Story TimelineAmazon Counter serves up in-person pickup at retail storesFire TV’s new feature demonstrates Amazon’s device strategyAmazon Alexa skills can now call on other skills to complete certain tasks Amazon can be sued by customers over defective third-party seller products purchased on its platform, a federal appeals courts decided this week. The decision marks a significant change for the Internet retailer, countering two past courts that had found Amazon couldn’t be held liable in these cases. The decision applies to Pennsylvania where the ruling was made. Though Amazon offers a considerable lineup of its own products, the company also sells a huge array of third-party seller products, some of which are located at its warehouses for Prime shipping and others that are sold and shipped directly by the third-party seller. Historically speaking, Amazon couldn’t be held liable for a third-party seller product sold through its website that was defective.The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia decided differently, reversing a decision previously made by a lower court. The ruling was made in the case of Heather Oberdorf, according to Reuters, which reports that a third-party retractable dog leash purchased from a vendor called ‘Furry Gang’ broke during use, striking Oberdorf in the eye, which is now blind as a result.According to court documents viewed by Reuters, ‘Furry Gang’ was last active on Amazon in 2016; neither Amazon nor Oberdorf were reportedly able to get in touch with the seller. A lawsuit was filed against Amazon instead, and two out of three judges decided the suit can proceed.AdChoices广告The court claims that Amazon’s model ‘enables third-party vendors to conceal themselves from the customer, leaving customers injured by defective products with no direct recourse to the third-party vendor.’ That doesn’t mean Amazon is being held liable for the product’s alleged malfunction, however — in this case, the lawsuit can proceed and will involve the next step of having a lower court determine whether a product defect was actually present.
This total was announced in a Monday blog post by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday that his state will bow out of the another key aspect of the health law: Medicaid expansion. Reuters: Health Insurance Exchanges Planned By 18 U.S. States: SebeliusThe deadline for states to inform the federal government if they would operate healthcare exchanges under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law was December 14. The number of states participating was in line with expectations and leaves the government to create online marketplaces for the rest of the country. The exchanges are one of the key aspects of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Humerm, 12/17). Modern Healthcare: 10 More State Exchange Plans SubmittedStates have until mid-February to indicate if they want to operate an exchange in partnership with the federal government. HHS received blueprint applications from California, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Utah by last Friday’s midnight deadline. Last week, HHS announced that it had granted eight states—Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York Oregon and Washington—as well as Washington, D.C., conditional approval of the plans those states had submitted to run their exchanges (Zigmond, 12/17). Politico Pro: Virginia Governor Says No Medicaid ExpansionVirginia Gov. Bob McDonnell bowed out of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion Monday, warning of the program’s skyrocketing costs and other state investments needed to comply with the health law. “Medicaid is the second largest program in our general fund budget. It has grown exponentially at nearly 1,600 percent over the past 30 years to now consume nearly 21 percent of the state budget” (Cheney, 12/17).CNN Money (Video): How Your Health Care Will Change In 2013The piece by piece implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 is bringing a few more changes to your health care in 2013 [includes details of flexible spending account changes and requirements about details of your health plan] (Gengler, 12/17).Also in the news, a report by the Government Accountability Office concludes that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center needs to do better in one area — Politico Pro: GAO: Innovation Center Not Avoiding OverlapThe top auditor for Congress says the new Innovation Center needs to work harder at making sure it’s not duplicating efforts with the rest of CMS. Innovation Center officials have tried to coordinate with CMS as both offices experiment with better, more efficient ways of paying providers — but they need to step up their endeavors, the Government Accountability Office said. “Our review … suggests that while the Innovation Center has taken steps to coordinate with other offices, it still has work to do in making this coordination more systematic,” GAO wrote in a report that’s expected to be made public Monday (Cunningham, 12/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. 18 States Plan To Operate Their Own Health Exchanges
The New York Times reports that a possible agreement between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans on “broad systemic changes to Medicare” could help spur a budget deal. And The Wall Street Journal reports the White House is weighing inclusion of some entitlement changes in its 2014 budget proposal as a way to prod further talks. The New York Times: Talk of Medicare Changes Could Open Way to Budget PactAs they explore possible fiscal deals, President Obama and Congressional Republicans have quietly raised the idea of broad systemic changes to Medicare that could produce significant savings and end the polarizing debate over Republican plans to privatize the insurance program for older Americans. While the two remain far apart on the central issue of new tax revenue, recent statements from both sides show possible common ground on curbing the costs of Medicare, suggesting some lingering chance, however small, for a budget bargain (Calmes and Pear, 3/28).The Wall Street Journal: White House Weighing Entitlement Limits The White House is strongly considering including