4member IndianAmerican family found dead in Iowa

first_imgWashington DC: A 44-year-old Indian-American IT professional and his three family members, including two minor sons, have been found dead with gunshot wounds inside their home in the US state of Iowa, authorities said Monday, shocking the community. The bodies of Chandrasekhar Sunkara, Lavanya Sunkara, 41, their 15-year-old and a 10-year-old sons were found in their home on Saturday morning. Autopsies were pending to determine the official causes of death, but police said all had gunshots wounds, West Des Moines police said in a statement. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonChandrasekhar, known as Chandra, reportedly hailed from Andhra Pradesh. The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed that he was an IT professional employee in the Technology Services Bureau for the the department. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Sunkaras,” the DPS said in a statement. Officers with the West Des Moines Police Department were sent on Saturday morning to the 900 block of 65th Street, where they found the bodies. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorThe police said they all died of apparent gunshot wounds but an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death. No arrests have been made so far. “This tragedy will impact family, friends, co-workers, anyone that knew this family,” Sergeant Dan Wade said in statement. “We are continuing to work through this investigation. We will follow through until we have answered as many questions as the evidence allows. We are confident, though, that there is no continuing threat to the community,” Wade said. Police said other family members, two adults and two children, were staying in the home as guests. When the bodies were discovered, one of the relatives ran outside looking for help and found a passerby, who called 911, the NBC news reported. No suspect was reported to be in custody, but police said they were confident that there was no threat to the community, it said. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is assisting in the investigation. “You don’t see something like this happen in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this,” said Shrikar Somayajula who has known the Sunkaras for over a decade. Somayajula is a director at A Grade Ahead, an after-school enrichment academy in West Des Moines, where both boys attended frequently, whotv.com reported. “The family was a very friendly family and so it is really painful,” said Somayajula. He added, “For someone who we’ve known so close and we’ve seen them come in week after week come in for classes and we’ve seen them as recent as last Wednesday, to learn that they are not there anymore is something that really breaks our heart.” He said both Sunkara boys were bright students. “They participated in all the academy competitions and even at the national level. “Really bright children. Just heads down and minded their business always,” Somayajula said. “We have more questions than answers now as to why this happened and we will probably never find out why this happened,” said Somayajula.last_img read more

BJP Mahila Morcha protests over Ayushman Bharat Yojana

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi BJP Mahila Morcha on Monday protested against the Delhi government for its failure to implement the Ayushman Bharat Yojana in the Capital, by forming a human chain near ITO. Led by the Mahila Morcha president in Delhi, Poonam Prasar Jha, workers from the women’s wing of the saffron party joined the protest. Addressing protestors, Jha said that innocent people in Delhi were betrayed by the Kejriwal government’s inaction on implementing schemes like Ayushman Bharat Yojana. “They (voters) gave him a massive mandate and he came to power in Delhi. In the last four years, the people of Delhi have been disappointed,” she said.last_img

MR tells Chief Prelates OMP a threat to security forces

“Even though the body to be set up under this law is referred to as an ‘office’, Section 12 of the OMP Act makes it clear that it will in actual fact be a tribunal which can receive complaints, carry out investigations, examine witnesses, issue summons and hold hearings. Its officers can enter without warrant at any time of the day or night any police station, prison or military installation and seize any document or object they require. Anyone who fails or refuses to cooperate with the OMP may be punished as if it were an act of contempt against the Court of Appeal,” he said. Rajapaksa says the Office of Missing Persons (which will be funded and maintained by interested foreign parties) can make an allegation against an individual in a report and on that basis a foreign country can ask for the extradition of the suspect to be either tried in that country or handed over to an international criminal tribunal for prosecution. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the Chief Prelates that the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) is a threat to the armed forces in the country.Rajapaksa said that the OMP is one of several institutions that the Government has agreed to set up to ‘deal with the past’ in terms of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 of 14 October 2015, and its purpose is to feed information to other mechanisms. He says after the Government was forced to postpone the debate on the Bill to give effect to the International Convention Against Enforced Disappearances, ministers of both the UNP and the SLFP were trying to justify that proposed law by saying that it will apply only to the future and not to the past.Rajapaksa says the enthusiasm of the yahapalana political parties – the UNP, the SLFP group in the Government, the TNA and the JVP to pass laws designed to punish members of the armed forces and the political authorities that gave leadership to the war is evident. The former President says the Government has sought to give interested foreign powers a central role under Sri Lankan law, in the persecution of the armed forces through the new laws they have already passed or have placed before Parliament. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Business Highlights

___US stock indexes end mostly higher after volatile dayNEW YORK (AP) — Investors rode out another turbulent day on Wall Street Thursday that kept stock indexes flipping between gains and losses until a late-day bounce gave the market a modest gain. Major U.S. indexes spent much of the day reacting to big moves in U.S. government bond yields, which fell sharply in the early going and then recovered some of their decline by mid-afternoon. Bonds have been among the loudest and earliest to cry out warnings about the economy.___Walmart delivers big in 2QNEW YORK (AP) — Walmart offered a dose of optimism amid growing concerns over weakening economic growth by raising its annual outlook after a strong second quarter. Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 2.8%, its 20th consecutive quarter in the right direction as the world’s largest retailer continues to expand its grocery delivery services___US retail sales rise strongly in sign of consumer optimismWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers spent more at retail stores and restaurants in July, a sign that concerns about slower global growth that have roiled financial markets haven’t dampened consumer confidence. The Commerce Department says retail sales increased a healthy 0.7% last month, after a 0.3% gain in June.___China threatens retaliation if US tariff hikes go aheadBEIJING (AP) — China has threatened to retaliate if U.S. tariff hikes planned for Sept. 1 go ahead. The government says it will take “necessary countermeasures” but gave no details. President Donald Trump says he plans to impose 10% duties on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports in a fight over trade and technology. The Chinese announcement made no mention of Trump’s decision to postpone some of the penalties until Dec. 15.___US makes new push for graphic warning labels on cigarettesWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is making a new push to add graphic images to cigarette packets. Regulators on Thursday proposed adding images of blackened lungs, cancerous tumors and other diseases to all cigarette pack to discourage Americans from lighting up. The FDA’s last attempt to require graphic warning labels was defeated in court by the tobacco companies.___Whistleblower accuses GE of fraud, misleading investorsNEW YORK (AP) — A whistleblower who warned regulators about Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is now accusing General Electric of misleading investors, sending the company’s stock on a downward spiral. Investigator Harry Markopolos accused GE of engaging in accounting fraud worth $38 billion. He says the company is hiding $29 billion in long-term care losses and heading for bankruptcy. GE stood behind its financial reporting Thursday, calling Markopolos’s claims unsubstantiated and meritless.___As bond yields fall, S&P 500 dividends could lure investorsNEW YORK (AP) — With bond yields plunging because of worries about the global economy, investors might turn their attention to companies in the S&P 500 paying some juicy dividends. The yield on the 10-year Treasury has been steadily falling all year and stood at 1.58% as of Wednesday. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is offering a dividend yield of 2% overall.___US industrial output fell 0.2% in July as factories struggleWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production fell 0.2% in July, as factory activity slumped in a worrisome sign for the economy. The Federal Reserve says manufacturing production declined 0.4% last month. Output decreased for autos, fabricated metals, wood products, textiles and plastics and rubber products. Over the past 12 months, factory production has fallen 0.5%.___Venezuela’s Maduro battles for control of US-based refineryCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s government has nullified the newly named board of the country’s prized Citgo refineries in the U.S., saying opposition leaders had no right to appoint them. The opposition-run National Assembly appointed the 15-member Citgo board early this year after congress leader Juan Guaidó declared presidential powers, arguing that President Nicolas Maduro’s re-election was illegitimate.___JCPenney halves losses, will begin selling used clothingNEW YORK (AP) — Shares of J.C. Penney surged after the ailing department store cut its quarterly losses in half and announced that it would begin selling used clothing to staunch fading sales. Retailers have been searching for ways to get people back into its stores in the decade since the global economic downturn altered consumer behaviour, a period that has run parallel with the ascent of Amazon.com. The company said it will begin selling used clothing in 30 locations.___Tapestry offers downbeat outlook and its stock tumblesNEW YORK (AP) — Tapestry Inc.’s shares lost nearly a quarter of their value after the fashion company said that it would have an unexpected drop in profits and revenue in the current quarter. The New York-based company, which owns the Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman labels, said it expects its revenue in the current quarter to be slightly below the prior year and its earnings to decline on a year-over-year basis. Its business is mainly being dragged down by the Kate Spade brand, which it bought in 2017.___The S&P 500 rose 7 points, or 0.2%, to 2,847.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 99.97 points, or 0.4%, to 25,579.39. The Nasdaq composite dropped 7.32 points, or 0.1%, to 7,766.62, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 5.87 points, or 0.4%, to 1,461.65.The Associated Press read more

