Share11TweetShareEmail11 Shares“World Class Traffic Jam 2,” Jersey ShowaaAugust 9, 2018; New York TimesThis week, New York City “became the first major American city…to halt new vehicle licenses for ride-hail services,” reports Emma Fitzsimmons in the New York Times. The bill, Fitzsimmons adds, “passed overwhelmingly” on a 39–6 vote and “will cap the number of for-hire vehicles for a year while the city studies the booming industry. The bills also allow New York to set a minimum pay rate for drivers.”The move by New York City to regulate ride-hailing services marks a major shift. Not so long ago, writers rhapsodized about the rise of the sharing economy. For example, in Fast Company seven years ago, Danielle Sacks wrote:It’s 8:30 a.m. in Silicon Valley, and Neal Gorenflo is already busy sharing. Inside his Mountain View town house, just a few short blocks from the Caltrain station where commuters pour out each morning on their way to Google, Gorenflo hands over his 15-month-old son, Jake, to a nanny he shares with his neighbor. At a local coffee shop, he logs on to a peer-to-peer banking site called Lending Club to make a series of small loans to someone planning a wedding, another starting a pet business, and a guy named Pat who wants to move.So, how’s the sharing going? While companies like Uber have grown exponentially, as Ginia Bellafante writes in the Times, the shortfalls are increasingly obvious. As Bellafante explains,A study released last month from two economists, James A. Parrott and Michael Reich, indicated that in New York City, Uber’s largest domestic market, nearly two thirds of drivers who worked for ride-hailing services did so full time. They held no other jobs; approximately 80 percent bought cars for the purpose of making a living by driving them. Many were in debt from those acquisitions and making very little money.In their study, Parrott and Reich note that nine out of 10 drivers are immigrants. It is a struggling workforce. They add, “Forty percent of drivers have incomes so low they qualify for Medicaid and another 16 percent have no health insurance; 18 percent qualify for federal supplemental nutrition assistance (nearly twice the rate for New York City workers overall).”Meanwhile, taxi drivers, who once enjoyed a stable “middle class” blue collar profession, suffer more. In the early 2000s, notes one taxi driver, “You could work nine hours and easily make $200 in a day. Now, you’re lucky if you make $50 or $60.” Bellafante notes that, “Six professional drivers killed themselves during the past several months, most recently, Abdul Saleh, a Yemeni immigrant who was found dead in a rented room in a Brooklyn apartment in June. He had been struggling for months to make payments on a leased cab.”To get a sense of scale, the number of taxi cab medallions in New York City today is 13,587. In terms of rides, “Last October, Uber ridership surpassed that of yellow taxis, with Uber reporting an average of 289,000 rides per day, whereas yellow cabs only managed 277,000,” writes Ameena Walker for Curbed New York.In their study, Parrott and Reich recommended a minimum wage of $17.22. Their recommendation—now passed by Council and which Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to sign into law on Tuesday—is supposed to be the equivalent of $15 an hour after expenses. As Bellafante notes, while the raise helps, it “must be considered within the context of the broader economics of a city where just to live affordably (which is to say, spending a third of your income on rent) in any of its five cheapest neighborhoods—all of them in the Bronx, all of them with median listed rents of $1,500 to $1,600 a month.” To afford these rents, “You need to earn between $54,000 and $58,000 a year,” Bellafante points out.For Bellafante, “What is astonishing about the current legislation is how tepid so much of it actually is, and how ferociously it was fought by the companies involved. The cornerstone of the Council’s work caps, for just one year, the number of cars that can operate in the city…during the year the cap is effective, the city plans to study the economic and environmental impact further and it is allowing the various services to add wheelchair-accessible cars and vans in the meantime.”Is there a structural intervention that can interrupt this sharing economy-induced poverty cycle? Last December in NPQ, MJ Kaplan suggested that one possible path forward is for drivers to become owners of the ride-hailing services themselves. “A driver-owned Uber would share the wealth far more equitably than an Uber controlled by venture capital investors,” Kaplan noted. New York City has already taken some steps to support worker co-op development. Applying this model in the ride-hailing industry might be a logical next step.—Steve DubbShare11TweetShareEmail11 Shares
Video advertising technology specialist YuMe has received a strategic investment of US$12 million (€9 million) from Samsung’s venture capital arm, Samsung Ventures, and Translink Capital.The company said the funding would be used to aggressively expand its footprint in the connected TV space and fuel its global expansion.YuMe’s system for connected TVs, the Embedded SDK, includes technology that CE manufacturer can use to create a monetisation platform in their devices. The Embedded SDK integrates with YuMe’s flagship technology, ACE for Publishers, and the YuMe Connected Audience Network. ACE for Publishers enables publishers to simplify video ad serving and management functions across connected device channels, according to the company, while the Connected Audience Network is YuMe’s premium in-stream video ad network.
Telecom Italia has launched a broadband-delivered subscription video-on-demand service under the Cubovision brand.The service officially launched yesterday and the Italian telco has inked content deals with providers including CBS Studios, which will make a range of programming available via a branded on-demand channel on the service.The programming deal with CBS, which was concluded on a non-exclusive basis, gives streaming service Cubovision a range of US TV series including NCIS, Dexter and 90210. Classic CBS-distributed series including Twin Peaks and Star Trek: Enterprise will also be available on the service. “With its launch in Italy, Cubovision is focused on adding significant quality to the entertainment choices available to Italian consumers, while providing a valuable new channel, increased consumer reach, adding “value creation” to the entire offer of TV programming from Telecom Italia” said Paolo d’Andrea, head of Innovative VAS, Telecom Italia.
