Ontario pot supply decision a big opportunity for smaller producers

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s cannabis supply agreements could be a boon for smaller producers who will have digital shelf space alongside the sector’s dominant players, which have inked distribution agreements with other provinces but are making sure to earmark supply for the country’s biggest potential pot market.Several marijuana stocks saw a slight lift Tuesday, one day after the Ontario Cannabis Store announced its initial supply agreements with 26 licensed producers. Selected firms ranged from the largest producer Canopy Growth Corp. to Northern Green Canada Inc., which received its cultivation license from Health Canada just a few months ago.The long-awaited announcement offered investors some “clarity” and allayed previous concerns about how concentrated the supplier list would be, said Russell Stanley, an analyst with Echelon Wealth Partners.“With a number of smaller players in there, I think it gives people some comfort that smaller producers still have a shot at getting shelf space in the country’s largest market,” he said.The Ontario Cannabis Store, the government entity tasked with distribution of legal pot for adult use, announced late Monday that it had signed more than two dozen initial supply agreements to stock up its online retail shelves.Sales of recreational cannabis on Oct. 17 will initially be available only through the OCS’ online retail channel until the province establishes a wholesale distribution network to supply pot to legal private stores by April 2019.OCS spokesman Daffyd Roderick said it conducted a “competitive procurement process” that ensures “we’ve got prices that square up against the illicit market and a broad variety of product at different price points.”“It’s a diverse array of producers, and one of the things that will do is give Ontario consumers choice,” he said.The Progressive Conservative government’s new plan to have cannabis sold through a private retail model is a contrast its Liberal predecessor’s plan for a provincial government monopoly on cannabis sales. Premier Doug Ford had said during the election campaign that he was open to private retail of cannabis, a plan his government officially confirmed earlier this month.Confirmation of Ontario’s supply deals came after several other provinces including Alberta and Manitoba had already announced agreements of their own with licensed producers.These previous agreements limited the amount of supply producers could make available for Ontario, said Grant McLeod, senior vice president of regulatory affairs for Beleave Inc., which also signed an Ontario deal.“When we had higher than anticipated orders from some of the provinces, we did seek to fill those orders,” he said. “It did in fact dictate how much was available to Ontario.”Some producers say that in the last couple of months, they have been fielding queries for more cannabis from provinces that have already inked deals.“A number of provinces are reaching out to larger licensed producers… looking for additional product,” said Greg Engel, chief executive of Organigram, which also signed a supply deal with Ontario.“Because they have concerns that companies may not be able to deliver or fulfil their commitments.”After running the numbers, these provinces have concluded that they need additional suppliers, Barry Fishman, chief executive officer of VIVO Cannabis Inc.“We’re in discussions with a few provinces that are in that situation,” he said.Meanwhile, other provinces and territories such as Saskatchewan are still expected to announce their supply agreements as analysts expect a shortage of supply on day one.Still, Ontario believes it will have enough cannabis supply for Oct. 17, said Roderick.“We’re confident that we’ve secured supply and we’re ready to go back to the market, should need be,” he said.Given the size of the Ontario market, producers say they are allocating a major amount of their production for the province in any case. For example, Organigram is allocating potentially between 35 to 40 per cent of its output for Ontario.While there will be a tight supply in the early days before producers’ expansion plans bear fruit in the coming years, Ontario will be a priority market, said Martin Landry, an analyst with GMP Securities.“Ontario will get a lot of attention from LPs, given its a big market,” he said. “If an LP wants to develop a national brand, it’s going to need to have some sort of presence in Ontario.”last_img read more

Alabama pension fund now sole owner of local newspaper chain

first_imgMONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s employee pension fund has become sole owner of one of the largest chains of local U.S. newspapers.CHNI LLC has been acquired by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The company includes 68 daily newspapers and more than 40 non-dailies plus websites in 22 states.The Montgomery, Alabama-based newspaper group is being spun off Raycom Media Inc., which is being purchased by the Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. Raycom was owned by the retirement system.CNHI previously operated with the state retirement system as its creditor. CNHI chief executive Donna Barrett says in a statement the acquisition will provide stability for the newspaper group.Financial details weren’t announced.Alabama’s pension fund has other non-traditional investments including golf courses, airliners and the largest office building in New York City.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Raj Guvs remarks supporting return of PM Modi violative of poll code

first_imgNew Delhi: Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh’s remarks supporting the return of Narendra Modi as prime minister are violative of model code of conduct, the Election Commission has concluded. Sources said since Singh holds a constitutional post, the EC will write to President Ram Nath Kovind, flagging the issue. The poll panel had examined the remarks made by the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister in the light of model code violation as holding a constitutional post makes him “apolitical”. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Addressing BJP workers at his Aligarh residence on March 23, Singh reportedly said, “All of us are BJP workers and we want the party to win. We want Modiji to become the prime minister. It is necessary that Modiji becomes the PM again.” The Governor made these remarks to placate some agitated BJP members who gathered outside his house over ticket distribution. In the 1990s, the EC had expressed displeasure to then Himachal Pradesh Governor Gulsher Ahmed for campaigning for his son. He later quit.last_img read more

SER plans to run special trains

first_imgKolkata: The South Eastern Railway has decided to run 11 pairs of special trains between Shalimar andMumbai from April 20 to July 1 and another 11 pairs of special trains between Santragachi and New Jalpaiguri from April 21 to June 30 to clear the extra rush of passengers during summer. Trains get more passengers during summer as people plan trips during holidays. A weekly special train will leave Shalimar station at 6.10 am every Monday and will reach Mumbai at 4.05 pm on Tuesday. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIn the opposite direction, the special train will leave Mumbai at 11.05 am every Saturday and will arrive at Shalimar at 9.30 pm the next day, Sunday. “The special train consisting of one AC 2 Tier, two AC 3-Tier, seven sleeper Class and three general second class coaches, will have stoppages at Santragachi, Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Chakradharpur, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur, Raipur, Durg, Gondia, Nagpur, Wardha, Badnera, Akola, Bhusawal, Nasik Road, Igatpuri, Kalyan and Dadar between Shalimar and Mumbai CSMT,” a senior SER official said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwaySantragachi-New Jalpaiguri weekly AC special will be leaving Santragachi at 10.25 am every Sunday and will reach New Jalpaiguri at 8.55 pm, the same day. In the opposite direction, New Jalpaiguri-Santragachi special will leave New Jalpaiguri at 11.15 pm every Sunday and will arrive Santragachi at 11.15 am , the next day. This train will have sixteen AC 3-tier coaches and will have stoppages at Bardhaman, Rampurhat, Malda Town, Barsoi, Kishanganj and Alubari Road between Santragachi and New Jalpaiguri. Booking will be available for both the trains from Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and internet with immediate effect.last_img read more