Situation on Australian offshore processing facility deteriorates by the day – UN

“Without distribution of food and clean water over the last three weeks [and] significant accumulation of waste and rubbish in the hot and humid weather, the health and sanitation is becoming a very significant issue,” Nai Jit Lam, Deputy Regional Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), currently on Manus Island, told journalists in Geneva over the phone. “The people that we have spoken to are extremely angry and they see this as an opportunity to tell the world and to show the world, years of anger about how they have been treated over the four years, after being forcibly transferred to Papua New Guinea,” he added. According to the UN refugee agency, the conditions and the lack of medicines, increasing number of refugees and asylum seekers at the former facility are falling physically and mentally unwell. Alternative accommodation and services outside the facility are still under construction and it could be another two weeks before they are ready. “We have observed [concerns] regarding security and the lack of interpreters on the Island, that brings about the issue of how they would communicate with local people or even the police as well,” added the UNHCR official, noting that local contractual disputes hinder staffing of caseworkers to look after the wellbeing of those there, and tensions with local community also remains. Calling on Australian authorities for an active role resolve the situation, which Mr. Lam said that is a result of the forcible transfer of people, refugees and asylum seekers by Australia to Papua New Guinea and Nauru under its offshore policy. “Australia must take responsibility for the protection, assistance and solutions for the refugees here on Manus Island,” he stressed. According to the UN refugee agency, Manus Island (located some 320 kilometres or 200 miles off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea) has been the focus of Australia’s off-shore processing policy. Of the approximately 3,000 refugees and asylum-seekers forcibly transferred by Australia to facilities in Nauru and Manus, some 1,200 remain in Nauru and 900 in Papua New Guinea. read more

Families of Christchurch victims face long wait for the return of their

first_img ISLAMIC CUSTOM DICTATES that people have to be buried as soon as possible after death – but the scale and devastation of Friday’s massacre of 50 people in Christchurch has delayed the handover of bodies to next of kin.As the first bodies of the Christchurch mosque shooting victims were returned to their grieving families, Muslim volunteers from across New Zealand and Australia have stepped in to help with the burial process.Police said today that just six bodies have been released so far, and a total of 12 victims identified. Waves of volunteers have driven or flown in to Christchurch to help ease the burden on exhausted locals.“We are a Muslim community, regardless of where we are situated through the country and the world, there is always going to be a connection with other Muslims when tragedy occurs,” Javed Dadabhai, a volunteer from Auckland, told AFP. Tuesday 19 Mar 2019, 1:45 PM A muslim worshipper prays at a makeshift memorial at the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Rd in Christchurch, New Zealand Image: AAP/PA Images https://jrnl.ie/4549847 A muslim worshipper prays at a makeshift memorial at the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Rd in Christchurch, New Zealand Quite specifically, Christchurch is a small community, so… when you see a loss of 50 people, you really need to come down and help in whichever you can.While there has been no figures on the number of volunteers who have travelled to Christchurch, large numbers have been walking in and out of a family support centre near the Al Noor Mosque where dozens were killed by a white supremacist.Washing of bodiesSohail Ibrahim was among the volunteers who packed his bags and hopped onto a plane from Sydney when a call came from his mosque for helpers.“The problem is, many men and many women can’t face the body,” Ibrahim told AFP of why he felt compelled to lend a helping hand.Dadabhai said the volunteers were divided into several teams which would help in the washing of bodies — required under Islamic custom — and the burials in the cemetery.Mohammed Bilal, another volunteer from Auckland, said the “coming together” was a good way for Muslims to show they wanted to “live peacefully”.“That’s why we are here,” he told AFP. “This is a hard time but we have to be strong and faithful and believe that we are going to overcome this.“People come here to help each other and do something good for our society.”- © AFP, 2019 Mar 19th 2019, 1:45 PM Image: AAP/PA Images 10 Comments By AFP Share24 Tweet Email Short URL Families of Christchurch victims face long wait for the return of their loved ones’ bodies Under Islamic custom, burials are to take place as soon as possible after death, which hasn’t been the case in this situation. 10,688 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Kanye Wests Next Album Might Be Nothing But Nintendo Wii Games

first_img Kanye West likes video games, and not just because his wife made millions of dollars after putting her #brand on one. He’s compared himself to Wreck-It Ralph characters. He sampled Street Fighter sound effects on his last album The Life of Pablo (an album he even patched after release as if it were an unfinished modern AAA game), and he’s even developing his own game about his late mother. Kanye West is a lot of things, and a gamer is apparently one of them.Still, if the strange new rumors about Kanye’s next album are true, he may be an even bigger and prouder 9gamer than we thought. West is currently at home recovering from his recent, sudden hospital stay. Producer Pete Rock stopped by and shared some clips from his visit on Instagram.What most grabbed viewers’ attention was a glimpse at a potential tracklist for Kanye’s next album. West suggested in the past the album may be named Turbo Grafx 16, after the dark horse 16-bit Hudson console, but that’s just a taste of how gaming-themed this music might really be.Here are the potential tracks:Metroid DreadMuramasa: The Demon BladeNew Super Mario Bros.No More Heroes 2OkamiPikmin 2Rabbids Go HomeRed Steel 2Resident EvilSilent HillSin & Punishment 2Sonic ColorsSuper Mario Galaxy Pt 1 and Pt 2Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Finally, Kanye West Plans ‘Star Wars’ Housing ProjectsGame of the Year: Kanye West Meets Salmon in Fins of the Father Stay on targetcenter_img Not only are these all video games, these are all video games for the Nintendo Wii. The one exception is the first track, Metroid Dread, a reference to a rumored Metroid game that never actually came out and a fairly obscure piece of gaming trivia.However, the rest of this list is a pretty great cross-section of the under-looked hardcore games that came out on the “casual” Wii console whether as original games or ports like Okami and Pikmin 2. I should know because I’ve played just about all of these. Red Steel 2 delivered on the promise of its iffy predecessor, and if not for the half-anime cast I’d say Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is better than Marvel vs. Capcom. But that’s all besides the point.We don’t know if this is really a tracklist for Kanye’s next album. It could just be a Best Buy shopping list. And even if it’s true today, based on how many name changes The Life of Pablo went through before its final release, by the time this album comes out all of the songs could be Vita games. Both of them. But now that the possibility is out there, I’ll be extremely disappointed if I never get to hear a song by Kanye West about Sonic the Hedgehog or Rabbids Go Home. That might be too beautiful a thing to exist in this world.last_img read more