New research from Eurodata TV shows that kids in western Europe watched more TV last year than ever before despite the ever-increasing availability of entertainment options. Across the big five European territories, the average daily TV viewing time was 138 minutes in 2011. That compares with 137 minutes in 2010 and 130 in 2009. However, the ways kids are consuming TV content is changing, the research house notes in a White Paper launched ahead of the MIPJunior kids TV market in Cannes. Most viewing is now via free-to-air DTT channels and dedicated kids channels.
UK pay TV operator BSkyB has added BBC iPlayer to its connected TV platform.The BBC’s online catch-up service is now available to Sky’s 6.7 million Sky Plus subscribers. Users can access iPlayer from Sky’s on-demand programme guide alongside catch-up TV from Sky, ITV and Channel 5. Channel 4’s 4oD service will be added early next year.iPlayer users can browse content by channel, day and genre. Once they have made their choice, the programme is downloaded directly to their Sky Plus planner.By launching on Sky Plus, iPlayer is available on every major UK TV platform.Luke Bradley-Jones, director of TV products, Sky said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with the BBC to bring the best of the BBC on demand to Sky customers. Providing customers with the flexibility to enjoy their favourite TV on demand, our comprehensive catch-up TV service perfectly complements the genius of Sky Plus, which already helps millions of our customers take charge of their viewing. We continue to put Sky customers in control, with the addition of BBC iPlayer to Sky Plus sitting alongside a range of innovations including remote record, series link and now even being able to use your iPad as a remote control.”
Ukrainian cable operator Volia has upgraded its networks in Zaporizhia in eastern Ukraine, Kirovohrad in central Ukraine and Chernivtsi in the western part of the country, enabling it to offer DOCSIS 3.0-based high-speed internet services in the three cities. Customers in Zaporizhia, Kirovohrad and Chernivtsi will be able to subscribe to 60Mbps and 100Mbps packages as well as a new package of internet bundled with TV services.The company said it would offer free replacement modems to all customer that subscribed to internet packages of 30Mbps or above.
Technology company SimpleStream has recorded 250,000 downloads of its live TV mobile streaming app, TVPlayer, 28 days after it launched in beta, and has announced a tablet version of the app.The app is targeted at UK TV licence holders and gives them the opportunity to watch UK TV channels live within a single app.TVPlayer is available online and as a free app from the Apple App Store, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.The mobile version of the app features a seven-day programme guide and the ability to change channel within the video player while the tablet version also offers users the ability to set reminders.Channels are grouped within entertainment, news, music, kids and Desi genres. The channel line-up includes the main terrestrial channels from the BBC, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5.Box TV’s 4Music,heat, Kiss, Kerrang!, The Box, Smash Hits, Magic as well as Global’s Capital and Heart TV are included within the music pack.The DesiTV pack features channels including Colors and Rishtey.“We are delighted to have achieved 250,000 downloads in the first few weeks and it is really exciting for us. TVPlayer enjoys excellent relationships with our channel partners who have all shown great forward thinking in embracing the Internet and mobile as a new delivery platform for linear TV. We look forward to working closely with them all to ensure TVPlayer is a success for everyone involved,” said Adam Smith, Founder and CEO of the Simplestream Group.
Ericsson has upped senior vice president and member of its executive leadership team, Rima Qureshi, to SVP and chief strategy officer for Ericsson group. In her new role Qureshi will drive the company’s mergers and acquisitions strategy and will also serve as chairman of business unit modems.Qureshi first joined Ericsson in 1993 and since then has held a number of leadership roles across R&D, sales, and services, including latterly running the business unit overseeing CDMA mobile systems.She has been part of Ericsson’s executive leadership team since 2010 and has nearly 30 years’ experience in the global telecommunications and IT industry.“Rima’s comprehensive experience in driving both business and M&As, along with a solid track record in strategy development and execution, makes her ideal for the job,” said Ericsson president and CEO Hans Vestberg.Qureshi’s appointment is effective as of May 1, 2014.
The 13 top US pay TV operators lost 150,000 TV subscribers in the third quarter, compared with a loss of only 25,000 for the same period in 2013, according to research by Leichtman Research Group.Satellite was worst hit, with satellite TV operator losing 40,000 customers in the quarter, compared with a net gain of 174,000 in the third quarter of 2013. Cable did slightly better than last year, with a loss of 440,000 video customers for the same period last year, but IPTV providers did worse than last year, gaining 330,000 subscribers against a 2013 gain of 400,000.Putative merger partners Time Warner Cable and Comcast were the biggest cable losers, dropping 182,000 and 81,000 video customers respectively. Of the satellite players, DirecTV added 28,000 customers while DISH gained only 12,000. IPTV provider AT&T U-verse was the biggest pay TV gainer by far, adding 216,000 customers in the quarter, against 114,000 for Verizon FiOS.Overall, the top operators were down about 100,000 subscribers over the last year, according to Leichtman.“The pay-TV industry is characterized by seasonality. While the first and second quarters of 2014 showed slight industrywide improvements over 2013, the third quarter was down from a year ago,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.“If recent history is an indicator, the pay TV industry will follow the fourth quarter trend, and close 2014 with a modest subscriber gain in the quarter.”According to Leichtman, the top 13 providers account for 95.3 million subscribers, or 95% of the US pay TV market.