Baseball falls 70 to Hawkeyes looks to rebound in game 2

Fans expecting a show from the Ohio State baseball team would have to wait for the post-game fireworks as the Buckeyes were helpless against the Iowa Hawkeyes in a 7-0 loss Friday night at Bill Davis Stadium. With senior ace Drew Rucinski on the mound, OSU (22-23, 10-9) looked to build momentum after their win over No. 19 ranked Oklahoma State against the Hawkeyes (19-27, 8-11). Instead, Hawkeyes put on a clinic as they dominated the Buckeyes at the plate and on the mound. They had 11 hits, several of which weren’t hit very hard but found a place in the outfield anyway. “It seemed like it was a ‘hit it where we ain’t’ situation tonight for them,” coach Greg Beals said. “We didn’t have enough going on tonight to win the ball game. It just was one of those nights.” Iowa attacked OSU systematically from the plate, with timely and consistent hitting as they increased their lead throughout the game. The real star of the game was Iowa starter Jared Hippen. The lefty mystified the OSU lineup with an array of off-speed pitches, scattering three hits and striking out five for the complete game shutout. His circle-change kept the Buckeyes guessing. “He’s throwing that soft stuff and as a hitter you just want to whack at it,” freshman outfielder Tim Wetzel said. “It was like whiffle-ball.” “You have to give him credit, he did a good job of mixing speeds on us,” Beals said. “We didn’t stay patient and had we capitalized on the fastballs, it might have been a different story.” Senior outfielder Brian DeLucia described his frustration facing Hippen. “He had a lot of junk,” DeLucia said. “I credit this game to bad defensive at-bats and slow stuff we weren’t used to facing.” The series resumes Saturday at 3:05 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium between OSU and Iowa. Missed Chances OSU did have chances to generate runs in lieu of Hippen’s performance, but didn’t come through on those chances. They were 0-for-8 at the plate with runners in scoring position. “We had our chances tonight,” Beals said. “When you get those opportunities to drive runs you have to put those balls in play. Rucinski Comes Up Short Rucinski lost his first Big Ten game of the season Friday night. He was previously 3-0 with a 2.54 ERA in conference play. “I thought he pitched the ball pretty good tonight,” Beals said. “Iowa’s a scrappy team that got their hits when they needed them tonight.” read more

Man City plans to maintain position

first_imgMan City is seeking to maintain their position atop the Premier League table when they get back to action a week today.On the other hand, Chelsea football club will welcome Burnley to the Etihad on October 20 as they have come off undefeated in their opening eight top-flight fixtures.Bernardo Silva would be battling for the match after report emerged in Portugal that he will go on rest after their game against Scotland where h scored the goal that assisted in giving Poland a win on Thursday night.Also, Oleks Zinchenko’s agent has said the player is open to a move to Napoli.Cristiano Ronaldo makes European history for Portugal Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 10, 2019 With all the arsenal on the pitch for Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo reached another all-time record in European football against Lithuania.The Portugal National Team made…“I met with [Napoli director Cristiano] Giuntoli [in the summer] and we laid down the foundations of a deal with Zinchenko, but the two clubs could not agree on a fee,” Alan Prudnikov said via Manchester United News.“We’d be ready to discuss it again, though.”last_img read more

Ponzio Palacios is a readymade Real Madrid player

first_imgRiver Plate captain Leonardo Ponzio believes team-mate Exequiel Palacios is a suitable player for Real Madrid to signThe 20-year-old midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Real in the January transfer window with River president Rodolfo D’Onofrio confirming there has been contact.Palacios is regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in South America and had reportedly captured the interest of several European giants.Now Ponzio believes his young team-mate would fit in well at Real as he has all the required attributes.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“He has been with us for almost two and a half years,” Ponzio told AS. “He has become a player in River, in Argentine soccer.“Real Madrid? I believe what ability he has. Of course, you cannot ask him to be the same as Luka Modric. He is 20 years old. He goes to another continent, to another kind of football.“But conditions have to grow. He is very of the palate of Real Madrid. Technically he is good, he has a good footing, individually he is good. But he must keep his head. He has to be calm because he is going to make the jump at any moment.”Real have now travelled the United Arab Emirates for Wednesday’s Club World Cup semi-final against Kashima Antlers.last_img read more

No laws requiring public to be informed when sex offenders are released

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, September 9, 2016 – There are no laws in the Turks and Caicos which require the prison or police to inform the public that a violent sex offender has completed prison time.  The Governor’s Office is the only entity responding so far to our queries on Robert Jackson, aka Black.Jackson had been incarcerated for a string of violent home invasions, one involving a pregnant woman who was sexually assaulted; that case was from 2008.  The Governor’s Office said and I quote:“I can understand the concerns that have been expressed to you. However, Mr Jackson served all of the period that he was committed to prison to serve and was released accordingly. There is no requirement within Prisons Ordinance for any victim or community notification when anyone is released from prison without this being for the purposes of parole. Although it is possible for prisoners to seek voluntary supervision upon release, there is no statutory supervision requirements contained within the Prisons Ordinance.” End quote.The Governor adds that the Police are aware of Mr. Jackson’s release from Her Majesty’s Prison on September 2nd, 2016. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:no laws requiring public to be informed when sex offenders are released, police aware of mr. jackson’s release, robert jackson released from prison, sex offender back on streets of TCIlast_img read more

