail … the nation watched with horror when a few youngsters were arrested for expressing their true feelings at a programme in Karnataka, where the Congress is sharing power,” he said. Modi said he wants to tell the Congress that “no amount of intimidation” will change the ground realities.
Amethi (UP): Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi held detailed parleys with senior party leaders Friday to finalise the campaign strategy of her brother and party chief, Rahul Gandhi, who is seeking reelection from the constituency. A senior Congress leader, who was present at the closed-door meeting, said she gave new directives and finalised the strategy of the party in the constituency and took feedback on the preparations for the election on May 6. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details During a five-hour meeting, she told local leaders a 20-member team from Delhi is here to review the progress in the responsibilities given to party functionaries. Priyanka Gandhi arrived in Amethi from New Delhi this morning and held the meeting with party office-bearers at the Congress office in Gauriganj area. She consulted senior party leaders and exchanged notes. In a development the party is viewing as a good sign, Bhalchandra Yadav, former Samajwadi Party MP from Sant Kabir Nagar, Vijay Pasi, who had contested Vidhan Sabha election on SP ticket last time, and Swaminath Yadav who has contested Vidhan Sabha election thrice joined Congress in presence of Priyanka Gandhi. Welcoming the new entrants in the party, she asked them and other Congress leaders to move out in the constituency and ensure the victory of Rahul Gandhi with a big margin.
If you are finding it hard to deal with the pressure at the workplace, there is more reason to worry. New research has found that work stress and impaired sleep are linked to a threefold higher risk of cardiovascular death in employees with hypertension. “Sleep should be a time for recreation, unwinding, and restoring energy levels. If you have stress at work, sleep helps you recover,” said study author Karl-Heinz Ladwig, Professor at Technical University of Munich, Germany. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainCompared to those with no work stress and good sleep, people with both risk factors had a three times greater likelihood of death from cardiovascular disease, showed the findings published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. People with work stress alone had a 1.6-fold higher risk while those with only poor sleep had a 1.8-times higher risk, the study said. In the study, work stress was defined as jobs with high demand and low control — for example when an employer wants results but denies authority to make decisions. “If you have high demands but also high control, in other words you can make decisions, this may even be positive for health,” said Ladwig.
New Delhi: Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking extension of the 7-day protection granted to him by it in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case in view of lawyers’ strike in Kolkata.Kumar’s counsel mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna and said that since lawyers in Kolkata are on strike, the protection granted to the IPS officer should be extended. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThe counsel said due to the strike, Kumar was not able to move the competent court for seeking relief and hence, the protection granted to him be counted from the time the strike ends. The lawyer told the bench that the top court had on May 17 granted seven days time to Kumar to approach the competent court for legal remedies but four days have already elapsed and they needed time to approach the competent court there. However, the bench said since the May 17 order was passed by a three-judge bench, Kumar’s counsel can approach the apex court registry or the secretary general for listing of the matter before an appropriate bench. “You are a lawyer and you know that CJI is the master of roster,” the bench told Kumar’s counsel and asked him to approach the registry for listing of the matter. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka GandhiOn May 17, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar by its February 5 order. The apex court, on February 5, had granted protection from arrest to Kumar while directing him to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate with investigation of cases arising out of the scam. The apex court had last week said that protection to Kumar would continue for seven days from May 17 to enable him to approach the competent court for relief.
TiVo has passed the 2.5 million subscriber milestone in Europe for the first time.TiVo said its advanced TV platform now covers almost half of Virgin Media’s subscribers and a third of ONO’s. The platfor has also been adopted by Swedish cable operator Com Hem in Europe.TiVo recently began showcasing its full hybrid QAM/IP and IPTV offering. According to the company, this platform is designed to work within cable operators’ existing architecture to implement advanced television as operators continue to transition to video delivery over IP. The solution can be migrated between either network while providing the same TiVo functionality including integration of linear, on-demand, catch-up and over-the-top services.Com Hem’s launch of TiVo in October 2013 was the first such full hybrid QAM/IP and IPTV deployment.“Consumers globally are increasingly demanding a superior TV viewing experience that enables them to access content across multiple screens and devices anytime and anywhere. Our growing roster of international pay-TV operator partners including Com Hem, Virgin Media and ONO recognized this trend early and share TiVo’s vision for the future of TV consumption,” said David Sandford, vice-president, general manager, iInternational at TiVo.“TiVo leads the market in multi-screen, TV Everywhere capabilities with deployments across multiple third party set-top boxes, iOS and Android operating systems and the Web, and Europe represents the largest share of TiVo deployments worldwide to date. Our success here puts a fine point on the overall success of TiVo’s strategic transformation to a major international advanced television platform and services company. We are extremely pleased with the strong and sustained rate of adoption throughout Europe.”