Pawn StarsJapanese subscription on-demand service Hulu is bringing an “extensive” catalogue of programming from A+E Networks to its platform.A+E has closed a deal with Hulu’s parent, HJ Holdings, that will see History Channel shows such as Pawn Stars and Counting Cars offered through an exclusive section of Hulu Japan.This will also includes shows from Lifetime, Crime + Investigation and FYI. All show will be available in Japanese.The deal marks the first time A+E’s catalogue has been made available in Japan one place, though it does operate History Channel as a joint venture with Super Network.“Hulu is one of the pioneer OTT organisations in Japan, and is the perfect platform for introducing A+E’s rich catalogue to a Japanese audience that is hungry for high-end video on demand content,” said A+E’s managing director, Asia Pacific, Alan Hodges.“We believe this deal is fruitful for both A+E and Hulu in Japan,” added Kazufumi Nagasawa, chief content officer, HJ Holdings. “We will be able to help A+E to further establish and promote their brand though our distinctive promotional activities both on and off Hulu, while we can add great diversity to our content line-up.”Hulu Japan launched in 2011 as the American Hulu’s first (and ultimately only) international launch. Following a change in strategy that saw US-broadcaster backed Hulu decide to focus solely on the States, Hulu Japan was sold to Nippon Television in April 2014.The platform is now available through TV apps, PCs, tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes and gaming consoles. It commissioned its first original, a remake of Red Arrow International scripted format The Last Cop, earlier this year.
Andrés ArmasUTECA, the body that represents Spanish TV commercial terrestrial channels, has called on the next government to limit the amount of advertising on pay TV channels amidst claims that the current rules favour the pay sector.Currently, pay TV channels can air over 12 minutes of advertising per hour, while the free-to-air channels of Atresmedia and Mediaset are restricted.UTECA president Andrés Armas said a change was necessary to ensure competitive equality. The body has called for the government to limit the number of minutes of advertising permitted to channels distributed by operators such as Movistar, Orange and Vodafone.Spanish competition watchdog the CNMC levied a number of sanctions against the commercial channels last year for breaching the advertising limits on their channels.UTECA also rejected calls for the restoration of advertising on public broadcaster RTVE’s channels, arguing that the pubcaster had not taken any measures to restructure its operations and cut costs.Armas has also called on the government to allocate terrestrial spectrum to private broadcasters in a way that does not set limits on the number of channels that can be offered over that spectrum, following the various reversals suffered by terrestrial broadcasters that have had their licences thrown into question by the country’s Supreme Court.UTECA also called for a revision of the law regarding the financing of Spanish audiovisual works by broadcasters, calling for more equal treatment between TV production and support for Spanish cinema.
Ukrainian OTT service Divan.TV has expanded the availability of its smart TV app globally, taking the service to smart TV users in almost 200 territories, according to the company.The OTT service is now available on Philips, Samsung and LG smart television platforms and says it may also launch on Hisense and TCL’s platforms to target the US and Canadian markets specifically.Divan.TV offers between 70-200 channels depending on the territory in which the user is based. Three packages are available – a Russian TV package, a Ukrainian package and an all-inclusive package. Users can subscribe to the independent Russian channel Rain TV on an a la carte basis. On-demand content is also available.Divan.TV has hitherto been available in the CIS countries, Israel, central and eastern Europe and the US. The service was made available globally in February, but access has been restricted to mobile devices and the web.“Now Russian and Ukrainian channels are available on TV screens all over the world. We are very happy to cooperate with leading smart TV manufacturers, thanks to which we can officially provide services to our users,” said executive director Arkady Kanyuka.
Qatar-based pay TV operator BeIN Media Group has struck a deal with Cricket Australia to bring cricket to its BeIN Sports service for the first time.According to the company, the deal is the biggest ever cricket board rights deal for the region and will bring the best of Australian and international cricket to a growing MENA audience over the next six years.Yousef Al-ObaidlyBeIN Media Group has secured the right to show the upcoming Magellan Ashes Test Series, with coverage starting on November 23. BeIN Media will screen premium cricket clashes including South Africa’s 2018 tour of Australia, India’s 2018-19 tour of Australia, and both the KFC Big Bash League and Rebel Women’s Big Bash League – Australia’s men’s and women’s domestic T20 cricket leagues.All games will be available in HD via subscription channels and online, with 4K coverage promised over BeIn’s recently launched 4K channel in the future.BeiN sees a strong market for cricket in the Middle East, which is home to over eight million expatriates of Indian origin.“It is important that we deliver on our promise to broadcast the very best global sports and events, and this is yet another significant milestone on this journey,” said Yousef Al Obaidly, Deputy CEO, beIN Media Group.“The audience for cricket in the Middle East and North Africa is growing at an unprecedented pace, and viewers are rightly demanding better, more comprehensive, in-depth coverage. We are delighted that Cricket Australia has chosen to partner with beIN and we will guarantee cricket fans across the region access to high quality cricket coverage. This agreement with Cricket Australia is the latest in a series of rights deals that have seen beIN Media Group grow its portfolio, win a bigger share of the market and reaffirm itself as the undisputed first choice sports and entertainment broadcaster for the region.”
