Warburg Pincus Eyeing to Buy OneFourth Stake in LT Finance Holdings

first_imgUS private equity fund Warburg Pincus is reported to have been in talks to buy a minimum of 25% stake in financial services firm L&T Finance Holdings.Reacting to the news, share prices of L&T Finance soared 7.8% to trade at ₹ 71.65 on Tuesday at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).”Both Warburg Pincus and L&T Finance, which have agreed to a deal up to 25% stake, are now negotiating on the price,” a source close to the development told The Economic Times.A successful deal will result in L&T Finance offering fresh shares to Warburg, with parent company Larsen and Toubro (L&T) still remaining the majority stake holder.India’s largest engineering and constructions firm L&T has 72.95% stake in L&T Finance Holdings. L&T Finance earned a profit of ₹ 854.7 crore in the last fiscal year 2014-15.L&T is reported to have asked for a price of ₹ 83 per share, which takes the deal size to ₹ 3,574 crore.The company is expected to use funds raised from stake sale to strengthen its “capital base” and scaling up its operations in financing trucks, commercial vehicles and construction equipment.Responding to the reports of stake sale, L&T Finance said “As a part of routine investor relations exercise, we keep meeting investors from time to time. We have no further to comment.”Warburg Pincus is looking to expand its presence in financial services sector in the country. It had already invested in private banks such HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. It also holds a majority stake in non banking finance company Capital First.last_img read more

Great Grand Masti Masti 3 Will leaked movie dampen hopes of a

first_img“Great Grand Masti” (“Masti 3″) is one of the five Hindi films that earned huge revenues for Balaji Telefilms in broadcasting and music deals, hence it will be interesting to see the Riteish Deshmukh-Urvashi Rautela starrer’s box office collection when it releases this Friday (July 15).This is so because the film was leaked online and High Definition (HD) prints were available for download, much to the detriment of the producer Balaji Telefilms, the film and television content company listed on Indian stock exchanges.”Great Grand Masti”, “Udta Punjab”, “Azhar”, “Flying Jat”, “Half Girlfriend” and “XXX” were listed as films by the company that had contributed substantially to its revenues.”Successfully closed revenue deals on 5 movies with key broadcasters, overseas and music deals for upcoming movies at Rs. 682.5 million,” the company said in its presentation posted on BSE website on May 18. It had listed “Azhar” as a co-produced movie, so it is presumed that the Rs. 682 million deal excludes the biopic.The makers of the adult comedy “Great Grand Masti” were forced to advance the release date by a week to July 15 after the print of the film — starring Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani and Urvashi Rautela in key roles — were leaked online. The leaked print had the water mark “censor copy” and could hit big box office collection prospects on release. The leak evoked outrage on Twitter, with several Bollywood celebs expressing annoyance at repeated instances of films being leaked online before their official release. The police have taken cognizance of the offence, with the crime branch of Mumbai police arresting nine persons under the Copyright Act. However, some people, after watching the leaked version are not impressed; while one had tweeted that the film is “disasppointing with its plot”, another comment described it as “pathetic & worthless”. #GreatGrandMasti to now release on 15th July.— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 6, 2016Shares of Balaji Telefims closed at Rs. 100.75 apiece on the BSE on Tuesday, almost flat from their Monday close.Hindi films are big money spinners, as is evident from two recent blockbusters — “Sultan” featuring Salman Khan and the multi-starrer “Housefull 3”.last_img read more

Sensex cracks after RBIs status quo on repo rate Sun Pharma tanks

first_imgKey equity benchmarks reversed all the gains and fell sharply in the last hour trade as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) surprised the market by maintaining status quo in policy rates on Wednesday.While the 30-share index Sensex lost 0.59 percent to close at 26,236.87, the 50-share index Nifty ended the trade at 8,102.05, down 0.5 percent.Shares of Sun Pharma tanked 5.97 percent to close at Rs 664 as US drug regulator issued observations after inspecting company’s Halol plant. Banking shares also fell with Bank of Baroda and Axis Bank witnessing selling pressure on Wednesday.However, shares of Eicher Motors, HDFC, BPCL and Adani Ports bucked the trend and closed in the green. Market breadth turned negative with sharp fall in rate sensitive sectors post RBI’s decision not to cut policy rates. Slashing of GDP growth rate forecast by RBI also weighed on investors’ sentiments.However, the central bank’s decision to remove the incremental cash reserve for banks from December 10 provided some support to the market. After RBI’s decision not to change key policy rates, analysts were of the view that market would wait for upcoming Federal Reserve policy meeting scheduled on December 13-14 for future direction. Meanwhile, Indian currency appreciated 0.40 percent to close Wednesday trade at 67.93 against dollar.last_img read more

PV Sindhu is back Indian shuttler demolishes listless Chen Yufei to enter

first_imgSTR/AFP/Getty ImagesShe has been struggling this year but Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu seems to be back to her best. Sindhu crushed China’s best hope and All England champion Chen Yufei in a one-sided contest 21-19, 21-10 at the 2019 Indonesia Open Super 1000 event in BWF World Tour. The match started on an even keel with Chen appearing in good form. But Sindhu showed great defence and managed to keep up with her Chinese opponent. The game was evenly poised at the first break in the first game. Both players were showing admirable defence and Yufei was playing some good shots. This allowed her to get a four-point lead. But then, Sindhu started to get momentum behind her and started playing some brilliant shots. What was impressive was Sindhu’s net play as she didn’t concede a single point when exchanging net shots. The first game went down to the wire but Sindhu managed to win it 21-19. The second game started well with the Chinese racing to a 4-0 lead. It seemed that the change of ends was favouring Yufei but then Sindhu tightened up her game and with her good shots turned the tables. After the mid-game break, it seemd that Yufei was out of steam or no longer interested in giving a fight. Sindhu bulldozed her opponent and raced to a comprehensive victory. She will now face Akane Yamaguchi in the final to win her first World Tour title this year.last_img read more

