Sharing is caring! Share Share 45 Views no discussions Share Food & DiningLifestyle Pumpkin Lasagna by: – October 22, 2011 Pumpkin LasagnaMake this twist on the popular Italian classic for a festive autumn meal. With savory ingredients like shiitake mushrooms, pumpkin, fresh sage, and mozzarella cheese, this lasagna is sure to please the entire family. Pair it with some buttery, crunchy garlic bread for a satisfying and delicious dinner.Ingredients:12 dried lasagna noodles8 ounces shiitake or porcini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 tsp. salt2 tablespoons olive oil12 slices bacon, cut crossways into 1/4 inch strips1-1/2 cups chopped onion3 tablespoons snipped fresh sage or 2 tsp. dried leaf sage, crushed2 15-ounces cans pumpkin3/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half1 teaspoon ground black pepper1 teaspoon cider vinegar1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 tsp. salt1 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, finely shredded (1-1/2 cups)Directions:1.Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; set aside. In skillet cook mushrooms and 3/4 teaspoon salt in hot olive oil over medium heat until tender and no liquid remains. Remove; set aside. Add bacon to skillet; cook until crisp. Remove; set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Add onion; cook in drippings until tender. Add sage; cook 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin, milk, pepper, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat through.2.In a greased 3-quart oval baking dish spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce. Cover bottom of dish with 4 noodles, trimming to fit. Spread one-third of sauce over noodles. Layer with one-third each of mushrooms, bacon, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat layers twice. Bake, uncovered, in 400 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Makes 12 servings.Recipe source: Better Homes and Gardens Tweet
Simon WalshThe leading organization on the island that has been fostering and promoting tourism in Dominica for more than three decades, is citing accessibility to the island as one of the main challenges currently affecting the industry.At the 40th Annual General Meeting of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA), the President, Mr Simon Walsh noted that while DHTA celebrated many accomplishments during his tenure as president, the challenges continue to mount amidst the global financial crisis.The DHTA President believes that the high travel cost and the prolonged travel time to Dominica are two of the major factors contributing to the decline in the industry.“The number one issue in the tourism industry from 1972 to 2011 is access to Dominica. Let us not ever forget access, access, access. There has been improvements and I can honestly say that the private se ctor recognizes this fact that The Discover Dominica Authority and the Ministry of Tourism are throwing themselves across that wall and trying to improve on that issue. We’ve seen Air BVI coming in from St Maarteen, we’ve seen JEANS Ferry Service coming in to Portsmouth starting this month, we have Sunshine Airline that will be servicing San Juan Airports hopefully in October; so we’re seeing improvements. But the brutal reality is how much does it cost to come from the east coast of the United States to Dominica? In December, it will be US$1,200, taking two days to reach to Washington D.C. So if you’re sitting in Washington D.C and thinking of taking a trip of a lifetime, you could be in Africa on safari looking at elephants; cheaper and faster than you could be in Dominica looking at a broadfish.” The DHTA’s is pledging to continue its mission to promote tourism and related services as a critical sector in Dominica’s economic development and to work closely with all stakeholders to create and sustain an enabling environment that will support members’ efforts to improve the standards of their products and the quality of their services.Mr Walsh said that they also recognize the efforts of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) and the Ministry of Tourism in putting strategies and plans in place in addressing the critical issues affecing the tourism industry.“It’s a difficult financial world that we are in right now and many airlines are losing money. So no matter how many good things we do, if we can’t find an airline that can make money flying into Dominica, we’ll never find an airline to fly into Dominica. They have to do it and they have to make money. We should think of new and different ways because we’re having trouble convincing airlines to come. How can the government of Dominica sit down and partnership with an airline and create an airline that will fly and service the tourism industry of Dominica? The DHTA’s job is to make sure that the stakeholders’ issues are represented in the public sector”.The tourism industry is currently the leading contributor to Dominica’s economy. In 2010, tourism contributed EC$243 million to the economy, an increase by sixty eight percent (68%) compared to 2005, just five years ago.Hon. Ian DouglasMinister for Tourism and Legal Affairs, Honorable Ian Douglas said that the government has been working closely with stakeholders like Discover Dominica Authority to ensure that the experience is a lasting one for visitors.He confirmed that great strides have been made in delivery of services within the industry, however more focus needs to be placed on marketing the destination.“We need to be cognizant that this industry is quite competitive, and in order to survive in this market we have to make our destination as marketable as our competitors. Our service has to be of international standard, the product we offer (including our rooms) has to be up to international standards, visitors are very savvy, their expectations are great and we always have to meet and exceed their expectations to keep them coming back and to spread the good news about Dominica as a destination”.The Government is also placing great emphasis and focus on community/rural tourism, an area the minister says will strengthen tourism capacity and potential in several communities around the island.“I am sure many of you are aware that the Tourism Sector Development Programme supported by the European Union’s Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) 2006, which was implemented from 2008 to 2010, has injected approximately €1.4 million or EC5.1 million into the programme. This programme targeted specific projects in community tourism to foster expansion of rural tourism, provision of technical assistance to community groups and destination marketing. Under the rural tourism component of the Tourism Sector Development Programme, eleven new and existing community tourism groups were strengthened through human resource development, infrastructural development and marketing. Specifically, infrastructure work on construction of new facilities were undertaken at the Indian River in Portsmouth, Wotten Waven, Bellevue Chopin and Layou. Upgrading of faciliteis was undertaken in Vieille Case and at the L’escalier Tete Chien in Sineku.The New Board which will now serve from 2011 to 2011 consists of:President – Ms. Yvonne ArmourImmediate Past President and Director – Simon WalshVice President – Nikima RoyerExecutive Secretary – Renee Whitchurch Aird-DouglasTreasurer – Carol RabessDirectors -Richard Stanton, Arienne Perryman, Michael Bunche and Tanaquil PfundAdministrative Assistant, David ThornhillThe Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association (DHTA) was first formed in 1972.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! LocalNews High cost of travel affecting Dominica’s tourism sector by: – October 18, 2011 63 Views no discussions Share Tweet Share Share