Texas Hospitals Are Adopting New Routines To Curb Maternal Deaths

first_imgGABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUTDell Seton adopted protocols to reduce opioid overdoses among new moms.Two-thirds of Texas hospitals offering maternity services are taking part in a statewide initiative aimed at reducing maternal mortality.Texas health officials this week kicked off a project called “TexasAIM,” an effort to get hospitals to use a set of protocols referred to as “safety bundles.” The goal is to standardize how doctors in Texas deal with pregnant women who are at risk of common complications during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth.The state plans to tackle hemorrhage, hypertension and opioid abuse first. All three are among the leading causes of maternal deaths in the state.“Our goal is to have as many hospitals participate that want to participate,” says Dr. Manda Hall, the associate commissioner for community health improvement at the Texas Department of State Health Services.So far, Hall says, 168 hospitals have joined TexasAIM – that’s out of the 242 hospitals in the state that offer maternity services.“We know that there is an opportunity here to really make a difference here in Texas as it relates to maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity,” she says. “So, we are very happy to see the number of hospitals that are here today and participating.”During a meeting in Austin on Monday, hospital leaders from across the state met to discuss how they plan to implement the protocols and what it would look like in their own hospitals.“What it looks like in one hospital may look different in another hospital and that’s OK,” Hall says.That’s especially true because some hospitals already have been using these safety bundles.“We didn’t wait for TexasAIM to come along,” says Dr. John Harkins, a professor at UT Austin’s Dell Medical School and physician with Seton hospitals. “We’ve had these because it is evidence-based, and being an academic teaching center, we were able to get these up and running.”And Harkins says he’s already seeing results.“From my own experience, these things work great,” he says. “They save lives.”A lot of what doctors do is repetitive, Harkins says, and these safety bundles create yet another routine – but this one is backed by science.“Physicians at times are loathe to adopt standardization,” he says. “And you hear things like that, ‘You know, well, each patient you have to treat it like an art, and they are all different’ and that kind of stuff. But in certain things, it’s not an art; it is a science.”Harkins also says there are examples out there in the world of strict routines being safer.“Airline pilots go through the exact same protocols and checklists every single time they land a plane,” he says. “They do the exact same thing every time because they know that that is the safest way to get things done.”Texas health officials say there is evidence that creating protocols in hospitals has curbed maternal deaths in other states. For instance, one of the big drivers behind California’s effort to reduce maternal mortality rates was using new protocols in hospitals. In just four years, the state cut its rate by half. Sharelast_img read more

Ancient shrimp monster not so fierce after all

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Anomalocaris was a meter-long shrimp-like creature with lobed wings that lived around 500 million years ago. It is often illustrated in the act of devouring trilobites or other shelled animals, and has been dubbed the first “super predator” because of its supposed ability to swoop down and attack trilobites on the sea bed.Researchers from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, led by paleontologist James “Whitey” Hagadorn, reconstructed the mouth parts of Anomalocaris by examining 400 fossils and selecting the best specimens and feeding their data into a 3D computer model. They also reconstructed 12 groups of trilobites of various kinds, modeling their shell strength on modern day lobster and crab shells. Hagadorn said the group tried to model the full range of shapes and sizes of prey and predator mouth parts.The computer model enabled them to test how much force the animal could generate with its bite. The results showed Anomalocaris’ armored mouth parts would break before adult trilobite shells did, the feelers were inflexible, and their mouths could not fully close. The fossils also suggested the teeth were actually flexible protrusions and the mouth parts were able to fold, which would not have been possible if their mouth parts were hard.Hagadorn said there was also no positive evidence of trilobite or other crushed shells within fossil feces or gut contents, and no evidence of the broken or chipped mouth parts that would be expected in a shell-crunching predator. The findings of the research suggest it was extremely unlikely Anomalocaris could have eaten most trilobites.Trilobite fossils have been found that appear to have scars or bite marks resembling Anomalocaris’ bite, but Hagadorn suggested the creatures possibly “ingested things and then spit them out,” but did not eat the trilobites.Hagadorn said the most likely diet of Anomalocaris was similar to that of modern arthropods such as crabs, lobsters and shrimps, which mostly eat soft items such as worms in the mud or microorganisms or plankton in the water. It could have eaten very small trilobites and recently molted trilobites whose new shells had not yet hardened, but the vast majority of trilobites would have broken Anomalocaris’ mouth parts.He stressed there is no positive evidence of Anomalocaris’ diet, but said this is not surprising because in the fossil record “mushed-up” worms, phytoplankton or snails are “all going to look like mush.”The results of the research were presented on 1 November at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver, Colorado. (PhysOrg.com) — A Cambrian sea creature, Anomalocaris Canadensis, had long been thought to be a fearsome predator of trilobites, equipped as it was with barbed feelers and an armor-plated mouth, but new research suggests it was incapable of eating adult trilobites and probably survived by dining on “mush.” © 2010 PhysOrg.comcenter_img First great predator not much of one at all Citation: Ancient shrimp monster not so fierce after all (2010, November 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-11-ancient-shrimp-monster-fierce.html Anomalocaris canadensis, the top predator from the middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia, pencil drawing, digital coloring. The “tail fins” in this reconstruction should be placed ventrally (on top of the organism), and not at the rear as illustrated. Image: Nobu Tamura, via Wikipedia.last_img read more