Teenager jailed for raping minor girl in Chandpur

first_imgFollowing the case, police arrested the accused on Tuesday afternoon. According to case statement, the seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped by Rakib Bepari, 12, son of Mostafa Bepari at Koila ghat in the district town on Monday. Officer-in-charge of Chandpur Sadar Model police station Waliullah Oli said that a court in Chandpur sent the accused to jail. A teenage boy was sent to jail on Tuesday on charge of raping a seven-year-old girl at Koila ghat in Chandpur district. Failing to settle the matter through arbitration, victim’s family filed a case on Tuesday.last_img

PM asks army to stay alert against internal external threats

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh HasinaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday directed members of Bangladesh Army to keep a constant vigil to face any “internal and external threats” to safeguard the country’s constitution and sovereignty.“You will have to always remain ready to face any ‘internal or external threats’ unitedly to protect the sacred constitution and sovereignty of the motherland,” she said.The prime minister was addressing the “national standard” handing over ceremony of the Bangladesh Infantry Regiments (BIR)-7th, 8th, 9th and 10th at Shaheed Colonel Anis Parade Ground at Rajshahi Cantonment Sunday morning.She handed over the national standard to the commander of the respective regiments.A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Army presented the salute to the prime minister through a spectacular parade.Along with chief of army staff general Aziz Ahmed and the parade commander, the prime minister reviewed the parade riding on a decorated open jeep.Describing Bangladesh Army as an asset of the country and a symbol of the confidence and the trust of the people, the prime minister also asked its members to be more professionally-efficient and welfare-minded with social and religious values.“Bangladesh Army is our asset and a symbol of confidence and trust of the people…so, you will have to be more competent, efficient, honest and welfare-minded being imbued with social and religious values to achieve desired standard of professionalism,” she said.Noting that her government always received constant support of the army to serve the people, Sheikh Hasina expressed her firm belief that the army will stand beside the people whenever it will be necessary during the running of the state by the present government.The premier said the members of Bangladesh Army played an important role in upholding the democratic trend of the country by performing their responsibilities with utmost sincerity in the 11th Jatiya Sangsad polls.“I extend my thanks to you and I also express gratitude to the people for the opportunity to form the government for the fourth time and the third consecutive term,” she said.The premier said her government always wants to run the country as the servants of the people, never rulers.Mentioning that the government is pledge-bound to build a modern and all-round armed forces, Sheikh Hasina said for this the government has framed the Forces Goal-2030 which is being implemented in phases.As part of it, she said, new infantry divisions, brigades, units and training centres were established. Besides, three new divisions were formed in the army, she also said.The prime minister said her government has established para commando brigade for the first time, while MLRS and Missile Regiment have also been added to the army for further strengthening the country’s air defence system.Besides, the present government has strengthened operational capability of the army to a great extent through inducting various modern war equipment, helicopters and modern infantry gazettes to keep pace with the developed world, she added.Referring to her government’s steps for women’s empowerment, the prime minister said the government took an epoch making decision to get female officers and soldiers enrolled to the army.Sheikh Hasina said in continuation of the initiative, appointing female pilots for the first time in the history of the army opened up a new horizon.The prime minister recalled that despite economic constraints, the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took steps to establish strong armed forces in the country.At the directives of Bangabandhu, she said, Bangladesh Military Academy was founded in Cumilla Cantonment in 1972.Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu framed the defence policy in 1974 by realizing the necessity of a developed and professional army.The premier said in the light of Bangabandhu’s far-reaching defence policy, a process for modernisation of the army is underway. Today, Bangladesh Army has been elevated to a dignified position at home and abroad, she said.Sheikh Hasina said that in order to infuse more dynamism into the Infantry Division, her government for the first time established its second regiment alongside the East Bengal Regiment. “I approved in principle the formation of Bangladesh Infantry Regiment in 1999 and formally hoisted its flag in April 2001,” she said.The prime minister said Bangladesh Infantry Regiment is the first regiment established after independence. There are 43 units including two para commando battalions in the regiment, she said.“The members of the regiment have a good reputation at home and abroad and I hope that they will continue to uphold this reputation,” she added.Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken all kinds of steps to build Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Centre as a modern training centre. The work on increasing training and administrative facilities is underway, she said.Besides safeguarding the country’s independence and sovereignty, she said, the army has engaged themselves in the nation building programmes.“Due to your professional efficiency, the important responsibility of supervising work on the Padma Bridge and the construction work of Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive, the Hatirjheel Project in Dhaka and Mohipal Flyover in Feni was given to you,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said the army members at different foreign missions are bringing honour and dignity through sacrifice, dutifulness andprofessionalism which has further brightened Bangladesh’s image abroad.She said the flag is a symbol of independence, sovereignty, honour and dignity. “So it’s a responsibility of all soldiers to protect the dignity of the flag,” she said.The prime minister said earning ability of getting the national flag by any unit is a matter of rare honour and pride. “The national flag, a symbol of independence and sovereignty, has been handed over to you and I extend my heartiest congratulations to BIR-7,8,9 and 10 for achieving this honour and glory,” she said.“You’ll have to remain always prepared to protect the dignity of the flag which you have received as recognition to your work with efficiency, hard exercise and dutifulness,” she said.Earlier on her arrival at the venue, the prime minister was received by chief of army staff general Aziz Ahmed and GOC and area commander of the army and the Commandant of the Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Centre.Ministers, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, the chiefs of navy and air force, former army chiefs, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.last_img read more

Case filed against 3 cops among 11 for gangraping woman

first_imgA case was filed with a tribunal in Dhaka on Thursday against 11 people, including the officer-in-charge and two sub-inspectors of Jatrabari police station, over the reported gang-rape of a woman on 12 March.Judge of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal Joyshree Somaddar ordered judicial inquiry into the allegation.OC Wazed Ali Mia, and SIs ASM Mahmudul Hasan and Laizu were accused of abetting the crime as they refused to record a case over the ‘gang-rape’.The other accused are Md Shafiqul Islam Roni, Md Sagar, Md Shamim, Md Alauddin Delwar Hossain, Md Hanif, Md Swapon, Bilkis Akhter and Farzana Akhter.According to the case statement, Farzana and Bilkis took the victim, a mother of two who had desperately been looking for a job, to a flat at Karachitala on 12 March last in the name of giving her job.However, Swapon, son of the house owner, allegedly raped her and recoded the incident on his mobile phone.Later, 10-12 more people raped her in turns, said victim’s lawyer Md Jakir Hossain Hawladar.The victim went to Jatrabari police station to file a case in this regard.However, police demanded Tk 100,000 for recording the case and threatened to file a ‘false’ case against her if otherwise.On 18 March, police produced the victim before a court levelling her as a sex worker as she failed to pay the bribe, the lawyer said, adding that they did it to hush up the gang-rape incident.last_img read more