limits on entitlement benefits in its fiscal 2014 budget—a proposal it first offered Republicans in December. The move would be aimed in part at keeping alive bipartisan talks on a major budget deal. Such a proposal could include steps that make many Democrats queasy, such as reductions in future Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security payments, but also items resisted by Republicans, such as higher taxes through limits on tax breaks, people close to the White House said (Paletta, 3/28). Potential Pact On Medicare Changes Could Lead To Budget Deal This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. First Edition: January 3, 2014 Today’s headlines include coverage of a new study examining how Oregon’s ER usage increased after expanding Medicaid. Kaiser Health News: Obamacare Comes To Skid RowKaiser Health News staff writer Sarah Varney, working in collaboration with NPR, reports: “If you were led blindfolded from Los Angeles’ grand city hall a few blocks east, you would know when you entered Skid Row. There is the pungent smell of urine and burning marijuana smoke, and the sound of music and easy laughter. A carnival rising out of misery. This is the chaos that Chris Mack plunges into on most days. Once homeless himself, Mack is an outreach worker for the JWCH Institute’s Center for Community Health, a free clinic that sits at the heart of Skid Row” (Varney, 1/2). Read the story. Kaiser Health News: Many Spanish Speakers Left Behind In First Wave Of ObamacareKaiser Health News staff writer Daniela Hernandez reports: “In Silicon Valley, the executives and engineers who’ve helped build the Apple, Google and Facebook empires earn high salaries and enjoy a slew of perks, including stellar health benefits. The clients of the Ravenswood Family Health Center, a community clinic in East Palo Alto just two miles away from Facebook’s sprawling headquarters, live in a very different Silicon Valley. They’re the gardeners, nannies, factory workers and service staff who keep Silicon Valley homes and offices humming, the lawns manicured and the families comfortable” (Hernandez, 1/3). Read the story. Kaiser Health News: A Reader Asks: If I Don’t Use All My Subsidy Credit, Will I Get It When I Do My Taxes?Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers this question from a reader (1/3). Read her response. Kaiser Health News: Six Things That May Move Public Perception Of ObamacareKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: “Now, though, most of its major provisions are in effect, and arguments may hinge less on ideology and more on how the law is actually working for millions of people – for instance, how many get coverage through online marketplaces; whether they’re able to see doctors when they need them; how they rate that care; and perhaps most important, whether having that coverage improves their lives in tangible ways. … No question that partisans on both sides will keep spinning, especially in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections. To help make sense of the challenges ahead, here are six things that are likely to be important measuring sticks of the law in 2014 and beyond” (Galewitz, 1/3). Read the story. Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Missouri Governor Pushes GOP-Led Legislature On Medicaid Expansion; Now on Kaiser Health News’ blog, the St. Louis Post-Disptach’s Virginia Young, working in partnership with KHN, reports on Missouri’s Medicaid expansion: “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, is intensifying his effort to persuade Republican lawmakers to expand Medicaid with a pitch that uses some of the same themes that Republicans favor. At a news conference in his Capitol office this week, Nixon praised states such as Iowa and Arkansas for designing “common-sense, market-based approaches” that encourage personal responsibility on the part of Medicaid participants” (Young, 1/2).Also on Capsules, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Kristian Foden-Vencil reports on how one health plan is working with elementary schools to encourage good health: “Behaving well in elementary school could reduce smoking in later life. At least, that’s what Trillium Community Health Plan hopes, and it’s putting money behind the idea. Danebo Elementary in Eugene, Ore., is one of 50 schools receiving money to teach classes while integrating something called the “Good Behavior Game.” Teacher Cami Railey sits at a small table, surrounded by four kids. She’s about to teach them the “s” sound and the “a” sound. But first, as she does every day, she goes over the rules” (Foden-Vencil, 1/2). Check out what else is on the blog. The Wall Street Journal: Consumers Hit Snags As Health Law Kicks InConsumers began test-driving insurance coverage under the federal health-care law Thursday, seeking care at pharmacies and clinics, and in some cases running into hiccups as their policies took effect. Doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies said they saw a limited number of people with the new insurance, which kicked in at the beginning of the year (Mathews, Martin and Weaver, 1/2).Politico: Quiet Start To Noisy Health LawFor a law that’s inspired a lot of noise, the start of Obamacare coverage has been quiet. The health care industry is still trying to diagnose the depth of any implementation issues with the president’s health care program since coverage took effect Jan. 1. Providers, insurers and patient advocates say it’s too early to know whether people are rushing to get care or running into problems when they try to use their new insurance for the first time (Millman, 1/2) .The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: The White House’s Claim That 7 Million Enrolled In Obamacare ‘Was Never Our Target Number’The White House this week crowed about the fact that, as of the end of the year, 2.1 million Americans have signed up for insurance either through the federal health care exchange or state-run exchanges. The message was that the Affordable Care Act Web site, which had a troubled launch, was turning a corner. At the same time, the administration has backed away from the idea that it suggested that it had a “target” of 7 million enrollees when the enrollment