Several readers have asked why I use CDs in so many examples. With good reason, they wondered if I was suggesting buying CDs, which made them question my wisdom and sanity. If anyone thinks that’s what I’m recommending, I must have been remiss in conveying my message. On that note, I’d like to make one thing clear: I am absolutely opposed to buying any CD denominated in US dollars. (And since we’re clearing things up, I should also mention again that I am wholly opposed to TIPS.) When I use CDs in examples, I am usually referring to a lost time when they paid around 6% – a time when retirees could sail along on CDs and top-rated bonds without much worry. Since the first TARP bill passed in 2008, we’re hard pressed to find a CD paying more than about 1.2%, which is 0.5% below the government-reported inflation rate. It’s also 6.8% below the Money Forever Reader Poll Inflation Rate. Declining interest rates have hit retirees’ investment income hard; for many folks it’s dropped 50-80% from just a few years ago. So why would anyone want to make a long-term investment that is not keeping up with inflation and likely won’t catch up anytime soon? I certainly wouldn’t, and I strongly urge all readers to find other places to put their hard-earned money. Here is the bottom line: Before the 2008 crash, retirees could earn a decent yield on relatively safe investments. For many, this investment income was three to five times more than their Social Security checks, which allowed for a comfortable retirement low on financial stress. Now those same secure investments might bring in income equal to about half of your Social Security check. Before my wife Jo and I were married, we made one of our wisest investments: pre-marriage counseling. We had both been married before, and we wanted to make sure this marriage would be our last. One of our counseling assignments was to write down what we each wanted to be doing in 10 and 20 years. Our counselor also asked us to describe what “enjoying our golden years” meant to us. We took our assignments seriously, and as luck would have it, our dreams meshed quite well. We still consider ourselves truly blessed 25 years later. Some of the things we wanted were no-brainers. We wanted good health and enough money to not have to worry about it. While jetting around the world would be nice, our needs for happiness were much simpler. She grew up on a farm and my dad delivered mail; cool stuff is a bonus but not mandatory. We also wanted companionship to enjoy many things together and freedom to enjoy a few things apart. You get the point; we wanted the same things most ordinary people want. Nevertheless, having enough money to not have to worry about it turned into a trickier challenge than we’d expected. I retired at age 62. For the first six years, it was a dream. We lived in a motor home for a year and traveled extensively, nary a care in the world. Quite frankly, Jo and I were having a blast! That changed overnight, when the banks called in our high-yield, secure CDs. As I received more and more questions from readers about why I write about CDs so often, the more I realized what they had represented to us: freedom. Today we have enough money, but most of our capital is in riskier investments than FDIC-insured CDs. What investment could be more worry-free than a government-insured CD paying three times the rate of inflation? Moreover, it wasn’t just the yield that made us comfortable; safety was also key. If our government collapsed it was all over anyway, at least that was our thinking. The only folks I know who still have that same level of emotional comfort are retired federal employees. I can report that I now sleep much better than I did in 2008. However, it is still a far cry from our carefree joyride when I first retired. I know Jo and I are not alone. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) does an annual survey on retirement confidence. Its 2012 survey reports that in 2005, 40% of retirees felt “very comfortable” that they had enough money to live on throughout their retirement years. Forty percent reported they were “somewhat comfortable.” In 2012 those numbers changed to 21% and 42% respectively. Also, in 2005, 7% reported they were “not at all” comfortable; that figure jumped to 19% in 2012. Here are some other interesting tidbits from that report: Americans’ retirement confidence has plateaued at the lowest levels seen over the last two decades. With her marriage, she got a new name … and a dress. A will is a … dead giveaway. And my favorite: Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was … resisting a rest. Until next week… Twenty-five percent of those currently working say the age at which they expected to retire changed in the last year. In 1991, 11% of workers said they