first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Emre Can will not be available for the squad in their trip to Crystal Palace in SaturdayThe midfielder was withdraw from international duty, earlier this week, after struggling with a back problem that he sustained during Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford.While ruling out a long absence from the squad for Can, Klopp did admit that his compatriot will be unavailable for his side against the struggling Palace.“Emre is out for the weekend.” said  Klopp, according to club website.“[He is] getting better and better and better, much better. Hopefully he can have a normal session with us on Sunday morning and then should be fine again.”Joe Gomez will also be out with an ankle problem, while Nathaniel Clyne is now ready to return to the senior side for the first time since pre-season.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“Clyney is back. He played last week for the U23s. One or two games more would be nice but the situation is like it is. We have Clyney.” said the German.“I said yesterday to the boys that we lost Joe but finally we got Clyney back. He has been back for a few weeks already but he has come closer and closer. He is a very good option.”The other good news for Klopp is that both Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson are expected to be available for Liverpool on Saturday, as well.“He is fine and will be fine today, I hope. After training I’ll know more about that.” Klopp said on Solanke.And of Robertson, he added: “It was a dead leg, no problem.”last_img read more

first_imgSince 2011, China has been the number one consumer of Alaska goods. Last year, Alaska exported $1.32 billion worth of goods, including $796.2 million in seafood and $64.6 million in fishmeal, employing thousands of fishermen here. Alaska also exported $355.8 in mineral ore, $49 million in energy, and $48 million and $5.9 million in forest products and machinery respectively. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享 Governor Bill Walker held a press conference today to announce, what he referred to as, “a major initiative to build on the longstanding economic relationship between Alaska and China.” Applications and additional information is available here: https://gov.alaska.gov/services/office-of-international-trade/alaska-china-trade-mission/ Opportunity Alaska: China Trade Mission participants will travel to China May 19 through May 26 to participate in high-level meetings. Businesses will engage with key decision makers to expand Alaska markets, meet potential customers, industry and government officials.  The trade mission will also include networking events with industry and government representatives. Governor Walker, Director of International Trade Shelley James, and Commerce Commissioner Mike Navarre will travel with the businesses selected to participate in the mission. The application process will prioritize existing or developed relationships. Applications will be accepted through Monday, April 2, 2018 Opportunity Alaska: China Trade Mission will help businesses in Alaska build new relationships in China and foster existing ones.last_img read more

first_imgHowever, hours fished with set gillnets in the Kasilof Section within 600 feet of shore do no apply to the weekly hourly provisions in the Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan. The passage estimates of sockeye salmon are increasing in the Kasilof River. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Department of Fish and Game has announced the opening for set gillnetting in the Kasilof Section of the Upper Subdistrict within 600 feet of the mean high tide mark on the Kenai Peninsula shoreline from 5:00 p.m. until 11:59 p.m., today. According to the DF&G, more than 15,000 sockeye salmon are estimated to have passed the Kasilof River sockeye salmon sonar counter on July 17, and through 12:00 noon today.center_img According to Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan, if the use of bait and the retention of king salmon is prohibited in the sport fishery, commercial fishing periods in the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery, excluding the East Foreland Section, are open for no more than 24 hours per week, with a 36-hour continuous closure per week beginning between 7:00 p.m. Thursday and 7:00 a.m. Friday. On July 1,the Kenai River late-run king salmon sport fishery was restricted to no bait and on July 18, the sport fishery was further restricted to no retention in order to achieve the king salmon sustainable escapement goal.last_img read more

first_img Share your voice Random Post a comment 13 Photos Bill Gates Bill Gates has some suggestions for your 2019 summer reading list. Bill Gates/Gates Notes Summer vacation is almost here in the northern hemisphere. Woo-hoo! You’re heading to the beach. You could pack a romance novel or a lightweight spy caper. Or you could pack the five books Microsoft founder Bill Gates recommends you read. Get ready to get heavy.Gates’ summer reading list is an annual tradition. He released the latest version on his Gates Notes blog on Monday, giving you plenty of time to hit your local bookstore for some thought-provoking reading to pack with your sunscreen and bathing suit.”I’ve recently found myself drawn to books about upheaval (that’s even the title of the one of them) — whether it’s the Soviet Union right after the Bolshevik revolution, the United States during times of war, or a global reevaluation of our economic system,” Gates wrote, saying most of these books deal with the idea of disruption. 0 UpheavalJared Diamond’s Upheaval delves into “how nations managed existential challenges like civil war, foreign threats and general malaise” through a group of case studies. Gates acknowledged this might sound like a bummer, but said he left the book feeling optimistic about our ability to solve problems.Nine PintsIf you made it through all the bloodshed of Game of Thrones, then chances are good you can handle Nine Pints by Rose George. The subtitle clues you into the subject: “A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood.” “It’s filled with super-interesting facts that will leave you with a new appreciation for blood,” Gates said.A Gentleman in MoscowNow we detour into the realm of fiction with Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow. This bestselling novel follows the rich Count Alexander Rostov who is living under house arrest in a hotel in Moscow in the 1920s. The book spans several decades. Gates called it “fun, clever, and surprisingly upbeat.” Presidents of WarMichael Beschloss’ Presidents of War tackles the complicated history of US presidents and the conflicts the country became involved in, including the War of 1812 and the Vietnam War. “Beschloss’s broad scope lets you draw important cross-cutting lessons about presidential leadership,” said Gates.The Future of CapitalismGates said he doesn’t agree with everything in Paul Collier’s The Future of Capitalism, but that the author’s “background as a development economist gives him a smart perspective on where capitalism is headed.” Gates recommended this as a good analysis of the problems around capitalism today.While these five titles make up the official summer reading list, Gates also threw in a plug for his wife Melinda Gates’ The Moment of Lift, a book about the women who have inspired her. “I know I’m biased, but it’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year,” he said. These books should keep you busy until the end of 2019 when we can expect Gates’ annual list of his favorite books of the year. 1:08 Tags How to check out digital library books Inside Microsoft’s HoloLens development lab Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

first_imgIll-gotten money. Illustration: Prothom Alo Experts have questioned the move by the Anti Corruption Commission not to file cases against anybody who returns ill-gotten wealth.Although there is no law or provision in the country to this end, the ACC has made this move, aiming to retrieve Tk 140 million.Experts said that such measures will encourage the corruption.According to ACC, under this process, it made a breakthrough by retrieving Tk 130 million from Hallmark group.Besides, victims have got back Tk 9.83 million in 10 different cases through the mediation of ACC. In context of corruption, though, this amount is negligible.ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmood also admits there are legal questions in this regard.Speaking to Prothom Alo, Iqbal Mahmood said, “We will take measures based on circumstances pertaining to each case. We have to analyse the cost benefits. We have to take reality into consideration, as well as consider legality and ethics.”Executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh Ifthekharuzzaman said, “It is not acceptable either from an ethical or legal point of view. During 1/11 we opposed the idea of Truth Commission. Such a measure can’t act as a prevention of corruption after the institution fails to establish justice.”Former chairman of ACC Ghulam Rahman said although not permanently, a law named ‘plea bargain’ can be formulated. But, still there will be questions of legality.Nakshi Knit of Hallmark returned money in one of its three cases. Later, it decided not to return money. Two cases of Knit are underway.On 9 November, assistant manager of Sonali Bank Subrato Kumar Das told ACC director that it had received Tk 327.50 million due such action against Nakshi Knit.ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said although the process is questioned, ACC took a decision on Tk 130 million with Hallmark. Although it is not legal, ACC and the court gave consent on the matter. If the legality is challenged at the High Court, the decision will be cancelled.Despite a verdict by the Appellate Division in March last, the government did not return Tk 12.32 billion collected by the intelligence agencies during the army backed caretaker government in 2007. Besides, Tk 340 million collected by the Truth Commission is lying in the government exchequer.On condition of anonymity, an official at Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the central bank sent a letter to the government to implement a verdict on returning Tk 6.15 billion. But the central bank did not get any reply.Speaking to Prothom Alo, lawyer of BB Ameer-ul-Islam said a review petition has been filed against the verdict on returning Tk 6.15 billion collected from 40 businessmen. Preparations are on for the hearing.According to ACC, the anti-graft body sees some sort of success in recovering money embezzled by illegal means. The lion share of Tk 40 billion of BASIC Bank and Tk 26.86 billion of Hallmark is similar to embezzlement. Although these are loans in name, everything points to forgery.The ACC chairman said they have recovered Tk 11.48 billion from Hallmark and BASIC Bank, not by assuring that cases against them would be withdrawn. But it is true Tk 130 million was collected from Nakshi Knit of Hallmark in 2014 on a condition that cases will not be filed against them.ACC helps get back moneyA terminated cashier of the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) returned Tk 3.3 million to the company until 6 November. He confessed his involvement in taking bribe to a director general of ACC.A person gave Tk 5 million to a ruling Awami League member of parliament for investing in a business. But the MP simply kept the money. Later, ACC helped the victim get back Tk 2 million of the amount. Subir Kanti, an employee of a private organisation, gave more than Tk 1 million to a real estate company for purchasing a flat. The company, however, deceived him and did not hand over the flat. Later, Subir got back Tk 3 million in just 24 hours with the help of ACC.The office of the assistant commissioner of land (AC-Land) in Dhanmondi returned Tk 120,000 taken as a bribe for mutation of a flat as ACC intervened.The ACC also made a private dental college in Dhaka return Tk 400,000 taken as an advance for admissions.The anti-graft watchdog received a phone call recently claiming a Banani school was charging extra fees illegally. The headmaster of the school was made to return Tk 368,000 instantly by the ACC.According to ACC officials, the victims want to get back their money taken forcefully and unethically, alongside trial of the accused. When ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmud was reminded that they are catching small fish, he told Prothom Alo, ”Commoners are affected most by small fish. But, when we’ll be capable, we’ll net the big fish too.”Sole exampleIn past 10 years, the government managed to take back a small amount of money from a public servant through the apex court. On 6 April 2016, ATM Nazim Ullah Chowdhury escaped impriosnment by submitting Tk 684,000 to the state treasury.Asked about poor state of restoring embezzled money, attorney general Mahbubey Alam told Prothom Alo that the corrupt try their utmost to delay, resist and derail the trial.A special kind of prosecution team is needed to quicken the trials, he added.Bribery in ACCThe anti-graft watchdog, ironically, had to terminate one and suspend two of its officials recently for taking bribes and indulging in corruption.The ACC suspended one of its additional directors for amassing wealth amounting to Tk 50 million beyond the known source of income.An investigation officer of ACC was fired as he lodged a case against one  person instead of 10. According to a report of Transparency International Bangladesh, the amount of bribe was Tk 54.4 billion in 2007 which rose to Tk 88.2 billion in 2015.TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said, ”Today is International Anti-Corruption Day. The government has decided to observe the day nationally.””Recently ruling Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said if politicians don’t get involved in corruption, corruption would be 50 per cent less. I can see a political will from his statement. To benefit from this, we have to avoid indulging corruption,” he added.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam and Imam Hossain.last_img read more

