LAVAL, Que. – Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. says it will allow shareholders to vote on the pay packages of the company’s top five executives, but not until next year.Alain Bouchard, chairman and co-founder of the Quebec-based convenience-store giant, made the pledge before a shareholder withdrew a proposal to implement the so-called say-on-pay vote at the annual general meeting Thursday.“It’s becoming almost a rule in Canada, certainly for the TSX 60,” Bouchard said later in an interview.Chief executive Brian Hannasch added that “we have nothing to hide — so transparency today, we’re very open to it.”The non-binding shareholder votes, which many companies already allow, came to prominence in the wake of the financial crisis with changes that required publicly traded American companies to include a resolution approving executive compensation.Kevin Thomas, executive director at the Shareholder Association for Research and Education, said say-on-pay votes are a key accountability mechanism and called the shift toward it a “fantastic development” at Couche-Tard.The votes can help rein in skyrocketing CEO salaries and dissuade boards from handing out no-strings-attached bonuses to top management, “where the company essentially rewards the executive just for being there,” Thomas said.“There’s far too many practices that just like line the pockets of execs.”Complacency toward say-on-pay stems from some “family controlled or tightly controlled companies,” he said.“Some boards can be too captivated by their CEO, they’re charmed by them. Some might feel they might lose them,” Thomas added. “And some might feel that there’s a competitive advantage to paying their CEO more than anyone else.”For the past decade, the shareholder association has pushed to make annual compensation votes a regulatory requirement in Canada, as it is in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and some European countries.Most of the companies on the S&P/TSX 60 Index have adopted the annual vote, part of the more than 180 publicly held companies across the country that have done so, according to Thomas.Kingsdale Advisors, a shareholder services firm, charts the rising trend, noting that 157 companies had adopted the practice by 2015, up from just 28 in 2010.The Ontario Securities Commission, which has been monitoring developments in other jurisdictions, has said it is the primary responsibility of the board and its executive compensation committee to ensure that pay practices promote long-term shareholder value.Companies in the story: (TSX:ATD.B)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version erroneously referred to Kevin Thomas as Smith.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina regulators have a couple of billion-dollar decisions to make on Friday.The Public Service Commission will determine how much to cut rates for 737,000 South Carolina Electric & Gas customers who have already paid more than $2 billion for a pair of nuclear reactors abandoned during construction, and whether to approve a roughly $15 billion cash and stock bid from Virginia-based Dominion Energy to buy SCE&G’s parent company SCANA Corp.It’s a pivotal point in the unraveling of South Carolina’s nuclear debacle, which started in the summer of 2017 when privately-owned SCANA and its minority partner, state-owned Santee Cooper, gave up on the reactors they had spent a decade planning and building. The main contractor, Westinghouse, went bankrupt as it failed to make good on its promises of cheaper, easier construction methods. Projections of soaring electricity demand never materialized, thanks to energy efficiency and the advent of cheap natural gas.Commissioners have two important judgments on their agenda. First is whether SCE&G executives knew the project was failing and lied so that regulators would approve additional rate hikes to keep customers paying for it. Second is whether Dominion’s offer is good enough for ratepayers, or still leaves them on the hook for too much of the debt for the never-finished reactors.“Let me be blunt. You have a utility that bet the farm and lost. SCE&G poured $5 billion into a project and got nothing for it. By the end of this year, customers will have paid $2.2 billion for absolutely nothing — not a single watt of electricity,” said lawyer Scott Rubin, arguing on behalf of the AARP and its members — many of them consumers on fixed incomes — at the start of three weeks of hearings held by regulators in November.For most of the past 18 months, political leadership in South Carolina told SCE&G and Dominion they weren’t doing enough to ease the ratepayers’ burden. But now Attorney General Alan Wilson and House Speaker Jay Lucas are backing Dominion’s latest offer, which the state’s own consumer advocate and environmental and consumer groups says falls short.Dominion’s latest offer gets rid of the $1,000 rebate checks to SCE&G customers that dominated much of the merger discussion in 2018. Instead, Dominion wants to keep SCE&G rates at the same level set by legislators who passed a temporary 15 per cent rate cut earlier this year that knocks about $22 off the typical monthly bill. In 20 years, SCE&G customers would add $2.3 billion to the $2 billion they already paid for the mothballed project.Most of the consumer advocacy groups are still pushing for more. Watchdogs in the state’s Office of Regulatory Staff want about