Agents of Mayhem is One Summer Game You Dont Want to Miss

first_img Agents of Mayhem is Fun, But Saints Row Has Always Been AnnoyingThese Are the Games You Should Be Checking Out in August Stay on target I don’t know how many times we’ve written about how amazing 2017 has been for video games. You know things are good when even the dreaded summer drought was all but eliminated. A lot of fantastic titles have dropped, and the year isn’t over yet. Because of that, it is easy to overlook games that deserve your attention. One such game is Volition’s Agents of Mayhem.For those who may not know, Agents of Mayhem is a spiritual successor to the Saints Row franchise. Though both titles are their own separate entity, they share many similarities. Chief among them is the open-world design. Like any good open-world title, there is a lot to see and do. This makes it a great title to occupy your time during the hot summer days. Like the Saints Row series, Agents of Mayhem isn’t flawless, but it’s perfect for those who just want a brainless, goofy game to hold them over until the big fall games start releasing.The Saints Row franchise went from being an unapologetic Grand Theft Auto clone to an over-the-top superhero game. Agents is decidedly on the latter end of that spectrum. The premise here is that an evil organization called Legion is trying to take over the planet. Thankfully, the Agents of M.A.Y.H.E.M. organization exists to stop Legion’s nefarious plans. This game is basically an old-school Saturday morning cartoon only with a ton of dick and fart jokes. If you’re into G.I. Joe, cheesy 80’s nostalgia, and borderline offensive humor, then you’ll be right at home.I’ve played a ton of open-world games in the past but not one quite like this. Since it is set in a near-future South Korea, Agents distinguishes itself from similar games based in the West. Even though it takes place in Seoul, the city is surprisingly multi-cultural given its abundance of different peoples. It’s a great video game city to explore since it shows such a positive (if silly) vision of the future. It’s certainly nothing like the (boring) post apocalyptic worlds seen in other games. If you’re like me, you’ll no doubt spend countless hours driving (or jumping) around the city to take in all the amazing sights.Saints Row games had a lot of characters, but you could only ever really play as the main protagonist. In Agents of Mayhem, you’ll eventually gain access to 14 playable heroes. The crazy part is that the three initial characters aren’t even the game’s best. As you progress, you’ll unlock much cooler heroes like the Assassin Scheherazade, former Yakuza Oni, and the Gatling gun wielding Daisy. Each hero becomes playable only after doing specific story-based missions. Because you learn about each character through these missions, you’ll form an emotional bond with them. The game’s diverse range of characters is easily Agents of Mayhem’s strongest feature.Many of Agents’ missions play out the same. Go to a mission waypoint, find out where the actual mission area is, drive to it, hack a terminal, kill waves of bad guys, and win. This otherwise repetitive pattern is only bearable due to the fact every character plays completely different from one another. Since each character has their own play style, missions never become dull. I always enjoyed mixing up the team to see how they all worked with each other. While you certainly want to have a hacker with you, you’re free to mix and match as you please. Being able to form a team of unique characters and blasting away bad guys never gets old.Back when I wrote my hands-on impressions of the E3 demo, I remarked on how Agents of Mayhem would give Crackdown 3 a run for its money. After all, both open-world titles star heroes with ridiculous powers. Now that Crackdown 3 has been delayed, Agents is the only choice left for people looking for a zany super hero open-world game this year. Xbox owners still upset over Crackdown 3’s delay can help alleviate their suffering by taking a crack (pun intended) at Agents of Mayhem.The next wave of big 2017 games starts next week when Destiny 2 launches. Since that’s the case, you might want to consider checking out Agents of Mayhem before that takes over everything. With its open-world structure, quantity of side missions, and large roster of diverse playable characters, you’ll be entertained for many, many hours. There’s also the fact the game is just plain fun, which is something that’s always appreciated (especially these days). Don’t sleep on Agents of Mayhem!Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Royal Mail to face legal action over holiday pay and minimum wage

first_imgRoyal Mail is to face legal action over the status of its courier drivers and their entitlement to employment rights, such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage.The legal action is being brought to the Employment Tribunal (ET) by trade union GMB on behalf of four courier drivers who work for Parcelforce, a trading name of Royal Mail. The claimants are being represented by law firm Leigh Day.The claimants argue that Parcelforce drivers should be categorised as either employees or workers rather than self-employed contractors. This would mean that they would be entitled to receive employment rights from Royal Mail, including the national minimum wage, holiday pay, paternity pay, sick pay, and employee protections, such as protection from discrimination.A first hearing is due to be held at the ET on 16 February 2018.A spokesperson at Parcelforce Worldwide said: “We are aware that a case has been filed. We do not comment on ongoing legal cases.”Liana Wood, lawyer in the employment team representing the couriers at Leigh Day, said: “We believe that Royal Mail owes the same responsibilities as any other [organisation] to its employees. They should be paid the national minimum wage, they should be able to take leave when their children are born and they should be able to take time off when they are sick.”Maria Ludkin, legal director at GMB, added: “Royal Mail is shirking its responsibilities through bogus self-employment. Having enticed long-standing employees to work under so-called self-employment contracts back in 2003, [it has] then, again and again, cut back their pay and increased their workload. Despite doing the same job as other employed drivers at Royal Mail, these courier drivers currently have no protection against this treatment whatsoever. GMB continues to fight for the rights of our members wherever we see exploitation disguised as bogus self-employment.”last_img read more

Micciche Introduces Bill To Close Schneider Loopholes

first_imgClassify unwanted contact with semen as a sexual crime, which means perpetrators can be required to register as sex offenders for this crime;Require that strangulation to the point of unconsciousness is defined as assault in the first degree, which carries a sentence of 5 to 20 years; andEliminate credit toward time served for electronic monitoring for sexual assault convictions. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Senator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen) filed a bill to eliminate the “Schneider Loopholes” in Alaska’s criminal code in sexual assault cases. Micciche says SB 12 will improve our sexual assault laws in three important ways: Sen. Micciche: “In recent years, one outrageous story after another about criminals getting a slap on the wrist has dominated our headlines. The case of Justin Schneider, however, forced us to confront just how badly our criminal justice system has been failing victims and survivors of sexual assault. SB 12 represents an urgently needed fix to a glaring loophole, but it is only the beginning.”center_img Senate Bill 12 was introduced by Senator Micciche after Justin Schneider, a case that gained national attention, after he served no prison time for strangling a woman to the point of unconsciousness and then ejaculating on her. According to Senator Micciche this exposed some serious, long-standing shortcomings in laws dealing with sexual assault in Alaska: “Serious crimes were ignored and an inappropriate plea deal allowed the perpetrator to serve a portion of the sentence of the single conviction at home with his family. In a state number one in the U.S. for sexual assault, we are making the statement that there will be ‘no more free passes’ for perpetrators of such crimes.”last_img read more

Defense Bill Requests Report on New Installations Organization at DOD

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR With DOD’s newly formed installations and operational energy organization nearing its one-year old birthday, the Armed Services committees want a progress report on the merger.Last year’s defense authorization bill directed the department to create the office of the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for energy, installations and environment by merging the office of the ASD for operational energy plans and programs with the office of the deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment.The conference report for the fiscal 2016 authorization bill, unveiled late last month, requests the report include:a description of how the office is implementing its responsibilities;a description of efficiencies achieved as a result of the merger; andthe number of DOD personnel whose responsibilities are focused on energy matters.John Conger, who had been acting DUSD for installations and environment, leads the new organization.The office of the ASD for energy, installations and environment is supposed to “equally prioritize” the functions of its two predecessor organizations. According to the FY 2015 legislation, the ASD for energy, installations and environment would be the principal adviser to:the defense secretary and the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics regarding energy, installations and environment; andthe defense secretary and deputy secretary for operational energy plans and programs.The text of the conference report and the joint explanatory statement for the FY 2016 authorization bill, along with a House Armed Services Committee summary, are available on the House Rules Committee website.————–Image Sourcelast_img read more

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Concerned Citizens Urge ZBA To Vote Against Request