first_imgRuhul Kabir Rizvi.File photoBNP on Sunday described prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s ‘tea party’ at Ganabhaban as pleasure without conscience and said no democracy-loving party leader joined it, reports UNB.”The tea party arrangement by a regretless government after a grand vote robbery reminds me a famous saying by Mahatma Gandhi ‘pleasure without conscience’. This pleasure is a social sin,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Naya Paltan central office, he also said the tea part by a ‘euphoric’ government formed through a ‘farcical’ election is tantamount to pleasure without conscience.”No democracy-loving party and those who are in a democratic movement didn’t join the event of sin committed by the government which betrayed the nation and looted people’s votes. This is the victory of people,” Rizvi said.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina hosted the tea party at her official residence Ganabhaban on Saturday for the leaders of political parties who had joined dialogues with her before the 11th general election.Leaders of all the political parties, except the Jatiya Oikya Front, including the BNP, and the Left Democratic Alliance (LDA), attended the tea party. Turning down the results of the 30 December election and bringing the allegation of vote robbery, Oikya Front and LDA demanded a fresh election.Rizvi said now there is no democracy in Bangladesh as the state is now under the grip of an individual and a party. “The people of Bangladesh have now become the slaves of the sate due to demolition of democracy.”He also alleged that the country’s ‘most popular’ leader Khaleda Zia has been kept in jail while thousands of BNP leaders and activists have been arrested in ‘false’ cases only to protect the one-party rule.He alleged that the government not only demonstrated a bizarre attitude but also mocked people by filing ‘fictitious’ cases against dead persons, paralysed patients and expatriates leaving in different countries.last_img read more

first_imgTravis Bubenik/Houston Public MediaTexas Coastal Exchange says preserving coastal marshland could be key to battling climate change.Texas pumps more carbon emissions into the atmosphere than any other state, according to the Energy Information Administration. But a tiny non-profit on the Texas Gulf Coast says private landowners could be making money off those emissions, while helping to offset them.The group says that the concept of a “market” for carbon — where carbon-producing businesses or individuals would pay landowners to preserve coastal marshes — is a promising business solution in the fight against climate change. Share Between the Green New Deal, proposals for a national “carbon tax” and so-called “clean” coal plants, there’s no shortage of ideas out there for how to curb carbon emissions. But environmental lawyer Jim Blackburn said he’s got the Texas answer. “So much of the conversation at the national level is punitive,” Blackburn said. “It’s negative about carbon, period, and it turns a lot of people in Texas and, I would say, the central United States, off.”Blackburn recently made his pitch at a coastal nature preserve near the city of Galveston, where the patchy islands of dark green marsh grass open up into a nearby bay, and the horizon is filled with vacation homes and oil refineries.Blackburn’s system, the Texas Coastal Exchange, allows businesses and people to offset their carbon emissions by paying landowners to keep marshes in their natural state.Why marshes? “They basically take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and put it into the root system and vegetation that you see in front of us out here in the marsh and, over time, that builds up in the soil,” Blackburn said. “That’s just what they do.”The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says there are more than 380,000 acres of saltwater marsh in Texas. According to Anna Armitage, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University at Galveston, studies have shown marshes are better at sucking up carbon on a per-area basis than forests.“People think about tropical forests as storing lots of carbon because they have huge trees, and that’s true, but they don’t have as much carbon below-ground, which is really where it’s stored for decades,” she said.Azure Bevington, a coastal ecologist working as a science consultant for the project, called the ability of coastal lands to suck carbon out of the air a “service.” “These types of wetlands don’t have an income stream. You conserve them because you want to conserve the services,” she said.Bevington says that a “marketplace” like Texas Coastal Exchange’s gives landowners a financial incentive to keep marshland natural. The plan is premised on the idea that people are willing to pay for their impact on the planet.A local sustainability-minded firm, Kirksey Architecture, was the first to buy into the exchange. “We’re in the business of developing and designing buildings. That, in and of itself, is going to create a certain, you know, carbon offput,” said Wes Good, the company’s president.Kirksey is paying a local conservation group, the Galveston Bay Foundation, about $14,000 for a year to preserve roughly 200 acres of marsh the foundation already owns. The entities estimate that offsets about a year’s worth of Kirksey’s carbon footprint. Texas Coastal Exchange gets a cut of the money, about 15 percent, for facilitating the deal.The exchange’s first carbon offset deal is informal — there’s no contract involved and the groups are working together to promote the idea. One of the architecture firm’s executives even sits on the exchange board. There is a risk that programs like these can allow a person or company to feel better about their carbon emissions, without actually trying to lower them. “You know, say a refinery just pays for an offset rather than reducing its own pollution,” said Luke Metzger, head of the advocacy group Environment Texas. “We need the markets, but we also need to make sure those major local emitters also are doing as much as they can to reduce pollution on-site.”Metzger said the exchange won’t be able to replace the many other climate solutions that scientists say are needed to reach net zero emissions by about 2050, a target that, if achieved, could avoid the worst impacts of climate change. X center_img Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /03:26last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The state Irrigation and Waterways department has chalked out an elaborate scheme to repair Durgapur Barrage for the first time since its construction almost six decades ago.The foundation stone of the barrage on river Damodar in Bankura was laid by the then Chief Minister Dr BC Roy. The construction began in 1955 and it ended in 1960. As the barrage was not repaired since ages its condition deteriorated from bad to worse. The state Irrigation and Waterways department has chalked out an elaborate scheme to immediately repair it. Once the repair work is completed the barrage will prevent inundation on vast areas. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBridge and Roof has been assigned to do the job at an estimated cost of Rs 98 crore. The scheme has been named “Rehabilitation and Strengthening of the Damaged Divide Wall and Downstream Floor of Durgapur Barrage”. There are 34 gates at the barrage that are operational. Due to lack of maintenance massive perforations have developed on the gates which cause huge leakage of water. In the upstream, divers have been deployed to carry out the necessary repair and plug the perforations. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateNecessary steps will be taken to revive the health of the dividing wall. Due to monsoon work cannot be carried out from June-July to October-November. In the downstream massive erosion has taken place on the bed of river Damodar. Necessary steps will be taken to check the erosion process. This apart, the state Irrigation and Waterways department has come up with an important scheme to repair the bridges on the canals of river Damodar. Under the scheme 31 bridges in Bankura, Birbhum and Bishnupur will be repaired by Bridge and Roof. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 50 crore. Most of the bridges need immediate repair. Work is being carried out in this regard and it is likely to be completed by monsoon.last_img read more

first_imgIn this article, we will see how convolutional layers work and how to use them. We will also see how you can build your own convolutional neural network in Keras to build better, more powerful deep neural networks and solve computer vision problems. We will also see how we can improve this network using data augmentation. For a better understanding of the concepts, we will be taking a well-known dataset CIFAR-10. This dataset was created by Alex Krizhevsky, Vinod Nair, and Geoffrey Hinton. The following article has been taken from the book Deep Learning Quick Reference, written by Mike Bernico. Adding inputs to the network The CIFAR-10 dataset is made up of 60,000 32 x 32 color images that belong to 10 classes, with 6,000 images per class. We’ll be using 50,000 images as a training set, 5,000 images as a validation set, and 5,000 images as a test set. The input tensor layer for the convolutional neural network will be (N, 32, 32, 3), which we will pass to the build_network function. The following code is used to build the network: def build_network(num_gpu=1, input_shape=None): inputs = Input(shape=input_shape, name=”input”) Getting the output The output of this model will be a class prediction, from 0-9. We will use a 10-node softmax.  We will use the following code to define the output: output = Dense(10, activation=”softmax”, name=”softmax”)(d2) Cost function and metrics Earlier, we used categorical cross-entropy as the loss function for a multi-class classifier.  This is just another multiclass classifier and we can continue using categorical cross-entropy as our loss function, and accuracy as a metric. We’ve moved on to using images as input, but luckily our cost function and metrics remain unchanged. Working with convolutional layers We’re going to use two convolutional layers, with batch normalization, and max pooling. This is going to require us to make quite a few choices, which of course we could choose to search as hyperparameters later. It’s always better to get something working first though. As the popular computer scientist and mathematician Donald Knuth would say, premature optimization is the root of all evil. We will use the following code snippet to define the two convolutional blocks: # convolutional block 1conv1 = Conv2D(64, kernel_size=(3,3), activation=”relu”, name=”conv_1″)(inputs)batch1 = BatchNormalization(name=”batch_norm_1″)(conv1)pool1 = MaxPooling2D(pool_size=(2, 2), name=”pool_1″)(batch1) # convolutional block 2conv2 = Conv2D(32, kernel_size=(3,3), activation=”relu”, name=”conv_2″)(pool1)batch2 = BatchNormalization(name=”batch_norm_2″)(conv2)pool2 = MaxPooling2D(pool_size=(2, 2), name=”pool_2″)(batch2) So, clearly, we have two convolutional blocks here, that consist of a convolutional layer, a batch normalization layer, and a pooling layer. In the first block, I’m using 64 3 x 3 filters with relu activations. I’m using valid (no) padding and a stride of 1. Batch normalization doesn’t require any parameters and it isn’t really trainable. The pooling layer is using 2 x 2 pooling windows, valid padding, and a stride of 2 (the dimension of the window). The second block is very much the same; however, I’m halving the number of filters to 32. While there are many knobs we could turn in this architecture, the one I would tune first is the kernel size of the convolutions. Kernel size tends to be an important choice. In fact, some modern neural network architectures such as Google’s inception, allow us to use multiple filter sizes in the same convolutional layer. Getting the fully connected layers After two rounds of convolution and pooling, our tensors have gotten relatively small and deep. After pool_2, the output dimension is (n, 6, 6, 32). We have, in these convolutional layers, hopefully extracted relevant image features that this 6 x 6 x 32 tensor represents. To classify images, using these features, we will connect this tensor to a few fully connected layers, before we go to our final output layer. In this example, I’ll use a 512-neuron fully connected layer, a 256-neuron fully connected layer, and finally, the 10-neuron output layer. I’ll also be using dropout to help prevent overfitting, but only a very little bit! The code for this process is given as follows for your reference: from keras.layers import Flatten, Dense, Dropout# fully connected layersflatten = Flatten()(pool2)fc1 = Dense(512, activation=”relu”, name=”fc1″)(flatten)d1 = Dropout(rate=0.2, name=”dropout1″)(fc1)fc2 = Dense(256, activation=”relu”, name=”fc2″)(d1)d2 = Dropout(rate=0.2, name=”dropout2″)(fc2) I haven’t previously mentioned the flatten layer above. The flatten layer does exactly what its name suggests. It flattens the n x 6 x 6 x 32 tensor into an n x 1152 vector. This will serve as an input to the fully connected layers. Working with multi-GPU models in Keras Many cloud computing platforms can provision instances that include multiple GPUs. As our models grow in size and complexity you might want to be able to parallelize the workload across multiple GPUs. This can be a somewhat involved process in native TensorFlow, but in Keras, it’s just a function call. Build your model, as normal, as shown in the following code: model = Model(inputs=inputs, outputs=output) Then, we just pass that model to keras.utils.multi_gpu_model, with the help of the following code: model = multi_gpu_model(model, num_gpu) In this example, num_gpu is the number of GPUs we want to use. Training the model Putting the model together, and incorporating our new cool multi-GPU feature, we come up with the following architecture: def build_network(num_gpu=1, input_shape=None): inputs = Input(shape=input_shape, name=”input”) # convolutional block 1conv1 = Conv2D(64, kernel_size=(3,3), activation=”relu”, name=”conv_1″)(inputs)batch1 = BatchNormalization(name=”batch_norm_1″)(conv1)pool1 = MaxPooling2D(pool_size=(2, 2), name=”pool_1″)(batch1) # convolutional block 2conv2 = Conv2D(32, kernel_size=(3,3), activation=”relu”, name=”conv_2″)(pool1)batch2 = BatchNormalization(name=”batch_norm_2″)(conv2)pool2 = MaxPooling2D(pool_size=(2, 2), name=”pool_2″)(batch2) # fully connected layersflatten = Flatten()(pool2)fc1 = Dense(512, activation=”relu”, name=”fc1″)(flatten)d1 = Dropout(rate=0.2, name=”dropout1″)(fc1)fc2 = Dense(256, activation=”relu”, name=”fc2″)(d1)d2 = Dropout(rate=0.2, name=”dropout2″)(fc2)# output layeroutput = Dense(10, activation=”softmax”, name=”softmax”)(d2) # finalize and compilemodel = Model(inputs=inputs, outputs=output)if num_gpu > 1:model = multi_gpu_model(model, num_gpu)model.compile(optimizer=’adam’, loss=’categorical_crossentropy’, metrics=[“accuracy”])return model We can use this to build our model: model = build_network(num_gpu=1, input_shape=(IMG_HEIGHT, IMG_WIDTH, CHANNELS)) And then we can fit it, as you’d expect: model.fit(x=data[“train_X”], y=data[“train_y”], batch_size=32, epochs=200, validation_data=(data[“val_X”], data[“val_y”]), verbose=1, callbacks=callbacks) As we train this model, you will notice that overfitting is an immediate concern. Even with a relatively modest two convolutional layers, we’re already overfitting a bit. You can see the effects of overfitting from the following graphs: It’s no surprise, 50,000 observations is not a lot of data, especially for a computer vision problem. In practice, computer vision problems benefit from very large datasets. In fact, Chen Sun showed that additional data tends to help computer vision models linearly with the log of the data volume in https://arxiv.org/abs/1707.02968. Unfortunately, we can’t really go find more data in this case. But maybe we can make some. Let’s talk about data augmentation next. Using data augmentation Data augmentation is a technique where we apply transformations to an image and use both the original image and the transformed images to train on. Imagine we had a training set with a cat in it: If we were to apply a horizontal flip to this image, we’d get something that looks like this: This is exactly the same image, of course, but we can use both the original and transformation as training examples. This isn’t quite as good as two separate cats in our training set; however, it does allow us to teach the computer that a cat is a cat regardless of the direction it’s facing. In practice, we can do a lot more than just a horizontal flip. We can vertically flip, when it makes sense, shift, and randomly rotate images as well. This allows us to artificially amplify our dataset and make it seem bigger than it is. Of course, you can only push this so far, but it’s a very powerful tool in the fight against overfitting when little data exists. What is the Keras ImageDataGenerator? Not so long ago, the only way to do image augmentation was to code up the transforms and apply them randomly to the training set, saving the transformed images to disk as we went (uphill, both ways, in the snow). Luckily for us, Keras now provides an ImageDataGenerator class that can apply transformations on the fly as we train, without having to hand code the transformations. We can create a data generator object from ImageDataGenerator by instantiating it like this: def create_datagen(train_X): data_generator = ImageDataGenerator( rotation_range=20, width_shift_range=0.02, height_shift_range=0.02, horizontal_flip=True) data_generator.fit(train_X) return data_generator In this example, I’m using both shifts, rotation, and horizontal flips. I’m using only very small shifts. Through experimentation, I found that larger shifts were too much and my network wasn’t actually able to learn anything. Your experience will vary as your problem does, but I would expect larger images to be more tolerant of shifting. In this case, we’re using 32 pixel images, which are quite small. Training with a generator If you haven’t used a generator before, it works like an iterator. Every time you call the ImageDataGenerator .flow() method, it will produce a new training minibatch, with random transformations applied to the images it was fed. The Keras Model class comes with a .fit_generator() method that allows us to fit with a generator rather than a given dataset: model.fit_generator(data_generator.flow(data[“train_X”], data[“train_y”], batch_size=32), steps_per_epoch=len(data[“train_X”]) // 32, epochs=200, validation_data=(data[“val_X”], data[“val_y”]), verbose=1, callbacks=callbacks) Here, we’ve replaced the traditional x and y parameters with the generator. Most importantly, notice the steps_per_epoch parameter. You can sample with replacement any number of times from the training set, and you can apply random transformations each time. This means that we can use more mini batches each epoch than we have data. Here, I’m going to only sample as many batches as I have observations, but that isn’t required. We can and should push this number higher if we can. Before we wrap things up, let’s look at how beneficial image augmentation is in this case: As you can see, just a little bit of image augmentation really helped us out. Not only is our overall accuracy higher, but our network is overfitting much slower. If you have a computer vision problem with just a little bit of data, image augmentation is something you’ll want to do. We saw the benefits and ease of training a convolutional neural network from scratch using Keras and then improving that network using data augmentation. If you found the above article to be useful, make sure you check out the book Deep Learning Quick Reference for more information on modeling and training various different types of deep neural networks with ease and efficiency. Read Next Top 5 Deep Learning Architectures CapsNet: Are Capsule networks the antidote for CNNs kryptonite? What is a CNN?last_img read more