Subscriptions to OTT TV services Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV have overtaken traditional pay TV services in the UK, according to figures compiled by media and telecom regulator Ofcom.According to Ofcom’s latest Media Nations report, which covers major trends in UK television, pay TV revenues also declined last year after a period of sustained growth, although pay TV still generates far greater revenue in total – £6.4 billion against £895 million for OTT TV services.The report also found that spending by UK broadcasters with public service remits – namely, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – on new UK-made television programmes fell to a 20-year low last year.According to the Media Nations report, subscriptions to the leading OTT services – Netflix, Amazon and Sky’s Now TV – reached 15.4 million in the first quarter of this year, exceeding the total for pay TV – 15.1 million – for the first time.However, 71% of those with an SVOD subscription also took a traditional pay TV service in Q1 2018, down only one percentage point on the figure for Q1 2017. The report found that ‘cord shaving’ is more prevalent than cord-cutting, with 36% of SVOD subscribers cutting down their pay TV spend, compared with 14% who have cut the cord altogether.Pay TV revenues slipped by 2.7% after years of growth last year, while spending on streaming subscriptions grew by 28%. Television advertising income dropped by 7% to £3.9 billion (€4.4 billion).The Ofcom report found that spending by the UK’s four main broadcasters on UK-made programming fell to a record low of £2.5 billion last year, 28% less than the 2004 peak of £3.4 billion. Genres including children’s programming – down 18% last year – UK comedy – down 5% since 2016, and first-run drama – down 7%, were disproportionally hit.Increased funding from third parties for programmes made by the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 grew to £338 million – up from £147 million 10 years ago – to partly mitigate the decline. This included co-production funding, deficit funding and tax credits.The Ofcom report also found that the amount of time spent by UK viewers watching broadcast television on the TV set has continued to decline and, in 2017, stood at an average of 3 hours 22 minutes a day, down nine minutes on 2016, and 38 minutes since 2012.Among children and viewers aged 16-34, the decline was steeper, leading to the over-65s watching four times as much broadcast television as children in 2017.Total daily viewing time across all devices stands at five hours one minute, of which three hours 33 minutes or 71% was of broadcast content, and one hour 28 minutes of non-broadcast content. Among 16 to 34-year-olds, total daily viewing time in 2017 was four hours 48 minutes, of which only two hours 11 minutes or 46% was of broadcast content, while just under an hour per day was spent watching content on YouTube.Despite the decline in broadcast viewing, the Ofcom report found that confidence in public service broadcasting remains high. Of those who watch public service channels, 75% say they are satisfied, and 84% of people considered trusted news to be the most important feature of their output.Netflix is the most popular SVOD service in the UK, taken by 9.1 million homes, up 32.7% in a year. Amazon Prime grew strongly however, increasing its base by 32.7% to 4.8 million. Some 11.1 million homes have at least one of Netflix, Amazon or Now TV.Some 38% of Netflix users cited original Netflix content as a reason to subscribe. By contrast, obtaining free shipping is still the main reason to subscribe to Amazon Prime, although this is declining in importance, down from 71% a year ago to 51% in Q1, compared with 20% who cited original content or content not available elsewhere as a reason to sign up.Paid SVOD is now catching up on free catch-up on-demand TV. Some 28% of people now claim to use Netflix, compared with 33% who use BBC iPlayer, while 12% claim to use Amazon Prime Video, compared with 16% who use ITV Hub. Some 17% of adults also use YouTube to watch TV or films online.Two thirds of all VOD viewing last year was via a TV set. Some 44% reported having a smart TV, with 83% of those being connected to home broadband services. Some 20% use a game console to connect their TV to the internet. TV dongles and streaming boxes are now used by 11% of households to view VOD, up from 5% in 2016.Some 95.6% of UK homes had a TV set in Q1, down slightly from the 96.3% recorded in 2012. Some 11.3 million homes – or 39.8% – only receive digital-terrestrial TV, up 2.3% since 2012. The proportion of homes with pay satellite TV has fallen from 33.6% in 2012 to 30.4% in Q1 2018, while digital cable has declined from 15.7% of homes in 2012 to 14.9%. The proportion of homes with free-to-view satellite is flat at around 6.7%, while the proportion with IPTV and no satellite or cable has increased from 1.7% in 2012 to 6.3% in Q1.“Today’s research finds that what we watch and how we watch it are changing rapidly, which has profound implications for UK television,” said Ofcom CEO Sharon White.“We have seen a decline in revenues for pay TV, a fall in spending on new programmes by our public service broadcasters, and the growth of global video streaming giants. These challenges cannot be underestimated. But UK broadcasters have a history of adapting to change. By making the best British programmes and working together to reach people who are turning away from TV, our broadcasters can compete in the digital age.”