a 20 per cent rate cut, removing closer to $30 from monthly bills, and eliminating most of the extra charges for the reactors. Consumers and environmental groups want a bigger cut.Dominion Energy said a larger rate cut would force them to walk away from the SCE&G deal, although they made the same threat when lawmakers considered the temporary cut. When that passed, they altered their merger proposal.SCE&G said a significant rate cut without the extra money from the Dominion deal means bankruptcy, although utility executives testified before regulators they could not guarantee that is what they would do.Public Service Commission Chairman Randy Comer said the regulators’ hands remain tied by a law passed in 2007 that greatly reduced their ability to scrutinize rate hikes.The Base Load Review Act allowed the utility to get rate increases to essentially pay in advance for the reactors without risk to its shareholders, and sets a high bar to get that money back. There have been legal challenges, but the law is still in place.“For about the last year, we’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism. Some by people looking for a good sound bite on TV or in the newspaper,” Comer said at the end of the November hearings. “We’ve been unable to respond.”On Friday, the commissioners get to speak as loudly as they want.Jeffrey Collins, The Associated Press
Dental Checks Hearing Information Vision Information Early Literacy Activities Infant Development Information Resource and Community Information Development Questionaire Childcare InformationThe goal of the event is to help provide;-Increase universal screening options for 0-5-year-olds-Connect parents with existing community resources-Raise awareness about the importance of the early yearsThis FREE event will have face painting, prizes galore and answers to your questions.For more information check out fsj.familyfriendlycommunity.ca or call 250.785.5701To view the FB Event Page; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Early Years Health Round-Up is on Wednesday, March 13th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Totem Mall for the free event for children aged 0-5 years.The Family Friendly Coalition, Children First and Success by 6 are coming together to help parents connect directly with local community experts. With interactive booths set up, parents can learn about their children’s development progress.Things parents will be able to learn about include;
Los Angeles: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles have said that it was a “community decision” to bring the curtains down on their hit show “Supernatural”. The series, which will culminate with its 15th season, features the two actors as the Winchester brothers who hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural beings. Speaking at the “Supernatural” convention in Las Vegas, Padalecki said, “This was a community decision”. He further said that there was never any pressure from The CW network and the studio to wrap up show, reported Entertainment Weekly. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka Ackles added that the show’s end was debated for months by both the cast and the crew. “Nobody wanted to see this show fizzle out. I think that it was everyone wanting to do the biggest service to the show that we could by going out strong. It just seemed like the writing was kind of on the wall as to when that was happening. “Everybody kind of felt that it was coming soon, and so it was just taking that leap of faith of going like, ‘Well guys, let’s get out the paint and paint that finish line because what we’ve accomplished is unlike any other’,” he said. The final season will consist of 20 episodes. The show is executive produced by Robert Singer, Andrew Dabb, Phil Sgriccia, Jeremy Carver, Eugenie Ross-Leming, and Brad Buckner. It is produced by Warner Bros Television, in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision.
Paris: Sixteen copper statues briefly took to the skies over Paris after they were removed from the Notre-Dame cathedral to undergo restoration work. Tourists at the world-famous landmark were left stunned on Thursday as the statues — representing the 12 apostles and the four evangelists from the New Testament — were lifted off the spire of the cathedral by crane. “What’s unique is that it’s the first time we’ve seen them up close since they were set up by Viollet-le-Duc in the 1860s,” Marie-Helene Didier, who is in charge of the renovation work, said. “It’s an exceptional event because we’ve brought the 16 statues down in a single day. It’s a magical moment for everyone,” she said. Built between the years 1163 and 1345, Notre-Dame is one of the most popular tourist sites in Paris, drawing around 13 million people every year. Its spire, like the rest of the gothic edifice, is undergoing an USD 12.4-million overhaul financed by the French state to repair damage inflicted by time, pollution and the weather. “Extraordinary,” said Sofiane, an onlooker from London, as the statues flew through piercing blue skies suspended from a giant 100-metre (300-foot) crane. “I’ll never see anything like it again.” The statues will be put on display inside the cathedral and will travel two-by-two to a specialised restorer in the Dordogne area of southwest France. Once all have been renovated, they will be put back to their position staring out over the City of Light in 2022.
The rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan is about to get a little chillier. The OSU men’s hockey team will take on Michigan outdoors in the “Frozen Diamond Faceoff” at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, on Jan. 15, 2012, at 5:05 p.m. This will be the first outdoor collegiate hockey game in the state of Ohio. OSU will be the home team in the neutral-site game and it will be played on a regulation-sized rink. Mark Shapiro, president of the Cleveland Indians, said in a Thursday press conference that he expects a full house for the game. Capacity at Progressive Field is 43,441. “We expect the place to be sold out,” he said. “I think recognizing how passionate the fan base is for Ohio State, recognizing that Michigan fans are extremely mobile and there also are a lot in the state of Ohio, and again the rivalry, we think (it) certainly sparks some interest.” Shapiro said the game will be a “unique” event, but they are staying “open and flexible” to hosting future hockey games, he said. This will be second time the OSU men’s hockey team has played outdoors. The Buckeyes previously faced off against Wisconsin in Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, on Feb. 11, 2006. OSU lost 4-2. Michigan has played in three outdoor games, including a game in 2010 at Michigan Stadium versus Michigan State. The game set a world record for attendance at a hockey game with 85,451 fans in attendance, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Prior to Thursday’s announcement, the official OSU athletics website, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, changed the venue for the game against Michigan scheduled for Jan. 14, 2012, from Value City Arena to “TBA.” The game will be a part of “Indians Snow Days,” the second season-long event running from Nov. 25 through Jan. 16 at Progressive Field, in which fans can ice skate and snow tube at the stadium. A presale for tickets will be made available for students in the coming weeks at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
WILMINGTON, MA — Rocco’s Restaurant (193 Main Street) is holding a Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 10am to noon. There will be fun, photos, and baskets for bunnies of all ages.The Bunny Buffet Menu includes:Scrambled eggsSausageBaconPancakesHash brownsCerealYogurtFruit – watermelon, cantaloupe, grapesHomemade blueberry, chocolate chip, and corn muffinsRefillable beverages – coffee, tea, and soda.Non refillable beverages – Apple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, grapefruit, pineapple juice, milk and chocolate milk.Call the restaurant at 978-657-7361 for pricing and reservations.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPHOTOS: Wilmington Sons of Italy Holds Easter Bunny BreakfastIn “Photo of the Day”Wilmington’s Annual Easter Bunny Breakfast Set For April 14 (UPDATED)In “Community”Wilmington’s Annual Easter Bunny Breakfast Set For April 9In “Community”
Comcast Share your voice Comcast is working on a health tracking device. SOPA Images/Getty Images Comcast is developing an in-home health monitoring device.The company has been working on the product for over a year, according to a Tuesday CNBC report, and plans to start doing pilot tests later this year. A company representative confirmed the report and said there’s no role for the device beyond health.The device will use ambient sensors to monitor basic health metrics, and will be geared toward tracking whether someone goes to the bathroom too often or stays in bed longer than usual, according to CNBC. Comcast is also developing tools that can detect falls, according to the report.The company will reportedly offer the monitoring device to at-risk people such as seniors and people with disabilities, but there isn’t yet a set price or confirmed timing for the release. Pilots will start by the end of the year, and the device could be released commercially in 2020, the report says. The device will reportedly have a personality similar to that of Amazon’s Alexa and will make emergency calls, but it won’t be marketed as an assistant tool or carry out functions like web searches or turning off the lights. The Comcast representative emphasized that the device is built to be a sensor that detects motion, and is not a smart speaker.Comcast has reportedly been working with a handful of hospitals, including Rush in Chicago, to discuss using the device to keep patients from returning to the hospital after being discharged. Other major tech companies have also been eyeing the senior market. Nest is reportedly exploring integrating smart home devices into senior living facilities, Amazon is reportedly looking into making tech for older people and Apple added an FDA-cleared EKG feature in its Series 4 Watch that warns wearers about abnormal heart rhythms linked to atrial fibrillation.Originally published May 21, 2:37 p.m.Update, 3:07 p.m.: Adds confirmation from Comcast. Comment Sci-Tech Wellness 1 Tags
It is well documented that Blacks are disadvantaged when it comes to healthcare outcomes. In fact, African Americans are more likely to suffer from serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, HIV, stroke and other deadly diseases. Even the life expectancy for Black men and Black women is less than their White counterparts, according to The New York Times.In addition to the health disadvantages that Blacks face, there are disproportionately fewer Blacks in the health profession. CBS News reports that Blacks make up 13 percent of the population, but account for only 4 percent of doctors nationwide. All of these topics are explored by Dr. Damon Tweedy in his new book Black Man In A White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine. Tweedy is an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University and explains in detail about how race disparity in the healthcare system negatively affects Black people. Tweedy appeared on the Sept. 8 episode of “CBS This Morning,” where he explained how his book takes a personal look at how being a minority can be bad for your health. In the interview he recalled a time when he did rotations at a voluntary clinic 90 minutes from where he went to medical school at Duke University. He quickly noted that all the patients were Black and none had health insurance. “It was pretty clear from the very beginning that we couldn’t provide the adequate care for them. They couldn’t afford the medications, the lab tests or any other treatments they needed,” Tweedy said. In a Sept. 6 interview with NPR’s Linda Wertheimer, Tweedy recalls experiencing humiliation when as a fledgling medical school student, a professor mistook him for a maintenance worker and was surprised that he was a student in the class. “And when I told him, you know, that I’m actually a student in his class, he looked at me very baffled, like someone was playing a joke on him, and just walked away. And so at the time, it was very hurtful and created a lot of self-doubt,” Tweedy said. However, Tweedy continued, he used that experience as fuel to show everyone that he belonged in medical school. According to the Charlotte Observer, Tweedy attended Duke University in 1996 on a full scholarship and said he experienced prejudice from patients and professors. He even was mistaken for being a Duke basketball player. Tweedy’s story is also one of overcoming obstacles. Tweedy’s parents were blue-collar workers who didn’t have a high school education. Tweedy said he is in favor of increasing the number of Black doctors, and of physicians being involved in the political process, referring to retired Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Ben Carson. firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @hunter_jonathan
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uWe continue our ongoing series, “Conversations with the Candidates,” as we talk with Baltimore City Council candidates including hopefuls for the 5th and the 8th Districts. What are the most pressing issues in their individual districts? We’ll unpack some of the city’s tough challenges in our first hour.These stories and more coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.