Have embryonic stem cells made any headway toward cures? It’s sometimes hard to tell in news reports. Science Daily ran a story from Monash University about research on how stem cells in the embryo differentiate into muscle tissue, for the purpose of helping the elderly who suffer from age-related muscle wasting conditions, but did not indicate whether human embryos were involved in the research. It appears they studied chicken embryos to watch what happens as the stem cells develop into muscle, not for the purpose of injecting embryonic stem cells for treatment. A paper in Nature about embryonic stem cell research appears limited to understanding transcription in normal animals,3 without any mention of potential applications for human health. Similarly, an article on Science Daily discussed how scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are trying to understand how embryonic stem cells differentiate in living organisms. While the press release stated that “Investigators want to make embryonic stem cells for liver or pancreatic beta cells for therapies and research,” there was no indication that the team has come anywhere close to that goal. “By better understanding how a cell is normally programmed we will eventually be able to properly reprogram other cells,” one of them said. Once again, embryonic stem cell therapy looks like a pipe dream. Is there a “state of the stem cell” address? An overview of stem cell research was provided by Erika Check Hayden in Nature,4 who said, “The field of induced pluripotent stem cells has grown up fast. Now it is entering the difficult stage.” She focused on the promise of iPS cells which are changing the face of biology. “Like human embryonic stem cells, iPS cells could potentially be used as therapies, disease models or in drug screening,” she wrote. “And iPS cells have clear advantages: they can be made from adult cells, avoiding the contentious need for a human embryo, and they can be derived from people with diseases to create models or even therapies based on a person’s genetic make-up.” From there, Hayden described some of the “growing pains” of iPS stem cell research, but never mentioned any case in which embryonic stem cells are clearly superior to the ethics-friendly iPS cells. The ease of reprogramming adult cells into pluripotent stem cells has led to a gold rush of research into promising therapies. In spite of the fact that (as often happens in biology), “things are not as simple as we thought,” it was noteworthy that the thrust of Hayden’s article was about the strong momentum in the iPS research community. The silent subtext is that embryonic research has apparently lost a lot of steam. A few years ago, scientists were clamoring for access to human embryos for stem cell research. Now, the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) from human skin and other adult tissues has sidetracked interest in embryonic stem cells. The momentum is clearly going with iPS. Is there any longer a need for embryonic stem cell research? 1. Chen, Lu, Cheng, Peng, and Wang, “Isolation and Characterization of Porcine Amniotic Fluid-Derived Multipotent Stem Cells,” PLoS One 6(5): e19964. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019964. 2. Panopoulos, Ruiz et al, “Rapid and Highly Efficient Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells,” PLoS One 6(5): e19743. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019743. 3. Pastor, Pape, Huang et al, “Genome-wide mapping of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in embryonic stem cells,” Nature, published online 08 May 2011, doi:10.1038/nature10102. 4. Erika Check Hayden, Stem cells: The growing pains of pluripotency,” Nature published online 18 May 2011; Nature 473, 272-274 (2011); doi:10.1038/473272a. It has been very encouraging for people who value ethics to see adult stem cell research take off, leaving embryonic stem cell research in its rear-view mirror. But what if it had turned out the other way? What if embryonic stem cells were actively producing cures? Experimenting on human embryos would still be unethical. A basic principle of ethics is that ends do not justify the means (see commentary from the 09/03/2010 entry). The past decade of stem-cell research has shown that some scientists’ greed for fame and money outruns their interest in ethics. It takes a concerned public to keep science in check, because scientists are only human, prone to the same moral lapses as the rest of us.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Skirting controversy: “Stem cell research courts both controversy and support in the community- depending on your viewpoint,” began an article on Medical Xpress. “Now, for the first time, scientists at Monash University’s Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories (MISCL) have shown that they can make human stem cells from healthy adult kidneys without working on human embryos, circumventing ethical concerns around this research.” A side-by-side comparison showed the kidney cells were just as good as embryonic stem cells in producing various tissues. Chemotherapy-resistant bone marrow: Another article on Medical Xpress reported work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that stem cells from bone marrow can be genetically modified to resist damage from chemotherapy, helping cancer patients endure the treatment without harmful effects. Previously, chemotherapy treatments for gliablastoma, a brain cancer, have taken a harsh toll on patients’ bone marrow. “Our initial results are encouraging because our first patient is still alive and without evidence of disease progression almost two years after diagnosis,” a doctor said. Parkinson’s disease: Researchers from South Korea and Harvard have identified a “protein-based” human iPS cell” that appears promising for reversing nerve cell loss in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Their experiments “reversed disease when transplanted into the brain of rats modeling Parkinson disease.” Though the article mentioned