period for 2014 ends in March. As Schiliro put it, “that was never our target number.” Let’s explore this figure and the administration’s enrollment claims (Kessler, 1/3). The New York Times: New Ad Campaign Criticizes Senators For Support Of Health LawA conservative advocacy group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers said Thursday it will spend $2.5 million on television advertisements targeting three vulnerable Democratic senators who supported President Obama’s health care law. Americans for Prosperity, which last year spent more than $16 million on television ads attacking the law popularly called “Obamacare,” is running the ads against Senators Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, all Democrats who face tough re-election fights this year. They will air on cable and broadcast networks in the three states (Stolberg, 1/2). Politico: Americans For Prosperity Launches Obamacare BlitzThe deep-pocketed Americans for Prosperity on Thursday morning unveiled a major Obamacare air offensive against three Democratic senators up for reelection in November. The group will begin airing 30-second ads this week targeting Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. The total ad buy is north of $2.5 million and the spots will run for three weeks in each state’s major media markets, AFP said (Everett, 1/2). Los Angeles Times: Next Phase Of The Obamacare Battle: Dueling Personal StoriesThose sorts of dueling stories are the next phase of the battle over Obamacare, and the question of which version Americans will find most compelling could tip the balance in a dozen or so Senate races this year that will determine the balance of power in Washington (Reston, 1/2).Politico: Eric Cantor Plans Vote On ObamacareHouse Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thursday that he plans to schedule a vote next week on a measure placing more security requirements on the new Obamacare insurance exchanges. He said he’ll draw from legislation that’s been introduced by Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee, Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan and Gus Bilirakis of Florida (Cunningham, 1/2). NPR: Medicaid Expansion Boosted Emergency Room Visits In OregonGiving poor people health insurance, the belief was, would decrease their dependence on hospital emergency rooms by providing them access to more appropriate, lower-cost primary care. But a study published in the journal Science on Thursday finds that’s not the case. When you give people Medicaid, it seems they use both more primary care and more emergency room services (Rovner, 1/2). Los Angeles Times: Expanding Medicaid Increases ER Visits In Oregon StudyAn Oregon Medicaid expansion program found that low-income adults who were covered by government health insurance had visited hospital emergency rooms 40% more often than other adults. The study, published online Thursday in the journal Science, comes at a time when many states are expanding Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. While federal and state policymakers have argued that expanding Medicaid would reduce costly and inefficient use of hospital emergency rooms by increasing access to primary healthcare, the Science study suggests this is not the case (Morin, 1/2).The New York Times: Emergency Visits Seen Increasing With Health LawSupporters of President Obama’s health care law had predicted that expanding insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits because people would go to primary care doctors instead. But a rigorous new experiment in Oregon has raised questions about that assumption, finding that newly insured people actually went to the emergency room a good deal more often (Tavernise, 1/2).The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Study: Expanding Medicaid Doesn’t Reduce ER Trips. It Increases Them. As the health-care law expands Medicaid to cover millions more Americans, a new Harvard University study finds that enrollment in public program significantly increases enrollees’ use of emergency departments. The research, published Thursday in the journal Science, showed a 40 percent increase in emergency department visits among those low-income adults in Oregon who gained Medicaid coverage in 2008 through a state lottery. This runs counter to some health-care law supporters’ hope that Medicaid coverage would decrease this type of costly medical care, by making it easier for low income adults to see primary care providers (Kliff, 1/2). The Wall Street Journal: Putting The Uninsured On Medicaid Doesn’t Cut ER VisitsSome supporters of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul say that putting uninsured Americans on Medicaid will reduce costly emergency-room visits by giving them more access to care in other settings. But a new study found the reverse: A group of 10,000 low-income Oregon residents who recently obtained Medicaid coverage visited ERs 40% more often than those without insurance (Beck, 1/2).Los Angeles Times: Compromise Remains Elusive On Health Law’s Contraceptive CoverageThe intensifying Supreme Court clash over whether birth control should be required under President Obama’s signature healthcare law has revealed just how deep divisions remain between administration officials and Catholic leaders over where to draw the line between religious freedom and women’s reproductive rights (Savage and Levey, 1/2). The Washington Post: D.C. Program Reflects National Trend Toward Moving Older Americans Out Of Nursing HomesFor 60 years, Bobbie Jones, 88, had lived in the same Petworth rowhouse where she raised four children — including one born in an upstairs bedroom — and became a grandmother to 10 and a great-grandmother to nine. But last year, a stroke and a fall landed her in the hospital and then in a nursing home. In the past, a nursing home might have wound up being where she lived out the rest of her days. But through a new program that helps District residents receive care in their homes and communities, Jones was able to go home. She is among 58 people who have been relocated since the D.C. Office on Aging launched its Nursing Home Transition Program in April (Bahrampour, 1/2). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.