first_imgUp to 2,000 tourists have been left stranded at the Lukla Airport in Nepal for over a week after thick fog caused airlift visibility issues from the mountain late last month. The airlift which usually carries up to 500 people per day to and from the capital Kathmandu was forced to cease operations on 31 October, keeping up to 3,500 people waiting to be air lifted out for more than week, The Telegraph reported. Last night up to 400 tourists were airlifted out of the mountain located 9,000 feet above sea level with thousands more are still awaiting rescue.”Although we don´t have actual figure, there are still 3,500 people stranded at Lukla including more than 2,000 tourists,” Trekking Agents Association of Nepal  president Mahendra Singh Thapa said.According to the source, travellers have been forced to camp out in tents on the airstrip, sleep in dining rooms and monitor food intake to deal possible supply shortages.As well as arranging flights to pick-up passengers, the Nepalese Army has also been called in to fly its MI-16 helicopters to the rescue. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

first_imgTelefónica is to spin off its infrastructure arm under a new name – Telxius – under Alberto Horcajo as CEO.According to Telefónica, the creation of the new company will enable it to build an infrastructure unit with global scale that can expand the range of services it provides to other operators. It said it would also be able to improve the return on capital invested and allow Telxius to grow more easily, including through acquisitions.The infrastructure assets which will initially be brought together in Telxius will include approximately 15,000 Telefónica telecommunication towers in Spain and other countries, as well as the Telefónica Group´s international network of 31,000km of submarine fibre optic cable, including SAM-1, a submarine cable that connects the United States with Central and South America.The infrastructure assets which will initially be brought together in Telxius will include approximately 15,000 Telefónica telecommunication towers in Spain and other countries, as well as the Telefónica Group´s international network of 31,000km of submarine fibre optic cable, including SAM-1, a submarine cable that connects the US with Central and South America.Over the coming months, a number of newly created companies will be gradually integrated into Telxius, according to Telefónica.last_img read more