embryonic stem cells as one of the two sources of stem cells, it did not produce any evidence that embryonic stem cells are effective – only the iPS cells. Vision forum: Eye diseases such as “age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases” affect millions worldwide, an article on Medical Xpress said. Can iPS stem cells from human skin treat these devastating conditions? Apparently so; “Scientists from Schepens Eye Research Institute are the first to regenerate large areas of damaged retinas and improve visual function using iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) derived from skin,” they said. A paragraph in the article shows that many vision researchers would prefer to avoid ethical controversies with embryonic stem cells: While Tucker, Young and other scientists were beginning to tap the potential of embryonic and adult stem cells early in the decade, the discovery that skin cells could be transformed into “pluripotent” cells, nearly identical to embryonic cells, stirred excitement in the vision research community. Since 2006 when researchers in Japan first used a set of four “transcription factors” to signal skin cells to become iPSCs, vision scientists have been exploring ways to use this new technology. Like embryonic stem cells, iPSCs have the ability to become any other cell in the body, but are not fraught with the ethical, emotional and political issues associated with the use of tissue from human embryos. So far the tests are being done on mice. “The two scientists say their next step will be to take this technology into large animal models of retinal degenerative disease and eventually toward human clinical trials.” Amniotic fluid health potion: In a paper on PLoS One,1 Chinese researchers announced success deriving multipotent stem cells from amniotic fluid of pigs. They were able to get these stem cells to differentiate into nerve, fat, and heart tissues without producing teratomas (tumors). They said, “These optimal features of pAF-MSCs provide an excellent alternative stem cell resource for potential cell therapy in regenerative medicine and transgenic animals.”. Even in China these researchers were aware of the controversy. They said, “human amniotic fluid may be a new source of pluripotent stem cells without any ethical concerns associated with human embryonic stem cells (hES cells) research.” Umbilical vein health potion: Another paper in PLoS One by the Salk Institute showed success at getting induced pluripotent stem cells from human umbilical vein endothelial cells.2 Their process was “rapid and highly efficient,” they reported, and produced stem cells that were “indistinguishable from human embryonic stem (ES) cells with regards to morphology, pluripotent marker expression, and their ability to generate all embryonic germ layers in vitro and in vivo.” Progeria find-and-replace: An exciting discovery at Salk Institute shows the potential of adult stem cells to do “find and replace” operations on diseased genes, such as those with progeria, a degenerative disease that causes premature aging. PhysOrg explained the process: The gene-targeting approach developed by Suzuki and his colleagues relies on the use of so-called helper-dependent adenoviral vector to deliver large mutation-free DNA molecules into cells. Once there, these replacement pieces initiate a process known as homologous recombination, which works a bit like the “find-and-replace” command in a word processor. If a piece of DNA is long enough, it will find and line up with the same sequence in the genome and swap places. “The process was remarkably efficient and we couldn’t detect any undesired off-target effects such genomic instability or epigenetic abnormalities,” says Liu. “What’s more, it allowed us to show that we can correct multiple mutations spanning large genomic regions.” The team used adult mesenchymal stem cells and iPS cells from progeria patients to test the genetic editing procedure. The article said that these cells have been shown to differentiate into a wide variety of tissues, including “adipocytes, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, cardiomyocytes, adipocytes, and, as described lately, beta-pancreatic islets cells.” Regeneration takes a village of cells: Don’t expect to grow a new arm with stem cells. In an article on Science Daily, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that, at least for zebrafish, multiple cell types are needed to regrow a lost fin. Crop yields: Plants have stem cells, too – and not just in their stems. Researchers at Texas Agrilife Research are studying stem cells in Arabidopsis to learn how to make plants produce more fruit, seeds and leaves, according to PhysOrg.
Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos readwrite Tags:#Facebook#FTC#now#privacy A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Changes to Facebook’s data use policy announced a week ago will not be rolled out until next week, according to the LA Times. The proposed changes include adding profile photos to Facebook’s facial recognition database, and clarifying the use of personal information for advertising purposes. According to the Times, the Federal Trade Commission has been asked by six consumer watchdog groups to block Facebook’s proposed changes. The policy updates were in response to a privacy lawsuit filed in 2011 that the company settled for $20 million last month.
PIRAEUS – Greek power Olympiacos surprised Spanish hoop giant Barcelona, gaining a 73-71 win to move closer toward the Eurloeague final four.The Reds now lead 2-1 in the best-of-five series and showed ability to hang tough against one of Europe’s other great teams, before a packed house at home in Peace and Friendship Stadium.Giorgos Printezis led the way with 19 points as Olympiacos overcame a 26-23 first period deficit to take a 44-36 lead at the half before Barcelona started coming back and even led, 60-59. A desperation three-point heave at the buzzer by Alex Abrines didn’t hit for Barcelona.Olympiacos captain Vassilis Spanoulis had 15 points and eight assists, showing his old form.TweetPinShare0 Shares
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd fullback Shaw on Solskjaer: My first impressionsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United fullback Luke Shaw admits he’s enjoying the work of new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Shaw says the Norwegian has managed to turn around mood at the club in a short amount of time and believes United fans are appreciating his positive approach to the role.”I think you can see from the outside how much he has changed things in such a short space of time,” he said.”He is just a really positive manager, he knows what the club needs and also what the fans want in the way we are playing.”He’s bringing that attacking, quick play back to Old Trafford. I’m sure the fans are going to appreciate that as much as we [the players] do.”