Testing proves giant eyes of netcasting spider help with nocturnal foraging

first_img The net-casting spider is shown holding the band of wooly silk that it uses to engulf and capture prey. UNL doctoral student Jay Stafstrom spent two months in a Florida state park observing the spider’s hunting behavior. Credit: Courtesy Jay Stafstrom Journal information: Biology Letters © 2016 Phys.org Many visitors to Florida have been alarmed by the sight of a small spider with humongous eyes—the net casting spider, so named because of the unusual shape of the webs it creates—fortunately, the spiders are harmless to humans. Interestingly, until now, no one has gone to the trouble of actual testing the spiders to fully understand why they have such big eyes—the largest proportionally, for any arachnid.To prove the theory that the big eyes evolved to help with night foraging, the researchers started by video-taping several of them as they went about their activities in their natural environment. Then, they captured some samples and applied dental silicone over the single pair of big eyes (net-casters, like other spiders have eight eyes altogether, the others eyes are much smaller) temporarily blinding those eyes. The research pair then recorded the activities of the spiders as they tried to survive without benefit of their huge eyes.In studying the results, the researchers found that the blinded spiders were much weaker hunters when their big eyes were covered. Removing the eye covers allowed the spiders to regain their former skill levels.In a second test, the researchers conducted a similar experiment, except they did it in a controlled environment in their lab. In studying the results, the researchers found almost identical results. Citation: Testing proves giant eyes of net-casting spider help with nocturnal foraging (2016, May 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-giant-eyes-net-casting-spider-nocturnal.html Explore further Jumping spiders are masters of miniature color visioncenter_img More information: Nocturnal foraging enhanced by enlarged secondary eyes in a net-casting spider, Biology Letters, rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rsbl.2016.0152AbstractAnimals that possess extreme sensory structures are predicted to have a related extreme behavioural function. This study focuses on one such extreme sensory structure—the posterior median eyes of the net-casting spider Deinopis spinosa. Although past research has implicated the importance of vision in the nocturnal foraging habits of Deinopis, no direct link between vision in the enlarged eyes and nocturnal foraging has yet been made. To directly test the hypothesis that the enlarged posterior median eyes facilitate visually based nocturnal prey capture, we conducted repeated-measures, visual occlusion trials in both natural and laboratory settings. Our results indicate that D. spinosa relies heavily on visual cues detected by the posterior median eyes to capture cursorial prey items. We suggest that the enlarged posterior median eyes benefit D. spinosa not only through increased diet breadth, but also by allowing spiders to remain active solely at night, thus evading predation by diurnal animals.Press release A new study from UNL biologists has revealed that the net-casting spider’s secondary eyes — the largest of any arachnid — likely evolved in part to help it capture walking prey. Credit: Courtesy Jay Stafstrom (Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has tested the theory that the enormous eyes sported by net-casting spiders are to help the spider capture walking prey at night. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Jay Stafstrom and Eileen Hebets, both with the University of Nebraska, describe field and lab experiments they carried out that showed the purpose of the oversized eyes. The research pair suggest their study shows that net-casting spiders use their huge eyes to hunt walking prey at night; they allow for catching prey in near dark conditions—prey which is very often much larger than they would catch with their net only. They noted also that the partially blinded spiders were just as adept at dealing with prey that was caught in the web, which adds more credence to the idea that the evolution of the large eyes, was strictly to allow the spider to catch larger prey while hunting during the nighttime—which the researchers also note, is a much safer time to hunt as there are far fewer predators out looking to eat them. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15PFinlay

first_img 15P/Finlay, discovered by William Henry Finlay in 1886, is a short-period comet with an orbital year of 6.5 years and a semi-major axis of nearly 3.5 AU. Its effective radius is estimated to be about 900 meters. The comet’s perihelion passage in December 2014 at one AU from the sun was an excellent opportunity for astronomers to study its activity. When 15P/Finlay experienced an outburst on Dec. 16, 2014, Ishiguro and his team decided to commence a three-month observational campaign of this comet with the aim of deepening the understanding of cometary outbursts. For this purpose, they employed six ground-based telescopes that are part of the Optical and Infrared Synergetic Telescopes for Education and Research (OISTER) inter-university observation network. Their efforts were fruitful and resulted in recording another outburst on January 15, 2015.”We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6–15.7,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The imagery taken by the team revealed a dramatic change in the comet’s activity, starting with the picture acquired on January 16. The images show that the inner coma brightened on this day and dust ejecta appeared soon; afterward, they were stretched toward the anti-solar direction.The astronomers also found that the appearance of the dust cloud on January 23 is similar to the image taken on December 23, in which the comet was enclosed by a widely expanded envelope. According to the team, this envelope dimmed quickly, leaving behind a near-nuclear dust cloud similar to that from the pre-second outburst.The researchers estimated that during the January 15 outburst, gas consisting mostly of C2 and CN expanded at a speed of about 1,110 km s−1, which is slightly faster than the speeds of other comets at about 1 AU from the sun.”The excess in speed can be explained by the large distance from the nucleus (about 100 million km), where the gas flow velocity continues to increase,” the paper reads.The study also reveals that during the blast, the dust ejecta accelerated up to a speed of 570 km s−1, which is comparable to the ejection speeds of two other outbursts similar comets. “These consistent speeds would have resulted in the similar appearances of these outburst ejecta,” the team noted.The total mass of dust ejecta was calculated to be between 100,000 and one million metric tons.Finally, based on their own observations complemented by previous studies on the nature of cometary outbursts, the scientists concluded that such turbulent events of 15P/Finlay and similar comets occur more than 1.5 times a year and inject dust particles into interplanetary space at a rate of approximately 10 kg s−1 or more. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15P/Finlay (2016, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-astronomers-outburst-comet-15pfinlay.html (Phys.org)—A Jupiter-family comet, designated 15P/Finlay, has experienced two large-scale outbursts during its perihelion passage at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015. The latter was observed by a team of astronomers, led by Masateru Ishiguro of the Seoul National University in South Korea, offering a rare glimpse into the physical properties of cometary nuclei. The results of these observations are published Sept. 3 on the arXiv pre-print server. Journal information: arXiv Time-series false color images of 15P taken with RC–band (wavelength 0.64 µm) from (a) UT 2014 December 23 to (f) UT 2015 February 18. The FOV of each panel is 11.6′× 8.0′. All images have standard orientation in the sky, that is, north is up and east is to the left. The anti-solar vectors (r−⊙) and the negative heliocentric velocity vectors (−v) are indicated by arrows. A dozen point–like sources appeared in (p) were not erased by a star subtraction technique because of the short duration of exposures. Credit: Ishiguro et al., 2016.center_img Scientists investigate change in activity of comet 17P/Holmes Explore further More information: 2014-2015 Multiple Outbursts of 15P/Finlay, arXiv:1609.00792 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1609.00792AbstractMultiple outbursts of a Jupiter-family comet, 15P/Finlay, occurred from late 2014 to early 2015. We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6-15.7. The gas, consisting mostly of C2 and CN, and dust particles expanded at speeds of 1,110 +/- 180 m/s and 570 +/- 40 m/s at a heliocentric distance of 1.0 AU. We estimated the maximum ratio of solar radiation pressure with respect to the solar gravity beta_max = 1.6 +/- 0.2, which is consistent with porous dust particles composed of silicates and organics. We found that 10^8-10^9 kg of dust particles (assumed to be 0.3 micron – 1 mm) were ejected through each outburst. Although the total mass is three orders of magnitude smaller than that of the 17P/Holmes event observed in 2007, the kinetic energy per unit mass (104 J/kg) is equivalent to the estimated values of 17P/Holmes and 332P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami), suggesting that the outbursts were caused by a similar physical mechanism. From a survey of cometary outbursts on the basis of voluntary reports, we conjecture that 15P/Finlay-class outbursts occur >1.5 times annually and inject dust particles from Jupiter-family comets and Encke-type comets into interplanetary space at a rate of ~10 kg/s or more. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