first_imgRon Netolitzky, Bob Quartermain, Duane Poliquin, Ron Parratt, Ross Beaty, Jim O’Rourke Moderated by Louis James, Casey Research The following is a video recording of the Casey Research Explorers’ League panel – moderated by Louis James – at the Cambridge House Investment Conference in Vancouver, January 2012. Listen to the valuable information and guidance passed along by some of the most successful mineral explorers in the world… or read the transcript below. [Ron Netolitzky, Bob Quartermain, Duane Poliquin, Ron Parratt, Ross Beaty, and Jim O’Rourke are some of the “serially successful mine finders” that over the years have literally made fortunes for Casey Research subscribers. And now there’s a new generation of emerging natural resource giants that we are watching closely: The Casey NexTen – young professionals who already have remarkable successes under their belt… and a great future ahead of them. Learn who the NexTen are and why it could pay off big to start following them today. ] TRANSCRIPT Hosted by Louis James, Chief Metals and Mining Investment Strategist, Cambridge House Vancouver Investment Conference L: Thank you very much again for coming down. Welcome. Explorers’ League panel. As you may or may not know… how many people are subscribers? So mostly subscribers…. So, for those few of you who don’t know, the Explorers’ League is Casey Research’s way of honoring what we call the serially successful explorers in our business: the people who have found not just one economic mine but several, multiple times and mines on a scale that really matter, a million ounces plus of gold equivalent or better. So these guys are mine finders – a company by that name just got bought, but these are the guys that actually do it or have done it several times over. We’ve got Ron Netolitzky, we’ve got Bob Quartermain, we’ve got Duane Poliquin, and if I’ve got my heads right here, we’ve got Ron Parratt, Ross Beaty, and Jim O’Rourke, who just built the Copper Mountain Mine. That’s your fifth mine, Jim? Jim O’Rourke: Pardon? L: Copper Mountain is your fifth mine? You’ve lost track, you’ve built so many… fifth or sixth. Is it sixth? All right, onto the seventh in Gold Mountain. So anyway, these are the guys who have done it. These guys are, in our view, the best in the business. We are always having our doors open when they have a story to tell us, when they have a new project coming, we’re all ears, because these are the guys who know how to get it done and have done so repeatedly. So, I guess, we’ll just go down the row a little bit and take it one tranche at a time. Ron, if you can tell us what are you working on now, what’s happening now that you’re most keen to discuss and bring to people’s attention, and we’ll go back the other direction and talk about what’s coming next. Ron Netolitzky: My main work has been an “instant success” called Golden Band where we finally started pouring some gold; and now I’m hoping I can get away from operations and engineering and do what I really want to do in the belt, which is explore it for the deposits I haven’t found or our guys haven’t found. So that’s the main thing. I’m watching northwest BC; I think it’s exciting. We worked a bit in the Yukon through a company called Aben last year, and we were one of the few guys who at least had a drill success, but the market never appreciates it. I don’t think anybody made any money on Yukon stocks last year unless you sold early. L: Wait: before you give up the mic, tell us a little bit more about Golden Band – the symbol’s GBN. It was an agglomeration story. You had all these satellite deposits. You’ve got an old mill for a dollar or something like that, and you put it all together. Ron: Yes, it was a story that basically I got involved in the La Ronge Gold Belt in the early ’60s for an oil company, so I kind of knew it was there. And then I got into the uranium business, and then 1977 came along, Three Mile Island came along, and the next week, my consulting business wasn’t looking so hot anymore, so I started staking claims in the La Ronge Gold Belt. They ended up in a lot of joint ventures, a lot of other companies, one that disappeared off the board called Golden Rule. It got salted in Ghana – well after I left. And we got back into the La Ronge Gold Belt about 1994 with an associated mine called Komis. Klaus Lehnert-Thiel is VP of exploration, and it’s his till techniques that allowed us to find a whole bunch of new deposits and new discoveries. And we’re continuing with that game, and right now we’re mining one that’s unusual, and there are some samples at my booth called the EP Zone and we’ve got about 7,000 ounces in the glacial till running around 12 grams, so we’re now just mining into the source of that, and it’s definitely supergene enriched with chalcocite and native copper, which you aren’t supposed to get in the Shield, and the grade of that is getting – probably going to approach an ounce, and then we’ll get into some primary ore, but that whole thing was supposed to be 9,000 ounces, and I think at the start of the pit we’ve already probably got 9,000 ounces on the stockpile, so it’s been a lot of fun. L: Very good. So if you’re moving on from the engineering, then I guess… you’ll let us know when is the next Ron Netolitzky play for us to get involved in? Ron: Well, I think the next play is the same company. I think I got some excellent expiration targets to maybe find the deposits that are going to give the belt some respect. I think there’s natural evidence of a lot of bulk mineable targets there that people haven’t worried about and definitely we have proven that – and history has proven there are lots of small, high-grade narrow-vein systems there. But I think there’s opportunity for bigger deposits – low grade – that could be exciting. I am playing in northern BC, but frankly, I’m after a property. Until I get it, I wouldn’t bring anybody else in because it’s somebody I consider a little haywire that controls it. L: All right. Bob, everybody here probably knows or has heard about the Pretium story. We gave you an award – a Best of Show award – so I don’t want to repeat ourselves too much, but we got a question this morning maybe you can take on. The stock is trading at its all-time high. I mean it’s a new stock, but still it’s trading at its 52-week high, all-time high, whatever you want to call it. Can you persuade us that this is a good time to buy, or should we wait for a correction or what happens next with Pretium? Is there enough value added in the very-near term that it makes sense to buy Pretium at $16 right now? Bob Quartermain: Right. As you know, I came out of retirement last year to take on the Pretium opportunity; and we did it on the thesis that there would be a high-grade gold opportunity sitting in the much larger bulk tonnage mineralization. When you think about it, today we’ve outlined North America’s second-largest gold resource, 38 million ounces of measured Indicated resources, another 28 million ounces of Inferred, and within that we have now got about 8 million tonnes of mature running between 19 and 20 grams for about 5 million ounces. That continues to be open in all directions. It’s open down dip, it’s open along strike, and certain open at depth, and so there is still an opportunity there to add to the ounces identified to date. There is a lot of catalyst coming out this year in this quarter. We are going to complete a preliminary economic study on the high grade. The one we did in June last year was based off last year’s resource, not this year’s resource. We expect to have that this quarter. We are currently de-watering underground, and we’ve got a permit in place to actually drive a development expiration added from the Old West zone across into the Valley of the Kings. We’ll have an updated PEA also on a bulk tonnage opportunity, because this is what we think is an “Osisko.” Besides the very high-grade material, which sits within 1- to 2-gram material around it. We did a flow-through [financing] we announced the other day, so we’ve got the money to go back and we will be drilling aggressively, not only expanding on the resource but also doing in-field drilling, so we can move it on and complete a feasibility study by the end of this year. So throughout the year, there are going to be a lot of data points coming up, particularly starting in this quarter, and so I guess I would say, “I still own all my stock, and I’m not a seller.” L: Just one more question. This was discovered in Silver Standard. When you were there at Silver Standard, did you know it was going to get this big? Did you have a feeling like, “Yeah, this is it,” or how much luck is involved here? Bob: Largely luck. When I retired from Silver Standard in 2010, there was only a small resource at Bruce Jack, and there were a couple of drill holes that had hit some higher-grade material, and it was over the summer of 2010 that they drilled and then had a few more hits, and one of the drill samples had run a couple of kilos of gold, and I had only ever seen that type of mineralization either at the Royal Ontario Museum or when I worked at Red Lake, and felt if there is an opportunity like that here, then I’d like to have the opportunity to explore it – because like Ron, after doing Silver Standard for 25 years, it’s good to be back sitting on the drill rigs. I was up there in the camp this summer, continued to do sections in the office, and so, no, it’s – when Don McCloud at New Hawk did it, this was a blind deposit. They never saw it. No surface expression. It was just us methodically drilling every 50 and 100 meters. We lucked into the high-grade gold, and now we really know where to focus our drilling. L: Very good. Duane, we’ve had a lot of questions about Almaden, and Ixtaca zone started out so sexy and exciting, but then it seems you’re still hitting drill results but not quite the ones we had earlier on. Tell us a little bit about Almaden in general and about Ixtaca. What happens next and – Duane Poliquin: What we’ve been doing for a number of years is, let me start – if you take Nevada, in western Nevada is the Comstock lode, which was discovered early, and then the tectonic plate that’s shoving under North America, on the leading edge of that, you get copper-gold porphyries like Bingham Canyon, and you get all the Carlin-type stuff. And so we kind of applied that idea to Mexico, and over a period of years we took a helicopter – my son all the time and me with him as much as possible – and we sampled every intrusive center in eastern Mexico and every volcanic center from the American border clear down to Guatemala, and we have information the Mexican government doesn’t have. We age-dated all of those. We did whole-rock analysis, and we got a geological understanding of the eastern half of Mexico. We started staking claims, and part of it was there is no competition there. There’s not even any claims, so we acquired things like Caballo Blanco that had never had a claim on it before. It’s not on any government map, and we found a gold deposit, which we’ve sold to a gold group, and we found a nice copper/gold porphyry that we’re just doing a Titan-24 survey on right now, but it’s shaping up very nicely. Then inland from that a little ways, we found this Ixtaca zone, which also came out of that study, and again never had a claim on it before. It is a brand-new discovery. The only reason it’s still there is it’s covered with a thin veneer of volcanic ash from some volcanoes about 90 miles west of there, so there’s a little outcrop the size of this table in a creek with some little, tiny veins that have epithermal texture in them, so I’m quite proud of that discovery. We’re drilling it right now, and I wouldn’t agree with you that the results aren’t as good. We think they’re damn good results and they keep coming, and every hole we step out it’s there, and so we’re just going to keep – we’ve got four drills there working right now. L: I didn’t say they weren’t good, but we had some, let’s just say, more exciting results earlier on. Duane: Well, stay tuned. We’ve got four drills there right now, and it’s going to keep coming. And there are going to be more, because we’ve staked a whole bunch of things in this belt. We’ve got two other copper/gold porphyries staked that we haven’t had time to get to. We’ve got a bunch of other epithermal things with silver numbers, gold numbers on the surface. We just haven’t had time to get to it yet. We’ll drill this one off, and then we’ll go down the belt. L: Before you pass the mic on, let me ask about Gold Mountain, because some of our readers – because of the potential conflict of interest internally we haven’t recommended it, we haven’t said anything about Gold Mountain, though obviously we always love the Elk deposit. Both of you here – Duane: Well, we’re both here. Jim is – L: Who’s running the show? Who’s going to make Gold Mountain happen? He’s busy perfecting a mine… Duane: Jim has just hired somebody to run the show, I think. He’ll tell you. Do you want to tell him about that, Jim? Okay. Well, they did some drilling last summer, which I was quite delighted with, because we had never chased it into the volcanics, and they chased the zone into the volcanics and got some really nice numbers across underground mining widths and chased it about 400 meters into the volcanics. Everything else was in these vein swarms in the intrusive. So it’s developing nicely, and Jim’s the mining guy, which we’re very delighted to be in with. L: Jim’s going to build out, but you’re still going to have – you have an equity position? Duane: We have a large equity. L: Do you have a lot of input on the exploration? Duane: Yes, indeed. L: That’s what I want to hear because you guys are my favorites. Duane: We’re still there. Morgan is still there. Morgan is on the board of directors. L: Okay, Ron, so you already did a talk about Nevada. People probably don’t need you to do the whole story over again, but bring us up to date on what’s going on with Renaissance and what happens next. Ron Parratt: Sure. Well, as many of you probably know, we’re now about a year out on the spinout of Renaissance from AuEx. We had some good success there up in northeastern Nevada, a brand-new discovery, actually a new district of Carlin-type gold mineralization ended up in a 51-49 joint venture with Fronteer. They bought us, and three months later Newmont bought them for a couple billion dollars. It was quite a nice deal. Within three days of closing the deal with Fronteer, we did the spinout of Renaissance, the same team of people, almost all of the properties we had. Fronteer was only allowed to take the Pequop District properties, and we’ve been doing the same thing. We think the business model works very well. We are focused on continuing at that. We’re going to be very disciplined in our business approach, as we had been before – use other people’s money, leverage the risk out, minimize dilution, and get to discovery. We’ve got 30 projects we are working on now; 10 of those are in joint ventures. We drilled seven last year – Newmont, Sumitomo, Agnico, Eldorado, and some juniors, so a good program. You’ve got to be out drilling holes, taking swings with the bat to have success, so that’s a great focus for us, and we will do more this year, and hopefully we will get to meaningful discovery as soon as we can. L: How many projects are you going to drill this year? Ron: Well, as I said, we did seven this year. I know now that we’ll be drilling three in the first quarter of this year, two in Argentina, and we’ll be starting probably a six-month drilling program at our silver property in western Nevada with Liberty Silver. We know that the Wood Hills results are good enough. None of this is out yet, but they’re good enough that our partners are going to be back with a bigger program there. Sumitomo is already committed to a bigger program at Spruce Mountain. We’re running that program… Early yet in the year for everybody else, but I’m sure we’re going to do a fair bit more this year than we did last year. L: All right. This might be also a question for Ross, but Argentina – as you know we got pretty cold feet about mineral investing in that country. I noticed that the Rio Negro province just re-legalized gold mining – that was a good thing. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your sense of the political risk in Argentina? You’re quite welcome to disagree with the Casey consensus there, but tell us what you think. Ron: Well, we went to the Santa Cruz province first of all because of the endowment. We think it’s a great place to explore and that you can find gold there. It’s not a stretch. You look at the epithermal systems. That area is very early in its exploration history. We see a lot of upside. Obviously there is some political risk. The assessment of the recent change by Cristina looks as though it’s not going to be as great as everybody thought to begin with. Given that it’s Argentina, I think people are going to figure out how to make it even less as time goes on. We don’t see any diminishment of interest by potential partners for our properties down there. I attended an event in Toronto a couple of months ago on Santa Cruz proper through Macquarie. Great turnout, great interest. We’re still very bullish on the area, and we are going to continue working down there. L: All right. Well, Ross, we could probably do a panel just with you. We’ve got Magma, we’ve got Pan American, we’ve got all these different things going on, so I guess start out with your babies, your sweethearts. What are the sweet spots right now? If you’re speaking to an investor who wants to get in on a Ross Beaty play, what two or three things would you tell him to focus on right now? Ross Beaty: I would tell him to buy a portfolio of companies held by these guys, and they’re going to be rich beyond avarice. If you’d done that three years ago, you’d have made a better investment than any other investment portfolio in this entire building. L: That’s actually true. If you did the numbers… Ross: Yes. This is a very smart thing for you to do with a lot of these guys’ companies. Bob has had the best-performing gold stock in the world in 2011 – I had the best-performing copper stock in the world in 2011. These are exploration discoveries, and that’s what we do well. So, you know, it’s a nice – and of course Ron had a fantastic home run in Nevada just a couple of years ago, a mature exploration district, and what did those guys do? They found an entire new gold district in the most heavily explored region in the entire world, right under the nose of all the majors, and Newmont had to come along and pay $2.5 billion to buy it from him. That’s wealth creation by any measure, and it’s wealth creation because he’s a really, really good geologist, and Mark O’Dea is a really, really good geologist, and that’s what makes the discoveries. So, buy the geological talent and listen to guys like Casey who follow these companies and find these guys. The NexTen is another group of smart guys out there, finding the opportunities under the nose of the majors and making their shareholders a ton of money. So, that’s what I would do. L: Okay, well, give us a stock pick here. Lumina is up… Ross: So my little portfolio is a bit of a – it’s a mixed bag. On one hand, you have a large, mature company like Pan American Silver that is a play on silver and that’s going to go up or down depending on what happens to the metal commodity, really, because it is a big company – it trades $100 million of stock a day. This morning we just bought Minefinders for $1.5 billion, and I never thought in my remotest dream I’d ever be buying another company for $1.5 billion. It seems ridiculous, but you know what? It’s going to make a much better, stronger company. It’s a stable blue chip, second-largest silver producer in the world, primary producer in the world. It just doesn’t have the wild swings that you’re going to see with explorers. So that’s at one end. On the other end, I guess, the two companies that I have that are exploration companies – one is called Anfield Nickel, and it’s a nickel exploration stock in Guatemala, but even that is fairly mature because we’re trying to sell it now. I mean, right now, we’re trying to sell the company this year and the largest value added is behind us, so I wouldn’t really recommend that particularly as an exploration stock to follow. You could have asked me the same question that you asked Bob on Pretium with respect to Lumina Copper, which is a copper exploration project in Argentina which I thought had almost no value two years ago and now it’s – I think maybe we can sell it this year for more than $1 billion. It is currently capitalized at about $580 million, so is it too late to buy it? They had an incredible run last year. The stock chart looks like a hockey stick. It actually looks like the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere over the last thousand years. Kind of… that’s what the stock looks like. So it’s done very well, but it’s trading at $13 and change today, and we think we’ll be able to get more than $20 a share this year and that means it’s pretty decent, relatively low-risk return for most shareholders. It’s got very little downside, and it could maybe not double but come close to doubling. That’s this year. So it’s a decent return there, and that’s a discovery story. That’s pure and simple where luck, I think, has played a huge, huge part. We had a property in Argentina that we didn’t think had much value. We called it the “ugly duckling” of a group of a whole bunch of copper deposits that we sold off over the last few years. Then we just all of a sudden started drilling holes in the right place, and we hit some fabulous copper results, high-grade, clean, huge. I mean everything that the major companies want to buy, and as the year went on, it just got bigger and better, and we’re still drilling fabulous holes. We got seven drills going on the property. It’s going to be – well, it was the biggest discovery of the year in the world last year for copper. There is lots of room for it to continue to grow, but ultimately the game plan is to sell it to a major, and we hope that will happen this year. And then, in the sort of middle, my main focus this year isn’t an exploration stock at all. It’s not even a mining or mineral commodities stock, it’s a clean-energy stock called Alterra Power, the merger between Magma Energy that I started a few years ago and Plutonic Power. Alterra Power for me is kind of like a legacy company. I’m really trying to build it into a huge clean-energy company because I think it’s good for the world, it’s good for my kids, and if I can do good things and make a buck at it and make a good investment case for a company that has appreciating value over time, I’m going to make my shareholders happy as well. So that’s my main focus today. We are over the hump. We are a sustainable business now. We’ve got about $55 million per year of cash generation forever. Forever. This is not a depleting business. Once you build these clean-energy plants from wind or hydro or geothermal power, they go forever, which is an absolutely beautiful thing in contrast to mining, which is a depleting industry. So that’s what I’m doing today. Louis: Sorry. You’re the broken slot machine. Where’s the early pick? Where’s the early-stage, you know, Anfield before it went up, Ventana before it went up, Lumina before it went up – is there one out there? Is there an early-stage Ross play? Ross: Well, yes, but it’s not really ready – it’s not there being packaged for public company or for third-party investors. L: We won’t tell, right, guys? We won’t tell. Ross: Yes. So just watch this space. There you go. L: Watch this space. Then duly program your Google News things to track the name “Ross Beaty.” Okay, Jimmy, you built Copper Mountain. What next? Jim: Well, I think a lot of you had an opportunity to go up there and see it on Saturday; and as you can see, we’re a fairly new company. We went public in 2007, and I think, as Ross says, there was a lot of value added through the exploration. Currently our market cap’s around $600 million, and we’re just getting started as a producer. The mine now is fully operational. Our intent is to optimize it in the next few months, maximize our production, and demonstrate performance. With regard to the exploration aspects, which we seem to be talking about – and I’m not an explorationist – but the property does have some excellent targets. We’ve got a very large property, about 18,000 acres, and we have about 5 billion pounds of resource right now and we believe as we drill some of our Titan-24 anomalies, this is going to increase. I guess lastly we see ourselves as having a very strong base for a growth company as a copper company and precious metals – about 20% of our value in sales right now is precious metals. So it’s our intent to continue to grow the company through exploration, through doing joint ventures with guys who really are successful in finding properties at an early stage, and then also looking at mergers and acquisitions that would help our shareholder value. L: What about the Voigt zone? I remember when we were up there before you built the plant and I was talking, all this copper is great, but I’m worried about copper… what about precious metals, and there were these drill holes in this area called the Voigt zone, just a couple, that suggested you might have a more gold-rich center there. Have we tested that? What’s up with that? Jim: I know, Louis has been pushing me in this direction forever, and this year we did put some drill holes in there. It was thought to be a fairly narrow zone, but there is a very large Titan-24 anomaly there, but they have drilled some of the areas and they did get good gold results. And as I’ve said, I’m not a geologist, so I can’t give you the details right now but we did publish them. L: Follow-up this year? Jim: Pardon? L: Will there be follow-up this year? Jim: Yes. It will be followed up. Definitely. L: Yes. It would be very nice to see a much brighter gold lining to the story there. I mean good insurance. Okay, I can think of lots of questions I can ask these guys all day. I know their projects pretty well, but it’s a rare chance when you get to pick the brains of the best in the business, and here they are, so while you’re here, do you have any questions? Does anybody want to – yes, sir? Ross: So the question was – Pan American Silver has a huge deposit in Argentina called Navidad. It’s the largest undeveloped silver deposit in the world, so it’s really, really big – and the question is what’s going on, and is it going to be developable because it’s in a province of Argentina that banned open-pit mining and the use of cyanide about eight years ago. They kind of swept the baby out with the bathwater because there was a gold deposit in the mountains in a really beautiful area. They didn’t want to mine that, so they said the whole province is off the territory for mining. So this deposit was then discovered. It’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s in a very nice, empty part of this Patagonian plain of Argentina, and it’s a huge deposit. There’s more than a billion ounces of silver, clean. It’s right on surface. It’s a beautiful, beautiful ore body, and it’ll double Pan American Silver’s production from 24 million ounces to 48 million ounces in, say, three years. The province, as Louis just said, the province just north of this particular province of Chubut is called Rio Negro. They also had a ban on the use of cyanide and mining, and they just overturned that in December – at the end of December – so what we expect will happen is in March this year, the government of Chubut has written a new law that’s going to zone the province into places that you can mine and places you can’t mine. The mountains will be no mining, right along the ocean will be no mining, and the center would be pro-mining. We’ve seen the law. The governor assures us it will be passed. There are some processes to go through, but we think it will happen in March, and that will open the way for development of Navidad. That will be a real game-changer for us. L: We’ve seen laws like this before. The Santa Cruz province where Ron’s operating, they also did something like this where they set out an area that was specifically “miners welcome here,” and it happens to be where Ron is operating on the Deseado Massif. So there is precedent there. Okay, more questions. The question was, we’ve heard about going south into Latin America and the idea of the lower-hanging fruit having been picked and having to go farther afield to look for big, world-class deposits; are you guys doing that? Are any of you looking to go into what might have previously been regarded as too risky or not worth the trouble? Where are the new frontiers, and is anybody taking them on? Ron? Ron Netolitzky: I think I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m liking working where the jurisdictions are as safe as I can get at my age. I mean you have enough exploration risk in this world to take on excessive political risk. Now, if there’s a wonderful deposit that’s already been identified, then you can look at it and say you play it from the political risk because you’ve got no exploration risks, but taking both on – not for me. Bob: Well, we’re in British Columbia and although some people think there’s risk around that, we think it’d be mitigated. Projects have been developed here, with what Jim’s just done, so projects get permitted in development here, and I’m a bit like Ron nowadays… keeping my focus a little closer to home. Duane: Well, as I described earlier, we went into Eastern Mexico where we had no competition. Many of the things we’ve staked never had a claim on it before, and we’re getting incredible assays, and two things are already obvious – one going to be a mine and one that we think will be a mine and we’re just getting started in that area, but the other frontier is depth. You look at the Hudson Bay Mining in Flin Flon, Manitoba. They were mining there for 80 years, and they just found as big a zone, not just found, but a few years ago, found as big a zone as they had mined for 80 years underneath, straight below. I mean they’re mining stuff that’s 4% copper and 7% zinc and a quarter-ounce gold, and it’s underneath, so there’s going to be a lot of exploration to depth. There are these new techniques where you can see deeper with geophysics, and in old areas where there are lots of mines, people are going to go down to depth. Look at Pebble, the discovery at depth, and look at Oyu Tolgoi. There’s going to be more exploration to depth in old, established areas. Ron Parratt: Our company – in addition to Argentina and of course Nevada, we’re working in Spain. So far, we’ve found the political environment to be reasonable. Things don’t happen quite as quickly as we want, but we do have worries about obviously the Spanish economy, problems in Portugal, all over Europe right now. And it seems to me that people are just afraid to make decisions because all the government employees don’t want to lose their jobs, and if they make a decision and approve a project or grant a license, they worry that the next group coming in will hold them at fault for that, and they’ll lose their jobs and they don’t want to lose their government jobs. You have to be pretty careful. If it’s in Argentina, some provinces, as you’ve just heard, are good to be in; some are not so good to be in. I work a lot in the US; I would not work in California. There are other states I’m not going to go to. You have to pick your battles pretty carefully. I agree with Ron. Exploration is really risky, and if you risk losing the asset you might find on top of the discovery risk, you really need to ask yourself if that’s the right thing to do, so we’re going to stick with the countries we are in now. We’ll stay in the Americas. I think Mexico would be okay, but as a small junior company we can’t be working in too many countries. I think we’ll lose focus, and I think that’ll be a bad thing. Ross: I look at this question really from the standpoint of standing in your shoes as an investor, and I guess my bottom line to this is, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your risks. Don’t buy one company, buy a handful of companies. Don’t invest in exploration in one country, invest in a pile of countries, because you just never know. There are so many risks in this game – not just geologic risk or mining risk but political risk, social risk, environmental risk, stupid risk that just makes no sense to anybody – but it happens and it just happens all the time. Australia – once thought to be the safest, best, lowest-tax jurisdiction – a few years ago brought in an absolutely idiotic, insane super province tax that destroyed Australia as a good place to do business. Luckily, the industry had such a big lobby power that they were able to stop the government from doing that, but BC, just a short eight or nine years ago, we had a bunch of socialists running this place, and they made a mess of it. They made an absolute mess of it. It was a horrible place to explore because they didn’t give you any value. So things can change really quickly, and you just – you can be awfully clever about assessing a risk regime in terms of political and social environmental risk, but crazy things happen. And so for me, I’m invested in 18 countries right now; and I happen to know every single year there’s going to be one that is just absolutely wonderful beyond my expectations, and there’s going to be one that’s just a nightmare – again, beyond my expectations. The other principle I have, though, is “Life is too short.” And that means don’t go to places that are just pathologically criminal like Russia and most of the CIS. Both Bob Quartermain and I have joint experience in that. There are some parts of the world that are just super-tough that are, you know, no matter what the opportunity, it’s just not worth the effort, and I put sort of Venezuela today in that category, quite frankly Bolivia, maybe Ecuador, places like that, certain countries in Africa, anywhere in the CIS. Life’s too short. It doesn’t matter what the reward. If you have to deal with criminals and people are trying to steal from you every single second, it’s just not worth it. Jim: Well, I think I have to agree with Ron and Ross in that, number one, of course, you’ve got a lot of risk, and I guess you have to weigh the political risk. If you had a fantastic deposit, you’d probably take a little more political risk, but I think as Ross said, I’m of an age too where I’m not going to venture out too far, and I don’t have a bulletproof jacket, so I’m not going to take a lot of risk in terms of going to places where you don’t know whether you really own anything or whether you can hold it or if somebody is going to take it, so I’m along that line too. L: This is very, very interesting. Jimmy, I put you a little bit on the spot there because of where you’re focused, but I wanted to see if I could get unanimity, and basically we got unanimity. These are the most successful, best brains in the business and this conventional – it’s become almost conventional wisdom that the low-hanging fruit has been picked. We’ve got to go farther afield, and we have unanimity here saying, “You know what? Life’s too short. Go where you know you can work,” so that’s something – it would be interesting to ask the same question at the NexTen panel and see if slightly darker average color of hair would give the same unanimous response. But no, that’s very interesting. Words from the wise. Okay, I think we have time for maybe one more question. Copper. Maybe a real quick two sentences, thumbs up/thumbs down on copper. You know, we have the bearish argument near-term about economic trouble. Doug Casey is talking about the Greater Depression and all these things, obviously bearish for industrial metals. We’ve got two copper producers sitting here. Obviously you want to be optimistic about copper – the world needs it. Chindia, all these things. Ron Netolitzky, just a quick take. Are you – long-term we’re all bulls on copper because we know the world needs it, but near-term, this year – are you buying copper plays and would you? Ron Netolitzky: I would look at any mineral. I think they all have their opportunities, and in this business I’m not short-term cycled. I mean, when everything comes out of favor, it’s actually a great time to start playing in it, and you’ve got to be really contra-cyclic. We all pretend to be, but it’s a hard decision to make because when everybody hates it is when you should love it. Bob: Right, and I go to a comment that Ross made earlier about buying people around the table. I’m a Lumina shareholder, and I’m a very happy Lumina shareholder and I’m adding it to my position because of the exploration upside that’s there. Same as my own company. I’ve owned Ron’s companies, I’ve owned Duane’s companies as well as Ross’s, and so long-term I continue to be very bullish on copper and continue to own it in my portfolio, both major companies as well as members sitting around this table. Same with uranium. I’m with Ron on this. I think now is the time to be out there buying and I don’t think you need to be concerned about what happens this year. If you’re doing that, then you really have to look at exploration as a very long-term gain. With Ross I started investing in silver back in 1993-94. That has served me very well, and I’ll continue to invest in the people around this table and the commodities that they’re looking for, and I think that’s a strategy that I’d follow. Duane: In the short term, you know, everybody – just open the paper or watch the television. Every government in the world is in debt, and they can’t pay them, and there’s all this mess, but you know what – the world isn’t going to end. I mean even the ’30s, which was so terrible, it came to an end and life went on, and a lot of good life went on, so in the short term, I think precious metals are a good place to be because they’ve got to settle their debts, and they’ve got to do something, and they’ve got to make people believe in money again, and so on. So I think precious metals in the short term are a very good place to be, but there used to be an old expression, “Copper is king,” and copper is the main metal of civilization, and it will go on and on and on, and as all these things get sorted out and human ingenuity and despite governments, things will be good, so long term I think copper is a great thing. Ron Parratt: I certainly agree with Duane. I think a lot of the exploration plays we’re looking at now are of course copper for the future. These aren’t going to come out of the ground this year. We’re looking at two, three, four years away, depending on the municipality that they’re located in, so I think, really, you need to be thinking about the longer-term price environment and of course it’s very deposit-specific. Each commodity has a range of production costs by commodity. You always want to try to look at those in the lower-cost curve position that are going to be sustainable long-term. They’re the ones that are going to do well, and especially if prices go down and you’re a lower-quartile producer, you’re going to have a good company. L: Ross, I’m a little bit nervous about giving you a chance. Ross: Okay, so here’s my pitch. So how many of you were at the Casey conference – where was it? – it was in Phoenix last November, October? L: Yes, October. Ross: So there’s a Casey conference in October. Were any of you there? A handful. So here was a room – now October, I admit, was kind of a bleak time. There were a lot of European governments looking pretty iffy, and there was a lot of doom and gloom in the US still, of course there always is when you get a group of Casey investors together. I mean the whole bloody conference is all about, “What are we going to buy when everything melts down? We’re going to buy guns and drugs so we can sell them.” It was like one of these, you know – I mean, take a happy pill. That’s kind of what I felt, and I was the only voice of optimism. L: This is true; true story. Ross: The only voice, and here we are in January, things are looking better. Copper price is up, gold price is up, silver price is up – you know what, Europe is going to live, it’s not going to die, and we are not going into a vortex of hell, financial hell – we just aren’t – and I think Duane’s comment is valid. Every day there are more people who are born, we all want junk, there are more people getting into a monetary system coming from farms into cities, more people with more money means more people want junk, junk means commodities, commodities are what we produce and discover. So there are two sides to this copper coin. There is the demand side. Demand is strong for copper. It is being driven by all these new people in the world, the new monetary or the new people who have money in the world in India, in Indonesia, in China and Brazil and Russia and all kinds of huge population areas – forget about Europe. Who cares about Europe? In copper on the demand side, Europe is a non-event. It doesn’t matter – even the US. The US today, nothing in the US drives copper demand. Copper demand is driven by what’s happening in the emerging countries, and it’s going crazy there. Copper demand in China went up 8% last year. The world built more automobiles last year than they’ve even built in history – I forget the number, but it was a record number of cars, and cars today use more copper than they have ever used before because there is more want, more need for, motors in the cars, there are more hybrid cars. They just use more copper, so the demand side of copper is fantastic. It’s not going to melt down, it’s good, it’s strong. But what a lot of these pundits who even know the demand side don’t understand is, on the copper supply side, it’s equally bullish. We aren’t finding as much copper as we’re mining. We aren’t finding it because the big deposits have been discovered. The new deposits are harder to find. They’re not as big. They’re not as rich. You can’t see it from a satellite by and large like you used to. These are big, big deposits, and we are just not replacing consumption as much, and long term that’s just as bullish for higher copper prices as increased demand. Now, of course it’s not going to go up forever. At some point, there’s going to be a price that people are going to stop consuming it or finding replacements, and they are going to start mining some of these really, really low-grade deposits of which there are a number in the world. But just to mine those takes five to ten years of permitting and financing and construction. Construction costs have gone off the chart, so mines are harder to build today, they’re harder to permit, they’re much harder to discover. If you look at a chart – there’s a very cool chart that a group called the Mineral Economics Group has put out, which charts exploration expenditures for copper against discovery rates. It’s an inverse curve. The more we’re spending on copper exploration in the last 10 years, the less we’re actually finding. The existing mines are becoming lower grade. They are becoming deeper. They’re becoming more high-cost. The only way that supply equation can be matched with the increased demand is with higher prices, so I am bullish on copper for both of those reasons. Jim: I don’t think I can add anything to that, but I do agree, I mean, long-term we have the demand. We have a shortage of supply. It’s going to be difficult to meet the difference, but also the cost of production. I mean, as the costs of production go up, the price has to be there, or else we’re not going to have copper, so I have to be bullish on copper, and I feel very fortunate that we’re in production at this time to enjoy the future. L: Okay, with that, I think we better take a break. In 10 minutes, Jeff Clark will be back here to tell us about buying and owning gold and silver. Thank you very much. Gentleman, thank you very much – a great panel.last_img read more