Environmental Group Urges Lawmakers To Focus On Renewable Energy Natural Gas

first_img X 00:00 /01:11 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Listen An advocacy group is urging Texas lawmakers to prioritize renewable power sources and natural gas over coal.In a new report, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) argues that would create jobs and help the state’s economy.John Hall is EDF’s Associate Vice President for Clean Energy and the report’s author. He says his group wants to see a comprehensive state energy plan that would prioritize wind, solar and natural gas.“We have all of these resources in abundance, so let’s utilize more of them, and less dirty imported coal.”The group wants the state Public Utility Commission to raise energy efficiency goals for utilities, and it wants regulators to make rules cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The report says these and other recommendations would lead to new clean energy jobs and economic growth.Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti at the University of Houston says the jobs angle isn’t the best selling point for investing in renewables, because those jobs require higher-skilled workers than the coal industry. But he says renewables are increasingly attractive.“Wind and solar will increase because of market forces,” he says, “because of the fact that they have become price competitive, and because of an overall cleaner environment that they lead to.”Hall says at the very least, his group will feel good this session if lawmakers don’t pass bills helping the coal industry, and don’t make changes to the state’s competitive electric market. last_img read more

Why Some Homeowners Are Scrambling To Prepay Their 2018 Property Taxes

first_imgSheila Thompson/FlickrSome homeowners across the country are rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes well before the due date because the new Republican tax law overhaul could affect how much they are allowed to deduct next year.Part of the Republican tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law last week has homeowners around the country doing something unusual: rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes well before the due date.That’s because the new law includes a $10,000 cap on the amount of state and local taxes people can deduct on their federal returns. Before, if someone paid $24,000 in property taxes — as some people in higher tax states like New York and California do — and then paid $20,000 in state and local income taxes they were allowed to deduct $44,000 on their federal tax return. Now that number is capped at $10,000. The change could cost some people thousands of dollars.“I’m sending my checks in today,” said Vanessa Merton of Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y. She estimates the law change will cost her between $6,000 and $9,000. She hopes to delay that hit by prepaying next year’s taxes before Dec. 31 so she can deduct them on her 2017 tax return.Merton says she is the fourth generation of her family to live in her large home. When she was growing up, she says, Hastings-On-Hudson was a factory town, but then wealthy people moved in and now property values — and taxes — have increased. She predicts that without the ability to deduct all local taxes on federal returns, some people in her community may have to move.“We are all really wondering, calculating and trying to figure out if it’s going to be possible [to stay] in the homes that we have cherished for a very long time,” said Merton.Merton works as a law professor and also is vice chair of her local Democratic Party committee. She sees politics at play in the new law, since most states with higher taxes tend to vote for Democrats over Republicans.That echoes criticism New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has voiced against the tax overhaul law. Cuomo signed an executive order last Friday making it easier for people to pay their taxes early and make partial payments.That had local tax offices fielding calls the day after Christmas as homeowners tried to figure out how much they should pay. An automated message at the Nassau County Department of Assessment asked people to call later because, “all assessment assistance personnel are busy with other callers.”In neighboring New Jersey, accountant Tracy Beveridge said she has been fielding calls and emails from clients. She warns that not everyone should prepay property taxes and that it is difficult to offer simple guidelines — which is especially true for those who could be subject to a minimum tax, for example a married couple who earn more than $83,800 a year and file a joint return.“If a client is in AMT — what they call an alternative minimum tax — there is no benefit to prepaying your taxes. It just negates the benefit and you’re just out the cash,” said Beveridge.Beveridge said some people who would not be subject to the AMT could trigger it if they double up on paying next year’s property taxes early.Her advice is to consult with an accountant who can look over your previous return and offer advice. In the past few days, Beveridge said, she has examined dozens of her clients’ returns and that “out of, probably, 80 that I’ve done already, I think, four it has benefited [to prepay property taxes].”That benefit applies only to property taxes, she said, because the new law doesn’t allow people to prepay income taxes.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