Kolkata: Marking the International Day of Forests on Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said forest cover in the state has gone up by 4.29 per cent. “Today is #InternationalDayOfForests. In #Bangla, the forest cover has been growing — between 2010 and 2015, it has gone up by 3,810 sq km, one of the highest in the country, up by 4.29 per cent. My best wishes to all,” Banerjee tweeted. On March 21, the International Day of Forests is celebrated worldwide to increase public awareness about the values, significance and contributions of forests to balance the life cycle on the earth. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAlso, the day also celebrates the arrival of spring with the World Planting Day. This day gives an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the world’s plant species. “Today is World Planting Day. In Bangla, we distributed 15 lakh saplings to every new born child. This is done under the unique Sabujshree scheme to inculcate emotional bonding between the child and nature,” Banerjee wrote. The Chief Minister further mentioned how the above initiative “provides an incentive for the future.”
Mumbai: Actor Tara Sutaria is not disappointed with the mixed reviews that her maiden Bollywood film Student Of The Year 2 (SOTY) has received from the critics and audience. SOTY 2, directed by Punit Malhotra and starring Tiger Shroff and Ananya Panday apart from Tara, released on Friday. It made Rs 12.06 crore on its opening day and Rs 14.02 crore on Saturday. The story is about a hardworking college student (Tiger) who overcomes his personal challenges and faces his competitors to win the Student of the Year Cup. Its script and unreal situations have drawn criticism. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold SchwarzeneggerAsked if she was disappointed, Tara told the media: “I am not feeling disappointed, but I am feeling really happy that it has been accepted so well. I think what we envisioned for the film, according to that, we feel lucky and thankful that it has opened so well at the box office. The entire team of SOTY 2 is very happy and I would like to make an appeal to the audience that keep giving us the love that you have been giving us.” Tara spoke on the sidelines of an event. Also Read – Salman pays tribute to Vinod Khanna on ‘Dabangg 3’ wrap upOn the big screen, the actor will next be seen in Milan Lutheria’s film RX 100 along with Ahan Shetty, the son of actor Suniel Shetty. They are still training for the film. “I am very excited to start shooting for it. I think Ahan is fantastic and so is Tiger. Therefore, I feel very lucky that I am getting an opportunity to work with such talented actors from the film industry,” she said. RX 100 is the official remake of the Telugu action thriller film of the same name. The film is slated to go on the floors in July and will be shot in Mussoorie, apart from a brief schedule at a studio in Mumbai.
During Ohio State’s annual Homecoming football game Saturday, many OSU alumni will be back in Columbus to cheer on their Buckeyes. One alumnus, however, will be representing the Buckeyes’ opponent. That alumnus is Bo Pelini, the coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who will be playing the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium at 8 p.m. Saturday. Pelini, who played free safety at OSU from 1987-90, will be going against his alma mater in Columbus for the first time in his head coaching career. Pelini said his history at OSU will not affect him on Saturday. “I have pride in where I went to school and my career there. But that has nothing to do with Saturday,” Pelini said in Nebraska’s press conference Monday. “I’m in a different time in my life and a different place. I have a job to do and that’s all I’m concerned with.” As for the game itself, the No. 21 Cornhuskers (4-1) will be hoping to upset the No. 12 Buckeyes for their first loss of the season. Pelini acknowledged that the game will not be easy. “We know we’re going to have to play our best football on Saturday,” Pelini said during the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference on Tuesday. “We’re playing a really good football team.” Cornhuskers senior running back Rex Burkhead said the physical play of OSU’s defense stood out in the Buckeyes’ win against Michigan State. “I saw they were getting a big push on the offensive line. They were making it tough to make reads in the backfield and have lanes open up,” Burkhead said during Nebraska’s press conference. “I think penetration was the key thing they were getting.” As for the Buckeyes’ offense, Pelini said “we’ll see on Saturday” whether his defense is able to match up with OSU sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes’ offense. “Braxton Miller does a really good job,” Pelini said. “He’s a real threat to run, pass, they do a lot of different things to feature him. It puts a lot of stress on you.” Pelini added that while Miller might stand out, he is not the sole reason for the Buckeyes’ offensive success. “Everyone, and deservedly so, gives a lot of credit to Braxton Miller, but they, first and foremost, they do a lot of good things to enable him to make plays and they have a lot of good pieces around him,” Pelini said. “He’s not out there playing by himself. It’s a team game.” OSU coach Urban Meyer said the game will be a challenge, and that the team will have to make some changes to win this game. “We’re going to have to do some things that we haven’t done, and I’m not sure how we’ll adapt to that,” Meyer said. “I’m glad it’s (at) home.” Meyer knows the coach on the other side well: Meyer was a graduate assistant with the Buckeyes in 1987, Pelini’s freshman season. Meyer said he had a lot of respect for Pelini as a player, and that he has not changed much as a coach. “I have a really good relationship with Bo,” Meyer said. “(As a player, he was) just a real tough guy, just like his personality is now.” Pelini, who knows first-hand what it’s like to play inside Ohio Stadium, said it will be a “great environment” on Saturday. Cornhuskers senior safety P.J. Smith expressed his excitement to play in the Horseshoe during Nebraska’s press conference but added that his team must keep its “emotions normal.” “It is going to be crazy, it is going to be wild, but it will be fun,” Smith said. “We just got to go out there and execute the game plan.” The Buckeyes, who have won their first five games of the season, will be trying to avenge their loss to the Cornhuskers from their first-ever matchup as Big Ten opponents last season. In that game, the Buckeyes held a 27-6 lead in the third quarter, but gave up 28 unanswered points to lose 34-27.