first_imgFebruary’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead and 17 more wounded, horrified people across the country, spurring student walkouts and marches in support of stricter gun control laws, including universal, comprehensive background checks and a ban on assault weapons. But gun debates in the United States have proven to be contentious and intractable. Even as thousands rally for new legislation, opponents contend that such measures won’t prevent determined criminals from obtaining a firearm and that responsible gun ownership makes communities safer.In charting a course forward, it is necessary to move beyond “people’s anecdotal opinions,” says David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. He and other researchers are analyzing data and conducting studies with the ultimate goal of informing public policy. It’s a tough task, in part because of a by now well-known piece of legislation called the Dickey Amendment, passed by Congress in 1996 with the support of the National Rifle Association. This amendment prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using funds “to advocate or promote gun control.” It didn’t ban federally-funded gun research, but the legislation had a chilling effect: from 1996 to 2013, CDC funding in this area dropped by 96 percent.Against this backdrop, it can be easy to overlook an important fact: Research into gun violence has actually increased in recent years, rising from fewer than 90 annual publications in 2010 to 150 in 2014. Universities, think tanks, private philanthropy –even the state of California — have offered support. And in late April, governors from six northeastern states and Puerto Rico announced plans to launch a research consortium to study the issue. A December 2017 policy article published in the journal Science describes a “surge” of recent scientific publications.”The scope and quality of gun-related research is growing, with clear implications for the policy debate,” write the authors, a pair of researchers from Duke and Stanford. This research has generated significant findings about suicide, intimate partner violence, community health, and the effect of various state-level gun laws.A leading cause of deathMore than 36,000 people are killed by gunshot in the U.S. every year, making it a leading cause of death in the country, comparable to motor vehicle incidents. Among those deaths, nearly two-thirds are suicides. “A gun in the home increases the risk of someone in that home dying from suicide maybe threefold, and the evidence is overwhelming,” Hemenway says.A conventional view holds that if people really want to kill themselves, they will find a way to do it — with or without a gun. Yet the data suggest that households with guns do not differ from those without guns when it comes to mental health risk for suicide. Instead, the difference seems to stem from the fact that suicide attempts with a gun are usually fatal, unlike attempts with pills, for example. Putting time and distance between a suicidal person and a gun can save that person’s life.This line of thinking is supported by a study published in the Journal of Surgical Research, which found that states with weaker gun laws have more gun-related suicide attempts, which tend to be associated with higher mortality. Dr. Rodrigo Alban, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and his colleagues analyzed data on nearly 35,000 subjects spanning 14 years. Almost two-thirds of the firearm suicide attempts occurred in states with the lowest scores for policies regulating guns from the nonprofit Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — mostly states in the South and West. These states had little to no gun legislation, such as background checks, concealed weapons laws, and safe storage laws.Of course, correlation doesn’t imply causation, and Alban and his co-authors identify a need for research that pinpoints which particular laws have the greatest effect on reducing suicide attempts. But in the meantime, in light of these findings, they conclude that, “Efforts aimed at nationwide standardization of firearm state laws are warranted.”The riskiest gun ownersAnother route to reducing gun violence, academics suggest, is to identify risk factors that increase a person’s chances of harming themselves or others. Such individuals could then be considered for gun violence restraining orders. This was the logic behind the 1968 Gun Control Act, which specified narrow categories of people disqualified from buying or owning guns, including convicted felons and people committed to mental institutions. The 1994 Violence Against Women Act and the subsequent Lautenberg Amendment were written to bolster protections for victims of domestic violence.But these laws only apply to people who are currently or formerly married, live or have lived together, or have shared children. Susan Sorenson, a professor of social policy and public health at the University of Pennsylvania, finds in recent research that they fail to protect a growing portion of the population who are in dating relationships, who can be just as violent.A separate study led by Carolina Díez of Boston University assessed state laws and confirms Sorenson’s conclusions. Domestic violence homicide rates drop by 10 percent in states prohibiting intimate partners with restraining orders from owning guns and requiring them to relinquish them.Some states have gone a step further and passed so-called “risk-warrant” laws. In 1999, Connecticut became the first to pass such legislation allowing police to obtain a warrant to temporarily remove guns from someone who poses an imminent hazard to themselves or others. Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency room physician at the University of California, Davis Medical Center and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program, advocates for gun violence restraining orders based, in part, on a 2016 evaluation of Connecticut’s law.Wintemute points to individual cases where such laws would have made a difference: “The Parkland shooter was making all kinds of public pronouncements,” he says. “A gun violence restraining order would’ve allowed his family or law enforcement to go to a judge and get an order that would’ve gotten that gun taken away from him and prevented the shooting.”The remaining research gapFollowing the barrage of nearly daily shootings, some researchers have begun to call for a community-wide approach, rather than only focusing on high-risk individuals. Charles Branas, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, says that poverty can contribute to gun violence within communities.In their latest research, Branas and his colleagues examined hundreds of vacant land plots and abandoned buildings in U.S. cities, with a focus on Philadelphia. These abandoned spaces, like old parking lots and homes, often become places to store illegal firearms. Millions of people live near and walk by these spaces, which can cause community members to feel unsafe or stressed. Using a randomized control design, Branas found that interventions such as planting trees and plants and boarding up windows and doors can make a difference.”Gun violence can be sustainably reduced in poor neighborhoods of those cities by as much as 29 percent,” he says. “These cost peanuts. The return on investment is very high, because shootings are very expensive events.”For all the progress made in gun violence research, gaps still remain. In March, the RAND Corporation released a meta-analysis of thousands of studies published since 2003. The report states that, “Federal funding for research on gun-related mortality is far below levels for other sources of mortality in the United States.” As a result, more research is warranted in virtually all aspects of gun control policy, including on officer-involved shootings, defensive gun use, gun-free zones, the gun industry, and lost or stolen firearms, to name a few.The latest federal budget, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in March, may offer some assistance, as it technically allows the CDC to fund research on gun violence. It doesn’t reverse the Dickey Amendment, however, and CDC officials may still face resistance when trying to support such research. In any case, it’s ultimately up to lawmakers — and the public they answer to — to determine how to balance Second Amendment rights with scientific data.”Hopefully these policy debates have some science behind them,” Hemenway says. “Everything we learn should matter and should have an effect.”Ramin Skibba is an astrophysicist turned science writer based in San Diego. He has written for Newsweek, Slate, Scientific American, Nature, Science, among other publications. He can be reached on Twitter at @raminskibba.This article was originally published on Undark. Copyright 2018 Undark Magazine. To see more, visit Undark Magazine.last_img read more