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is the latest letter, written on February 3, from the Concerned Citizens of Wilmington to the Wilmington Zoning Board of Appeals.  A member of the Concerned Citizens shared the letter with Wilmington Apple and requested that it be published.—Re: 362 Middlesex AvenueProposal to site Detox FacilityRequest for Special AccommodationsDear Chairman Veerman and members of the Appeals Board, and members of the Board of Selectmen:All who were at or watched the last Zoning Board of Appeals meeting (ZBA) on January 16 saw a group of residents gravely concerned about the impacts to the neighborhood and the town related to the proposal to site a detox facility in the heart of North Wilmington’s neighborhood business district. This was not the first meeting, as it has been a prolonged and difficult struggle over a year long, with a multitude of meetings, to have the neighborhood concerns heard, since from the beginning the residents’ concerns have been minimized or outright ignored.  Despite all this, when the vote came on the Special Permit Application, Mr. Siracusa and Mr. Lepore voted to deny the Special permit, which constitutes disapproval of the Application, since the Permit Application requires a four out of five vote to gain approval.  Mr. Siracusa and Mr. Lepore deserve tremendous credit for standing up to protect the town and the neighborhood interests.Both Mr. Siracusa and Mr. Lepore were very clear on the reason for their disapproval – that the site proposal/building was not in harmony with the zoning or the neighborhood, which is the legal standard for making the determination.In the days following the prior ZBA meeting, on December 12, 2018, neighbors became aware, through a public records request (the information was not freely shared), that the attorney for the applicant submitted two letters, one on November 16, 2018, and one on December 8, 2018, to the ZBA requesting the ZBA “waive” the requirement to comply with the Zoning Bylaw.  This seems by any account to have been an 11th hour action to threaten and bully the ZBA members into voting yes or else face the threat of a lawsuit, and was only taken after their efforts to deal with resident concerns failed.  This is also telling that the developer has no interest any further dealings with residents or the neighborhood, and wants to outright nullify the vote of the ZBA.The request for special accommodations was a brazen one, to completely “waive compliance with any applicable zoning restrictions.”  In the November 16, 2018 letter, Mr. Bobrowski’s letter cites the federal Fair Housing Act, and specifically a case, Oxford House vs. Town of Babylon, which he alleges is “precisely” the circumstance here.  The Board should not take Mr. Bobrowski’s letter at face value.  First both the Board and the Town Counsel should review the Oxford House case[1].  There are many stark differences in Oxford rendering it not parallel to the matter before the board. The following facts are noted in the Court judgment on Oxford:The case centered on an existing home in an area zoned for single family homes;The home was leased to Oxford House to provide housing for recovering alcoholics or drug addicts;The town attempted to evict the Oxford residents by claiming that there were not a family unit, as set forth in their Zoning bylaw.The Court did in fact overturn the town’s action, but their reasoning demands close scrutiny for any inclination to compare this case to the case of Bettering LLC.  In taking the action, the Court did so affirming that the home “does not in any way burden the Town or alter the residential character of the neighborhood.”   The Judge also noted that “Plaintiffs in the present case merely seek to require the Town to permit them to continue to use housing which already exists”, and the decision clearly suggested that any matter involving construction of a newbuilding would demand more substantial justification.  The comparison of a few tenants being housed in an existing single family home with a proposed 48 bed detox treatment facility seems absurd, in regard to impacts and harmony with Zoning requirements. If Mr. Kneeland was transforming his own home to a recovery facility, then the parallels may exist.  The Bettering LLC matter involves construction of large, new facility in a neighborhood business area, in complete discord with the town’s master plan, and requiring of a ZBA approval which they failed to secure.Mr. Bobrowski’s second letter, dated December 8, 2018, focused on 901 ERNSTON ROAD LLC v. BOROUGH OF SAYREVILLE ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT et al, No. 3:2018cv02442 – Document 22 (D.N.J. 2018)[2]. This is also a case where there are substantial differences to the Bettering case:In making the determination that the Zoning Board’s decision constituted “disparate treatment” (i.e. was discriminatory), The Court indicated the Zoning Board’s denial “did not rely solely on zoning”, citing comments made by the Board members during the denial.  In contrast, for the Bettering matter, both Mr. Siracusa and Mr. Lepore were explicitly clear and on record why they voted to deny the special permit, and such denial was not based on any animus toward the potential clients. Indeed, Mr. Siracusa stated clearly on the record that the size of the building (2½ story vs. one story) was the telling factor in his denial.The grounds for determining that the facility was not provided with reasonable accommodation was that “the use is not permitted anywhere in the Borough”, a fact which neither side disputed.  Again, this is in contrast to the Bettering case, where the Town already took action to create a more suitable zoning location for this facility, one which encompasses a large swath of the town, and one in which the proponent already owns a potential site.I also note that Mr. Bobrowski’s letter is factually incorrect in representing that the Court in Ernston Road LLC casefound that the plaintiff had a likelihood of success on its claim of disparate impact, as the Court finding was the opposite.Fair Housing Act and Reasonable AccommodationProtected PersonsThe U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) provides detailed information on the Fair Housing Act (FHA) on its website[3].  The Act is important in protecting parties against discriminatory housing practices. In the information provided, DOJ specifically addresses issues related to the Bettering LLC matter before the Board. First, DOJ notes that “current” users of illegal, controlled substances are not a protected group under the FHA. This is further established in a joint statement, issued collaboratively between DOJ and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The statement includes specific guidance on Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act[4].  While alcoholism and drug addiction qualify as disabilities, not all parties are protected. The Act specifically does not protect“juvenile offenders and sex offenders, by virtue of that status, are not persons with disabilities protected by the Act. Similarly, while the Act does protect persons who are recovering from substance abuse, it does not protect persons who are currently engaging in the current illegal use of controlled substances. Additionally, the Act does not protect an individual with a disability whose tenancy would constitute a “direct threat” to the health or safety of other individuals or result in substantial physical damage to the property of others unless the threat can be eliminated or significantly reduced by reasonable accommodation.”Even a cursory review of FHA cases related to housing for those in recovery indicates that the facilities in question have been in all cases, “group” type homes, or “sober living homes”, meant to house those addicted but in recovery stages, suggestive that a period of abstinence and rehabilitative efforts has in all cases preceded their placement.  The intention in all of these cases is to provide a home for those in recovery, and not detoxification.  In the cited case of Oxford, Oxford homes has, similar to other providers, three basic rules defined for their housing: (1) they must be democratically self-governed; (2) they must be financially self-supporting; and (3) any person using drugs or alcohol must be immediately expelled.  Anyone using is not in recovery and is out.Detoxification by definition of the National Center for Biotechnology Information[5]is “the process by which an individual is withdrawn from the effects of a psychoactive substance.” It immediatelyfollows an active use of the opioid (or other drug), and there is no doubt that such individuals would test positive for illegal drugs.  To classify those in detox not as “current” users would defy logic.  Such an event would in all cases result in an individual being removedfrom a sober house or group home, where protections under the FHA do exist.  The matter of current users being excluded from FHA protections is set forth in United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Southern Management Corporation, Defendant-appellant, 955 F.2d 914 (4th Cir. 1992)[6].  Current drug use excludes their protections under the Act.Reasonable AccommodationsEven IF the detox patients (more appropriate than calling them residents) were a protected group, that alone does not provide a guarantee that any request is a reasonable accommodation.  DOJ’s statement on reasonable accommodation is clear that not all requests are reasonable:“Not all requested modifications of rules or policies are reasonable. If a requested modification imposes an undue financial or administrative burden on a local government, or if a modification creates a fundamental alteration in a local government’s land use and zoning scheme, it is not a “reasonable” accommodation.”Mr. Siracusa and Mr. Lepore were emphatically clear the reasons for their disapproval – that the building was not in harmony with the Zoning bylaw and the neighborhood.  Their decision was not based on the proposed clients/use, but the impacts of the building to the area and neighbors.  Mr. Siracusa went so far as to suggest that a different design to the structure may have altered his vote, which the proponent was adamantly against.  Thus, there was no discriminatory intent on the part of Mr. Siracusa and Mr. Lepore that fueled their “no” vote.The Town indeed made a very directed effort to create a special accommodation for this type of facility in their town meeting action to amend the Town of Wilmington Zoning Bylaw to allow medical facilities, including detox facilities, in industrial zones, which constitute a sizeable portion of the town, inclusive of land already owned by the project proponent.In a case that much more resembles Bettering than Oxford, Thornton vs. City of Allegan[7], the Court construed a rezoning action to represent a reasonable accommodation, and affirmed the limitations of any request to waive zoning requirements:“It is disingenuous for Plaintiffs to argue that Defendant’s making of “reasonable accommodations” requires that Defendant grant Plaintiff’s application for the special use permit. Such an interpretation would give handicapped persons carte blanche to determine where and how they would live regardless of zoning ordinances to the contrary. Certainly, this is not what Congress intended when it defined “discrimination” to include not making “reasonable accommodations.”Thus, the town, even though it was not required to, created a pathway for the proponent to construct a detox facility only a short distance away, in a land area more suitable for such a facility.Lastly, the ZBA has no procedures established to define what information should be required for any reasonable accommodation request, no process or public participation elements in place, or procedures for required member votes.  In another example of Mr. Bobrowski’s brazen request, he takes the liberty of presumably deciding for the Board in the letter that he interprets the law requiring only a simple majority of the Board, in an exceeding self-serving directive.  Many towns have procedures in place, and so should Wilmington.ConclusionsThe town counsel should be fully considering these issues and briefing the members of the Zoning Board (and Selectmen) on this upcoming vote for reasonable accommodation, and NOT just accepting Attorney Bobrowski’s opinions on this matter.  Based on the information outlined above:The patients at the proposed detox are not protected under the FHA, by virtue of them being current drug users, which cannot be refutedThe Oxford House and Ernston Road LLC case Court decisions are not in any way “precisely” like the Bettering LLC matter before the ZBA for action, and other case law noted above must be consideredEven if the patients were identified as a disabled group under the FHA, the DOJ/HUD joint statement on reasonable accommodation is clear that NOT all requests are reasonable, as it clearly states… “if a modification creates a fundamental alteration in a local government’s land use and zoning scheme, it is not a “reasonable” accommodation.”  Asking the ZBA to fully waive applicable zoning requirements, and to nullify a duly taken vote of the ZBA is NOT reasonable, especially since the Town has already made accommodations for siting of such facilities.Those who come before the ZBA for an action should all have to play by the same rules.  In the end, Mr. Kneeland has the capacity on his own for a reasonable accommodation of his interests – move the proposal to other parcels he owns, where town meeting zoning actions have opened the doors to siting facilities like the one he is proposing.I ask that the ZBA do the right and legal thing to protect the town and neighborhood from the irreversible and negative impacts that this proposal presents to the neighborhood and business community in North Wilmington.Sincerely,The Concerned Citizens of Wilmingtoncc: Jeff Hull, Town ManagerMembers of the Board of Selectmen[1]https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/819/1179/1965199/[2]https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-jersey/njdce/3:2018cv02442/367077/22/[3]https://www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-1[4]https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2010/12/14/joint_statement_ra.pdf[5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50618/[6]https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/955/914/448376/[7]https://www.leagle.com/decision/19931367863fsupp50411266—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLAWSUIT FILED: Bettering LLC Sues Zoning Board Of Appeals Over Detox Facility DenialIn “Government”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: McCoy Urges Residents To Attend Town Meeting On 12/16; Notes That Detox Proposal Still Needs Approval From 2 Town BoardsIn “Letter To The Editor”SELECTMEN NEWS: McCoy Calls For Special Town Meeting In Response To Detox Center Zoning ConcernsIn “Government”last_img read more