expected to retire after age 65, and by 2012 that grew to 37%. Baby boomers are now retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day and will continue to do so for the next 19 years. For decades, through economic ups and downs, they formed their retirement expectations. Now, in a few short years those expectations have been drastically altered.Back to the Future Thanks to the reader feedback I mentioned earlier, I have come to another conclusion: baby boomers on either side of the retirement cusp understand the problem, but they don’t all know what to do about it. Retirees have to make a detour; a bridge is out, and it won’t be repaired anytime soon. I can talk about 6% CDs all day long, but the truth is, they no longer exist. How can we achieve our retirement dreams in the current environment? Our retirement goals have not changed. We still want enough money to not have to worry about it. How we go about getting there, however, has been changed dramatically. So let’s focus on the task at hand. Personally, I advocate a three-pronged approach. First, we have little choice but to put a whole lot more of our nest egg at risk. We need to beat our current, high rate of inflation and earn enough to adequately supplement our Social Security checks. This means continuing to learn about and monitor our investments much more than we had to in the past. We have to diversify our investments to minimize the overall risk to our portfolios, and look into alternative investments and strategies. An uneducated or passive investor is setting himself and his family up for disaster. Second – and this is the part no one likes – we have to modify our lifestyles. That means different things for different people, but no matter how much money you have, we all have to live within our means. That’s just good, old-fashioned common sense. I’ve noticed that folks who accept the reality of our economic problems have an easier time making adjustments. They made sensible cutbacks early on and are damn happy they did. On the other hand, our friends who thought we were in an 18-month recession are hitting some real rough patches. Third and finally, we need to redefine “don’t have to worry about it” to fit today. When Jo and I were traveling the country in our motorhome, Internet connections were spottier than they are today. We would check into a campground and ask if they had an Internet hookup. If they did, we would check our email and update our brokerage account. If not, no big deal; hopefully we would find one at the next campground. That was the epitome of not worrying about it. Not worrying looks a lot different today. We know and understand where our money is invested, and we continue to learn every day. While I would use the word “comfortable” to describe our situation, it’s still a far cry from our carefree, passive attitude of yesteryear. That was a dream… and a whole lot of fun while it lasted. Nevertheless, an educated, confident investor can still sleep very well. If you’re up counting sheep and worrying about your portfolio, skip the Ambien. Instead, I invite you to learn about Miller’s Money Forever and take advantage of our no-risk, premium subscription. If you decide it’s not for you, just call or email within the first 90-days and receive a 100% refund. And if you do decide to stick with Miller’s Money Forever, it’s still less expensive than a lifelong Ambien prescription. As the EBRI survey pointed out, in 2005 40% of those surveyed said they were “very comfortable.” By 2012 the number had dropped to 21%. Our goal at Miller’s Money Forever is to make sure our subscribers all fall into the 21% who are “very comfortable.”On the Lighter Side I saw that Danica Patrick won the pole position for the Daytona 500. I suspect that will add a few million viewers to the race next week. While she was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, she grew up in Roscoe, Illinois, right across the state line. We have friends who lived there, and she is certainly a hometown hero. Our Florida weather has been a bit cool over the last few days; the forecast for the race day is in the low 70s. Let’s hope it’s a good and safe race. —- My friend Rob – of We Buy Gold fame – and I went to a coin show over the weekend. There was no junk silver to be found, and Silver Eagles were also in short supply. After speaking with several dealers, they felt the current downturn in the price of metals will be short lived. And finally… Our friends Ed and Sarah sent us some clever puns. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles … U.C.L.A. The batteries were given out … free of charge. A dentist and a manicurist married … They fought tooth and nail. The percentage of workers expecting to retire before age 65 has decreased from 50% in 1991 to 24% in 2012.