No longer soaring high

first_imgJitender Bhargava’s book The Descent of Air India, was launched at the India Habitat Centre ( IHC) on Friday by TN Ninan, an eminent journalist and chairman of Business Standard along with PC Sen, former chairman and managing director of Indian Airlines.The book gives a detailed account of the manner in which the airline, Air India, was brought down.  It is an insider’s tale of how an airline was allowed to fall apart by the very people who had been entrusted with its care.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bhargav, former executive director of Air India for 13 years, has not spared anyone in his indictment as he goes on to explain the details of the controversial aircraft acquisition deal, the botched up merger between Air India and Indian Airlines and the financial mismanagement which proved to be the airline’s doing. He brings out the role played by several of the airline’s leaders, ministers and other interested parties in the downfall. During the launch, Bhargav, said that he actually wanted to name the book ’Who destroyed Air India?’. However, he hasn’t shied from naming the people responsible for initiating the downfall of the airline. Several questions about the airlines were addressed by the author during the event.last_img read more

Gupta alleges AAP has scant regard for Assembly rules

first_imgThe Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta on Monday alleged that the AAP government is violating all rules and traditions in conducting the sessions of the Assembly and is running away from discussions.“This is the smallest session of the House. The government has confined the question hours to the last two days only. How can the budget be discussed in two days? The members will not get time to put their views,” said Vijender Gupta on Monday.  Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe alleged that the budget is scheduled to be presented on Friday, which was reserved for private member’s bills. “All the members should have been informed 12 days in advance about the session but it was not done,” added Gupta.As per the schedule of the Speaker the budget is likely to be presented in the House on Thursday, June 25.The Speaker, however, in a press conference informed that he had relaxed the norms for the question hour. “The question hours have been fixed for the last two days of the session. I have relaxed the norms to allow members to ask questions by relaxing the minimum limit of 12 days. So far 67 questions have been received,” said Ram Niwas Goel, the Speaker. Goel also informed that Friday is reserved for private member’s bill and three bills are scheduled to be introduced in the Assembly.last_img read more

Funny side up

first_imgIt is widely believed that comedy is a genre that is the most difficult to master and perform. It is even more challenging in the sphere of performing arts. To elicit laughter from a specific audience takes a great deal of talent, charisma and impeccable comic timing. The cast of One on One Part 2, who performed in the Siri Fort auditorium on Sunday managed to have the audience in splits.In order to stay relevant in an age where the cinema viewing experience is growing by leaps and bounds, theatre has to re-invent itself and that is precisely what One on One Part 2 attempted to do. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A far cry from the type of theatre we are accustomed to, this act presented a series of monologues to its audiences which served as a commentary to various social issues ranging from the trials of a married woman who struggles with motherhood to the futility of war along with the aftermath of the tragic Nepal earthquake, the tribulations of a ticket checker stuck at a job at a place where the citizens think they are above the law and the aspirations of a girl who initially wanted to get married but after the act realises she has made a grave mistake.  The sketches were predominantly comical, but had an underlying social message. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith the right mix of veteran talents and fresh blood, the acting aspect of the play was top notch. Headlined by notable names such as Rajit Kapoor, Anu Menon( of Lola Kutty fame), Neil Bhoopalam( NH10, Shaitan, No One Killed Jessica) and lesser known faces such as Shikha Talsania, Gopal Dutt and Sumeet  Vyas, the pace of the play never slackened. Shikha as the new bride who develops cold feet after marriage was a revelation while Gopal Dutt as the ticket checker displayed immense comic abilities. However, the real star of the show was Sumeet Vyas who essayed roles of an army man as well as a first-time producer with aplomb. His depiction of a producer who is constantly heckled by the director, the assistant director, the superstar as well as the spot boy was a treat to watch as it was tinged in realism. Neil Bhoopalam, Anu Menon and Rajit Kapoor also left an indelible mark on the audience with their measured performances.Directed by a host of directors like Rahul DaCunha, Rajit Kapoor, Nadir Khan, Sumeet Vyas, Ashish Jagtiani and Hussain Dalal, there was never any doubt about the credibility of the act and it sure didn’t disappoint. With such innovative ideas getting incorporated in contemporary theatre, it’s no wonder it still commands a certain amount of following, even in this age of three-dimensional films.last_img read more

Puja committees told to clean up pandal premises to control dengue

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Health department has directed all Puja committees to take up cleaning of its pandal premises at the earliest to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases. The health officials of the Ward level have been instructed to keep a vigil on such places on a regular basis to ensure that they do not emerge as a breeding ground for vector-borne diseases.”The things used for making pandals may act as small pockets of stagnant water. The weather office has predicted rain early next week. Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that cause dengue breed in clear water. So we want to ensure that water does not accumulate in the premises of such pandals and accordingly, Puja committees have been instructed to clear such spaces at their earliest,” a senior official of KMC’s Health department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the KMC started awareness campaigns against dengue from the beginning of the year as a result of which the vector-borne disease has been very much under control in its areas. “Our novel initiative of involving Puja committees in dengue drives and awarding those conducting awareness activities in the best possible way has yielded excellent results. We will start this venture from August next year so that more Puja committees come forward,” said Atin Ghosh, Member Mayor in Council (Health). The Swastha Bandhab Sharad Samman for awarding Puja committees for dengue drive witnessed 1,605 applications.last_img read more

Berlin airport security staff strike disrupts flights

first_img BERLIN — Security staff at Berlin’s two airports are staging a strike that is causing disruption to flights.The ver.di union called on staff at the German capital’s Tegel and Schoenefeld airports to walk off the job from 5 to 8:45 a.m. (0400 to 0745 GMT) Monday.German news agency dpa reported that airlines including Lufthansa, Easyjet, Ryanair and Aeroflot cancelled flights ahead of the walkout. Several flights were significantly delayed.Ver.di has said employers “provoked” the strike by offering a pay increase of 2 per cent over two years.The union wants hourly pay for all workers conducting security checks to rise to 20 euros ($22.81). Employer association BDLS says this could amount to a 30 per cent increase in some cases.The next round of talks is due on Jan. 23. Share By: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Airport, Berlin, Strike Berlin airport security staff strike disrupts flights Monday, January 7, 2019 last_img read more