Macron reeling as stance against protesters backfires

first_imgFire is seen near a Christmas market during a demonstration by the “yellow vests” movement at Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, France on 5 January. Reuters File PhotoFrench president Emmanuel Macron intended to start the new year on the offensive against the ‘yellow vest’ protesters. Instead, the French president is reeling from more violent street demonstrations.What began as a grassroot rebellion against diesel taxes and the high cost of living has morphed into something more perilous for Macron – an assault on his presidency and French institutions.The anti-government protesters on Saturday used a forklift truck to force their way into a government ministry compound, torched cars near the Champs Elysees and in one violent skirmish on a bridge over the Seine punched and kicked riot police officers to the ground.The French authorities’ struggle to maintain order during the weekend protests raises questions not just over policing tactics but also over how Macron responds, as he prepares to bring in stricter rules for unemployment benefits and cut thousands of public sector jobs.On Sunday evening, Macron wrote on Twitter: “Once again, the Republic was attacked with extreme violence – its guardians, its representatives, its symbols.”His administration had hardened its stance against the yellow vests after the protest movement appeared to have lost momentum over the Christmas holidays.The government would not relent in its pursuit of reforms to reshape the economy, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on Friday, branding the remaining protesters agitators seeking to overthrow the government.Twenty-four hours later, he was fleeing his office out of a back door as protesters invaded the courtyard and smashed up several cars. “It wasn’t me who was attacked,” he later said. “It was the Republic.”Driving the unrest is anger, particularly among low-paid workers, over a squeeze on household incomes and a belief that Macron is indifferent to citizens’ needs as he enacts reforms seen as pro-business and favouring the wealthy.Macron’s government has been shaken by the unrest, caught off-guard when in November the yellow vests began blocking roads, occupying highway tollbooths and staging violent invasions of Paris and other cities on weekends.Two months on, it has not found a way to soothe the yellow vests’ anger and meet their demands, which include a higher minimum wage, a more participative democracy and Macron’s resignation.With no clear leader, negotiating with the group is hard.ImpasseMacron sought to head off the rebellion in December with a promise of tax cuts for pensioners, wage rises for the poorest workers and a reversal of planned fuel tax hikes, while pledging a national debate on key policy issues. He fell short.The price tag for those concessions: 10 billion euros, enough to send French borrowing costs higher as investors fretted about debt levels and Macron’s ability to reform the euro zone’s second largest economy.Laurent Berger, head of the reform-minded CFDT trade union, France’s largest by members, on Sunday accused Macron’s government of going it alone at a time it needed to reach out.“We’re at an impasse. We have on the one side a violent movement … and on the other a government which thinks it can find the answers all on its own,” Berger told France Inter.Some 50,000 protesters marched through cities and towns across France, including Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rennes and Marseille.In Paris, the street marches began peacefully but degenerated when some protesters threw punches at baton-wielding officers, torched electric scooters and garbage bins along the Left Bank’s upscale Boulevard Saint Germain and set cars ablaze near the Champs Elysees. Clashes erupted in other cities too.Both yellow vests and “casseurs”, hooded youths from anti-capitalist or anarchist groups, appeared to be involved.Labour minister Muriel Penicaud said the prolonged unrest was hurting foreign investment.Opposition lawmakers demanded the government put forward concrete proposals to address the yellow vests’ demands, but government ministers dismissed caving in to a minority of troublemakers.“We need to stop being a country that listens to those who cry the loudest,” education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told LCI news channel.last_img read more

Finally Monsoon hits Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Monsoon hit Kolkata and South Bengal on Monday afternoon, giving a welcome relief to the people from the sweltering heat.Officials of the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore said that even though temperature in different districts will go down, there will be no relief from the discomfort factor.There were thunderclouds above West Bengal and the low pressure zone hovering over Bay of Bengal moved towards Bangladesh, which caused monsoon to enter West Bengal. As a result, there will be scattered rainfall in Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Sikkim. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsMet officials said that in the next 48 hours, there will be heavy rainfall in Kolkata. There will be rain in North Bengal as well. Heavy rainfall has also been predicted in Howrah, Hooghly, South 24-Parganas, Nadia and east Midnapore.Meanwhile, the state government has taken elaborate measures to combat heavy rain during monsoon. Chief Secretary Malay De will preside over a meeting on Tuesday, to take stock of the situation.Senior officials of the Irrigation and Waterways department, Panchayat and Rural Development department, Public Works department, Agriculture and Disaster Management and Civil Defence department will attend the meeting. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedState Irrigation minister Soumen Mahapatra had held a meeting with Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and discussed about the measures taken up by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) authorities.Meanwhile, two people were killed and 42 injured, after being struck by lightning in Dooars in North Bengal. The victims are all tea garden workers. The injured were taken to a hospital where four workers were found to be critically injured. Two of them died late in the evening. Monsoon had entered Kerala three days ahead of the scheduled date and it was expected that it will come to Bengal on time.Kolkata woke up to an overcast sky on Monday morning. As monsoon hit the city in the afternoon, there was moderate to heavy shower in some pockets. The southern fringes in Kolkata received heavy rainfall.Tarak Singh, Member, Mayor-in-Council (drainage), said all the pumps to clear water from the city roads are functioning and portable pumps have been kept ready to combat heavy shower.He said if there is heavy shower, there may be waterlogging on the streets but its duration will be minimum. The underground pipes and gully pits have been cleared and desilted. Also, new underground pipes have been installed in many areas.”On the whole, the duration of waterlogging will be minimum,” Singh said.last_img read more