Many of the processes we depend on, indeed, life itself, occur on the nanoscale. With the advent of nanotechnology, medical science has the potential ability to manipulate cells at the lowest level. Where they now use sledgehammer treatments – chemotherapy, for example, one day they may have a pair of needle-nosed pliers that could repair cells instead of just killing off the defective ones. As this article is being written, doctors are already using nanotech if the form of contrast agents for MRI scans. Gadolinium in DNA-sized carbon tubes boosts performance and reduces the metal’s high toxicity by containing the contrast agent and keeping it from affecting surrounding tissues.Not all nanotech is based on carbon atoms and molecules. A new inorganic fullerene-like nanostructure – IF for short – is a material produced by the Weizmann Group. Instead of carbon, it’s made of tungsten disulfide. Unlike carbon based organic Fullerenes, IF is easier and less expensive to produce, is chemically stable, less reactive and less flammable. Organic Fullerenes are highly toxic while IF materials have been fully tested and deemed safe. One of the most interesting new IF properties discovered is its extremely high degree of shock absorbing ability. The new Tungsten-based IF material has up to twice the strength of the best impact resistant materials currently used in protective armor such as boron carbide and silicon carbide. It’s over 5 times stronger than steel. Mixing IF with elastic materials could lead to new compounds which are both shock absorbing and flexible – perfect for ballistic armor.Another important area for nanotechnology is coatings. New nanocoated metals have high wear resistance and resilience, better thermal shock resistance, resist fatigue, and have enhanced anti-microbial activity.The list of potential uses is almost endless: In sports to make stiffer tennis racquets and sharper, more resistant snowboard edges, in lightweight nanometal foam helmets that provide up to 7 times the protection of conventional models. In medicine: nanocrystaline metals of silver and cobalt are effective antibacterial agents and can be used in air-conditioning systems to stop formation of bacterial slime. Nanocrystalline zinc oxide is used in sunscreens – zinc oxide and titanium oxide effectively absorb ultraviolet radiation. Industrial applications include: better lead acid batteries, a replacement for chrome, super lightweight parts and wear resistant coatings.Fabricators produce nanocrystalline metals – alloys and composites – using a patented electrosynthesis process. They are able to make crystal sizes 1000-times smaller than those found in normal materials. Nano has officially become the most misused word in the English language. Everything from the Ipod Nano to anything smaller than a Mac truck gets “nanoed” by clueless – or savvy, take your pick – marketing experts. It’s crept into everyday use as well: “I’ll be there in a nano.” Sure you will. For the scientists who work with nanotech this must be frustrating indeed. A definition of nano is definitely in order. Nano is 10 to the power of -9. How small is that? A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. Small, indeed – in fact, so small it’s difficult to compare it to anything, only adding frustration to the roll of scientists trying to explain nanotechnology in laymen’s terms.Let’s try anyway. A nanometer is 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. There are as many nanometers in an inch as there are inches in 400 miles (25,344,000). About 3 to 6 atoms can fit inside a nanometer – depending on the atom size. Even when you see the comparisons, they mean nothing – it’s just too small – hence the attempt to make sense of it by tagging everything smaller than normal as “nano”.Nanotechnology is more than just a hot theoretical topic now. Computer chips are now made using a 15 nanometer lithography process. But how can something so small be useful? After all, you can’t even see it under most microscopes. The answer lies in large numbers. A Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, for example, has 178 million transistors, all on the nanoscale – defined as smaller than 100 nanometers in length. This minuscule size allows processors to be faster, generate less heat and run using less energy. At this scale, a material’s properties change—things like electrical conductivity and mechanical strength are not the same as they are at micro size. With the recently developed atomic force microscope, nanoscientists have begun to manipulate matter on an atomic level to take advantage of these exciting new properties.Their first attempts were childish – IBM made its name out of individual atoms, for example. But now nanotechnology is getting serious.Consider the carbon at the nanoscale. Arrange carbon atoms one way you get a diamond – arranged another way, you get graphite. Nanoscientists have learned to arrange carbon atoms in a new way: tiny tubes about two nanometers in width that can look like chicken wire and can grow to a length many times their diameter. It’s still the element carbon, but the carbon nanotube is a completely different material from either diamond or graphite – unlike any found in nature. These tubes may some day be the ultimate carbon fibers – theoretically, they are immensely strong. Explore further For scientists and engineers interested in exploring the properties of nanometals, they can be purchased on the Internet – get the research funding first because a 0.008” x 3” x 3” sample plate can set you back $2,000. Depending on the plate’s size and materials used, samples can cost as little as $115, however.Nanomachines