I was Google ’s first employee to go on maternity leave. In 1999, I joined the startup that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had recently started in my garage. I was four months pregnant. At the time the company had no revenue and only 15 employees, almost all of whom were male. Joining a startup pregnant with my first child was risky, but Larry and Sergey assured me I’d have their support. This month, I’ll go on maternity leave once again—my fifth time—joining the nearly 5,000 women who have done so since I joined Google. And though I’m now CEO of YouTube (which is owned by Google), I’ll be entitled to the same benefits as every single woman at the company who has a baby: 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. (Susan Wojcicki, 12/16) Los Angeles Times: PolitiFact’s Liars Of The Year: The Politicians Who Played The Ebola Fear Card The Wall Street Journal: Paid Maternity Leave Is Good For Business Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam … is showing political courage to do what’s right – and to attract millions in federal dollars for his state’s struggling hospitals. It’s the kind of path [N.C. Gov. Pat] McCrory has indicated he might be willing to take, and Haslam’s example should help McCrory stay open-minded amid pressure from his right. Haslam has been negotiating with the Obama administration for months to craft a Tennessee-specific Medicaid expansion proposal. It includes some co-pays and some premiums not typically required under Medicaid. Such alterations to Obamacare’s approach has turned past opponents – such as Tennessee Lt. Gov. and Senate speaker Ron Ramsey – into potential supporters. The state’s two Republican U.S. senators also support Haslam’s proposal. (12/16) Bloomberg: Obamacare Is Only Human E-cigarettes, once seen as a harmless alternative to tobacco smoking, are beginning to look more like a new gateway to addiction. This year, for the first time, more teens used electronic cigarettes than traditional ones: 17% of high school seniors used the devices, vs. 14% who smoked cigarettes. Kids in eighth and 10th grades favored them 2-to-1 over traditional smokes, according to an eye-opening University of Michigan survey released Tuesday. (12/16) It turns out that most people who enrolled in health insurance for 2014 through HealthCare.gov didn’t bother going back to the site to shop around for better prices for 2015. That means they will pay higher premiums than necessary. It also raises a separate question: What’s the point of having options if so few people use them? (Christopher Flavelle, 12/16) The Charlotte Observer: A GOP Push To Expand Medicaid It was a Republican who once paid Democrat Henry Waxman the rough compliment of being “tougher than a boiled owl.” Many of the big things Waxman helped to make into law in his four decades in Congress took bipartisan work, the kind that has all but disappeared in Washington: tobacco regulation, easier access to generic drugs, increased food labeling and safety, cleaner air and water, AIDS healthcare and Obamacare. But that’s not why Waxman — a vastly influential legislator and among the last of Congress’ 1974 “Watergate baby” generation — is retiring. He figures he has a lot of tread left on his tires, but he wants to drive down roads other than the ones leading to Capitol Hill. (Patt Morrison, 12/16) E-cigarettes aren’t threatening the progress of continued smoking reduction. They are helping even hard-core cigarette smokers quit. If society gives equal treatment to these two very different products with dramatically different health risks, we will undermine e-cigarettes’ promise as powerful harm reduction tools. (Jeff Stier, 12/16) The New York Times: Tortured By Psychologists And Doctors Open enrollment is important. It should be the time people choose the health plan they believe would help them become healthier. Instead, many purchasers make a decision based entirely on how big a dent they’ll see in their wallets, despite the fact that consumers have tools to help them understand which plans provide the highest quality and which do not. For the first time in the health industry’s history, there are numerous objective quality measures available if purchasers are willing to take a little time and look for them. (Scott Armstrong and Patricia Smith, 12/16) USA Today: E-Cigarettes Cloud Progress On Teen Smoking: Our View Viewpoints: Playing Politics With Ebola Hyperbole; The Value Of Comparing Health Plans; E-Cigs A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. One of the most disturbing revelations in the Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program was the deep complicity of psychologists and doctors in torturing suspected terrorists. We already knew from earlier reports that health professionals had facilitated the torture by advising the interrogators when their brutal tactics might inadvertently kill a prisoner. (12/16) Members of Congress, mostly Republicans, warned that Ebola could be carried into the country by immigrants arriving illegally or even terrorists, and demanded a ban on travelers entering the