Saudi Arabia The United States has the largest refining capacity in the world and is still by far the largest consumer of oil in the world (though China is beginning to catch up), and its refineries require 15 million barrels of oil a day. That means even though, due to the shale revolution, domestic production has dramatically increased to about 8 million barrels, the US still has to import between 7 and 8 million barrels of expensive foreign oil a day. Let’s take a look at who the US buys the imported oil from. (Now that I finally figured out my way around the new Windows 8—which, by the way, really sucks—I can even add some color to my tables.) Canada 2.5–3 Millions of barrels exported to US per day Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Use Compounds Made from Crude Oil Golf balls Toothpaste Soap Aspirin Life jackets Louis Vuitton knock-offs Guitar strings Shoes Soccer balls Pantyhose 0.8 0.8–1.0 Venezuela Mexico But really, I’ve had a pretty good run. Here is my audited return since January 1, 2012 (green column on the left). 1.2–1.5 While the White House spied on Frau Merkel and Obamacare developed into a slow-moving train wreck, while Syria was saved from all-out war by the Russian bell and the Republicrats fought bitterly about the debt ceiling… something monumental happened that went unnoticed by most of the globe. The US quietly surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world. You read that correctly: “The jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history,” stated Reuters on October 15. “U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, the fastest expansion in production over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia’s output from 1970-1974.” After the initial moment of awe, pragmatic readers will surely wonder: Then why isn’t gasoline dirt-cheap in the US? There’s indeed a good explanation why most Americans don’t drive up to the gas pump whistling a happy tune (and it has nothing to do with evil speculators). Let’s start with the demand side of this equation. Crude oil consists of very long chains of carbon atoms. The refineries take the crude and essentially “crack” those long chains of carbon atoms into shorter chains of carbon atoms to make various petroleum products. Some of the products that are made from petroleum may surprise you. Good day in the markets Bad day in the markets 0.3–0.5 Country Kuwait Canada is blue because it is not only friendly with the US, but also has the ability to increase oil production. The other countries are red because they either have decreasing oil production, or the country is not on good terms with the US government, or the production may be at risk for various reasons. The “red countries” all sell oil to the US at higher prices than does Canada. As I said, the US imports about 7 million barrels of oil a day, and our top 5 exporters make up between 5.6 and 6.8 million barrels while the rest is split among other countries. This means that even though the US has significantly increased its oil production in the past five years, a good chunk of oil has to be imported at much higher prices. And higher crude oil prices for refineries means higher prices at the gas pump. But that’s not the only issue: The “new oil” produced from the shale oil fields in the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations isn’t cheap. Both the Bakken and Eagle Ford have been hugely successful, and an average well in either region can produce over 400 barrels of oil per day. That may sound like a lot, but drilling thousands of meters into the ground (both vertically and horizontally), then casing and fracking the well, costs millions of dollars. And the trouble doesn’t end once the well has been drilled: oil and gas production can drop as much as 50% in the first year. Think of it as running on a treadmill—but the incline gets steeper and steeper the longer you run. That’s the current reality of America’s oil production. Now, these areas also have to deal with declining legacy oil production (“legacy” meaning older oil wells that produced before fracking became popular) due to depletion rates. Freeze-offs, and even hurricane season can affect the legacy oil wells’ production decline. As the old wells begin to deplete, they need to be replaced by unconventional wells with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Even though these new wells provide an initial burst of production, they decline very quickly. That means you need to drill even more wells just to keep up—and the vicious cycle continues. The costs, as you can imagine, are forbiddingly high. Even in known oil-rich regions like the Bakken and Eagle Ford, the all-in cost of extracting a barrel of oil from the ground can cost as much as US$75 per barrel (for comparison, Saudi Arabia can produce oil for as low as US$1 per barrel). To put it in simple terms: cheap oil in North America is a thing of the past. So, the US produces expensive oil and relies on imports of even more expensive oil. And since the refiners need to make money as well, this means higher prices at the pumps. Who loses? The US consumer, of course. What would help lower gas prices? Building more pipelines to deliver cheaper Canadian oil to refineries in the US and