are not just on the drawing board anymore, a few working models– like the gears above – are regularly produced. Integrating them into useful systems is still a ways off, but the potential benefits are staggering.Imagine submicroscopic machines that rove about the body and scrape plaque deposits from your artery walls, repair damage caused by trauma and attack cancer cells. Now that biotech is taking off as well, it should be interesting to see which approach – biotech or nanotech – offers the most benefit to medical science. In the end it may be a combination. Already a new field – Synthetic Biology – is exploring ways of duplicating biological processes with nanostructures. Some futurists predict the advent of self-replicating nanomachines. These nanobots will be able to build copies of themselves and perform some useful service to humanity – or not. No discussion of nanotechnology can leave out the famous “grey goo” that represents trillions of self-replicating nanobots that literally eat the Earth to make more copies of themselves. While this science fiction plot is not probable, it should be studied carefully before unleashing a horde of hungry nanocreatures into the wild.Closer to the truth are potential toxicity problems with fine nanomaterials. It’s not like you can filter them from the air – they are too small. Once escaped from the laboratory, they could become the Lilliputian Frankenstein of the future – forever blowing about in the wind forever changing anything they touch – like CFCs of steroids. All technologies have their problems and experts agree nanotechnology will be no exception.But with all the money flowing into nanotech research, safety concerns will like as not be pushed aside to advancement science – much as they have in the past. At what price progress? With all the potential benefits nanotechnology has to offer, it’s sure to be a bargain.by Philip Dunn, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com Nanotechnology is not new. In fact, for over a century, chemists have developed the ability to arrange small numbers of atoms inside molecules – at a scale of less than 1.5 nanometers – leading to revolutions in drug design, plastics, and other areas. Producing graphene from carbon dioxide This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Nano this, Nano that, what the… (2006, February 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-02-nano.html Carbon nanotubes from Nano-Electronics (Mesoscopic Physics) at the University of Basel Carbon nanotubes in nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) http://www.ipt.arc.nasa.gov/carbonnano.html IF nanostructure – the basis for nanotech armor? http://www.apnano.com/
American cheap flights carrier AirTran Airways has announced plans to start flights between Columbus, Ohio and Fort Lauderdale from March 5th.It will be the only airline to offer a non-stop daily flight between Port Columbus International Airport and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport once the service comes into effect.Commenting on the new flights, Kevin Healy, AirTran Airways’ senior vice president of marketing and planning, said: “AirTran Airways has seen a lot of success in Columbus since entering the market in November 2008 and we are dedicated to expanding our operations where additional flights are needed.”The carrier will now offer connecting flights to over 40 destinations across Atlanta in addition to its non-stop routes between Columbus and Atlanta, Orlando, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale.AirTran Airways was established in June 1993 and currently flies to 57 destinations in the US.It is based at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is the world’s biggest Boeing 717 operator. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedAirTran Airways launches new flight to CancunAirTran Airways has launched a daily flight to Cancun International Airport from Baltimore.AirTran Airways to introduce flights to Fort LauderdaleThe non-stop service will come into effect on November 4th, the same date the airline reinstates flights to Fort Myers.AirTran to launch new flight between Atlanta and BransonAirTran to launch new flight between Atlanta and Branson
Categories: News Tags: #SB 05Feb Rep. Muxlow announces February office hours State Rep. Paul Muxlow of Brown City announced House District 83 office hours for the month of February for residents of Sanilac County, Burtchville Township, Fort Gratiot Township and the city of Port Huron.Muxlow is hosting two meet-and-greet sessions next week: Feb. 9 in Port Huron and Feb. 13 in Port Sanilac.On Monday, Feb. 9, the lawmaker will be at the Blue Water Chamber of Commerce, 512 McMorran Blvd. in Port Huron, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.On Friday, Feb. 13, he will be at Bark Shanty Community Center, 135 Church St. in Port Sanilac, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.“I enjoy meeting with citizens and listening to their suggestions and concerns,” Muxlow said. “It is very important to keep in constant communication with residents so that I can properly represent them in the House.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Muxlow at (517) 373-0835 or via email at PaulMuxlow@house.mi.gov.#####About Rep. Muxlow:State Rep. Paul Muxlow is a second-term lawmaker representing the 83rd House District. The 83rd District includes Burtchville Township, Fort Gratiot Township, Port Huron city and Sanilac County. Muxlow can be reached at (517) 373-0835, via email at PaulMuxlow@house.mi.gov or on his website at www.reppaulmuxlow.com. For additional updates follow House Republicans on Facebook and Twitter.