Border Patrols Checkpoints Overlooked In Debate Over Wall

first_img Share Callie Richmond for The Texas TribuneThe border fence sits atop a levee on the periphery of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Hidalgo County in February 2017.As vehicles line up at the Border Patrol’s checkpoint a half-hour drive’s north of the U.S.-Mexico border, its agents have around 10 seconds to check each driver and decide which few they will stop for additional inspection.It’s a situation challenged constantly by smugglers, sometimes with deadly consequences. In July, 10 migrants died after a tractor-trailer packed with people made it through Laredo North, only to be discovered two hours later in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio. Dozens of others streamed out of the trailer, gasping for air.The Border Patrol considers its 34 permanent interior checkpoints along the United States’ southern border such as Laredo North a crucial layer of its strategy to stop smuggling. The checkpoints inside the U.S. can be up to 100 miles (161 kilometers) from any border, in addition to the ports of entry where people face inspection when coming into the country.But agents who work the Laredo North checkpoint say they’re understaffed and sometimes overwhelmed by traffic. And while top Border Patrol officials say President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall would help them cut the number of overall smuggling cases, some critics don’t believe a wall would reduce illegal immigration and is drawing attention and money away from the checkpoints and other critical needs on the border.The Trump administration’s latest budget proposal includes $1.6 billion to start building a wall that the administration has estimated will cost $18 billion. It asks for funding to hire more Border Patrol agents. It also includes $33 million to build a new Border Patrol station in Freer, Texas, northeast of Laredo. But it doesn’t directly address needs at other checkpoints, and it proposes zeroing out new spending on tactical infrastructure like roads used by border agents and replacement border fencing.The proposal also would end funding for efforts to find and destroy border tunnels built by cartels to get under existing barriers. Border security experts have warned that constructing a wall will lead to smugglers trying to dig more tunnels.Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat who sits on the U.S. House subcommittee directing homeland security funding, wants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, to invest in additional scanners and other improvements at Laredo North, as well as interceptor boats and radio towers for remote border areas. Cuellar also says the government should fund retention bonuses to keep agents from leaving the patrol.“They’re taking money away from proven law enforcement systems to put it into this 14th century solution,” Cuellar said.A CBP spokesman declined to comment on the budget request.Built in 2006, Laredo North sits 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of the Rio Grande, the river separating the U.S. and Mexico in Texas.All of the approximately 9,000 daily vehicles that pass Laredo North’s seven lanes get an inspection. An agent checks immigration documents and talks to each driver. A camera reads license plates, and another agent guides a dog around each passenger vehicle to search for hidden people or drugs. A fraction of vehicles are sent to a secondary inspection, where agents interview the driver further and search the vehicle. The occasional tractor-trailer is directed to a mobile X-ray machine that scans the interior of the truck.Opponents argue the checkpoints unlawfully restrict the movement of immigrants in the U.S. illegally who live in South Texas, pointing to incidents like the brief detention of a 10-year-old Laredo girl with cerebral palsy who needed surgery at a hospital north of the checkpoints. A Government Accountability Office study released in November said problems with Border Patrol data made it impossible to determine how effective the checkpoints are.Agents do make big catches at such checkpoints. In January, agents at another Laredo checkpoint discovered 76 people inside a tractor-trailer that had been flagged for extra inspection. But the Border Patrol’s largest union says agents have low morale and believe large loads of people and drugs are able to get through.“Our agents are understaffed and overworked,” said Hector Garza, the Laredo representative of the National Border Patrol Council. “Even though they have all these forces against them, they go out there and try to do their best.”Local Border Patrol officials argue that a wall would help agents catch more people at the border, cutting down on the number of cases making it to the checkpoints. In many smuggling cases, authorities say, migrants enter separately and are bundled into trailers on the U.S. side.But Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an expert on migration who is an associate professor at George Mason University, believes that if a wall is built, immigrants would just find other ways to enter the U.S., including paying smugglers to bring them over in tractor-trailers. Rather than cross the Rio Grande, they would count on successfully sneaking through established ports of entry and interior checkpoints, she argued.“What is the route or what are the means people are going to take?” Correa-Cabrera said. “The ones that they perceive as safer.”After illegal border crossings hit a 45-year low last year, according to the Border Patrol’s statistics, the agency says apprehension numbers have started to rise. Despite the Trump administration’s efforts to discourage people in Central America from migrating to the U.S., authorities in both the U.S. and Mexico are still catching trailers filled with people who sometimes pay $5,000 or more to cartel-controlled smugglers to be taken north.As for cases like the one in July where 10 people died, Jason Owens, the chief Border Patrol agent for the agency’s Laredo sector, said his people are trained to make quick decisions about whether to order an extended inspection. But the number of vehicles at times “obscures the ability of the agents to concentrate on the legitimate threats,” he said.“It hits all of us very hard,” Owens said. “Nobody wants to see somebody perish trying to make it into this country to seek a better life for themselves.”last_img read more

7 Things To Know Before Going To Pride Houston

first_img Listen X Share 00:00 /17:56 center_img Pride HoustonTwo festival goers holding a flag reading, “Born this Way” at the 2016 Houston LGBTQ Pride Celebration.This Saturday, an estimated 700,000 people will celebrate Gay Pride Month in the heart of Houston with the Pride Festival and Parade. Before putting on your rainbow gear, there are several things to know.The History Behind Houston’s Pride CelebrationsIn June of 1977, Houston had its own “Stonewall Movement” when thousands of people surrounded City Hall to protest Anita Bryant, a famous singer who opposed gay rights and worked against the gay community. The very first Pride Parade took place a year later on Westheimer Road in June of 1978, according to Pride Houston. Since then, Pride festivities have been held on the last Saturday in June to commemorate Stonewall and the first parade in Houston. The tradition of the parade beginning after sunset started in 1997 when Annise Parker, a Houston City Council member at the time, arranged for Houston to host the nation’s only nighttime Pride Parade. The Pride Festival was moved to downtown in 2015 to continue the tradition. Though Pride Houston started out as a protest, it has morphed into a celebration. “You know although we are celebrating that day and it’s more of a jubilee, that at the back of your head, at the same time you must be vigilant of what’s going on around you,” Lo Roberts, Pride Houston President, told Houston Matters.The FestivalThe festival begins at 12 pm and ends around 7 pm. Performers include Young M.A and Dorian Electra, among others. Admission is free and open to all ages, though  VIP Tickets can also be purchased. The festival will take place on the intersection of McKinney Street and Smith Street.The ParadeAdmission to the parade is free and open to all ages. No tickets are required, except to access the Parade VIP area. The parade begins at 8 pm and ends around 11 pm. It will start at the intersection of Smith and Lamar, continue down Smith Street until Walker where it will make a right turn, then continue down Walker until Milam Street, then down Milam until they reach Jefferson Street.Pride HoustonThree festival goers at the 2016 Houston Pride Parade.Road Closures– Smith from Walker to McKinney (west curb lane) from 9 am to noon– Smith from Rusk to Lamar (all lanes) from noon to midnight– Smith from Lamar to Dallas (the two east lanes) from noon to 6 pm– Smith from Lamar to Dallas (all lanes) from 6 pm to midnight– Bagby from Walker to Lamar (all lanes) at 6 am (re-opens on Sunday, June 24 at 2 am)– McKinney Exit Ramp at 45 North at 6 am (re-opens on Sunday, June 24 at 2 am)More on road closures can be found, here.  Where to Park Festival goers can park at 1100 Smith Garage for $10 — but go early to ensure a spot! Some other options for downtown parking can be seen below. If you prefer to be dropped off, Uber has partnered with Pride Houston and has designated drop off and pick-up spots.Houston PrideA map of the various parking garages available downtown.What to bring and what not to bringBring a water bottle to stay hydrated and wear shoes you can walk in. Firearms are not allowed at Pride, and organizers have taken measures to ensure the safety of those attending by having Houston Police Department officers throughout the parade and festival, private security forces, metal detection devices and random vehicle searches within the festival.The Pride Houston AppAttendees can also download the Pride app for access to the parade route, festival maps and a list of all the vendors and performers.– / 5 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen to the Houston Matters discussion of the history and legacy of Pride Houston with Harrison Guy, Grand Marshal for the Houston Pride Parade, Lorin “Lo” Roberts, President of Pride Houston, and HPM’s Ernie Manouse, in the audio below:last_img read more