decreasing the refineries’ dependence on expensive foreign oil. Until these new and much safer pipelines are built, rail has to pick up the slack. Almost 400,000 railcars full of oil are expected to be shipped in 2013, compared with just 9,500 railcars in 2008, a whopping 41-fold increase. But rail is not the answer. In fact, transporting oil by rail is much more dangerous than transporting it by pipeline. Just last week, we wrote about two recent accidents, one of which claimed 47 lives. Federal and state taxes at every step of the gasoline-making progress make the pain at the pump even worse. The US government already takes more than 60% of the divisible income from every barrel of oil produced… and another 50 cents per gallon at the pump. Then there’s the matter of Obama’s supposed “Green Revolution” and how America would be saved through the use of alternative energies. Obama wrote massive checks to different renewable energy firms that went belly-up, the most famous of them all being solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, whose bankruptcy cost American taxpayers more than $500 million. Obama is also a heavy supporter of ethanol (his home state of Illinois, after all, is the third-largest ethanol-producing state) and has increased the targets for the use of ethanol in transportation. Someone has to pay for all of these subsidies, so why not get the dirty, evil oil companies to pay for them? Keep in mind, though, that the oil companies have enough lobbyists and lawyers to keep the government at bay—so the higher prices will be passed on to the consumers. To sum up why the price of gasoline is so high even though the US is producing so much more oil than before: The high cost of American oil production Even higher costs due to imported (non-Canadian) oil Obama not allowing cheaper Canadian oil to flow to the refineries via pipelines such as the Keystone XL The taxes on crude are used to fund Obama’s green dream—his green-energy “legacy”—and his love for ethanol and the taxes at the pump will not decrease So what does this mean for you, the consumer? You have two options: You can gripe about high gas prices… or you can choose to profit from the situation, no matter how dire. If you’re the former type, so long, and I hope you enjoyed my missive today. If you’re the latter, let’s talk money. Who am I? Well, I kinda look like this guy… I stand by my performance and offer anyone reading this article a guarantee: if you try the Casey Energy Report today and do not think that it’s the absolute best energy newsletter in the business, you get all your money back, no questions asked. I’m not saying I’m perfect (my wife reminds me daily that I’m not ), but I’m willing to put myself out there and offer you a challenge to expand your knowledge and become a better investor. All of my past newsletters, going back to 2006, are up on the Casey website, and I want you to check them out. I have lost money on investments (anyone who says they haven’t is a liar), but I made sure I learned something from every harsh experience. And overall, I’ve made much more than I’ve lost. Our energy portfolio has been delivering +50% gains since January 1, 2012. Right now, I’m the first to publish on what I think is going to send my track record to the moon. I’m on to an investment theme that I believe has the potential to make 10-fold returns for investors who play it right. That theme is the European Energy Renaissance. Doug Casey and I are convinced that new technologies applied in the Old World will bring huge New World profits. But don’t take my word for it—I challenge you to try out my research. Click here to take me up on my 100% money-back guarantee. Additional Links and Reads OPEC Warning of $150 Oil Price If Member Countries Cut Investment (The National) What people often forget about the oil and gas sector is that it is a very capital-intensive business. If companies (or countries) do not consistently re-invest in their production, the amount that comes out of the fields inevitably drops lower and lower. To make matters worse, the demand for oil within petroleum-exporting countries is increasing due to population growth. This means much less will be available for exports, leading to higher oil prices worldwide. Pirates Abduct Two Americans on Oil Ship Off Nigeria Coast (New York Times) Piracy is still a very real concern worldwide when it comes to shipping, adding yet another layer of risk in the global oil and gas trade. Though the phenomenon has died down somewhat in Somalia, we see that piracy is still alive and well in other parts of the world. In the latest event, two American citizens have been abducted in Nigeria. This could be the beginning of a worrying trend of increased piracy around parts of Africa. Final Keystone Review Assesses Potential of Oil-by-Rail Transport (Globe and Mail) US officials are currently considering whether transporting oil by rail is a viable alternative to the pipeline. However, as we have mentioned in previous issues of the CDD, they will soon find that despite the fact that it’s theoretically possible to ship the oil by rail, it will be much more expensive and much less safe. If it comes down to a clash of the lobbyists, however, who knows what could happen?