Were beginning to approach oversold territory and

first_img We’re beginning to approach oversold territory and, as you probably already know, how soon we get to those lows will depend on how quickly the powers-that-be take the remaining slices.  A re-read of Ted’s quote above would be useful at this point. And as I type this paragraph, the London open is just under ten minutes away.  Gold, platinum and palladium prices are unchanged—and silver is up a nickel.  Gold’s net volume is very light at just under 11,500 contracts—virtually all of it of the HFT variety—and silver’s net volume is around 4,200 contracts, with decent roll-overs out of July already.  And after rallying about 20 basis points in the early going in Hong Kong trading on their Friday morning, the dollar index is back to unchanged.  Without doubt, all eyes will be on the job numbers this morning in New York—and what trading ‘action’ will accompany their release. Of course the job numbers should make no difference to the gold price at all, but a long history shows that JPMorgan et al use that as an excuse on many occasions to drive the precious metal prices into the dirt—and I’ll be amazed if that doesn’t happen this morning. Today we get the Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday—and I doubt if we’ll see much, if any, improvement in the Commercial net short positions in either gold or silver, as the reporting week was pretty flat from a price perspective.  All the price action that mattered most didn’t start until the day after the cut-off—and it’s a very safe bet that it was no accident that it happened this way, as “da boyz” have used this trick for at least a decade when they want to hide their tracks for as long as possible. We also get the companion Bank Participation Report as well.  This is data that’s extracted directly from the COT Report—and shows what the world’s banks have been up to during the month that was and, as I always say at this juncture, they’re usually up to quite a bit.  I’ll have all that data in my Saturday column. And as I send the Friday edition of today’s column out the door at 5:25 a.m. EDT, I see that gold began to develop a slight negative bias starting at 2 p.m. Hong Kong time on their Friday afternoon. Ditto for silver.  Gold is down a couple of bucks, but silver is still up a nickel.  Platinum and palladium are trading flat. Gold’s net volume is now a bit over 22,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume is pretty decent as well at 6,500 contracts, but there’s been no increase in roll-over activity from over two hours ago. The dollar index was slowly heading south, but has recovered a bit in the last half hour—and is currently down only 3 basis points. As I said above, all eyes will be on the 8:30 a.m. EDT jobs report—and if you’re feeling a bit like that poor chap in the last cartoon posted above, I’ll certainly understand—as I feel that way myself at the moment. Enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson.  As you can tell by the volume spikes, “da boyz” stuck it to the Managed Money traders real good once again during the COMEX trading session.  Midnight Wednesday is the vertical gray line—and you have to add two hours for EDT—and the ‘click to enlarge’ feature is a must. The silver chart was similar to gold’s, right up until 3:30 p.m. in the New York Access market.  At that point a willing seller stepped in and ensured that silver closed on its absolute low tick of the day. The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $16.50 and $16.065 in the July contract. Silver finished the Thursday session at $16.075 spot, down 40 cents on the day.  Gross volume was very decent, as was net volume—46,000 contracts. Avrupa and Antofagasta intersect copper-rich VMS in Pyrite Belt, Portugal •             First Greenfields discovery of massive sulfide mineralization in 20 years in the Iberian Pyrite Belt •             10.85 meters of massive and semi-massive/stockwork sulfide mineralization grading 1.81% Cu, 2.57% Pb, 4.38% Zn, 0.13% Sn, and 75.27 ppm Ag •             Including 7.95 meters @ 2.21% Cu, 3.05% Pb, 4.82% Zn, 0.15% Sn, 89.8 ppm Ag •             Followed by 2.90 meters @ 0.71% Cu, 1.27% Pb, 3.17% Zn, 0.092% Sn, 35.4 ppm Ag •             Avrupa and Antofagasta sign an amended Joint Venture Agreement Please visit our website to learn more about the company and current exploration program. Platinum prices were a mini version of the gold price chart—and palladium was a mini version of the platinum chart.  Platinum closed on Thursday at $1,098 spot, down three bucks, finally cracking the $1,100 spot price to the downside.  Palladium also closed 3 dollars lower at $753 spot.  Here are the charts. The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 5 of the June delivery month showed that zero gold and 9 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  Nothing to see here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest for June dropped another 282 contracts, leaving 1,262 still open.  June o.i. in silver was up 7 contracts to 40. There was no reported change in GLD, but another deposit was made in SLV.  This time it was 1,433,379 troy ounces.  So far this week, there has been a bit over 2.5 million ounces deposited in SLV.  Since the price action indicates that silver should be flowing out of that ETF, the deposits must have been used to cover an existing short position.  We’ll have to wait until about June 23 when the next short position report comes out of the folks over at shortsqueeze.com in order to get a hint of what might be going on. Since yesterday was Thursday, Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List, updated his website with the goings-on over at the iShares.com Internet site at the close of trading on Wednesday—and this is what he had to report. “Analysis of the 03 June 2015 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list:  1,138,121.2 troy were added (all to Brinks London), 893,539.6 oz were removed (all from Brinks London), and 113 bars had serial number changes.” “The bars removed were from: Solar Applied Materials (0.3M oz, Krasnoyarsk (0.2M oz), and 10 others.  The bars added were from: Krasnoyarsk (0.2M oz), Prioksky (0.1M oz), and 13 others. “As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 384.9 oz.  All daily changes are reflected on the bar list.” Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending May 29—they reported tiny declines in both their gold and silver ETFs.  Their gold ETF shed 1,804 troy ounces—and their silver ETF dropped only 7,123 troy ounces. After four straight day of sales, it should come as no surprise that there was no report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. Over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday, there was 50,092 troy ounces of gold transferred from Canada’s Scotiabank to HSBC USA.  Other than that, there was no activity worth mentioning, but the link to what there was, is here. It was another huge in/out day in silver, as 411,788 troy ounces were received—all at JPMorgan’s vault—and 1,012,058 troy ounces were shipped out.  All of the ‘out’ movement was from Canada’s Scotiabank, including the 411,788 troy ounces that JPMorgan received.  The link to that action is here—and it’s worth a quick look. There wasn’t a lot of activity at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday, as only 775 kilobars were reported received—and another 475 were shipped out.  All of the action was at Brink’s, Inc. as usual.  The link to that activity is here. I have a fair number of stories for you today—and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you. Since we penetrated for the first time to the downside the key 50-day moving average in silver on Wednesday, I suppose the official price take-down cycle is now in effect. Gold, you’ll remember, had penetrated its 50-day moving average a week or so ago, so the market structure there is more advanced than it is in silver. Therefore, in silver, it’s more a question of how many contracts the commercials can induce the managed money traders to sell than it is how low prices must fall. It’s more about contracts sold than prices, although successive lower prices (salami slicing) are necessary to effect the full contract count outcome. In other words, it’s not necessary that we drop dramatically in price, just enough—and in the manner necessary to accomplish whatever complete managed money selling results this go around. Of course, please dismiss any suggestion that I (or anyone else) know for sure the direction of prices in the short term. This is about probabilities based upon the same thing that those probabilities have always been based on – past and prospective COT patterns. And even though those probabilities suggest lower silver prices ahead, any such decline should prove minor compared to the eventual much higher prices that the actual fundamentals and facts point to. While I hope my COT analysis is beneficial, please understand it is not my intent to handicap silver prices in the short term, although many others do seem so engaged. Instead, my intent is to use my analysis of the COT market structure to show just how screwed up is the price discovery process on the COMEX and, after 30 years, it is encouraging to see that at least one silver miner may feel the same. In the unfortunate circumstance that the probabilities once again prove correct and we do witness further declines in the price of silver, perhaps that might aid in convincing other silver producers to step up to the plate and write to the CFTC. Trying to come up with rational explanations for why silver and gold prices behave as they do, while leaving out the COT market structure on the COMEX, is guaranteed to reduce one to the babbling idiot level. —  Silver analyst Ted Butler: 05 June 2015 Another day—and more salami slicing in the all four precious metals, particularly gold and silver.  There was decent volume associated with both metals, so it’s an absolute certainty that the Managed Money was puking longs and piling on the short side, while JPMorgan et al gobbled up everything on the opposite side of those trades for fun, profit and price management purposes.  And it was a very profitable day for “da boyz” yesterday. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals—and new lows were engineered in three of the four precious metals. The gold stocks opened down—and chopped more or less sideways for the remainder of the day, as the HUI closed down another 1.35 percent. It was more or less the same thing in the silver equities, although the trading day had more shape to it.  The big drop because someone sold a boat load of shares in Peñoles right at the close, at least that’s what Nick said yesterday when I asked him.  Because of that, Nick’s Silver Sentiment Index got hit for 2.26 percent.  Without that share dump, the loss would have been about 0.5 percent. Without doubt, all eyes will be on the job numbers this morning The gold price chopped around, mostly lower, during the Far East trading session on their Thursday—and both the rally attempt in the Far East—and the one in early London trading, met with a resolute seller the moment that the price attempted to break above unchanged.  JPMorgan et al, HFT algorithms in hand, did the dirty starting the moment that COMEX trading began—and by around 11:20 a.m. EDT, their work was done for the day, with another low for this move down.  The gold price rallied quietly after that, before chopping sideways starting around 2:40 p.m. in electronic trading. The high and low tick were recorded as $1,186.60 and $1,172.40 in the August contract. The gold price closed in New York yesterday at $1,176.40 spot, down another $8.60 from Wednesday’s close.  Net volume was very decent at 148,000 contracts. Here’s the 6-month U.S. Dollar chart as a reference. The dollar index finished the Wednesday trading session in New York at 95.37—and traded virtually ruler flat until about 1:30 p.m. Hong Kong time.  At that juncture it rallied 20 basis points, hitting 95.56 at 8:30 a.m. BST in London trading.  It fell of a cliff at 9 a.m. right on the button, hitting its 94.72 low about thirty five minutes later.  Then at noon BST it appeared that ‘gentle hands’ showed up—and the dollar rallied to a handful of basis points above unchanged minutes before trading began in the equity markets in New York.  It rallied higher from there in a rather choppy manner—and closed yesterday at 95.58—up 21 basis points from Wednesday. It’s obvious to me that the dollar would crash if given the opportunity to do so—and it’s equally as obvious that the powers-that-be are at hand to prevent that from happening.last_img read more