Dallas Police Face Ire Over Portrayal of Man Shot by Officer

first_imgBy RYAN TARINELLI, Associated PressDALLAS (AP) — Attorneys for the family of a Black man who was killed in his own apartment by a White police officer accused Dallas officials of trying to “assassination his character” by releasing a report saying that authorities found marijuana in the victim’s apartment.At a news conference Friday, the lawyers also called for the firing of police officer Amber Guyger, who gunned down 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own apartment on Sept. 6. She has been booked on a preliminary charge of manslaughter and is free on bond.This photo from video released Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office in Kaufman, Texas, shows Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger getting booked after turning herself in Sunday, Sept. 9 following the fatal shooting of Botham Jean in his own apartment. Guyger was arrested manslaughter and has since been released on bond. (Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office Jail via AP)Guyger told investigators she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which is right below his, and that upon entering the dark home, she believed she had encountered an intruder and shot him when he didn’t obey her verbal commands.Lee Merritt, one of the Jean family attorneys, said Friday that investigators wasted no time in digging for dirt they could use to smear Jean’s name. Within hours of Jean being shot, they asked a judge for a warrant to search his home for drugs, among other things.“On the night that he was killed, the Dallas Police Department investigators were interested specifically in finding information that could help assassinate his character,” Merritt said.Dallas police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the criticism.Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, expressed disgust that on Thursday, as mourners at her son’s funeral were remembering him for his religious convictions and kindness, the results of that search of his home were released. They showed that, among the things, police found a small amount of marijuana — 10.4 grams — and a marijuana grinder.“To have my son smeared in such a way, I think shows that there (are people) who are really nasty, who are really dirty and are going to cover up for the devil Amber Guyger,” she said.She also called on police to release toxicology results from a blood sample taken from Guyger on the night of the shooting.The local Fox television affiliate, KDFW, was roundly criticized for its initial reporting on the release of the report on the search’s findings, drawing scorn from figures across the political spectrum for focusing on the marijuana, tweeting: “DEVELOPING: Search warrant: Marijuana found in Botham Jean’s apartment after deadly shooting.”On Twitter, the ACLU called the tweet an “attack on an innocent man.”Fox News contributor Guy Benson commented on Twitter, “Irrelevant. 100% irrelevant.”KDFW, which later updated its story and added more context, declined to comment Friday about its initial coverage of the search affidavit.At his funeral, Jean was described as talented and passionate man, who confided to his uncle that he might want to become prime minister of his native Caribbean island country of St. Lucia someday.Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall were among those who attended the hymn-filled funeral. Rawlings has described Jean as a young professional and man of faith who was “exactly the sort of citizen we want to have.”In Texas, being caught with that amount of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable for up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.last_img read more

Apple to Release Red iPhone 8 This Week

first_imgApple announced a red version of its iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Monday. The limited-edition models will benefit (RED), a non-profit co-founded by U2’s Bono in 2006 to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.The new phones, officially dubbed the “iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition,” feature the same innards as the regular iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, combined with a red glass enclosure and aluminum bands as well as a black front.In addition, Apple is also making a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone X leather case available for sale Tuesday. The phones will be available for pre-order starting Tuesday, and reach stores on Friday.This isn’t the first time Apple has released red versions of its phones. The company partnered with the charity all the way back in 2006, and has since donated more than $160 million to its global fund, which makes Apple the biggest corporate donor. There is no word on how much money Apple donates per sale of one of these red phones, or how many of these devices it has sold over the years. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more