The Kenai City Council approved a resolution supporting the local appointment at their meeting on Wednesday. The resolution is also supported by the cities of Seward, Homer, Soldotna and Seldovia. The board was created in 2014 by former Governor Sean Parnell to evaluate the effects and issues that will arise in the future concerning development of the state’s North Slope natural gas resources. In a letter to the Kenai City Council from Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander: “On October 24, the City Managers of Soldotna, Homer, and Seldovia met and discussed the idea of supporting the creation and appointment of a seat on the board that could represent the unique interests of cities within the Kenai Peninsula Borough.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Cities within the Kenai Peninsula Borough are looking to add a local representative to the Municipal Advisory Gas Project Review Board. The board consists of twelve members, each member of the board serves a term of one year and can be reappointed. This story has been corrected- KSRM News previously stated that the representative had already been selected which was incorrect.
She is just 10. But by the touch of her hand she can spell magic on a lump of clay. And with fire and colour she adds expressions. Avani Singhania just wrapped up her exhibition of ceramic works at the second edition of the her show titled- Pots, Platter And Me Returns at the Experimental Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre.A student from Vasant Valley School, Avani followed her passion for pottery at the nascent age of 6- years under the guidance of Ela Mukherjee, a famous ceramic artist and a winner of Charles Wallace awards. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Enthusiastically explaining her works, Avani said, ‘I love experimenting with colours and shapes. I first got to know about pottery in a school exhibition and found it very fascinating. My parents were very supportive and sent me various workshops to learn more about pottery. During one of the workshops I met my teacher Ela Mukherjee and she has been my inspiration ever since.’At the exhibition she displayed an array of colourful tea pots, cups and saucers, decorative items shaped like hearts, ovals and pen-stands in ceramics. The collection also includes bowls, coffee mugs, diyas, candle stands in bright colours to go hand in hand with the festive season.Avani has been learning pottery since 2009 and has already put up one exhibition in 2011 in Mumbai and once in Delhi in 2012. She has been taking regular classes and wishes to explore more about the art.Age is just a number for Avani as she stunned visitors at her exhibition with her wonderful talent of shapes and colour.
Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Sandals Resort Travelweek Group Share MONTREAL – Air Canada Vacations and its partner of over 30 years Sandals &Beaches have teamed up to offer an exclusive new group promotion, the likes ofwhich hasn’t been seen since 2013.Nino Montagnese, Managing Director, said that the company “has not put an offerlike this out since 2013” and that it’s a “great opportunity [for agents] to book theirgroup customers into one of Sandals or Beaches’ fabulous properties.”The promotion runs until June 7, 2018 for travel from May 14, 2018 through Dec.20, 2020. Passengers in ever sixth room will fly and stay free (restrictions apply).This offer is valid for all group types including incentive and wedding.In addition, groups booking with ACV and Sandals & Beaches will receive: unlimitedgolf at select resorts; $1,500 Premium wedding perks; $500 future travel credit fortheir next vacation; no deposit wedding for 90 days; free upgrade to Business Classfor the bride and groom; free Island Routes excursion; and the chance to earn10,000 ACV&Me Bonus points, a value of $100 (valid for the first 25 groups only).More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaSandals Resorts can be found in Antigua, Bahamas (two properties), Barbados,Jamaica (seven properties) and Saint Lucia (three properties). Each resort offersbeachfront locations, a choice of à la carte restaurants, premium brand wines andspirits, luxury accommodations, butler service in top-tier suites, water sports, andRed Lane Spas.Beaches Resorts are located in Jamaica (two properties) and Turks & Caicos. Eachresort features land and water sports, anytime gourmet dining and luxurious family-friendly suites. Children of all ages can participate in kids camps, while teens canenjoy video games, the Liquid nightclub and Scratch DJ Academy. Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Categories: VanWoerkom News 09Jan Rep. VanWoerkom takes ceremonial oath of office on House floor FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Former Senator Jerry VanWoerkom (father), Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman, Valerie VanWoerkom (mother), Wendy VanWoerkom (wife), Rep. VanWoerkom and their children.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, of Norton Shores, was joined by family as he was sworn in today at the state Capitol for his first term as state Representative for the 91st House District. Administering the Oath of Office was Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman.###
I have the usual number of stories for a Saturday column…and quite a few fall into the must read category, so I hope you can find the time for the ones that interest you.As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last…and the White House will be occupied by a downright moron. — H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is by the Queen of Soul herself. This hit was recorded in 1968…and you will know it instantly. The link is here.Last week’s classical selection was by German composer Max Bruch…and this week’s is as well. Last week it was his Scottish Fantasy…and this week it’s his Violin Concerto No. 1, in G minor, Op. 26…composed in 1866. I have a lot of ‘favourite’ violin concertos…and this is certainly one of them. Here’s the incomparable Sarah Chang doing the honours in a posting over at youtube.com…and the link is here. Neither the video quality, nor the fidelity, are the greatest…but it’s the only recording that I could find that has all three movements.After yesterday’s big run-up in the silver price, it’s easy to see that there is no real liquidity in the precious metals market, as most of the trading is of the high-frequency variety. There are really no legitimate buyers and sellers present in the Comex futures market…just the machines.If left to their own devices, there isn’t a “free market” that wouldn’t melt down, or melt up, if given the opportunity to do so. Chris Powell was oh, so prophetic with his quote…”There are no markets anymore…only interventions.”The Commitment of Traders Report, especially in silver, was a sight to behold…and with the way things are currently configured in all four precious metals, copper…and the dollar index…they are an ‘accident’ waiting to happen to the upside.However, since there are no free markets, when something