first_imgA disabled campaigner has sent an 80-page dossier of evidence to the new first minister of Wales in a last-ditch bid to persuade him to abandon plans to close the Welsh government’s independent living grant scheme.Nathan Lee Davies has written to Mark Drakeford with just two months left until the planned closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG), which was itself set up as an interim scheme following the UK government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund in June 2015.Davies, who has led the Save WILG Campaign, told Drakeford in an open letter this week that closing WILG would leave disabled people with high support needs “at the mercy of cash-strapped Local Authorities who seem intent on cutting vital support packages across the board with no guarantee that further cuts will not follow”.He said that local authorities “seem to be treating disabled people as a burden”.Davies points out in the letter that Drakeford had promised – during his successful campaign to lead the Welsh Labour party last year – that if an independent evaluation of the WILG closure showed the new system “not working as well as the old one” then he would be “prepared to reverse it”.WILG was set up by the Welsh government – with UK government funding – as a short-term measure to support former ILF recipients when the fund was closed in June 2015.But the Welsh government is now closing WILG and transferring the funding to local councils, and by April the 22 local authorities will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients in Wales.Davies said the “deep dive review” of cases in which WILG recipients were having their support cut was “full of errors” and had failed to consult the disabled people who will be affected.He pointed to his own experience at the hands of his local authority, Wrexham council, which he said had treated him “abysmally”.Davies, who has a life-limiting condition, said that the process to reassess his support needs, due to end in September 2018, had still not been completed and was having “a negative impact” on both his physical and mental health.He described how his social worker had laughed when he suggested he needed 24-hour support and told him that no-one in the borough received that level of support.He said that the lack of overnight support in his current social care package meant he had to stop drinking at 8pm at night and get ready for bed at 10pm, and often had to call his 68-year-old father to assist him in the night, even though he lives a 10-minute drive away and has arthritis in both hands.The dossier, which has already been shared with the deputy health and social services minister Julie Morgan, includes a description of a day in his life, from last January, showing the poor level of support he already receives – even before the closure of WILG – and the pain and indignity this exposes him to, as well as the lack of choice and control in his life.Davies says: “It is 2018 and I am still being treated like a second class citizen. “I have a progressive condition of the nervous system which is accelerating at quite a rate, yet I still have the same amount of inadequate care and support hours that I did in 2010 when I first began independent living.”He updated this by posting a new blog yesterday, showing that little had changed in the last year.In the dossier, he warns the Welsh Labour party: “I do not want to spend the last days of my life completely unnecessarily fighting against the party I have defended and campaigned for across many years.“But I will if I have to. Please don’t make me.”The dossier also includes a letter from a director of Disability Wales, Trevor Palmer, in which he says the planned WILG closure has “created serious disruptions” to his life, with local authority “incompetence and lack of understanding” that has led to his support package being “substantially” reduced. A Welsh government spokesperson said: “We believe that disabled people’s ability to live independently should not be compromised by any changes to the way in which support is arranged for those people who previously received payments from the WILG.“The first minister has just received Mr Davies’ open letter regarding the WILG and will carefully consider the detailed points it makes.“He has asked the deputy minister for health and social services to consider what further action may be necessary to ensure disabled people in receipt of the WILG are not adversely affected by this change.  “The deputy minister has provided Mr Davies and the National Assembly’s petitions committee with details of the deep dive review.“She also met Mr Davies at his home to hear his concerns and discuss the issues raised in his dossier.”He said the deep dive review had seen the 22 Welsh local authorities audit all cases where they intended to cut the WILG element of people’s support.This found planned reductions in about 157 cases, and increases in support in a similar number, out of 1,174 people.He claimed that the cuts had taken place because “some people had developed a need for healthcare rather than social care while some, due to their support being provided in a different way or being of a different type, had a reduced need for care overall”.He accepted that two questionnaires, commissioned from the All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers of People with Learning Disabilities, had had a low response rate, but he said that responses to it “have been positive about the way assessments have been undertaken and the outcomes people have received”.Charlotte Walton, Wrexham council’s head of adult social care, said: “We cannot comment on any individual’s care and support needs. “However we do not accept the allegations being made. “We have carried out all of the WILG reviews in a person centred and inclusive manner and working with the individual recipients of the fund [has] enabled them to achieve positive outcomes from the reviews.”Davies said he would now push for a meeting with the first minister.He said: “I am not going anywhere and will continue to fight this until justice is served.”Picture: Nathan Lee Davies with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