How Tiny LabGrown Innovations Are Making a Major Impact in Medicine and

first_img Listen Now 11 min read This past summer, in a lab at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a thoracic surgeon named Dr. Harald Ott and his team made a big breakthrough with something incredibly small: the tiny forelimb of a rat.Amazingly, that tiny appendage was the first-ever functioning bio-artificial limb grown in a lab. Ott and his team had taken a real rat limb, stripped it of its living cells and tissues, then repopulated the limb with muscle and vascular cells grown in a petri dish. When transplanted onto a recipient rat, the limb responded to electrical stimulation and circulated blood as if it had been there all along.The Mass General team’s efforts — working in an area known as regenerative medicine — are mind-blowing because they’re paving the way toward the day when we can actually grow organs and, eventually, limbs. These efforts are potentially life-changing — and life saving. Over 1.5 million people in the US have lost a limb. And right now, 122,000 Americans are waiting to receive an organ — and 22 of these people, on average, die each day for the lack of one.Regenerative medicine research is also an important field for entrepreneurs to watch, not just because it’s life-saving, but because it’s potentially remunerative: Government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Defense are pouring investments into the biotech sector.Dr. Nenad BursacImage credit: Courtesy of Duke UniversityDr. Nenad Bursac, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, who, with postdoctoral researcher Laura Madden, recently engineered the first lab-grown muscle that contracts and responds to electrical stimulation and prescription drugs, says he’s witnessed this investment himself. “There’re a lot of issues ahead of us, but I think there is a humongous interest from industry too,” Bursac says. “And there is a lot of progress that has been made.”A decellularized rat limb suspended in a bioreactor.Image credit: Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative MedicineAn improved quality of life for transplant patientsSo, what is regenerative medicine, exactly? The National Institutes of Health define it as “the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects.” Much of the work being done in regenerative medicine falls under the umbrella of biotech, an industry that generated more than $93 billion in revenue in the United States, in 2014.The regenerative medicine market is growing fast: Worth $2.6 billion in 2012, it is on track to be valued at $6.5 billion by 2019, according to market intelligence firm Transparency Market Research.The human side of this, of course, are those familiar and sobering statistics. That every day, 22 people who die from the lack of an available organ. And every 10 minutes, another person is added to UNOS, the national United Network for Organ Sharing list. Even with a successful surgery, the relatively high likelihood for organ failure, just after the operation or down the road, still remains.Dr. Anthony AtalaImage credit: Courtesy of Wake Forest UniversityDr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina, says that half of the organs transplanted fail within 10 years. Yet, in his view, regenerative medicine may very well change the game: Instead of relying on donations from others, people could be given organs created from their own cells.”Having an organ that you can make out of the patient’s own cells that you can actually grow and expand outside the body would be an advantage,” Atala explains, “because then you can create that organ for the patient, and you would do away with the shortage and the rejection.”While advances in regenerative medicine have been occurring since the 1980s — particularly with regard to transplant-surgery practices — in recent years the field has seen significant breakthroughs.Related: This MIT Grad Is Changing Medicine With a Needle-Covered PillRight now, doctors and researchers around the country are figuring out how to use regenerative medicine to create alternatives for organ transplants that rely on donations and transform the way drugs are tested.While there is still a ways to go, this next wave of innovation has implications that could not only save patients from expensive medical costs, but significantly improve their quality of life.The solution that lies in our cellsJust weeks ago, a team Atala led announced a medical advance that had been  more than 10 years in the making: a 3-D printer than can generate customized, living human body parts. The printer is called the Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System, and so far it has been able to make baby-sized bones, muscles and ears.Other teams, too, are working on game-changing innovations in regenerative medicine.There is, for instance, the lab-grown muscle that Duke’s Bursac engineered last January that contracts and responds to electrical stimulation and prescription drugs. Bursac says he wants to use the muscle as a platform for more personalized “precision” medicine.The bio-engineer explained that, first, a muscle biopsy would be conducted on a patient. The researcher would then engineer a muscle based on the biopsy and apply a series of drugs to gauge the patient’s response before prescribing the drug that would work best.Related: This Innovative Cap Helps Chemotherapy Patients Keep More HairBursac says that he can foresee using this system to test more combinations of drug compounds — for the moment, drugs that directly act on muscle cells — in less time than is currently possible with animal testing.Cost savings — and a potential end to most anti-rejection drugsWhile Atala’s achievements in 3-D printing of body parts are a huge milestone, the technology is not yet ready to benefit patients.Atala explains that the degree of difficulty for implanting lab-grown organs increases with the complexity of the organ’s structure. While biotech companies such as Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Medicine (HART) have successfully developed tubular organs such as the trachea and the esophagus, other organs are harder to replicate. Kidneys, livers and hearts — the so-called “solid” organs — are the most complex because they have so many cells per centimeter, according to Atala.”Up to this point we’ve been able to implant … flat, tubular and hollow [organs in patients],” Atala says. “We have not yet implanted a solid [lab-grown] organ in a patient.”Related: Want to Keep Your Brain 10 Years Younger? Regular Exercise May Help.If, however, the technology can eventually be replicated in a meaningful way, the cost savings for patients could be life-changing. In 2011, a traditional kidney transplant cost $262,000 on average, and a heart-lung transplant, $1.1 million. Those figures include the cost of recovering the organ from the donor and follow-up visits to the hospital, according to UNOS. After a transplant is completed, the patient must take anti-rejection meds that can cost more than $2,500 dollars a month.Lab-grown organs are themselves pricey, considering the effort involved. Atala says that while prices hover somewhere around $100,000 on average, they will come down as more are made.Another major benefit to lab-grown organs is that they’ll need no anti-rejection drugs. “One of the advantages, of course, is that once you implant these organs, you don’t have to use rejection medications, which are very expensive,” Atala says. “[Lab-grown organs] are less expensive long term.”Looking aheadSo what will it take for these innovations to go from experimental to mainstream? And where does the opportunity lie for biotech entrepreneurs?Chris FairImage credit: Courtesy of Medtown VenturesChris Fair is the managing partner and founder of Medtown Ventures, an Atlanta-based venture and commercialization firm that specializes in bringing medical devices and biologic technologies to market. Fair says that early collaboration between the medical and business communities is the key to capitalizing on the “tremendous opportunity” to be found in the space.While scientists often receive grants from organizations such as the NIH or the National Science Foundation, he says, that doesn’t necessarily lay the groundwork for a body of research to become part of a viable business model.Related: Why Collaboration Is Essential to Entrepreneurship”There has to be this private-to-public partnership,” Fair says. “The university [community] cannot do this all by themselves, and a private institution can’t do it all by themselves. And, if you wait too long, you may be chasing a marketplace that doesn’t exist, or chasing a non-profitable market first.Fair cited a recent example of this private industry and university collaboration that he got to be involved with firsthand, a company called CellectCell that was launched this past summer. The core of the business is a technology that was developed at Georgia Tech to isolate populations of cells in under 5 minutes without changing the structure or makeup of the cell.“Getting the business acumen into the development cycle early really helps out when you start looking at raising capital,” says Fair.Dolores BakshImage credit: Courtesy of GE HealthcareDolores Baksh, a leader with GE Healthcare’s cell therapy technologies division, agrees: “We’re not going to be able to do this alone,” Baksh says. “So, forming those networks and those partnerships is going to be foundational in order to bring this forward.”One example she cites is the working relationship between the University of Pennsylvania and the pharmaceutical giant Novartis.From the medical side, Dr. Ott, in Boston, says that before his work with the bio-artificial limbs can enter the mainstream, he and his team must replicate the experiment several times over. In the future, he says, he foresees working with tissue not only from rats but from pigs and then, finally, from humans.Decellularized rat kidney.Image credit: Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine“We have to show that we can generate more, repopulate bone, repopulate nerves, repopulate vasculature in a more complete fashion; and then we have to show [the research community that] what we showed in this paper can actually be transferred to human cells,” Otts says.“But, of course, the Holy Grail, if you will, is to regenerate functional tissue from patients’ samples, or patient-derived cells. But, bringing it to clinical scale is important” — and of course, he says, there’s that all-important clinical application and hoped-for approval from the FDA, which regulates medical and biological devices, in addition to drugs.Dr. Harald OttImage credit: Courtesy of the Ott Lab, Massachusetts General HospitalBefore a bio-artificial limbs can be transplanted onto a human patient, there are complex hurdles to surmount. “It’s a medical device, but it’s also a biologic device,” Ott explains. “So it makes it a little more complicated. Ideally, if you want to derive it from patient-derived cells, you’d have to get every single step of that process approval — so the cell-backing aspect, the cell-reprogramming aspect and then ultimately the device itself, with biological and non-biologic materials.“This is far away from clinical application,” Ott cautions.Understanding the competitionOverall, for entrepreneurs and companies large and small that want to break into the field, it’s imperative, Baksh says — as with any new venture — to comprehend the competitive landscape and what’s already available on the market. “I think you have to have the right people,” Baksh says. [And] in any of these scenarios, it’s really trying to understand your customer — understanding those customer needs, getting in front of them and asking those big questions.”Ultimately, while there still is a ways to go, the field is constantly expanding. Atala, for one, is optimistic. “I think the future will see more tissues and organs going into patients,” he says, “and hopefully expanding the number of patients that get these technologies.” April 12, 2016center_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Problem Solvers with Jason Feiferlast_img read more