does blow up…or melt down…it won’t be by accident. JPMorgan et al were in full control of this market on the short side…and there’s no reason at all to assume that they won’t continue to hold the power when the smoke clears to the upside.JPMorgan will not only control the ‘when’…they will also determine how high and how fast we get to the new precious metal prices, which are all but baked in the cake. They didn’t go to all this trouble over the last six months or so to extricate themselves from the short side of the gold market, to put their head back in the lion’s mouth again. They’ll control things from the long side from now on.Even if you only read all the stories I have posted in this column this weekend, you should be able to tell from their contents that the entire planet is about to come unglued economically, financially…and monetarily. It’s only the time line that is uncertain…and whether or not it will be a controlled event, or will events and circumstance quickly spiral out of the control of the powers that be?I don’t know the answer to that…and neither does anyone else. So we wait.Here’s Nick Laird’s “Total PMs Pool” chart updated with data from the week just past…and it doesn’t require any further explanation from me. As I said a week ago, I felt that we were done for liquidations out of the big ETFs with last week’s report…and it appears that this is the case.(Click on image to enlarge)Before heading off to bed, I’d like to point out that Casey Research has another FREE ON-LINE VIDEO EVENT in the works. This one is entitled “GOLD: Dead Cat…or Raging Bull?”It will feature Jim Cramer, Eric Sprott, Doug Casey, Steven Feldman, Rob McEwen and Jeff Clark. They explore the recent fluctuations of the gold price and what it means for investors. Does gold’s drop signal the end of its bull run, or is it just taking a breather? Should investors load up on or unload gold? The free online event Gold: Dead Cat…or Raging Bull? hosted by The Street and Casey Research, with Jim Cramer, Eric Sprott, Doug Casey, and others will provide some answers.This free video will air on June 25th at 2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time. It will be available for viewing after the initial stream for those who have schedule conflicts. You can check it out…and then sign up for it here. It pretty much goes without saying that it will be worth your time.That’s all I have for the day…and the week. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend…and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. When something does blow up…or melt down…it won’t be by accident.The gold price didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading…and then got sold down five bucks starting at 9:00 a.m. BST in London, with the low of the day coming minutes after 11:00 a.m…about two hours later.From there, the gold price was flat until five minutes before trading began on the Comex in New York. The subsequent rally got chopped off by a short seller of last resort about twenty minutes later, when it appeared the market was about to go “no ask”…and the gold price was about to punch through the $1,400 spot price ceiling. A second rally at the London p.m. gold fix suffered the same fate…and after that the price didn’t do much until after the Comex close.Then starting around 2:30 p.m. EDT, the gold price began to slowly tick higher for the rest of the New York Access market. The low tick in London looked to be around the $1,378 spot mark…and the high tick in New York was recorded by Kitco as $1,393.60 spot…and that occurred at the London p.m. gold fix.Gold finished at $1,3191.50 spot…up $5.80 on the day…and net volume was a very light 106,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart that shows the New York action in far more detail.Silver traded in a very tight range in both Far East and London yesterday…and was down about 20 cents when the price blasted off at 8:15 a.m. in New York yesterday morning. The market went “no ask” fifteen minutes later…before the usual not-for-profit seller[s] showed up. By 9:20 a.m. the price was back down to $22.07 spot…and barely moved for the remainder of the trading day.Kitco recorded the high tick as $22.68 spot…and if “da boyz” hadn’t shown up when they did, we would be looking at a very big silver price right now.But when all was said and done at the 5:15 p.m EDT close in New York, silver was only up 23 cents on the day…and closed at $22.08…and above the $22 price ceiling. Volume, net of roll-overs out of the July delivery month, were a bit heavier than normal…close to 33,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart, so you can see the dramatic action in the first 15 minutes of Comex trading for yourself.The dollar index closed in New York late Thursday afternoon at 80.72…and then fell to 80.61 by 10:00 a.m. in Tokyo. From there it rallied to its high of the day…80.99…just minutes after 8:30 a.m. in New York. At that point, the index fell completely out of bed…hitting a low of 80.65 by 11:40 a.m. EDT. The subsequent rally was tiny…and very short. From there the dollar index headed lower, finishing the Friday session on its low tick…80.62…and down 10 basis points from Thursday.You should carefully note that vertical price spikes in both gold and silver got hammered flat at the precise moment that the dollar index fell off a cliff just minutes after 8:30 a.m. EDT. There’s absolutely no chance that this was a coincidence. As Chris Powell’s famous quote goes…”There are no markets anymore…only interventions”.The gold stocks opened in the black…but quickly began to sell off…and they kept right on going down despite the fact that the gold price finished in positive territory yesterday. The HUI finished down 1.66%.The silver stocks didn’t do well, either…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.82%.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s Nick’s Silver 7 chart that shows the near-term price action in a longer term perspective.(Click on image to enlarge)The sell-off in the precious metal stocks probably had more to do with what was happening in the general equity markets in New York at the time.