Healthy women with normal pregnancies can opt to h

first_imgHealthy women with normal pregnancies can opt to have labor induced without worrying that the decision will make a cesarean section more likely, according to a major study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.Obstetricians currently induce labor when a delivery has failed to progress, or if a woman is far overdue for giving birth. But when women who have no medical need for induced labor have talked to their doctors, “We’ve been saying, ‘Well you know one thing you need to know is it does increase the C-section rate,’ ” says. Dr. Uma Reddy, an obstetrics researcher at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.That advice was based on some older medical research. But researchers had doubts about that conclusion. So Reddy helped organize a study involving more than 6,000 first-time mothers with uncomplicated pregnancies, to put the idea to the test.Half the pregnant women followed the normal course of labor; the other half had labor induced when the baby was full term, at 39 weeks. Overall, mothers and babies did fine when labor was induced with a drug.”I think the most surprising finding was a decrease in the C-section rate,” Reddy says.That rate dropped from 22 percent among the women who weren’t automatically induced to 19 percent for those whose labor was induced. Dr. William Grobman, the study’s first author and a professor of obstetrics at Northwestern University, says it’s an important goal to reduce the rate of cesarean sections in the U.S. So even a small percentage drop in the rate can have benefits overall.But an individual woman might or might not consider that 3-percentage-point drop a big deal. “I think that’s not really for me to decide,” he says. “I think that’s for patients to decide.”As expected, women who opted to have their labor induced spent more time in the labor and delivery suite.Even so, Grobman says, “I also think it’s important to recognize women who planned to be induced had fewer days in the hospital and their children had fewer days in the hospital after delivery.”The study found that women whose labor was induced were less likely to develop pre-eclampsia, an abrupt and life-threatening increase in blood pressure. Their babies were less likely to need help breathing. So all in all, it seemed medical intervention was a net plus.That was certainly the story for 33-year-old Kelli Rojek, a Chicago woman who opted into the study and whose labor was induced. She thought about the risk of having a longer labor.”The concern I was most aware of was that it can slow down labor and it can cause some headaches or nausea afterward,” she told NPR.But she also saw benefits.”It was actually rather convenient for us,” she says, “because we have a dog at home and we were able to call our families and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go in at 11 p.m. on this day, and can you guys come up to take care of the dog and then come up to the hospital afterward?’ “Quick labor runs in her family, Rojek says. By 6:30 the next morning, her son, Harrison, came into the world.”The doctor actually told me that I should never share my story with my friends,” she says, “because they wouldn’t want to hear how fast and easy things went!”Lisa Kane Low, immediate past president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, says the study was done well and provides useful information but that she is concerned that doctors and their patients will be nudged toward this more medical approach to childbirth.”Some of the things that go along with an induction may not be part of what they had planned for their overall birth experience,” Kane Low tells Shots. “It does require an IV, it does require that you have continuous electronic fetal monitoring to be safe, and it requires the use of different medications in order to start the labor process. And all those things need to be factored into what someone was hoping for their overall birth experience.”And the potential benefits can be hard to convey, Kane Low says.”If you say to somebody, ‘We could really reduce your risk of a cesarean by inducing your labor,’ people who are very fearful of a cesarean may say, ‘OK, I’m willing to [make that] trade-off and take the medical induction, even though that’s not what I might want because it’s going to reduce my risk.’ But, yet, the absolute reduction is very small, overall.”Plus, this study was done under optimal conditions, she notes. The hospitals all followed the latest recommendations about when to do a C-section, and the women were 23 or 24 years old, on average — which is younger than the general age of women who give birth.The March of Dimes, which has a campaign to encourage women to have full-term deliveries, issued a statement noting that because the study group was so selective, “[m]ore widespread implementation of induction at 39 weeks may yield much less favorable results, and thus should be considered with caution.”The study did not compare the overall costs of induced labor versus the traditional path — which can end in vaginal delivery, cesarean section or induced labor.Reddy agrees that there are balancing pluses and minuses behind the decision to induce labor. “I think it’s going to be up to the individual woman, because there are going to be strong opinions either way.”You can reach Richard Harris at rharris@npr.org. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