Amos Genish, the Vivendi-backed former CEO of Telecom Italia (TIM) who was ousted in a dramatic boardroom coup last November, has resigned from the TIM board.Amos GenishGenish, who was removed as CEO after a series of moves engineered by activist investor Elliott Management and its backers, will be replaced as a Vivendi representative on the board by Canal+ France CEO Frank Cadoret.Genish’s departure follows a settlement agreed with TIM whereby the latter will receive a sum of €4.2 million within 30 days, resolving the dispute between him and the company over the circumstances under which his contract was terminated.The latest developments in the TIM boardroom story follow a period when Vivendi was reported to be moving towards some sort of agreement with Elliott and TIM’s other leading shareholder, state fund Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) over the governance of the company.Telecom Italia (TIM) this week revealed that it has signed a non-disclosure agreement with CDP and utility group Enel with a view to starting talks about the possible sale of its fibre network.The discussions will centre around the potential integration of TIM’s fibre network with the Open Fiber infrastructure, owned by CDP and Enel.The sale of TIM’s infrastructure has long been a key goal of activist investor Elliott Management, chiming with the desire of the Italian government for a single fibre network to cover the entire country.
Raymond McCartney said: “The families of Paul Whitters and Julie Livingstone have been waiting almost 40 years for truth and justice so this decision to seal the files on their killings is callous in the extreme.“The British Secretary of State told the families that they will have to apply for the files under a Freedom of Information request, as the files are the property of the National Archives at Kew, London, and no longer anything to do with her or her office.“It is beyond time British government ended its culture of cover up and made the files available to the families in order for them to get answers.“In fact the British Secretary of State has given no confidence to victims that she has any intention of dealing with the legacy of the conflict which adds a major obstacle to the broader reconciliation process. ShareTweet Sinn Fein justice spokesperson Raymond McCartneySINN Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said the British government must end their policy of cover up and release files which were sealed relating to children killed by the state.The party’s Justice spokesperson was speaking following a meeting between the families of Paul Whitters and Julie Livingstone, who were killed in 1981 by plastic bullets fired by the RUC and British army, and the British Secretary of State Karen Bradley. “The British government needs to end its stalling tactics on the implementation of the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House five years ago.” British government must end policy of cover up – McCartney was last modified: July 19th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: British government must end policy of cover up – McCartneyBRTISH GOVERNMENTFOYLE MLAPaul WhittersRaymond McCartneySinn Fein
Home NewsWatch National News Expectation to check work email after hours is hurting our health and relationships (ABC NEWS)- Being expected to check work email during non-work hours is making employees, as well as their significant others, experience higher levels of anxiety, a study shows.Researchers from Virginia Tech surveyed 108 employees working at least 30 hours per week, 138 significant others and 105 managers and found that the sheer expectation of monitoring work email, rather than the amount of time spent doing so, led to increased anxiety in both employees and their significant others.“Some employees admitted to monitoring their work email from every hour to every few minutes, which resulted in higher levels of anxiety and conflict between spouses,” co-author William Becker, an associate professor of management in the Pamplin College of Business, told ABC News.Significant others also reported decreased relationship satisfaction in contrast to employees themselves, whose satisfaction was not affected by the constant monitoring of work email.Professor Becker asked, “Are we underestimating the effect this is having on our spouses?” Professor Becker hopes that the study will encourage leaders to be proactive and have clear policies that allow employees to be engaged and present in their personal lives. He also hopes to shift the onus onto employees to not fall in to the trap of glancing at email after hours.“Quality of relationships matter, as does being mindful and present,” Becker said. “Turn your phone off, put it away and engage in your real life.” Both partners also reported negative health impacts from the increased anxiety, which may be explained by the well-established relationship between chronic stress and poor physical and mental health outcomes.“Anxiety can manifest in several ways, including changes in appetite, concentration, focus and decreased quality of sleep. It makes people less productive in their work and home lives,” Dr. Lama Bazzi, who is part of the American Psychiatric Association Board of Directors, told ABC News.This study comes months after New York Councilman Rafael Espinal introduced a “Right to Disconnect” Bill, the first of its kind in the U.S. and modeled after a similar legislation in France, which would make it unlawful for private employees in New York to respond to work email after hours.“When do we un-blur the line between work and our personal lives?” Espinal told ABC News. “I have personally felt the effects of burnout and understood that there was a greater problem going on here.”The study team suggests a few methods for employers and employees to lessen these negative effects: Manage employer expectations on after-hours email and help employees to engage in mindfulness practices to reduce anxiety, no matter what after-hours expectations are.“Being able to be in the moment is one of the biggest things we teach people in alleviating anxiety. Remove distractions and focus on the conversations you are having,” Bazzi said. National NewsNewsWatch Expectation to check work email after hours is hurting our health and relationships By Daniella HankeyAug 10, 2018, 04:56 am 354 0 Previous PostBear cub burned in California wildfire receives tilapia skin treatment Daniella Hankey Linkedin Google+ Twitter Tumblr Mail Facebook Next PostOne mom made a dress for her daughter out of the shirt her husband wore the day she was born Pinterest