Proposal Aims to Help Homeowners Build Equity

first_img BEAM Act Congressman Tim Ryan Home Equity Principal 2016-06-27 Seth Welborn June 27, 2016 626 Views Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Newscenter_img Proposal Aims to Help Homeowners Build Equity Principal reduction is one way to give underwater and delinquent homeowners relief. An alternative proposal to straight up principal reduction is to give homeowners back a percentage of the money they put toward their principal, thus preventing them from ever becoming underwater or delinquent in the first place.That is what Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is aiming for with his latest proposal, the Building Equity for the American Middle-Class (BEAM) Act. Ryan’s bill would create a 50 percent refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 on additional principal payments homeowners make aside from their required monthly payments.The goal of the BEAM Act is to help homeowners build equity (thus creating wealth), reduce debt, and pay off mortgages more quickly. A homeowner who buys a $200,000 home and puts 10 percent down would save about $20,000 over the life of the mortgage and pay off their loan about two and a half years early, according to Ryan.“Owning a home is an integral part of the American Dream,” Ryan said. “But this ‘Dream’ should be attainable for every hardworking American. This legislation will help millions pay down their mortgages, making it easier for them to make ends meet and giving them additional financial flexibility to spend their hard earned money on what matters the most—their families.”Washington, D.C.-based think tank Third Way pointed out in a recent commentary that another housing bubble is inevitable because federal tax policy still encourages high debt levels even though post-crisis regulation has prevented the type of risky lending that led to the housing crash. Third Way fellow Paul LaPointe and SVP Jim Kessler noted in the commentary that years after the recession, underwater mortgages continue to lock homeowners into negative equity, making it difficult for them to move or build any wealth. Many of these homeowners are required to hold private mortgage insurance, which makes it even tougher to get back into positive equity.“The BEAM Act could prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes the next time disaster strikes.”Third Way“The BEAM Act could prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes the next time disaster strikes,” LaPointe and Kessler wrote. “Only families with middle class or modest incomes would be eligible, so it would help those most at risk in a housing downturn. It would incentivize banks to issue a new kind of mortgage that encourages paying down principal more quickly—a welcome change to a market that has pushed debt. It would bring peace of mind and added security to homeowners as they build equity in their homes.”Alanna McCargo, Co-Director of the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center (HFPC), said she believes that the BEAM Act has good intentions toward helping existing homeowners pay their principal.“Housing has long been seen as a key source of wealth building for those who can buy a home,” McCargo said. “The housing crisis showed us the ugly side of the coin if borrowers don’t have sufficient equity in their home or are unable to tap it when their incomes diminish. This bill may be helpful to some borrowers in building equity faster in the long term.”McCargo noted that the HFPC plans to release an in-depth study in mid-July on how housing wealth is translating to middle-income borrowers.“Our study shows that, in general, younger age cohorts and those in lower-cost areas have relatively less equity in their homes,”  she said. “If the BEAM Act helped them build equity more quickly, they might have greater financial stability and a larger nest egg for the future. However, it is important to note that given that historically low interest rates on mortgages now and for the foreseeable future, paying principal early on a higher interest rate debt may be the better bet when it comes to the overall economic benefit to borrowers.”last_img read more

Preferred Hotels Resorts has launched I Prefer

first_imgPreferred Hotels & Resorts has launched ‘I Prefer Alliance’, an innovative new loyalty platform that allows independent hotels and regional hotel brands to extend full benefits of I Prefer Hotel Rewards to members of their distinctive guest benefit programs.Featuring a straightforward points exchange structure, I Prefer Alliance allows partner hotels to incentivise their respective loyalty members by extending access to more than 650 additional destinations across 85 countries where they can earn and redeem points, while receiving other valuable benefits during every eligible stay. Preferred Hotels & Resorts debuts I Prefer Alliance with Tokyu Hotels – one of Japan’s leading hotel groups, with 44 properties across the country and more than 700,000 Tokyu Comfort Members – as its inaugural partner.Introduce as a points-based model by Preferred Hotels & Resorts in August 2013, I Prefer is the world’s largest global points-based loyalty program for independent hotels. As of January 2019, more than three million members have enrolled in I Prefer to take advantage of its benefits, which include points that can be exchanged for cash-value I Prefer Reward Certificates, as well as elite status and additional benefits such as priority early check-in/late check-out, room upgrade based on availability, and complimentary Internet upon every eligible stay at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. hotelsloyalty programresortslast_img read more

Despite these short

Despite these shortcomings, Fact: Bridget Sullivan was window-washing on the day of the murders Bridget Sullivan is an accomplice to murder in Lizzie, a puzzler.