United States from the affected countries. Governors scrambled to draft quarantine regulations, producing a showdown between Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and a nurse he tried to confine to a tent. (The nurse won.) And now? The crisis is all but forgotten. We’ve moved on. (Doyle McManus, 12/16) Los Angeles Times: Mr. Waxman Leaves Washington USA Today: Rally Behind E-Cigarettes: Opposing View The Seattle Times: How You Can Find The Best Quality Health Care — For Free This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Care At Veterans Hospitals Is Just As Good Or Better As Local Private Hospitals, New Study Reports “Our findings suggest that, despite some recent negative reports, the VA generally provides truly excellent care,” said William Weeks, co-author of the study. In other news on veterans health, caregivers are losing government stipends without warnings. New Hampshire Public Radio: Study: VA Hospitals Compare Favorably To Nearby Private Hospitals Congressional sources confirmed that the VA has missed its first deadline in October to implement new IT for the caregiver expansion — raising serious concerns of further delay. VA says the department will not deploy the new system until it is ready and has been tested thoroughly. (Lawrence, 12/18) Over the years, studies have shown that VA healthcare is as good as or better than private sector care. In this new study, researchers wanted to look at how a given VA hospital compared to private hospitals nearby. They looked at publicly-available data in 121 different areas across the country and compared things like risk-adjusted mortality rates and safety indicators. With a few exceptions, VA hospitals compared favorably. (Biello, 12/13) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. WBUR: VA Still Arbitrarily Cutting Caregivers From Program, Even As It Aims To Expand
U.S. shifts Cuba policy to allow lawsuits against foreign companies — and that includes Canadian firms The policy could place Canadian mining, tourism and financial services companies at risk in American courts Related Stories Facebook Comment April 17, 201912:15 PM EDT Filed under News FP Street Contemplating Cuba as the next hot investment destination What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Mike Blanchfield 5 Comments The Canadian Press More OTTAWA — Canada and the European Union hit back Wednesday at the Trump administration’s decision to allow lawsuits against foreign companies connected to properties seized from American firms during the Cuban revolution, vowing to protect their businesses.Canada and the EU pledged to work together in the World Trade Organization and ban the enforcement or recognition of American court orders against Canadian or European companies.The landmark tightening of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba’s communist government represents a major shift in U.S. foreign policy — one that could place Canadian mining, tourism and financial services companies at risk in American courts. Trade tensions flare as Trump threatens new EU tariffs on jetliners, helicopters, motorcycles, cheese, wine … The new NAFTA deal is ‘in trouble’ amid looming elections, fights over tariffs ‘I’m not optimistic’: Political will for passage of new NAFTA rapidly evaporating in America About one million Canadians annually vacation in Cuba and Toronto-based resource company Sherritt International is long established there, while countries such as Britain, France and Spain have companies active in rum, cigars and tourism.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada is “deeply disappointed” and reviewing options with the EU.“The EU and Canada consider the extraterritorial application of unilateral Cuba-related measures contrary to international law,” Freeland, her European Union counterpart Federica Mogherini and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a joint statement Wednesday.“Our respective laws allow any U.S. claims to be followed by counter-claims in European and Canadian courts, so the U.S. decision to allow suits against foreign companies can only lead to an unnecessary spiral of legal actions.”Freeland said the government regularly met with the U.S. officials since January, when the issue first surfaced, to raise concerns about “the possible negative consequences for Canadians — concerns that are long-standing and well known to our U.S. partners.”During a recent trip to Washington, Freeland met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the effect on Canadian companies if the U.S. were to resurrect Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.Canada and its European allies have pushed the Trump administration to continue to suspend use of the dormant section of the law that allows Americans to sue foreign companies linked to Cuban properties confiscated after the 1959 revolution.When the U.S. law came went into force in 1996, then-president Bill Clinton postponed the implementation of Title III. Subsequent presidents followed suit and renewed the exemption every six months.President Donald Trump changed that practice. Last month, the U.S. State Department extended the Title III exemption by only 30 days.Canada’s Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act was amended in January 1997 to provide that any judgment under the Helms-Burton Act will not be recognized or enforceable in any manner in Canada. Other countries implemented similar ”blocking statutes” at the time.On Wednesday, Pompeo said the end of the Title III exemption is rooted in Cuba’s ongoing support of Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government in Venezuela, and it would take effect early next month.