Developing drugs to sell in the US is a complex and costly process. It’s estimated that for every 1,000 compounds discovered in the pre-clinical stage, perhaps only one will make it through the entire FDA approval process to be sold on the market. Navigating this approval process can often take more than a decade; depending upon the source, the average cost of bringing a new prescription drug to market ranges from $1.2 to $1.5 billion. [Ed. Note: This Forbes article claims that the true cost is actually much higher.] But the potential reward from a blockbuster drug can be several billion dollars in sales a year for the remaining life of the patent.Consider that in 2010 alone, the five top-selling biotech drugs on the market (Avastin, Rituxan, Humira, Herceptin, and Lantus) generated revenues of $31.8 billion. These five drugs are all big-pharma products (Roche, Abbott, and Sanofi), but many of the new potential blockbuster drugs are coming out of smaller, more innovative biotech outfits. Obviously, a multibillion-dollar blockbuster drug will affect the value of a small – say $200-million market-cap biotech company – a lot more than it would a $150-billion market-cap big-pharma company like Roche.It’s this potential of uncovering the next blockbuster drug from a relatively small company that makes biotech investing so enticing. But it’s a risky game. Success or failure of your trade can often hinge on one piece of news (at least in the short run). Good news equals big gains, and bad news equals big losses.Companies that aren’t yet selling any products routinely see their stocks swing up 100% or more in a single day on good news from a clinical trial or FDA approval of a drug candidate – or watch them tumble 90% if a drug fails to impress the FDA or results from a trial are anything less than glowing.For instance, on February 22, 2012, an FDA advisory panel voted 20-2 in favor of approval of Vivus’ new obesity drug, Qnexa. The drug still requires approval by the FDA itself (decision date is expected by April 17), which has rejected previous obesity drugs after panel support. But that did not stop shares of Vivus (NASDAQ.VVUS) from soaring. The stock rose from a close of $10.55 the day before the FDA panel vote to a close of $18.73 the first trading day after the vote (trading was halted on 2/22), a one-day increase of more than 77%. By February 27 (just the third trading day after the FDA panel vote), the stock was trading as high as $25.14, a full 138% above the pre-panel vote close.Vivus is not some lone anomaly, either. Just five days before the news about Qnexa, Corcept Therapeutics (NASDAQ.CORT) announced that the FDA had approved Korlym as a once-daily oral medicine to control hyperglycemia in adult patients with Cushing’s syndrome (a rare and life-threatening endocrine disorder that results from long-term exposure to excess levels of the hormone cortisol); the stock jumped 47% in one trading day, from a close of $3.03 to a close of $4.45 on the news.Then there’s Chelsea Therapeutics (NASDAQ.CHTP). On February 23, 2012, the company announced that the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee (CRDAC) voted 7-4 to recommend approval of Northera for the treatment of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (a condition which often causes dizziness) in people with central nervous system disorders like Parkinson’s. The stock surged on the news, climbing more than 60% in one trading day.Just to show how extreme it can get, take the example of Vanda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.VNDA). Vanda received FDA approval of its schizophrenia drug Fanapt on May 7, 2009, which resulted in a one-day gain for the stock of over 625%. And just four trading days after that, the stock closed at $12.96, a full 1,100% above its $1.08 close on March 6, 2009.Of course the converse is true as well. When the news is negative, early investors may find themselves holding little more than toilet paper. Take one of the same companies from above, Chelsea Therapeutics, for instance. About two weeks before the stock made a one-day gain of 50%, it suffered a one-day loss of nearly 40% on news from the company that it had received certain briefing documents from the FDA that sparked worries about Northera’s approval chances. The stock fell from a close of $4.99 on February 10, 2012 to a close of $3.11 the next day.And then there’s Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ.OREX). The FDA failed to approve this company’s obesity drug, Contrave, early last year, and the stock fell more than 72% in one day, from a close of $9.09 on January 31, 2011 to a close of $2.50 on February 1.With all this in mind, I thought it might be helpful to post a list of some of the FDA decisions that are coming up in the next few months – in case you are interested in digging into these stocks more and trying to make a play based on upcoming news.[Ed. Note: The following list was checked to ensure accuracy, but it’s possible for the timing on these decisions to change going forward.]Company: MAP Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.MAPP) Drug: Levadex Indication: Orally inhaled drug for the acute treatment of migraine in adults FDA Decision Date: March 26, 2012Company: Affymax (NASDAQ.AFFY) Drug: Peginesatide Indication: Once-monthly injection for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease in adult patients on dialysis FDA Decision Date: March 27, 2012Company: Vivus (NASDAQ.VVUS) Drug: Qnexa Indication: Extended-release, once-daily capsule for the treatment of obesity FDA Decision Date: April 17, 2012Company: Vivus (NASDAQ.VVUS) Drug: Avanafil Indication: Orally administered, as-needed pill for the treatment of erectile dysfunction FDA Decision Date: April 29, 2012Company: Protalix BioTherapeutics (NYSE.PLX) Drug: Uplyso Indication: A plant-cell expressed recombinant form of glucocerebrosidase for the treatment of Gaucher disease FDA Decision Date: May 1, 2012Company: Talon Therapeutics (NASDAQ.TLON) Drug: Marqibo Indication: A novel targeted nanoparticle-encapsulated anti-cancer compound currently for Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and melanoma FDA Decision Date: May 13, 2012Company: Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.IRWD) & Forest Laboratories (NYSE.FRX) Drug: Linaclotide Indication: A guanylate cyclase type-C agonist for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation FDA Decision Date: June 9, 2012Company: Amarin (NASDAQ.AMRN) Drug: AMR101 Indication: A next-generation omega-3-based triglyceride-lowering therapy FDA Decision Date: July 26, 2012Company: Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.ONXX) Drug: Carfilzomib Indication: A next-generation proteasome inhibitor in development for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma FDA Decision Date: July 27, 2012While you’re certainly free to throw your hat in the ring and start picking biotech stocks willy-nilly based on what you think a particular news outcome will be, I wouldn’t recommend it. Navigating the universe of biotech is tricky, and even the professionals get creamed.The trick is to put the odds of success in your favor so your wins outnumber your losses. And if you’ll indulge a bit of unapologetic self-promotion, that’s exactly what our team at Casey Extraordinary Technology has done. Sure, we’ve been wrong before. And we’ll be wrong again in the future – but our successes far outnumber our failures. So, if you’re interested in getting to know more about biotech and seeing what companies we like in the space, then sign up for a risk-free trial of Casey Extraordinary Technology. Details here.