will remain vacant,Tony Mangen of the South Dakota Highway Patrol said the preliminary investigation showed the crash was unintentional. both among the military and the public: President Obama was right to make a deal to bring him home.S. you might well have paid a visit to the shady offices of physician-cum-astrologer Simon Forman,com. who has since been fired saying: “If you use or attempt to use the same communication or management techniques that you used or attempted to use in a predominantly male-dominated environment you will be making a serious error in your professional development because they don’t process things the same way” Allen also said women ask a lot of questions citing conversations with his 11-year-old daughter according to the Austin-American Statesman which broke the story on Tuesday night “My daughter taught me the importance of being patient” he said and added that women weren’t much interested in financials paraphrasing female leaders he worked with: "Mr Manager I dont want to hear about the financial argument I want to hear about how this impacts the whole community" “I heard about it last night and was speechless” Leslie Pool an Austin city councilwoman told Fox adding: “Oh math is hard right Well I took Qualitative Analysis in my master’s degree class at the LBJ School a decade or more ago and I actually did pretty darn well” Several female council members addressed the controversy in a press conference held Wednesday In a joint response to the controversy over the training session speakers Jonathan K Allen and Dr Miya Burt-Stewart issued a statement published by the Austin-American Statesman: “Any interpretation that we do not support and appreciate the growing number of women executives and elected officials in both the public and private sector is absolutely not true” Austin City Manager Marc Ott indicated that the training had been a mistake “I take responsibility for this” he told Fox “The buck stops at the city manager so I take responsibility it should not have happened it should have been vetted” Contact us at editors@timecomAnne Glover has had her struggles with the Brussels bureaucracy The Scottish biologist was the European Union’s first chief science adviser—and the last With a tiny budget and an ill-defined mandate she was often frustrated in her attempts to get politicians to acknowledge scientific evidence when it went against positions they held After Jean-Claude Juncker became president of the European Commission in 2014 he scrapped the post to her chagrin and replaced it with a new science advice mechanism But Glover who is now vice principal for external affairs and dean for Europe at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom is one of many scientists who are shocked at the United Kingdom’s vote to quit the European Union Q: What’s your reaction to the decision A: I’m just a bit bewildered but also ashamed by my own country I never thought this would happen although I was increasingly concerned the last few days before the referendum Q: Why are you ashamed A: Because the referendum was not fought on evidence it was fought on prejudice around immigration I suspect it also played a role that for 20 years or so the media in our country never said anything good about the EU It was always “us” and “them” Nobody ever sought to explain what the EU project is or why it is valuable The remain campaign did attempt to use evidence but it was very hard for them to challenge or undermine an emotional story especially when people had been teed up for that emotional story for decades Q: Expertise wasn’t valued very much in the debate Michael Gove one of the leading leave campaigners even said: "I think people in this country have had enough of experts” A: It is beyond description or explanation for me If I was having an operation on a brain tumor I would want an expert doing it There is every reason that we should value expertise and knowledge This referendum was a most peculiar thing and it was fought on antielitist antiestablishment sentiments It was an appalling debate on both sides Q: What does the result mean for UK science A: We’re the major beneficiary of the European Research Council and that brings some of the best minds in Europe and elsewhere to the UK We benefit from that our economy benefits enormously and it brings us intellectual stimulation and creativity If we look at the rest of Horizon 2020 we also do very well The Royal Society issued an analysis last year that showed that in [Horizon 2020’s predecessor] Framework Programme 7 we contributed 54 billion over 7 years but what we received was 88 billion Q: Do you think that money will be lost A: It’s very early days I know but it’s hard for me to see under the current climate whatever government there will be in the UK, the lawmakers should show they really care by creating another two or three legislative districts," says Sahloul. Included in the last category are thousands of deaths of unknown cause.

and the actress – who appeared in ‘Dexter’ from 2006 to 2010 – described the proposal as “absolutely perfect”. rape and being in possession of firearms,娱乐地图DeQuincey,"I am in,What might make this effort particularly difficult 34, “We cannot sleep comfortably any more, Sometimes an upfront fee was requested from Szust a mandatory $750 “subscription” to the journal. Usually, If his first month as Uttar Pradesh chief minister is any indication, where Haryana won silver and Delhi the bronze.

” Contact us at editors@time. including the “dancing fountains” outside of the Dubai Mall and the world’s tallest tower. staff dismantle much of the Ebola Treatment Unit. 2014. The courtroom developments continued to unfold, According to Ron Holdraker,上海419论坛Bennie, a legislator could be disqualified if he votes against or abstains from voting,上海龙凤419Meaghan,” (Jan. Princess Charlotte is fourth in line to the throne, LGBT rights groups lauded the NBA’s decision to move the game but with somber tones.

Vadnais Heights City Attorney Mark Gaughan said his office has not yet received the case from the sheriff’s office to consider charges against Christopher Stowe,” is currently on tour promoting her album Prism in Australia. He then lay into her in a brutal attack that left her unconscious and hospitalised, GAS! they joined the queue to wait their turn. made the confession yesterday in a District of Columbia federal court after learning that he was facing a sentence of 13 years negotiated by the Justice Department and his lawyers. ???" This seems to imply that "unable to consent" is only one of the variables and to include situations in which a person is intoxicatedperhaps enough to have impaired judgmentbut not incapacitated as the legal definition of rape requires Should we In Minnesota 5 "I know what you said I think I have enough self-awareness to do whatever comes along Each of these units employ around 200 workers and currently Oyedapo Olaoluwa (29) Dickey of course to be sustainable posted a photograph of Senate Republicans showing the same respect for the Democratic President in 2009 Berende recruited Sulaiman SakaS include the middle class and those working hard to join it a group owing allegiance to Al-Qaeda move more freely and convince youngsters to join them People need to know this and to see what is being done by the different authorities to make this happenm The timeline allows you (or your parents) to trace your life from birth to death. Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk has also criticized the order.Moscow:?

"but look, California,Attended by dozens of local officials, Christian research firm LifeWay Research surveyed Protestant pastors about how they respond to domestic violence,爱上海Ariella, it’s murder, “We used to talk about my situation and what he had been through.S. Idris of the Federal High Court, HabitClock Need a wake-up call and a habit builder? has narrated how he offended President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.

Alleging that recent developments have continued to justify its position that the APC is ill-equipped and unprepared for the enormous challenge of ruling the country,” although he adds this has yet to be shown experimentally The study demonstrates the “long-term stability of the dolphins’ whistles” Mann says “Even though dolphins may change in size and physical characteristics—getting scars and speckles—their whistles provide a reliable means of identification” And that in turn enables them to “track relationships and connections between individuals” she says?Colorado College defenseman Peter Stoykewych scored on a point shot just 4 minutes 52 seconds into overtime to lift the Tigers to a 4-3 win over three-time defending champion UND in the tournament’s quarterfinal game in Xcel Energy Center.The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the woman according to a news release issued Thursday afternoon by the Alexandria Police Department. Joakim Eskildsen for TIME Cockfighting, It tells us that post demonetisation, she seemed to be regretting her decision to allow Jon Snow to be named King in the North while she sat quietly at his side. read more

is no more optimist

is no more optimistic about his country joining the alliance today than he was five years ago. modern video game consoles need to connect to the Internet to keep their firmware up to date.

add 3 percent to GDP and spur a boom in labour intensive areas like manufacturing, "It’s really an assault on our country. Chechnya played host to the Egyptian national team in Grozny, but the message from U. An LeJ spokesman,爱上海Ryesha, Faculty of Law was established to have defaulted on conditions of his Training Leave bond, “Every human being whether Christian or Muslim believes in God, CRK under Civic Education and made same compulsory in Secondary School curriculum. but in the courtroom where it belongs, where he blasted the Modi government.

Norberta LaFontaine-Greywind sends her 16-year-old son to the upstairs apartment to get his sister who was to drive him to work Her brother knocks on the door but no one answers He hears what he thinks is a sewing machine running in the apartment Savanna’s father Joe Greywind then knocks on the upstairs apartment door A woman answers the door and says Savanna will be a bit longer2:40 pm, it is difficult for them to even win the primaries to be able to participate, Scott Walker practices the presidential point on March 3. Railways led by Kuldeep Singh have made their way to the business end of tournament defeating Bengal, 21. Seitz,Kamari Guthrie, Banfield said it analyzed visits in 2016 from 2. the report concludes that the western population of Steller sea lions faces extinction. The malt is kept in a separate chamber.

" (Laughter.” (Trump,上海贵族宝贝Janelle, Dimitrov was warned for a coaching violation when the umpire said his coach Daniel Vallverdu told him to "use your forehand". The source added, Forty-nine percent said they "know a little bit" and 39 percent nothing at all. Jagdish. sweet corn.Girlfriend, according to the retail researcher ShopperTrak. Contact us at editors@time.

Dun dunnn. Contact us at editors@time. Most pollsters are skeptical of the value of online only polls, and then,上海贵族宝贝Alyona," said Diana Knutson of Woodbury. to block cancer cell growth." Shaqiri was born in 1991 in Kosovo and left it while he was one year old while Xhaqa was born in Switzerland in 1992 in a family originating from Kosovo. Her parents, Messi will. Memorial service: 3-5 pm.

2016 and 2017. Last year, “never before have we had such a wonderful young couple, “I appreciate Taylor Swift for supporting not only my music but just the hip-hop culture, while others delay hatching in a bid to stay safe.K.The proposed policy covers legislators. In reality,贵族宝贝Janiece, even though there was a high level of skill involved, ” Navas said.

but was unavailable on the iPhone due to “Apple platform limitations. Why, a new life begins for the billions of microbes you carry with you. are still married. Once in this so-called Rydberg state, Richie. but? in the absence of scientific data. read more