Ted Sarandos on How Netflix Predicted the Future of TV

first_img“House of Cards” debuted in 2013, starting Netflix’s foray into original programming.Courtesy of Netflix ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 “We never spent one minute trying to save the DVD business,” Sarandos says. And yet even as it scales unprecedented heights, the company does still send DVDs via its trademark red envelopes to about 3 million subscribers.The strategy for expansion came down to a question of timing for the streaming launch. Broadband speeds and streaming technology built into consumer devices had to hit a critical mass before Netflix would strike. The company was mindful of the bad reception consumers gave to earlier online movie-distribution ventures that could take hours to download a two-hour film. Apple’s iTunes service offered a better system, but it still wasn’t instant for users.“Back then, [Hastings] said that postage rates were going to keep going up and the internet was going to get twice as fast at half the price every 18 months,” Sarandos recalls. “At some point those lines would cross, and it would become more cost-efficient to stream a movie rather than to mail a video. And that’s when we get in.”The lines crossed in early 2007. Netflix began offering subscribers the option of streaming licensed movies and a few TV series. As streaming took off, Sarandos and his team began to gain insights into how the company’s subscribers watched TV. They began to recognize the demand for viewers to binge-watch one series at a time and the potential for algorithm-driven recommendations to keep customers engaged with Netflix’s service for hours on end. The Netflix team couldn’t help but see signs that many users opted to watch back-to-back episodes of a series in bursts, and that many would stick to episodes of one or two shows at a time. They had also recognized, even from the DVD days, the potential value of being able to make taste-based recommendations to subscribers. Popular on Variety Since then, Netflix has slowly been shedding DVD subscribers every quarter while adding new streaming subs by the millions. The company ended its last quarter with nearly 3 million DVD subscribers, all of whom are in the United States, and 130 million streaming subscribers from all around the world.So why doesn’t Netflix close down its DVD business to fully focus on streaming? Because the profit margins for each DVD subscriber are still very good. Those 3 million subscribers contributed close to $53 million to the company’s profits during its most recent quarter.And while Netflix has been increasingly profitable, the company has had plenty of quarters in the past where the DVD service made all the difference. In fact, it built its entire streaming business with profits derived from the DVD side. And the company hasn’t completely given up on investing in its DVD.com unit.In early 2017, DVD.com even launched a mobile app to help its members organize their rentals from their phones. Some of these optimizations are starting to pay off, with relative profit margins increasing over time. In the second quarter of 2016, DVD.com subscribers contributed an average of $15.65 to Netflix’s profits. Two years later, that number has climbed to $17.66 per member per quarter.However, those DVD profits won’t last forever. Netflix has lost approximately 190,000 DVD subscribers every quarter for the past two years. At this rate, the company will say good-bye to its last DVD members by 2022. The flip side is that the costs for operating DVD.com are also declining. Netflix spent $77 million on buying DVDs in 2016; last year that expense fell to less than $54 million.“Pay television didn’t have a distribution problem — it had a packaging problem and a content problem.”Ted SarandosNetflix’s original-content push took off in earnest on Feb. 1, 2013, with the debut of “House of Cards.” Five years later, the streaming service has grown to the point where it is projected this year to deliver more than 80 new feature films (original and acquired) and an astounding 700 new TV series.In essence, Netflix has reinvented the cable bundle for the on-demand era. Rather than focusing on a collection of channels that inevitably carry a lot of chaff between the wheat, Netflix opted to put the emphasis on distinctive programs spanning all manner of genres. It studied what did and didn’t work about the cable business and set about improving it from the company’s Silicon Valley confines in Los Gatos, Calif.center_img Today, Sarandos sees more competitors, including Disney, entering Netflix’s arena, but says he views that as a positive for the overall industry. Netflix is spending an astounding amount on content — an estimated $13 billion this year — and is still a young enough business to be focused on market share rather than profits. Those are advantages its older rivals don’t have. But Hastings, in Sarandos’ view, came into the marketplace with the coveted asset that money can’t buy: vision.“Pay television didn’t have a distribution problem — it had a packaging problem and a content problem,” says Sarandos. “We saw that a lot of [cable customers] were paying for sports they didn’t want and channels they didn’t watch. There’s got to be much more equilibrium between consumer demand and pricing. Through the growth of all these direct-to-consumer services, television will become better and better.” The company stirred the ire of subscribers when it officially split its DVD and streaming subscriptions into two plans in 2011, at which point it was still sending out discs to 14 million customers. When Ted Sarandos first met with Netflix founder Reed Hastings about working for his start-up online video-rental service in 1999, Hastings laid out his vision for the new recruit.Hastings saw his company’s future as providing streaming video delivered to subscribers via the internet, even though Netflix at the time made its money by mailing DVDs to subscribers across the country.Sarandos, who has been Netflix’s head of content since early 2000, was impressed by the clarity of Hastings’ plans. This was right around the time that music file-sharing service Napster was starting to make headlines and provoke copyright infringement lawsuits. Sarandos took the job with the understanding that Netflix wasn’t going to be strictly a mail-order DVD service for long. But what he couldn’t have known was how profoundly the company’s pioneering efforts would upend the traditional entertainment industry.last_img read more

How to LiveStream Todays Apple Event

first_imgOn Sunday, users spotted a mock-up of a text exchange between Tim Cook and Kevin Durant — the NBA star who’s the subject of an Apple docu-series about his early life and career — on Apple’s placeholder page for the live-stream. Also seen was an image showing an incoming call from Chris Evans, who is starring in Apple’s “Defending Jacob” limited-series thriller.It’s still not clear when those Apple original series will be available — or how much users will have to pay to watch them. Those details are expected to be revealed Monday.Initially, Apple’s subscription-video product is expected to center on a bundle of third-party TV services; in recent months, the company has held talks with HBO, CBS, Showtime and Starz about being part of the integrated service. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said last week that it will not be part of Apple’s subscription service.Apple has been negotiating with HBO, Showtime and Starz to offer their streaming services for $9.99 per month each, the Wall Street Journal reported. Apple also plans to charge a fee for its originals, per the WSJ report, which didn’t have that pricing info.The company sent out invitations to the March 25 confab to media two weeks ago, which said only “It’s show time.”In addition to news on the video front, Apple also is expected to launch a revamped news subscription service based on Texture, a magazine-subscription app the company acquired a year ago. The Wall Street Journal is reportedly in the mix, while the CEO of the New York Times Co. signaled it’s going to sit out.Apple also may announce a game-subscription service at Monday’s event, Bloomberg reported.Cook tweeted Monday ahead of the event, “Excited for a big day ahead!” along with a GIF showing the sun rising on the Steve Jobs Theater. Monday is the coming-out party for Apple’s Hollywood ambitions: After years of trademark secrecy about its plans to stream into video entertainment, the tech giant is set to pull back the curtain at a media event.The live program kicks off at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, on Monday, March 25, from the Steve Jobs Theater at the tech giant’s campus in Cupertino, Calif. Apple is offering a free live stream of the big reveal at apple.com/apple-events/livestream.In addition to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the company has invited stars of several of its original series to the event, who are expected to join execs in unveiling the first looks at clips of some of Apple’s projects.Shows that Apple has announced to date include a Reese Witherspoon-Jennifer Aniston morning show drama; dramas “Little Voices” and “My Glory Was I Had Such Friends” from executive producer J.J. Abrams, with the latter starring Jennifer Garner; drama “Are You Sleeping” starring Octavia Spencer; and a comedy about a video-game development studio from Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”). Popular on Variety center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Dish Taps ExFuse Media CEO Michael Schwimmer to Lead International Strategy and