Dear Reader, Coal plays an integral role in keeping the lights on and buildings standing. Despite the green energy movement, more than 40% the world’s electricity still comes from coal-fired plants, and 70% of the world’s steel production requires metallurgical coal. This graphic from the World Coal Organization reviews the types of coal and what they’re used for. Japan continues to be the #2 global producer of steel. Annual production for 2013 accounted for approximately 7% of global supply, which means it’s a significant importer of metallurgical coal. Japan gets most of its thermal and met coal from Australia: 72% and 52%, respectively. Indonesia is its second-largest supplier at 13% and 27%. India ranks #3 in the world in differential between exports and imports for coal. With a population of over 1 billion, a population growth rate of over 1%, and a GDP growth rate of over 3%, its demand for power is relentless. Of measured, indicated, and inferred coal in India, 232 billion tons of its total 264 billion tons fall into the category of non-coking coal. While lignite may be used for power generation in areas with relaxed environmental policies, the ability to export coal will be limited, likely requiring India to remain a net importer. Like many of the Asia-Pacific countries, South Korea is and will continue to be heavily dependent upon energy imports. Of its total $150 billion in imports of oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and coal, oil represents about $110 billion and coal less than $20 billion. But thanks to the country’s growth rate, on a percentage basis coal demand has increased by 550% over the last 10 years. The latest South Korean energy policy is aimed at raising coal briquette prices, a move to slow demand that suggests a shift toward LNG as the country’s main long-term power source. The price difference between the two comes largely from proximity to final destination. The coal spot market in Asia has taken off tremendously over the past year, with 67.7 million tons traded over 2013. Major Players and Their Reserves Total global reserves are over 860 billion tons, with anthracite and bituminous coals accounting for 404 billion tons (47%). At current production rates, the world has 109 years of reserves left. Indonesia is the world’s #1 producer and exporter of thermal coal. Currently, it exports nearly 80% of its production. However, the government has put a cap on coal production for 2014, as it’s trying to put future domestic interests ahead of international trade. The current reserves-to-production ratio stands at approximately 79 years. A new Indonesian mining law introduced in 2014 banned the export of raw ore, which means all coal refining must be done domestically. The government has also stated plans to raise royalties from the 3-7% range (depending on type) to 13.5% for all coal types. Port congestion has become an issue for the exporters; wait times have increased by nearly 30% to 6.7 days, in contrast to the one- to two-day average in other Asian ports. It’s one symptom that shows how reinvestment in the country’s port infrastructure is crucial to further development of its export market. Just across the Timor Sea from Indonesia is Australia. The Land Down Under currently occupies the #2 spot of coal exporters, but it dominates the global forecast for coal production. Nearly 50% of coal reserves in Australia fall into the “hard coal” category, an advantage in coming years as environmental regulations get tougher. The Australian government has big plans over the next several years to expand infrastructure that will add 80 million tons of port capacity, as well as to ramp up 65 million tons of production capacity. In total numbers, the export forecast is 327 million tons (23%) of the world’s steam, or thermal, coal. Metallurgical coal production is expected to be 259 million tons, which will account for 54% of global met production. Russia holds the second-largest coal reserves in the world, with a reserves-to-production ratio of 443 years. Russian energy policy actually is going in the opposite direction of most of the West, by decreasing natural gas power generation and raising coal-fired generation. Additionally, the coal industry in Russia has been restructured, leading to the privatization of coal assets. All coal mining is now carried out by joint-stock companies with private ownership. There’s not a lot new to say about Colombia, the fourth-largest coal exporter in the world and the largest in South America by a considerable margin. Colombian reserves are 94% anthracite and bituminous coal and are the primary suppliers of coking coal for Brazil. In contrast, South Africa shows potential to be a hot new region for coal with the discovery of the Waterberg area play. In 2012, the state-owned rail company announced plans to build Swazilink, a railway from the Waterberg coalfield in northeastern South Africa and the port at Richards Bay that would increase export capacity along with several feeder lines. The United States, too, continues to be a major producer of coal; however, production has dropped off every year since 2007. Coal production for 2013 was down 27% to 744.8 million tons as tougher environmental regulations weakened domestic demand. Coal-fired power plants are subject to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), scheduled to take effect on April 16, 2015. Tough domestic regulations don’t necessarily spell doom for the American coal industry as long as other countries in the world still operate coal-fired power plants. Nearly half of its reserves are the desirable anthracite and bituminous coals. Future Supply The growth forecast for total steam- and met-coal exports is 39% by 2040. Here’s a summary of expected exports by kind and country. New developments can alter the standings, however—among those just mentioned here, there’s the proposed air-quality legislation in China and Indonesia’s protectionist trend. Exports (millions of tons) 258.82 82.01 36.98 27.33 47.91 24.74 Coal Cycle Once the downtrend in coal prices approaches the minimum level a company needs to make a profit, an unpleasant