Justin’s note: Beyond Meat (BYND) is soaring.The plant-based meat producer is up around 500% since the company went public in May. The company is now worth over $9 billion, and is trading at more than 80 times its trailing 12-month sales.That’s an absurd valuation. But many believe the stock could keep running. That’s because the company is supposed to radically change how people eat.Personally, I think BYND’s a bubble that will pop any day now. But I was interested in the big trend here of plant-based meat. So, I got Doug Casey on the phone to see what he thinks about BYND and the future of food…Justin: Doug, there’s a lot of hype around Beyond Meat right now, and for good reason.Its stock is up around 500% since the company went public in May. Not only that, Whole Foods’ CEO recently described Beyond Meat as the future of food, saying, “You have a business here that is real and that is in the early innings.”Do you buy that? Is plant-based meat really the future?Doug: This trend – and I think it is a trend – has been predicted for some time. When I was in high school, Mr. Blue by Myles Connolly was a popular book for a while. I just looked it up – it was written in 1928. It’s been a long time since I read it, but if my memory serves, among other things it posited that people and machines would both run on the same fuel, a petroleum derivative, in a dystopian future. It’s not an unreasonable prediction. Because although there are 92 naturally occurring elements most food consists of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. These elements basically compose all carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Plus traces of others like iron, copper, and sulfur.Fabricating “food,” or at least something that can fuel the body’s cells, is just practical chemistry. As technology improves it will be possible to create all sorts of foods that look and taste like the real thing. Perhaps better. Science fiction has always been the best predictor of the future, and I have no doubt that “replicators,” like those on Star Trek, will create food. 3-D printing is a major step in that direction.Right now it’s still at the stage of using plants to transform raw materials into something that tastes like meat. The next question is not just whether we can cut out animals, which transform plants. But cut out the plants, which transform raw chemical compounds. It’s only logical that this trend will accelerate. The question is whether the foods are also economic and tasty. Let’s hope it goes in that direction, rather than towards Soylent Green – which is rather unaesthetic. The creation of foods out of various stages of raw material has lots of implications on political and sociological – not to mention philosophical – levels. But we’re mainly interested on how to turn a buck here…As far as making money is concerned, I don’t like to invest in science projects. There’s just too much research and development (R&D), experimentation, and uncertainty – it might even be riskier than mining exploration, which is saying something. In addition, projects like this tend to be cultural problems. And it takes generations to change cultures. So, I wouldn’t touch Beyond Meat’s stock with a cattle prod at the moment.Justin: Why do you think its stock is up so much then?Doug: Well, since I haven’t personally tried any of their products, I can’t comment on their taste or cost. When I do, perhaps I’ll change my opinion. I have no doubt that as the tech improves – which it will – both will get better. But there’s plenty of time to get involved – when other companies are out there, and there’s not a speculative bubble.I think the stock’s gone up because interest rates are near record lows and the Federal Reserve is printing money. All that money has got to go somewhere. It’s just part of the great financial bubble. And it’s generally a bad idea to chase after every fashionable idea. Especially late in a bubble.As far as artificial meat itself is concerned, the Chinese have made many great meat substitutes from mushrooms, soy, and wheat for many decades. When I used to live in Hong Kong, one of my favorite restaurants specialized in Buddhist vegetarian dishes. The menu had lots of pork and beef taste-alikes that were extremely appetizing. I certainly didn’t feel the need for real meat when I ate there. But those products never really made it in the U.S.But I don’t doubt “faux flesh” is a growing trend.Justin: What about the green movement? I imagine eco-conscious millennials have played a huge role in bidding up Beyond Meat’s stock.Doug: This is absolutely part of the green movement. A lot of it is based on people being made to feel guilty for even existing, not to mention eating animals.I understand the ethical argument. I don’t like killing other creatures. I feel somewhat sheepish going to a store and buying meat products that someone else has killed, despite the fact it’s just a question of specialization and division of labor. It’s certainly more authentic to eat what you’ve actually hunted and killed yourself. But that’s impractical in today’s world.This is mostly a matter of economics. Most food is based on corn, soybeans, wheat, and rice. All these commodity groups are grown in gigantic monocultures that cover hundreds of thousands of square miles. Any large artificial monoculture is an accident waiting to happen.The day of the self-sustaining family farm, like the one Joel Salatin runs and writes about, is done. At least for 98% of humanity. I’m not a dedicated farmer like Joel. But I can tell you that at current prices it’s somewhere between hard and impossible to make money growing food at today’s prices.My main objection to faux foods is personal, and aesthetic. I don’t like the idea of eating manufactured or industrial foods. But perhaps that’s just because I have enough money to allow me to eat whatever I want. Those big four grains are for feeding the masses. Humans didn’t eat that kind of food for the first 99% of our existence.That sounds elitist, I know. Which is a bit of a contradiction, because it’s well-known I generally despise today’s “elite.” But, on the other hand, every human who’s not a useless mouth should strive to become elite. It’s just a question of how we define that word. And what you do to become elite. Just being no more than a carbon-based life form that has to be fed doesn’t cut it.If you’re at a certain economic level – as I presume anyone reading this is – you’re not directly affected by whether the corn crop fails, or wheat goes back to $10 a