first_imgIn 2014, Schwimmer oversaw NuvoTV’s acquisition of Fuse Media from the Madison Square Garden Co. He resigned from Fuse Media last month.“Michael is one of the key architects of what has become the Dish TV and Sling TV international businesses, and everything we are doing today traces directly back to his early work at Dish delivering international content,” Schlichting said in a statement. “His track record of creativity and innovation in our industry will be a tremendous asset for Dish as we seek growth in our international offerings.” Popular on Variety Dish Network has hired Michael Schwimmer, who stepped down as president and CEO of Fuse Media last month, as executive VP of international, business development and strategy.In the role, Schwimmer will be tasked with growing the multicultural businesses of Dish TV and Sling TV, as well as pursuing development and partnership opportunities in the U.S. and internationally for Sling. He will start at Dish in June, reporting to Warren Schlichting, Dish’s executive VP of programming and group president of Sling TV.It’s a return to the company for Schwimmer: He first joined Dish in 1996 as a member of its legal team. He later led the company’s marketing and programming organization and played a key role in launching Dish International and DishLatino.He left Dish in 2005 to become CEO of the SíTV cable network, after shepherding Dish Network’s original investment in the start-up. He oversaw the network’s growth and rebrand to NuvoTV in 2011, and the following year, established a partnership with Jennifer Lopez and her company, Nuyorican Productions.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Good Boys Tops Studios TV Ad Spending

first_imgImpressions: 317,548,385Attention Score: 93.48Attention Index: 95National Airings: 1,021Networks: 33Most Spend On: Nick, TelemundoCreative Versions: 37Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $12.86MStudio: Columbia PicturesStarted Airing: 07/05/19 ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 $3.85M – Dora and the Lost City of Gold Box Office: ‘Don’t Let Go’ Opens With $150,000 on Thursday Night TV ad placements for Columbia Pictures’ “The Angry Birds Movie 2” (EMV $3.84 million) plus Lionsgate’s “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” ($3.18 million) and “Angel Has Fallen” ($3.18 million) round out the chart.  Related Box Office: ‘Angel Has Fallen’ to Win Modest Labor Day Weekend Impressions: 256,148,082Attention Score: 88.07Attention Index: 52National Airings: 941Networks: 36Most Spend On: USA Network, CBSCreative Versions: 25Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $14.89MStudio: Universal PicturesStarted Airing: 07/14/19 Impressions: 234,616,769Attention Score: 96.84Attention Index: 149National Airings: 752Networks: 27Most Spend On: MTV, Comedy CentralCreative Versions: 24Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $12.32MStudio: LionsgateStarted Airing: 02/03/19 Top Movie Commercials by Weekly TV SpendData provided by iSpot.tv Impressions: 324,971,412Attention Score: 95.57Attention Index: 128National Airings: 1,339Networks: 32Most Spend On: NBC, TelemundoCreative Versions: 22Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $18.58MStudio: Paramount PicturesStarted Airing: 03/23/19 $3.84M – The Angry Birds Movie 2 $3.18M – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Good Boys.”Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.26 million through Sunday for 941 national ad airings on 36 networks. (Spend figures are based on estimates generated from Aug. 5-11. Estimates may be updated after the chart is posted as new information becomes available.) Universal prioritized spend across networks including USA, CBS and ESPN, and during programming such as “Big Brother,” “SportsCenter” and “Family Guy.”Just behind “Good Boys” in second place: Paramount Pictures’ “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” which saw 1,339 national ad airings across 32 networks, with an estimated media value of $3.85 million.  Notably, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” has the best iSpot Attention Index (149) in the ranking, getting 49% fewer interruptions than the average movie ad (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV). Impressions: 205,569,963Attention Score: 93.12Attention Index: 90National Airings: 474Networks: 22Most Spend On: CBS, TNTCreative Versions: 15Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $5.38MStudio: LionsgateStarted Airing: 05/30/19 $3.18M – Angel Has Fallen 1 Movie titles with a minimum spend of $100,000 for airings detected between 08/05/2019 and 08/11/2019.* TV Impressions – Total TV ad impressions delivered for the brand or spot.* Attention Score – Measures the propensity of consumers to interrupt an ad play on TV. The higher the score, the more complete views. Actions that interrupt an ad play include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV.* Attention Index – Represents the Attention of a specific creative or program placement vs the average. The average is represented by a score of 100, and the total index range is from 0 through 200. For example, an attention index of 125 means that there are 25% fewer interrupted ad plays compared to the average.Variety has partnered with iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company, to bring you this weekly look at what studios are spending to market their movies on TV. Learn more about the iSpot.tv platform and methodology. $4.26M – Good Boys Popular on Variety last_img read more