People with HIV have been failed by the government

first_imgPeople with HIV have been failed by the government’s new disability benefit, according to new research.The research by the National AIDS Trust (NAT) found that only three-fifths of people living with HIV were found eligible for the new personal independence payment (PIP) after being reassessed.NAT says its research has confirmed long-standing fears that people with HIV would not receive the support they needed under PIP, which is supposed to help cover people’s extra disability-related costs.Its report shows that only three-fifths (63 per cent) of the 1,000 people with HIV who were previously receiving disability living allowance (DLA) and had been reassessed for PIP were awarded the new benefit.This compares with 73 per cent of all DLA claimants who had been reassessed and were awarded PIP, according to the figures, published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last December.One charity that works with NAT, River House, described yesterday (Wednesday) how a 57-year-old man who was diagnosed last October with HIV and also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, had been awarded zero points after a PIP assessment in April.An appeal to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – the so-called mandatory reconsideration stage – was refused in late June.By this time, his health had deteriorated even further and he was admitted to hospital, where he was diagnosed with untreatable lung cancer.He was due to receive DWP’s decision on a fresh PIP application this week, but died on Monday morning.Another River House service-user with HIV has described how he had to start using foodbanks after his PIP was suddenly stopped because he missed a renewal deadline by just two days after he was diagnosed with cancer.DWP refused to reconsider removing his PIP and he had to wait more than 16 weeks to be assessed again.He said: “From the moment that my PIP stopped, I lost the uplift in my ESA [employment and support allowance] that I received because I was now not receiving PIP.“While I waited to be assessed for PIP and again for ESA, I had to borrow small amounts of money from friends [and] organisations that support people living with HIV and I was a regular visitor to local food banks.”The NAT analysis also shows that people with HIV who had been claiming DLA were more likely (43 per cent) than the average DLA claimant (30 per cent) to see their level of support cut if they were awarded PIP after a reassessment.According to last December’s figures, only about 1,000 of the 7,920 people living with HIV who were claiming DLA at the start of the PIP rollout in 2013 – which itself was about 10 per cent of all those with HIV in the UK – had been reassessed.The charity says that not everyone living with HIV in the UK has benefitted equally from modern treatments – for example, long-term survivors and people diagnosed late – and some will have life-long health problems as a result of HIV. One study found that two-thirds of people living with HIV in the UK have at least one other condition, in addition to HIV, and 38 per cent have more than one additional condition.Deborah Gold, NAT’s chief executive, said: “The evidence so far is that PIP is not working for people living with HIV who need extra support.“The assessment is not fit for its stated purpose, to identify the disability-related barriers to participation and independence experienced by people living with HIV. “The tick-box eligibility criteria describe only the most basic aspects of existence, such as physical capacity to consume food and bathe, without any understanding of the social context of life with a serious long-term condition.”Among the charity’s many concerns about the assessment process are that it fails to accurately capture: the risk of isolation due to HIV-related anxiety; the need for support with nutrition; and the importance of adhering to HIV medication.Sarah Radcliffe, NAT’s director of policy and campaigns, said that the research – the first to be carried out into the impact of PIP on people with HIV – shows that the concerns raised when the abolition of working-age DLA was announced in 2010 were not baseless.She said the way the assessment was devised “means people living with HIV will not have their support needs identified – or where they are picked up, this will not necessarily translate to support”.And she said the social model “rhetoric” used by DWP when it introduced the new benefit – focussing on how social factors create barriers to participation for disabled people – “has not translated to reality for PIP”.Instead, she said, the PIP assessment “looks a lot like the work capability assessment’s notorious ‘tick box’ medical approach”.She added: “The descriptors used are proxies for a basic existence and not for barriers to participation or the extra costs associated with an active, independent life.“It is not too late to improve PIP for people living with HIV. The vast majority are yet to be reassessed.  “It is time to look again at PIP, from scratch, and make sure it lives up to its stated goals of promoting participation and independence.”A DWP spokeswoman said in a statement: “We introduced PIP to replace the outdated DLA system – it takes a much wider look at the way someone’s health condition or disability impacts them on a daily basis and is tailored to suit each individual’s needs.“Decisions are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.“Under PIP, 28 per cent of claimants are now receiving the highest rate of support, compared to 15 per cent under DLA, and anyone who disagrees with a PIP decision has the right to appeal.”But DWP figures from last December also showed that fewer than half (about 126,000) of the 254,000 people previously receiving the higher rate mobility component of DLA secured the same level of mobility support when reassessed for PIP.And unpublished DWP figures obtained by DNS in March showed nearly half of disabled people subject to “planned reviews” of their eligibility for PIP were having their existing award either cut or removed completely.NAT has produced free resources on PIP for people living with HIV and the services who support themlast_img read more