first_imgTop MBA Recruiters: Deutsche Bank Why MBAs Love Working for Deutsche BankOne of the major appeals of Deutsche Bank is its international cachet. Employees find opportunities to work at its various offices around the world and the company does a lot to help employees take advantage of these opportunities. For MBAs interested in gaining a better understanding of the global finance market, this is extremely appealing.Unlike other companies, Deutsche Bank has started to put a lot of emphasis on building up its young talent base. In 2018, the company brought in almost 800 graduates—25 percent more than they had in the previous year. MBA graduates move directly into the Associate Programme at the company, which provides in-house training and gives them immediate working experience.In addition to the firm’s global reputation and its interest in training young leaders, Deutsche Bank provides extremely competitive salaries. According to Glassdoor, the average starting salary for Associates is $100,000, with another $10,000 in bonuses. In addition to the salary, the company offers excellent benefits.There is the standard array of health, dental, and vision benefits. In addition, employees have unlimited sick time, flex scheduling, and a competitive retirement plan. Deutsche Bank also provides generous parental leave—yes, parental leave. New mothers and fathers can take up to 16 weeks off to take care of their newborn. Mothers can take an additional two weeks prior to their due date.Life at Deutsche BankMany employees, past and present, speak highly of the company’s environment. They found it to be relaxed and respectful. Others talked about the high quality of benefits offered by the company. Employees also believe that the company allows them to maintain a better work-life balance than they could at other firms.Deutsche Bank Career OpportunitiesDeutsche Bank is focused on finding people who fit into its culture. One easy way to learn more about the DB culture is via the Associate Intern Programme. Deutsche Bank gives offers to about 80 percent of interns who go through this program.For those who do not go through the internship program, the interview process at Deutsche Bank is fairly straightforward. As the firm itself notes, they are more interested in your interest in the field and in Deutsche Bank.The firm emphasizes the importance of learning about the company before the interview. Deutsche Bank and past interviewees note that interviewees should talk with people who have previously worked at the firm. These people can provide extra information that can help individuals decide whether Deutsche Bank is the right place for them. Deutsche Bank, the 15th-largest bank in the world, oversees $1.6 trillion in total assets, operates offices in 58 countries, and employs more than 91,000 employees. And, of course, that means a lot of Deutsche Bank career opportunities for MBA students and graduates.Given its stellar reputation for international investment and strong position in the global financial market, Deutsche Bank has long been a desirable destination for MBA graduates. Although Deutsche Bank has not always been in the news for the most honorable reasons, right now is actually an excellent time for MBAs to join the company. RelatedLondon’s Largest MBA EmployersFor MBAs looking to begin a career in London, there is an array of amazing opportunities. Not only are there a number of top companies hiring large numbers of MBAs, but those with advanced degrees tend to earn more and witness more growth than those without. In fact, a recent analysis of…October 27, 2016In “Featured Region”The Best Finance MBA Programs in LondonThe economy of London is dominated by the financial services industry. In fact, the city is the largest financial exporter in the world and is home to exchanges, banks, brokers, pension funds, reinsurance markets and more. It’s also a notable center of international finance and home to the second oldest…October 26, 2016In “Advice”Finding Your Dream MBA Career at BarclaysFor over 300 years, Barclays has been one of the leading international banks for both consumer corporate investments. MBA candidates are drawn to Barclays not only for its stature in the global finance industry but also for the vast array of professional opportunities it offers. Within business banking, corporate banking, customer…February 12, 2018In “Barclays” About the AuthorJonathan PfefferJonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.View more posts by Jonathan Pfeffer regions: Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago / Dallas / Denver / Houston / London / Los Angeles / Miami / New York City / Online / Philadelphia / Research Triangle / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Toronto / Washington, DC Last Updated Mar 21, 2019 by Jonathan PfefferFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail last_img read more

first_img Next Article Enroll Now for $5 This story originally appeared on Reuters 1 min read March 25, 2016 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand –shares Add to Queuecenter_img Reuters Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Verizon Communications Inc. said an attacker had exploited a security vulnerability on its enterprise client portal to steal contact information of a number of customers.The company said the attacker however did not gain access to Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) or other data.CPNI is the information that telephone companies collect including the time, date, duration and destination number of each call and the type of network a consumer subscribes to.  Krebs On Security, which first broke the news of the breach, said a member of a underground cybercrime forum had posted a new thread advertising the sale of a database containing the contact information on some 1.5 million customers of Verizon Enterprise.The seller priced the entire package at $100,000, but offered to sell it off in parts of 100,000 records for $10,000 apiece, Krebs added.The vulnerability, which was investigated and fixed, did not leak any data on consumer customers, Verizon said in a statement on Thursday.The company is currently notifying customers impacted by the breach.(Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Diane Craft and Cynthia Osterman) Image credit: Foap | k_luang Verizon Hacked, With Data of 1.5 Million Customers Stolen Cyber Attackslast_img read more