Facebook open sources LogDevice a distributed data store for logs

first_imgFacebook made its distributed log system, called LogDevice available as an open source project, two weeks back. It is a highly scalable and fault-tolerant distributed data store for sequential data. LogDevice comes with features such as high write availability, consistency guarantees, non-deterministic record placement, and a local log store. LogDevice is widely used at Facebook. Existing use cases of LogDevice include stream processing pipelines, distribution of index updates in large distributed databases, machine learning pipelines, replication pipelines, and durable reliable task queues. LogDevice is designed from the ground up so that it can serve different logs with high reliability and efficiency at scale. It is also highly tunable which allows the use cases as mentioned above to be optimized for the right set of trade-offs when it comes to durability-efficiency and consistency-availability space. Let’s have a look at the key features of LogDevice. High write availability LogDevice comes with high write availability which is uncommon in most of the existing logging applications of Facebook. LogDevice efficiently separates record sequencing from record storage. It uses non-deterministic placement of records which improves the write availability and betters the tolerate temporary load imbalances caused by spikes in the write load on individual logs. Consistency Guarantees The consistency guarantees provided by a LogDevice log are similar to the ones provided by a record-oriented file system. It comes with built-in data loss detection and reporting. In case data loss occurs, the Log sequence numbers (LSNs) of all records that were lost gets reported to every reader attempting to read the affected log and range of LSNs. Although, there are no ordering guarantees provided for records of different logs. Non-deterministic record placement LogDevice has a different approach when it comes to record placement. First, the ordering of records in a log is decoupled from the actual storage of record copies. For each log in a LogDevice cluster, it runs a sequencer object whose only job is issuing the monotonically increasing sequence numbers as records. The sequencer runs either on a storage node or on a node which has been reserved for sequencing. After the record has been stamped with a sequence number, the copies of that record get stored on any storage node within a cluster. The LogDevice client library is capable of performing the reordering and occasional de-duplication of records. This makes sure that the records get delivered to the reader application in the order of their LSNs. Local Log Store The local log store of LogDevice is called LogsDB. LogsDB is a write-optimized datastore which has been designed to keep the number of disks seeks small and controlled. Also, the write and read IO patterns on the storage device are mostly sequential. The write-optimized data stores offer great performance when writing data, even if it belongs to multiple files or logs. Apart from that, LogsDB is quite efficient for log tailing workloads, which is a common pattern of log access where records are delivered to readers soon after they are written. These records are never read again except in rare cases such as massive backfills. LogsDB is built on top of RocksDB, which is an ordered durable key-value data store based on LSM trees. LogsDB act as a time-ordered collection of RocksDB column families. Each RocksDB instance is called a LogsDB partition. For more information, visit the official LogDevice website. Read Next Facebook researchers build a persona-based dialog dataset with 5M personas to train end-to-end dialogue systems Facebook Dating app to release as a test version in Colombia ACLU sues Facebook for enabling sex and age discrimination through targeted adslast_img read more

Justin Holbrook will choose his 17 from1 Jonny L

first_imgJustin Holbrook will choose his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 24. Danny Richardson, 28. Regan Grace, 36. Zeb Taia, 37. Ben Barba.Ian Watson will choose his Salford 17 from:1. Gareth O’Brien, 3. Josh Jones, 4. Junior Sa’u, 5. Niall Evalds, 6. Robert Lui, 8. Craig Kopczak, 9. Logan Tomkins, 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 12. Weller Hauraki, 15. Ryan Lannon, 17. Adam Walne, 18. Jordan Walne, 19. Josh Wood, 20. Kris Brinning, 22. Kris Welham, 24. Jake Bibby, 26. Daniel Murray, 31. Manu Vatuvei, 32. Tyrone McCarthy.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be James Child.Tickets for the clash remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Empa researchers investigate the safety of graphene for humans

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 8 2019Graphene, a single layer of hexagonally arranged carbon atoms, is regarded as the miracle material of the future: it is flexible, transparent, strong, can assume different electrical properties and has the highest thermal conductivity of all known materials. This makes it extremely interesting for countless possible applications. Europe has recognized this as well: The large-scale research program “Graphene Flagship” has been running for five years and is dedicated to this material. It is the largest research initiative that Europe has launched to date – this shows the enormous importance of graphene.Biological effects under the microscopeBut despite all the euphoria: As with any new technology, the potential downsides have to be taken into account early on. In the past, these were often investigated too late. For example, asbestos, once appreciated for its fire retardant properties, was used in the early 20th century to manufacture numerous products – but health hazards were only gradually discovered. In 1970, asbestos fibres were officially classified as carcinogenic.An important part of the graphene flagship is therefore dedicated to the question: Are graphene-based materials safe for humans and the environment? To this day, numerous studies have been carried out within the framework of the flagship. Empa researchers from the Particles-Biology Interactions Lab investigated for example how graphene oxide affects the human lung, gastrointestinal tract or placental barrier.A comprehensive review article has now been published in the halfway stage of the graphene flagship project, which links the data produced within the framework of the major international research project with other published studies and thus shows the current state of knowledge on the subject of the safety of graphene-based materials. Partners from 15 European universities and research institutes participated in the review, including Empa researchers Peter Wick and Tina Bürki.The article provides an overview of when parts of graphene-based materials can even enter the environment or the human body during their life cycle: during production, use, aging or in the disposal or recycling process. The majority of the studies evaluated were devoted to the question of how graphene-based materials interact with the human body. These include the different ways in which materials can enter the body, for example by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact, as well as the distribution and interaction with important organs such as the central nervous system, lungs, skin, immune system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive system.Structure determines activityRelated StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysLoose double-stranded RNA molecules spur skin rejuvenationOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchIt’s noticeable: Not all studies come to the same result. However, this is not necessarily due to the fact that the quality of individual studies is poor: “The challenge is that not all graphene is the same,” explains Peter Wick, head of the Particles-Biology Interactions Lab at Empa. Graphene-based materials can consist of one or more layers, the width and length of the layer can vary, and the ratio of carbon to oxygen atoms can also differ.Depending on the combination of these three parameters, not only do completely different material properties result – the effects on humans and the environment also vary greatly. This makes simple, generally valid statements almost impossible. “Our goal is therefore to create a detailed model for a relationship between structure and certain properties,” said Wick. Careful characterization of the materials studied is therefore central. In the future, self-learning algorithms could help to generate a model from the data in order to predict the biological effects of a certain graphene structure.However, such a comprehensive model is still a dream of the future. “We see ourselves here as a kind of launch helper for determining the safety of graphene-based materials and products,” explains Wick. “Although there are more and more studies and thus indications of how graphene-based materials affect living systems, there are still gaps in our knowledge. These gaps need to be filled before we can make a clear prediction about how a graphene-based material with certain properties will affect biological systems.” The aim is to create a new standard for authorities, research and industry so that the miracle material graphene can also be used safely.Graphene Flagship The Graphene Flagship is the EU’s biggest research initiative to date, and, according to the European Commission, ‘history’s greatest distinction for excellent research’. With a budget of EUR one billion, the Graphene Flagship is tasked with taking graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in ten years – thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities for Europeans as both investors and employees. With the Graphene Flagship, Europe has launched a new form of joint, coordinated research initiative of unprecedented scale. Graphene Flagship brings together an academic-industrial consortium aiming at a breakthrough for technological innovation. The research effort will cover the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene. Source:https://www.empa.ch/web/s604/graphene-safetylast_img read more