bushel. That’s largely a problem for Third World countries with socialist governments, places where they can’t produce anything but more poor people. But, in that context I’ve got to point out that all the foods, not just wheat, corn, and soybeans, but also cattle, sugar, coffee and orange juice, are at just about historic lows. So, now is the time to get into these things from a speculative point of view.It’s very dangerous to grow anything in a gigantic monoculture. There are viruses, bacteria, insects, and other pests that can wipe out these crops wholesale. The Chinese are dealing with that now with their hog crop; an African swine fever breakout has wiped out 20% to 30% of the hogs in China. Closer to home, flooding in the Midwest has devastated this year’s corn, wheat, and soybean harvests. At the same time that most of the world’s crops have been engineered to be grown using the pesticide glyphosate (RoundUp), there are huge lawsuits being won that could ban its use. It’s accused – quite possibly correctly – as being a dangerous carcinogen. “Roundup Ready” crops don’t do well, however, without RoundUp.I say that with the understanding that productivity of all foods has been going up for many years. Farmers produce two to three times per acre more than they did just fifty years ago. I’m sure, for many reasons not germane to this short discussion, that trend is going to continue. Always remember that the longest bear market in history is commodities. In real terms they’ve been collapsing in price for roughly 10,000 years – punctuated by explosive rallies, usually caused by either natural disasters like flood or drought, or anthropogenic ones, like war and collectivism.My guess is that we’re at the bottom for commodity prices here. Unless we have a credit collapse, there will be fortunes made in the next couple of years. People who feel guilty about profiting from higher food prices simply have no understanding of basic economics. A proper speculator is a humanitarian in disguise. Why? By buying things when there’s a surplus, and prices are cheap, he’s in a position to make them available to the less prudent when there’s a shortage.Now’s an excellent time to speculate on these commodity type foods at these prices.Justin: Aside from plant-based meat, what other developments in the food industry should we expect? I recently read that insect-based foods might be needed to deal with overpopulation. What do you think?Doug: First of all, it’s too bad that most meat today is produced in an industrial manner. The conditions under which cattle, hogs, and chickens are produced are absolutely disgusting. The animals are full of steroids and antibiotics. And they’re often fed what amounts to cardboard. The entire process is very unaesthetic. I avoid industrial meat, milk, and eggs whenever possible. There’s a lot of truth to the saying “you are what you eat”, and nobody needs more steroids and antibiotics.But I’m not worried about the growing population. The population all over the world is actually dropping, particularly in North America, Europe, and Japan. And that’s not likely to change. It’s actually likely to accelerate. It’s even happening in China, the Middle East, and South America.The only place where population is growing is in Africa. Africans can’t feed themselves as it stands. They certainly won’t be able to if their population triples by the end of this century. Unless the continent completely reforms its political and economic systems, it’s in trouble. The whole continent is a welfare case, sucking capital out of the rest of the world.Contrary to most projections, however, I believe the population of Africa could collapse at some point – not for the reasons populations are declining in the developed world, but because they don’t produce anything. Africa doesn’t have the infrastructure, the capital base, or the political/economic environment to change that in the near term. The Central African Republic is much closer to reality than the country of Wakanda portrayed in the movie Black Panther. Anyway, they’re not competing with us for expensive foods like meat and fish. They’re competitors for subsistence foods.As for grubs and insects I’ve tried many of them when I was living in Thailand and Hong Kong. They can be very tasty. But, even there, they’re a specialty item. When they’re bred in meaningful quantities, however, they’ll be ground into mulch. Then they won’t be a delicacy for rich people, but subsistence protein for poor people. In any event, not a consideration for many years to come.Here’s the bottom line. It’s time to get long commodities.Justin: Great stuff. Thanks, Doug.Doug: You’re welcome.Justin’s note: As Doug said, now is a great time to bet on commodities.Our in-house commodities expert Dave Forest agrees. He says we’re entering the next “supercycle”… and smart investors stand to make a fortune.And just like Doug and I talked about today, he sees agriculture stocks specifically as one of the top ways to take advantage.The best part is, Dave just found the perfect way to profit. He just wrote about it in the latest issue of International Speculator, which subscribers can access here.If you’re not a subscriber, you can learn more, including another massive opportunity on Dave’s radar, by clicking here.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 18 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Victoza (liraglutide) injection for treatment of pediatric patients 10 years or older with type 2 diabetes. Victoza is the first non-insulin drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes in pediatric patients since metformin was approved for pediatric use in 2000. Victoza has been approved to treat adult patients with type 2 diabetes since 2010. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, occurring when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Although type 2 diabetes primarily occurs in patients over the age of 45, the prevalence rate among younger patients has been rising dramatically over the past couple of decades. The Diabetes Report Card published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 5,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes are diagnosed each year among U.S. youth younger than age 20.Victoza improves blood sugar levels by creating the same effects in the body as the glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor protein in the pancreas. GLP-1 is often found in insufficient levels in type 2 diabetes patients. Like GLP-1, Victoza slows digestion, prevents the liver from making too much glucose (a simple sugar), and helps the pancreas produce more insulin when needed. As noted on the label, Victoza is not a substitute for insulin and is not indicated for patients with type 1 diabetes or those with diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition associated with diabetes where the body breaks down fat too quickly because there is inadequate insulin or none at all. Victoza is also indicated to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease; however, its effect on major adverse cardiovascular events in pediatrics was not studied and it is not indicated for this use in children.Related StoriesStudy: Antidepressants reduce mortality by 35% in patients with diabetesNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsSome people treated for type 1 diabetes may have monogenic diabetes, study findsThe efficacy and safety of Victoza for reducing blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes was studied in several placebo-controlled trials in adults and one placebo-controlled trial with 134 pediatric patients 10 years and older for more than 26 weeks. Approximately 64% of patients in the pediatric study had a reduction in their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) below 7% while on Victoza, compared to only 37% who achieved these results with the placebo. HbA1c is a blood test that is routinely performed to evaluate how well a patient’s diabetes is controlled, and a lower number indicates better control of the disease. These results occurred regardless of whether the patient also took insulin at the same time. Adult patients who took Victoza with insulin or other drugs that increase the amount of insulin the body makes (e.g., sulfonylurea) may have an increased risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Meanwhile, pediatric patients 10 years and older taking Victoza had a higher risk of hypoglycemia regardless of whether they took other therapies for diabetes.The prescribing information for Victoza includes a Boxed Warning to advise health care professionals and patients about the increased risk of thyroid C-cell tumors. For this reason, patients who have had, or have family members who have ever had medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) should not use Victoza, nor should patients who have an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). In addition, people who have a prior serious hypersensitivity reaction to Victoza or any of the product components should not use Victoza. Victoza also carries warnings about pancreatitis, Victoza pen sharing, hypoglycemia when used in conjunction with certain other drugs known to cause hypoglycemia including insulin and sulfonylurea, renal impairment or kidney failure, hypersensitivity and acute gallbladder disease. The most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, indigestion and constipation.The FDA granted this application Priority Review. The approval of Victoza was granted to Novo Nordisk. Source:U.S. Food and Drug Administration The FDA encourages drugs to be made available to the widest number of patients possible when there is evidence of safety and efficacy. Victoza has now been shown to improve blood sugar control in pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes. The expanded indication provides an additional treatment option at a time when an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with this disease.”Lisa Yanoff, M.D, acting director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
The usual strategy for diagnosing and monitoring IBD is based on a colonoscopy, which is invasive, often requires anesthesia, and assesses structural lesions, rather than gut malfunction. Gut disorders can happen before there are visible structural changes, so diagnosing based on functional tests evaluating gut leakage could allow clinicians to detect the disease earlier. While there is no cure for IBD, it is controllable. Early diagnosis would enable patients to control symptoms before they became severe, improving their quality of life.This new research provides a non-invasive, simple test that could not only be useful for diagnosing IBD, but also other gut disorders, such as celiac disease and food allergies. It’s also helpful for detecting diseases that result in a leaky gut, such as heart failure, high blood pressure and liver ailments.Marcin Ufnal, senior author on the study said: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 27 2019Gut diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are increasingly prevalent worldwide, especially in industrialized countries. In 2015 alone, 250,000 people in the UK were diagnosed with IBD, and 3 million in the United States. Symptoms can include pain and swelling of the stomach, bloody diarrhea, weight loss and extreme tiredness.A new study in Experimental Physiology proposes a novel, non-invasive test for assessing gut function that may help screen and monitor treatment of gut diseases using only a small sample (1 mL) of blood and stool. How well your gut functions is determined by the gut-blood barrier, a complex multi-layer system. This can be compared to a fine-tuned filter that precisely controls the passage of nutrients and prevents bacteria passing from inside the bowel into the bloodstream.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infectionsNew methods to recognize antimicrobial resistant bacteria and how they workIn those with IBD, and other intestinal diseases, the gut-blood barrier is impaired. Here the intestinal wall is more like a ripped sieve, allowing more bacterial products to pass from the gut into the blood. This is commonly referred to as a leaky gut.This test measures the concentration of gut bacterial products (produced by bacteria during metabolism) in the patient’s blood and stool. The authors believe that with further research this assessment of gut leakage will be very important in the diagnosis and treatment of IBD and other intestinal diseases. (See related video for more on the science of leaky gut and the gut-to-blood permeability ratio). This may be a very important tool for diagnosis and treatment of gut and other diseases, using the leaky gut as a marker for disease, as well as a potential target for treatment. “ Source:The Physiological SocietyJournal reference:Jaworska, K. et al. (2019) Inflammatory bowel disease associates with increased gut-to-blood penetration of SCFA: a new, non-invasive marker of a functional intestinal lesion. Experimental Physiology. doi.org/10.1113/EP087773.