conundrum arises: Should it stop producing until prices pick up, or should it increase its production to try to maintain its revenue levels? Sometimes a company has to keep up production or go bankrupt—but if consumption doesn’t keep up with production, the excess supply can put even more downward pressure on prices. The coal sector is currently in this exact situation. Major producers such as BHP, Glencore Xstrata, and the like have suspended operations due to poor economic conditions. So let’s examine the demand in the coal market. Major Coal Consumers The international coal trade is forecast to grow by 65% from 24 quadrillion BTU in 2010 to 39.6 quadrillion BTU in 2040. To put those figures in perspective, one rail car holds about 120 tons of coal, which is approximately 2.3 billion BTUs. If you were to load the 2040 global trade for coal into rail cars, strung together the cars would circle the earth over 6 times. Supply-Side Economics Like other mainstream commodities, coal has a spot price; but many trades take place off-exchange. For trades that do take place on an exchange, the two most common benchmarks are Central Appalachian coal, produced in the eastern United States, and Australian thermal coal, produced mostly in eastern Australia. China is the 800-pound gorilla in the coal market, both in reserves and in consumption. There has been considerable outrage from the Western world over the air quality in China due to the lack of environmental regulations. I can confirm firsthand that air pollution there is bad. The good news is that Beijing looks ready to pass laws to improve its air quality. The centerpiece is expected to be an import ban on low-quality coals with a caloric content of less than 3,900 kilocalories per kilogram. Such coals, like lignite, are used in lower-tech power plants. China recently surpassed Japan as the largest importer of coal, even with Japan’s post-Fukushima scramble to replace the electricity that its nuclear power plants used to produce. Tokyo Gas, Japan’s largest municipal natural gas utility, said it has “strong interest” in building new coal-fired plants in order to diversify energy supply—a nice bump for coal demand in the country. Country Australia United States South Africa Eurasia Canada Indonesia The Long and Short of It When a company uses the abbreviation “t,” remember that this refers to the metric ton, also known as the long ton. Standard engineering reports designate these as tonnes, but all the terms mean 1,000 kilograms, or 2,204 pounds. It’s the short ton that equals 2,000 pounds. So when comparing production, for instance—most often between US and non-US companies—be sure your apples are lined up against apples, not oranges. We have the one company that is best positioned to return significant returns to shareholders. In fact, our existing subscribers are sitting on profits with this company, and we think it’s only going to get better, even when other coal companies are going bankrupt. If you want to read more details about this winner and get our ongoing guidance on this and many other blockbuster energy companies, consider trying my monthly newsletter, the Casey Energy Report risk-free for 3 months. You have nothing to lose: if you aren’t 100% satisfied—for whatever reason—simply cancel within those 3 months for a full and prompt refund. Even if you cancel any time after the 3 months are up, you’ll still receive a prorated refund on the rest of your subscription. I’m so confident that you’ll find the Casey Energy Report to be a great value for the price that I have no problem giving out a 3-month test drive. If for whatever reason you don’t like it, no worries: you get 100% of your money back. If you like it and make money, I know you’ll stay a happy subscriber. You deserve to be rich, and if you want to learn about energy, the Casey Energy Report is the best place to start. Click here to get started today. Region Australia United States South Africa Eurasia S. America Indonesia Exports (millions of tons) 327.2 95.5 122 137.8 224.7 531.2 Given a specific amount of resource, you might wonder how much of it is actually being produced. A common metric that reveals the number of years left at current production rates is the reserves-to-production ratio—a country’s total proven and probable reserves divided by its annual production. It’s not just the quantity, but the kind of coal that matters. Calories quantify the amount of heat produced by complete combustion of the material—in effect, the amount of energy the material contains. In the case of coal, caloric level represents its quality, ash and moisture content, and its hardness. A major reason why anthracite and bituminous coals are more valuable resources is their high caloric content. The following chart combines these two characteristics per country.
Tuscaloosa Police Department’s internal affairs division is investigating after a Tuscaloosa police officer grabbed a woman smoking in Bryant Denny Stadium and dragged her from her seat.Video of the incident surfaced on college football websites Sunday and quickly spread via social media. The video appears to have been shot during Saturday’s game between SEC rivals Alabama and LSU.The video shows a police officer work his way through a row of red seats in a crowded section of the stands towards a woman wearing a houndstooth coat smoking a cigarette. The officer leans in and says something to the woman which cannot be heard. Her response is also unintelligible, but she pushes the cigarette toward the officer’s face. The officer leans back and shrugs then promptly grabs one of the woman’s wrists and drags her from her seat. The woman yelps and seems to go limp. The officer then uses both hands to grip her upper arms and hoist her up enough to begin dragging her down the row of sets as the video ends.Tuscaloosa Police have not revealed the officer’s name, or the woman removed from her seat. Police have not confirmed if the woman was arrested or what she was charged with – if anything. When asked for details Monday, Lt. Teena Richardson said she could not provide any information due to an internal affairs investigation.