first_img –shares Report: Twitter Won’t Count Links, Photos in 140-Character Limit Twitter Next Article Add to Queue May 16, 2016 Roberto Baldwin Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.center_img 2 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images According to Bloomberg, Twitter is prepping an update to its service that will keep photos and links from counting against the 140-character limit of a post. Currently the URL that points to images and sites counts against the space available in tweets.The new feature is expected to launch within two weeks according to Bloomberg’s anonymous source. Part of the attraction of Twitter is that it limits the amount of information shared in each post. An early version of the service relied on SMS so limiting the characters to 140 was more of a technical issue than anything else.But, long-time users have asked that links, photos and usernames not count against the character limit. It looks like at least two of those items will no longer suck up valuable tweet real estate.Twitter has been on feature-adding spree lately as it tries to attract new users. But it has stopped short of creating a purely algorithmic timeline like that found on Facebook. Instead, it’s enhanced DMs and surfaced what it believes are the important tweets to the top of users’ feeds.We have reached out to Twitter about this upcoming feature and will update this article when it replies. This story originally appeared on Engadget Register Now »last_img read more

first_imgFighting Inequality 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Image credit: fotografixx | Getty Images Add to Queue Chief Legal and People Officer, AppNexus Women and the LGBT Community Are Natural Allies Nithya Das “Maybe it’s because you’re confident,” said the drag queen slamming a whipped-cream pie into my face. It was my reward for raising the most money for AppNexus’ Pride Week Fundraiser.This past year I’ve spent increased time advocating on LGBT issues. It’s not because I’m gay. It’s because we need allies between communities of marginalized groups. Basic math tells us that the sum is greater than its parts.On Women’s Equality Day, we acknowledge that women continue to face significant gender inequalities: the wage gap, barriers to education and underrepresentation in leadership roles within the public and private sector, just to name a few.But women can only achieve true equality when there is equality for all. And today, both women and members of the LGBT community face many of the same glass ceilings in the workplace.Related: Tim Cook Is Gay. But As Apple’s CEO, That Isn’t His Biggest Revelation.Studies have shown that the lack of female role models in certain male-dominated educational programs and in higher-level positions has a negative impact on women entering and remaining in the workplace. According to a recent Catalyst study, women are significantly less represented the higher up they go in an organization. For the LGBT community, the climb is at least as steep — in over two dozen states it is not illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation.When you look up and see someone who looks like you, it inspires and affirms that you can get there as well. Until these numbers increase, both women and LGBT individuals face an uphill battle. We are statistically less likely to have a sponsor. We are less likely to have a peer to turn to for support. We are less likely to make it to the C-Suite.Why should women care about the impact on the LGBT community? When doors and seats at tables are blocked for our LGBT neighbors, they are much more likely to also be blocked for women, and vice versa.Gender-based stereotyping curtails women’s advancement and opportunity to effectively lead. For example, women are frequently perceived as poor problem solvers, a trait associated with being inadequate CEO material. Gay men are often portrayed as effeminate and promiscuous; lesbians, as man-haters. These stereotypes make it difficult, if not near impossible, for both women and LGBT individuals to break into the (straight) boys’ club at the top of the corporate pyramid.Related: Why Access Is the Key to Women’s Equality in the WorkforceFor members of marginalized groups, this reality imposes a double imperative. Women and LGBT employees have to be “good enough” to make it to the top, in the face of stereotypes along the way. They must also work to bring equality to their workplace. A former colleague of mine told me she worried about being perceived as “high maintenance” or “too focused on women’s issues.” I can point to many other anecdotes testifying to the challenge of balancing one’s day-to-day business with the “extracurricular” work of organizing efforts. Allyship can help us share the burden.The work that women have done to advance equality can be applied to the LGBT movement as well.Organize an affinity group.Our AppNexus Women’s Network is a company-funded, employee led group focused on recruiting and promoting AppNexus women. We have other similar groups like OutNexus, our LGBT affinity group, the AppNexus Black Alliance, Latino Alliance and Oy Nexus. These groups provide support networks and lead initiatives relevant to their group. Our affinity groups also come together in open forums to discuss issues ranging from blood equality to racial tension.Related: These Are the 100 Most Powerful LGBT Executives in the WorldForm allyships within your company’s internal and external community.We have a company wide Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee focused on increasing diversity and creating an inclusive AppNexus. The committee is cross-functional and diverse across race, ethnicity, gender and age. It is company-funded with support from our CEO and executive team, and co-chaired by our Chief People Officer (a white straight male ally) and me. We have partnerships with external community leaders like Girls Who Code, Women in Tech NY, All Star Code and Out In Tech.Say “yes” to the seat at the table.Then crush it at your job. For those who worry that they got hired just to fill a quota, as Cindy Gallop said, “Get over it…. Get hired because you are a woman or person of color and then do a bloody brilliant job in that role.”Sponsor others who follow you.Pay it forward and use your power to bring others along. Once there are more women, LGBT individuals and underrepresented groups in the room, the space becomes safer and better performing. At a company level, we have training programs focused on skills like speaking, personal branding and executive presence.The dynamics of the women’s rights movement are evolving. Our group’s issues are no longer relevant only to those assigned the female sex at birth. Our issues can no longer be overcome on our own. As women, we must evolve our issues and our base. We must be allies. –sharescenter_img Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Guest Writer August 26, 2016 5 min read Apply Now »last_img read more

first_img Source:https://newsroom.uw.edu/news/researchers-classify-alzheimers-patients-6-subgroups Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 5 2018Researchers studying Alzheimer’s disease have created an approach to classify patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a finding that may open the door for personalized treatments.”Alzheimer’s, like breast cancer, is not one disease,” said lead author Shubhabrata Mukherjee, research assistant professor in general internal medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “I think a good drug might fail in a clinical trial because not all the subjects have the same kind of Alzheimer’s.This study, published in the recent issue of Molecular Psychiatry, involves 19 researchers from several institutions, including Boston University School of Medicine, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and Indiana University School of Medicine.The researchers put 4,050 people with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease into six groups based on their cognitive functioning at the time of diagnosis and then used genetic data to find biological differences across these groups.”The implications are exciting,” said corresponding author Paul Crane, professor of general internal medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We have found substantial biological differences among cognitively defined subgroups of Alzheimer’s patients.”Identification of cognitive subgroups related to genetic differences is an important step toward developing a precision medicine approach for Alzheimer’s disease.The participants received cognitive scores in four domains: memory, executive functioning, language, and visuospatial functioning.The largest group (39%) had scores in all four domains that were fairly close to each other. The next largest group (27%) had memory scores substantially lower than their other scores. Smaller groups had language scores substantially lower than their other scores (13%), visuospatial functioning scores substantially lower than their other scores (12%), and executive functioning scores substantially lower than their other scores (3%). There were 6% who had two domains that were substantially lower than their other scores.Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionThe participants came from five studies, and it took more than two years to standardize the neuropsychological test scores across all the studies in order to detect meaningful patterns. The mean age was 80, 92 percent self-reported white race, and 61 percent were female.The investigators used genome-wide genetic data to find out if the subgroups are biologically distinct.Investigators found 33 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – specific locations throughout the genome – where the genetic association was very strong for one of the subgroups. These genetic relationships were stronger than the strongest effects found by an earlier and much larger international consortium study where Alzheimer’s disease was treated as a single homogeneous condition.Several years ago, the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project Consortium published the largest genome-wide association study of Alzheimer’s disease and found about 20 SNPs associated with Alzheimer’s disease risk.This study found 33 additional SNPs with even stronger relationships with a single subgroup.The study also found a particularly strong relationship between a particular variant of the APOE gene and risk for the memory subgroup. The APOE e4 allele is a very strong risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease for people with European ancestry, and it also appears to influence which cognitive subtype of Alzheimer’s a person is likely to develop.People can currently find out if they have an APOE e4 allele with direct-to-consumer testing; however, the researchers note that many people with an APOE e4 allele never develop Alzheimer’s disease, and many who don’t carry any known genetic risk factor nevertheless end up with the condition.While world leaders want to find a cure for Alzheimer’s by 2025, so far no one has been able to develop an effective treatment let alone a cure. But this study suggests that thinking of Alzheimer’s disease as six distinct conditions may provide a way forward.”This study is not the end, it’s a start,” said Mukherjee.​last_img read more

Traditionally, EEG brain scans are used to diagnose medical conditions such as epilepsy or sleep disorders. More recently, EEG brain scans have been introduced as a way to detect emotions which opens doors beyond the medical field. Researchers are looking into e-learning applications, and developers of virtual games are exploring the possibilities of emotion-based e-gaming. Such application domains require real-time emotion detection, which can be achieved through wireless EEG headsets.Challenges in EEG electrode placement, and user comfort for long term usage are the key deterrents in using EEG signals beyond clinical purpose. Imec’s EEG headset combines user comfort with its cutting-edge low-power technology, active high-quality EEG dry-electrodes from Datwyler and advanced software to accurately monitor in real time frontal EEG signals that are related to emotional state. The system contains a headphone jack and is Bluetooth (r) compatible for music streaming. With the integration of music playback, the system can not only measure, but also influence the emotions of the person that is wearing the headset. With the help of Artificial Intelligence our headset can learn the personal musical preferences of the wearer and compose and playback, in real-time, music that fits his preferences and influences his emotions to achieve the wearers’ desired emotional state. The machine learning algorithms to achieve this were developed by Osaka University under the Center of Innovation (COI) Program integrating personalized emotion classification and real-time music composition into the system.”Imec’s extensive expertise in this domain is a result of nearly a decade of work in creating circuits and compact systems for wearable EEG monitoring,” stated Chris Van Hoof, senior director connected health solutions. “Leveraging the expertise of our project partners: Osaka University and Datwyler, we could develop a new type of EEG headset that will be vital for clinical research on emotion estimation in therapeutic environments or for neurofeedback through aural stimulation for relaxation, cognitive enhancement and memory improvement purposes. Since the headset is pre-fitted with electrodes, this eliminates the need for expertise in electrode placement and can be used on a regular basis with minimal setup time. We’re excited about how the headset can be leveraged in the gaming community to develop enhanced and more immersive games.” “Our expertise in machine learning and personalized emotion classification helped us to build a unique EEG system that links music that is offered through the headphones with emotional changes,” stated professor Masayuki Numao from the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (ISIR) ,Osaka University. “We have achieved this Brain Melody system by combining model-based emotion recognition with techniques for real-time music composition and musical expression.””We are excited to be part of imec’s endeavour in creating the paradigm shift in wearable EEG monitoring,” says Ronny Vrijens, Head of New Product Development at Datwyler Pharma Packaging International. “Together with imec, we have significantly improved the reliability, EEG signal quality, and ease of integration of the dry electrodes used in this new EEG headset.” Explore further Citation: EEG headset for emotion detection (2018, January 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-eeg-headset-emotion.html At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place in Las Vegas, Nev. Jan. 9-12, 2018, imec and Holst Centre will demonstrate a prototype of an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset that can measure emotions and cognitive processes in the brain. The headset is a major breakthrough in emotion measurement for therapeutic, learning and gaming applications. Wireless EEG headset for emergency room and intensive care unit patients Provided by IMEC Credit: IMEC 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. read more