Source:https://www.escardio.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 5 2019Anti-inflammatory biologic drugs used to treat severe psoriasis have the potential to prevent heart disease in patients with the skin condition, according to research published today in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). During one year of treatment, biologic therapy improved coronary artery plaque similar to the effect of a low-dose statin.”Psoriasis severity is related to the burden of coronary disease – our findings suggest treating the psoriasis may potentially benefit coronary heart disease,” said study author Dr Nehal Mehta, Chief of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, US.Psoriasis causes scaly skin patches, often on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Patients with the skin condition have an elevated risk of heart disease – young patients with severe psoriasis are at twice the risk of having a first heart attack at 40-50 years of age.Psoriasis patients often have inflammation throughout the body and may be treated with anti-inflammatory biologic therapy when their skin condition is severe and topical treatments or phototherapy have failed. This study investigated whether treating severe psoriasis with a biologic could improve the health of the coronary arteries.The study found that patients with severe psoriasis who took biologic therapy for one year had an 8% reduction in total and non-calcified coronary plaque burden, a frequent cause of heart attacks (see figure) – similar to the effect of a low dose statin. The make-up of coronary plaques also improved in those taking biologics, making them less risky. Coronary plaque burden increased by 2% in patients who did not take a biologic.Dr Mehta said: “We found that these anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat severe psoriasis also improve plaque in the coronary artery making them more stable and less likely to cause a heart attack. This occurred in the absence of changes in traditional cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure and blood lipids.”Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseDuring the one-year study, systemic inflammation assessed by blood markers reduced only in the group taking biologic therapy. Dr Mehta said it is too early to say whether biologics exert their effects on coronary plaques directly or by reducing systemic inflammation.He said: “This preliminary study provides the first evidence that biologic therapy is associated with coronary plaque reduction and stabilization, and provides strong rationale for conduct of a randomized trial testing the impact of biologic therapy on the progression of coronary disease in patients with psoriasis.”Dr Mehta noted that some patients with severe psoriasis opt not to take a biologic medicine because they suppress the immune system and may increase the chance of infection. In addition, they must be injected.Previous research has shown that in heart attack patients, anti-inflammatory biologic therapy reduces the risk of another cardiovascular event.2 “With the results of that study and our current one, my message to patients with psoriasis is to take untreated inflammation seriously,” said Dr Mehta. “When someone has severe psoriasis, they are at higher risk of heart attack and treating the psoriasis may reduce that risk.”The observational study included 121 patients with severe psoriasis who qualified for biologic treatment. Of those, 89 took biological therapy (one of three types) and 32 used topical treatment. All patients underwent imaging of their coronary arteries with computed tomography angiography at baseline and one year later to assess the amount and characteristics of plaques such as the necrotic core which causes plaque rupture.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 9 2019Scientists at The University of Toledo investigating improvements to a commonly used chemotherapy drug have discovered an entirely new class of cancer-killing agents that show promise in eradicating cancer stem cells.Their findings could prove to be a breakthrough in not only treating tumors, but ensuring cancer doesn’t return years later — giving peace of mind to patients that their illness is truly gone. Taylor and Dr. L.M. Viranga Tillekeratne, a professor in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in the UToledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, reported their findings in a paper recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.Cancer stem cells are an intriguing target for researchers because of their potential to re-seed tumors.When doctors remove a tumor surgically or target it with chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy, the cancer may appear to be gone. However, evidence suggests that a tiny subpopulation of adaptable cancer cells can remain and circulate through the body to seed new metastasis in far-off locations.Those cancer stem cells, Taylor said, are similar to dandelions in a well-manicured lawn.”You could chop the plant off, but it will drop a seed. You know the seeds are there, but they’re hiding,” he said. “You pull one weed out and another comes up right after it. Cancers can be like this as well.”Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerThe small molecule they have isolated appears to lock on to those stem cells and kill them by blocking their absorption of an amino acid called cystine.UToledo was awarded a patent for the discovery late last year.For Tillekeratne and Taylor, uncovering a new class of therapeutic molecules could prove to be an even larger contribution to cancer research than the project they initially envisioned.”At present, there are no drugs that can kill cancer stem cells, but people are looking for them,” Tillekeratne said. “A lot of drugs are discovered by serendipity. Sometimes in research if you get unexpected results, you welcome that because it opens up a new line of research. This also shows the beauty of collaboration. I wouldn’t have been able to do this on my own, and [Taylor] wouldn’t have been able to do it on his own.”Tillekeratne has received a three-year, $449,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute to continue testing the effectiveness of the newly identified therapy.Because the molecules so selectively target cancer stem cells, it’s possible they could ultimately be paired with other chemotherapy drugs to deliver a more comprehensive treatment.However, the researchers have found their agents show stand-alone promise in treating sarcomas and a subtype of breast cancer known as claudin-low breast cancer, which represents up to 14 percent of all breast cancers and can be particularly difficult to treat. Source:University of ToledoJournal reference:Taylor, W.R. et al. (2019) Small-Molecule Ferroptotic Agents with Potential to Selectively Target Cancer Stem Cells. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42251-5. Not all cancer cells are the same, even in the same tumor. There is a lot of variability and some of the cells, like cancer stem cells, are much nastier. Everyone is trying to figure out how to kill them, and this may be one way to do it.”Dr. William Taylor, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, UToledo College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 23 2019Nearly 6% of athletes and non-athletes were found to have the neurodegenerative disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the largest, and broadest, study conducted of the disease to date. The findings were published June 14 in the international journal Brain Pathology. Generally our findings point to CTE being more common in athletes and more common in football players, but this study is a bit more balanced and accurately reflects the general population compared to previous studies.”Lead author Kevin Bieniek, Ph.D., of UT Health San Antonio Dr. Bieniek led the research while at the Mayo Clinic before moving to Texas. He now directs the brain bank at the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, which is part of UT Health San Antonio.Unbiased screenCTE, linked with repetitive blows to the head, has been found in 80-99% of autopsied brains of pro football players. “Nobody has really looked at it from kind of an epidemiological perspective,” Dr. Bieniek said. “We compared people who played a sport with those who didn’t play. We studied both young and old people, and amateur players versus college and professional players. And we studied both men and women, which had not been done previously. What we aimed to do was an unbiased screen for CTE from all sorts of different cases.”Biographical information utilizedThe team scanned obituaries and high school yearbooks of 2,566 individuals whose brain autopsies are a part of the Mayo Clinic Tissue Registry. The study focused on a variety of contact sports: baseball, basketball, boxing, football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and wrestling. Non-contact sports, such as golf and tennis, were excluded.This analysis identified 300 former athletes and 450 non-athletes. “We screened the brains of all of these cases for evidence of CTE in a blinded fashion, intentionally not knowing which brain tissue was related to which case,” Dr. Bieniek said.FindingsA small number of cases, 42, had CTE pathology (5.6% of the total). CTE was found in 27 athletes and 15 non-athletes, and in 41 men and one woman. American football had the highest frequency of CTE (15%) of the contact sports studied, with participation beyond high school resulting in the highest risk of developing CTE.Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sIT Faces the Digital Pathology Data Tsunami”The 42 cases, or 6%, is more of a grounded, realistic number,” Dr. Bieniek said. “That might not seem like a lot, but when you consider there are millions of youth, high school and collegiate athletes in the United States alone who play organized sports, it has the potential of being a significant public health issue. There are many ongoing questions regarding CTE pathology, however, and we don’t want to discourage sources of healthy physical and cardiovascular activity like these sports. Rather, we emphasize safe strategies to reduce the possibility of head injuries and properly treat them when they are sustained.”Non-athletes’ casesThe identification of 15 CTE cases in non-athletes raises interesting questions, Dr. Bieniek said. “Did these people have trauma from another source?” he asked. “Were they actually athletes and we were unable to detect it from biographical information? Is there another disease with similar features?”Cases with CTE tended to be a bit older than the cases without it, and many CTE cases also showed evidence of Alzheimer’s disease. “At the Glenn Biggs Institute, we study the concept of multiple neurodegenerative disorders happening within the brain of a person who has dementia,” Dr. Bieniek said.The crucial role of donors”This is an important national study led by our brain bank director, Dr. Bieniek,” said Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor of neurology at UT Health San Antonio and director of the Glenn Biggs Institute. “We have a great team of scientists at the Biggs Institute, and the brain bank is key to the research aims of these investigators. We are so grateful for the many patients and normal older persons who have signed on to be brain donors after their death. The program runs 24/7/365, is free to the family, and gives the family the peace and knowledge of a definitive diagnosis for their loved one’s condition.”Several studies related to traumatic brain injuries and CTE by Dr. Bieniek and his colleagues are currently ongoing at UT Health San Antonio, including how certain genetic variants might protect or put a person at higher risk for developing CTE. Source:University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioJournal reference:Bieniek, K.F. et al. (2019) Association between contact sports participation and chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a retrospective cohort study. Brain Pathology. doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12757.