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that a surprisingly large 414 gold contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday within the Comex-approved depositories. The two big short/issuers of note were Barclays with 324 contracts out of its client account…and ABN Amro with 88 contracts. The three largest long/stoppers were HSBC USA, Barclays…and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, with 234, 94 and 69 contracts respectively. The long/stoppers at Barclays were in the bank’s proprietary [in-house] trading account…the bank betting against its customers again.There were only 4 silver contracts posted for delivery on Tuesday…and the link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday…and no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported receiving 701,662 troy ounces of silver…and 21,763 troy ounces were shipped out the door. The link to that activity is here.In gold on the same day…9,027 troy ounces were reported received…and 12,210 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that activity is here.The Commitment of Traders Report was pretty much as expected, as there were improvements in the Commercial net short position in both gold and silver…but particularly silver…and several new records were set.In silver, the Commercial net short position [the total Commercial short holders subtracted from the total Commercial long holders] declined by 16.9 million ounces…and is now down to a shockingly low 25.1 million ounces. Reader E.W.F. said that “In silver, the Commercial traders hold their smallest net short position since 29 July 1997.” That’s almost 16 years ago!!!The four largest traders are short 196.5 million ounces of silver…and the next ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 55.9 million ounces of silver. Ted says that he’s no longer sure what JPMorgan’s short position in silver might be.As far as concentration goes, once you remove all the market-neutral spread trades from the total open interest, the Big 4 are short 35.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver. The short positions of the ‘5 through 8’ traders adds another 10.0%. So the Big 8, in total, are short 45.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver.Reader E.W.F. says that “the silver raptors [the small commercial traders other than the Big 8] hold their largest net long position in the history of the data.”In gold, the Commercial net short position declined by 333,000 troy ounces…and is now down to 5.83 million ounces. Reader E.W.F. says that..”the Commercials hold their smallest net short position in gold since 31 May 2005.”The four largest traders are short 9.94 million ounces of gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 4.67 million ounces.As far as concentrations go, once the market-neutral spread trades are removed from gold’s total open interest, the four largest traders are short 31.0 percent of the entire Comex futures market in gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders add another 14.6 percentage point. So the Big 8 in total are short 45.6% of the entire Comex futures market in gold.Reader E.W.F. pointed out that “the gold raptors are net long 87,851 contracts. This is their largest net long position since April 10, 2001. On that date the gold raptors were net long 95,984 contracts.”Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days of World Production to Cover Comex Short Positions” chart for all physically traded commodities on that exchange.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s your “cute quota” for the day…and don’t forget that the “cute quota” will be included with “The Funnies” starting with Tuesday’s column.
A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling Friday declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, apparently setting the stage for another hearing on the health care law by the U.S. Supreme Court.The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor invalidates what’s commonly referred to as Obamacare nationwide, and casts into doubt the survival of the law on the eve of the deadline for tens of millions of Americans to sign up for health care coverage in 2019.The ruling comes in a lawsuit brought against what was one of the major domestic achievements of the Obama administration. An alliance of 19 Republican attorneys general and a governor led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged the law.As NPR’s Alison Kodjak explained on All Things Considered,”The lawsuit had to do with whether when Congress last year repealed or eliminated the penalty for not having insurance — it was a tax penalty for people who didn’t have insurance — whether that meant the rest of the law didn’t apply anymore. The court case argued that all of the pieces of the law were dependent upon each other, so by eliminating the penalty the rest of the law fell apart. The judge agreed with that opinion.”In his 55-page opinion, Judge O’Connor said the debate over the ACA’s interlocking provisions is “like watching a slow game of Jenga, each party poking at a different provision to see if the ACA falls.”In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders praised the ruling.”Obamacare has been struck down by a highly respected judge. The judge’s decision vindicates President Trump’s position that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare. We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place.”Shortly afterwards, President Trump tweeted, “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the coalition of states that defended the ACA promised to continue the court fight to preserve the law.Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to be House speaker when Democrats come into the majority next month, tweeted, “Tonight’s absurd ruling exposes the monstrous endgame of the GOP’s all-out assault on people w/ pre-existing conditions & the ACA. When @HouseDemocrats take the gavel, the House will swiftly intervene in the appeals process to #ProtectOurCare!”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Disabled and older people have compared a council’s plans to cut £5 million from its adult social care budget to “social cleansing” and have accused it of “treating people no better than animals in Longleat”.The comments were included in The Voice of those Affected, a report by Healthwatch Merton into proposed cuts by Merton council in south-west London.The report was commissioned by the council after heavy lobbying by campaigners, and was based on comments by 72 service-users and carers during a series of focus groups.The report was released as more than 20 campaigners – many of them disabled people – protested outside the council’s offices before a committee meeting this week at which councillors discussed the proposed cuts.The protesters had heard that members of the council’s ruling Labour group had already voted in secret – although not unanimously – not to increase council tax for 2016-17, or to take advantage of new powers allowing councils to increase council tax by two per cent a year to boost adult social care spending.Six speakers, including Lyla Adwan-Kamara, chief executive of Merton Centre for Independent Living (MCIL), and two disabled people affected by the proposals, spoke to the council’s healthier communities and older people’s scrutiny panel about the report and the likely impact of the cuts.Adwan-Kamara said afterwards that those speeches “brought to life what was in that report, what had been happening to them and even worse what was going to happen to them”.Following those and other presentations and discussions, the panel rejected three proposed cuts – to care and support packages, to staffing, and to scrapping a respite service – and agreed to send them back to the council’s cabinet for “review and reconsideration”.People who took part in the Healthwatch Merton focus groups said the cuts would damage their health, sever social connections, and affect every aspect of their lives, leaving some believing that life was no longer worth living.Words and phrases used to describe the cuts included “disgusting”, “devastating”, “wickedness” and “survival of the fittest”.One told a focus group: “It is like social cleansing, they are trying to get rid of the people they don’t need.”One man in his 80s said – apparently quite seriously – that he would now have to “start practising to eat less from now on”, while another contributor said: “I will end up in my flat like a hermit, self-harming again.”Another said: “I was placed in a care home. It feels like a prison. I pay £600 per week to live somewhere I hate and I don’t use any of the services.”One focus group member said the council had become “less and less supportive”, and accused it of “withdrawing help and taking things back to Victorian times”, while another said: “I had to beg social services to take notice of me. What chance is there going to be for people that don’t have a voice like I did?”The report calls for the council to commission a more detailed, independent evaluation of the impact of the cuts on disabled and older people, and concludes: “One of the key feelings voiced was a sense of betrayal and abandonment by Merton Council.“People talked of being left behind, being left on the scrapheap, and not being treated equally.”The report says there were people crying in nearly every one of the focus groups, and it warns that if the cuts go ahead, people will “potentially be making heat or eat type decisions as they may need to pay for their own care, or pay more for services that they need”.After the scrutiny panel meeting, Adwan-Kamara told Disability News Service that it was the first time the council had “really listened to our members”, but that the £5 million in cuts was “still hanging over people’s heads”.She said of the Healthwatch Merton report: “I had a fairly clear view of what people would say, because we have been hearing this through our casework.“As a centre for independent living, we knew what the issues were, but to see those comments written down in black and white and made so explicit and clear was really emotional.”She said the Labour group’s decision not to increase council tax was “unconscionable”.She said: “They have that opportunity and they are refusing to take it. They have made a choice not to raise council tax, so they have made a choice not to support the most vulnerable people in Merton.”A spokeswoman for Merton’s Labour group confirmed the scrutiny panel had asked the cabinet to look again at the three proposed cuts to adult social care, and said the budget would now be considered by the cabinet on 15 February, with a final decision taken by the full council on 2 March.She said that the Labour group “intends to keep its promise to residents to freeze council tax” and would not take advantage of the two per cent increase option.Cllr Stephen Alambritis, leader of the council, said in a statement: “I promised residents a four year council tax freeze and if there’s one thing you can say about me I keep my promises. “I’m a business-man and I believe in running a business-like council, making what we do more efficient so we can continue to deliver the services people need the most.”Cllr Mark Allison, the cabinet member for finance, added: “The government have cut council funding by more than 40 per cent but in Merton we have done our best to protect adult social care services by ensuring it gets a lower share of the cuts than other departments, and by adding a further £12 million to its budget. “As a result we have managed to keep the amount we spend on adult social care virtually the same since 2010.”
Labour’s policy on universal credit has again become mired in confusion after its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, promised to scrap the government’s “catastrophic” and “iniquitous” benefit system if his party wins the next general election.Such a move would be seen as a significant victory for disabled activists and allies who have pushed the party to promise to scrap universal credit, instead of pledging only to halt the rollout of the system and fix its many flaws.Interviewed after the party’s success in last week’s Peterborough by-election, Corbyn told Channel 4 News (pictured): “We are ready for a general election, and that general election will deliver a Labour government.”He added: “If you voted Remain in 2016, and you’re on universal credit, if you voted Leave in 2016 on universal credit, you actually want to get rid of universal credit. That’s what Labour offers.”Despite Corbyn’s comments, what seemed to be a significant change in policy appeared not to have been noticed by any mainstream media.And the party’s press office today (Thursday) issued a statement that conflicted with what Corbyn said, merely stating again that a Labour government would pause the rollout of UC and try to make it fit for purpose.A party spokesperson said: “Universal credit isn’t working and cannot continue in its current form.“Labour will stop the roll-out, and ensure our social security system genuinely protects people from poverty.”Disabled activists, particularly Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), have campaigned for the government – and any future Labour government – to “stop and scrap” universal credit (UC).Only last week, DPAC released new research which detailed media articles on UC published between January and May this year, which it said was “a damning record of UC systemic and catastrophic failures”.It said that UC had reached a point where it was “unable to adapt to claimants’ complex circumstances, and is forcing people with the least resources into further poverty, homelessness, and hunger”. DPAC said it was calling for UC to be scrapped because it had become a social security system “which not only does not offer security, but actively undermined people’s ability to cope with the hazards of life”.A DPAC spokesperson said last night (Wednesday), in response to Corbyn’s comments, but before the party had released its statement: “We welcome it as it’s the only credible position that Labour or any other party can take given UC’s well-evidenced fundamental failings, enormous waste and terrible harm but we remain unsure of Labour’s position until there is a firm public commitment.”It is not the first time that Labour has appeared to call for UC to be scrapped and then retreated from that position.Last October, the party had to back-track after deputy leader John McDonnell said in a television interview that UC was a “shambles” and “iniquitous” and added: “I think we are moving to a position now where it is just not sustainable. It will have to go.”But the party’s press office later stressed that Labour’s position was that “universal credit in its current form simply isn’t working”.Labour’s work and pensions secretary, Margaret Greenwood, was also heavily-criticised by disabled activists after telling the party’s annual conference in Liverpool last September that the government must “stop the rollout of universal credit and fix its many flaws”, rather than calling for it to be scrapped. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…