“Cuba’s behaviour in the Western Hemisphere undermines security and stability of countries throughout the region, which directly threatens United States national security interests,” he said, adding that Cuban military intelligence and state security services today keep Maduro in power.“Sadly, Cuba’s most prominent export these days is not cigars or rum, it’s oppression. Detente with the regime has failed.”Canada, its Lima Group allies and the U.S. have called for Maduro’s ouster and recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim leader of the beleaguered South American country, which has been engulfed in economic and political turmoil, sparking a refugee crisis.The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said recently it was concerned about the potential impact on Canadian companies with operations in Cuba.— with files from Ian Bickis Twitter ← Previous Next → Email Featured Stories Share this storyU.S. shifts Cuba policy to allow lawsuits against foreign companies — and that includes Canadian firms Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Canada’s Cuba Ventures gets a head start on the coming Cuba tourism boom Reddit The Trump administration says it will now allow lawsuits against foreign companies connected to properties seized from American firms during the Cuban revolution.Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo advertisement Sponsored By: Join the conversation → ‘Political noise’: Canadian miner hopes for business as usual after the Castros’ long rule ends
Source: Charge Forward Despite an impressive amount of innovation in the electric vehicle industry, it’s not every day that a new electric vehicle is debuted with such a successful pre-order period. That’s why news of the Microlino surpassing $100 million in pre-orders is so promising. more…
Small businesses look to autonomous EVs in the futureAccording to Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance‘s global survey, two thirds (66% from 3257 respondents) of small businesses believe their fleets will be fully electric within 20 years.About 50% of respondents expressed expectation about 10 years, which – if true for the entire market – would be pretty encouraging. Separately, 55% think that fleets will become autonomous in 20 years.See Also Source: Electric Vehicle News Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Revealed As Commercial Vehicle Results are presented in form of infographic:Press release:Small businesses believe their fleets will be fully electric within 20 yearsNew data from Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi highlights the strong demand for electric and autonomous fleets as e-commerce drives change2019/02/26Sustainability is high priority for small business fleetsThe larger the fleet and the higher the company turnover, the more critical environmental sustainability appears to becomeImproved connectivity is the answer to logistical success, according to small businessesTwo thirds (66%)1 of small businesses predict their fleets will be fully electric within the next 20 years, with 50%2 expecting this to happen in half that time, global data shows.The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV business – which is part of the Alliance, the world’s leading automotive partnership – commissioned this survey to gain insight into thousands of small business owners and decision makers globally and found that almost all (93%) of business owners or decision-makers responsible for 50 vehicles or more, consider environmental sustainability of high importance. 3This development comes at a time when automakers are dramatically increasing their efforts to respond to a growing customer need for sustainable vehicles, as businesses prepare for tighter emissions regulations and seek ways to address climate change.This trend towards electrification was reflected in Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV business’ latest sales results, as Renault’s European leadership of EV vans (46.2% market share) contributed to a 13.5% year-on-year growth of light commercial vehicles. The LCV business’ combined sales, which includes trucks, vans and frame-based SUVs, reached almost 2 million units, the highest sales totals in the organization’s history.Groupe Renault, whose electrified LCV line-up is comprised of the Kangoo Z.E., Master Z.E., Twizy Cargo, and Zoe Societe, has announced that 100% of its vans will be electrified by 2022. The Nissan e-NV200 small all-electric van is seeing a significant upswing in demand. In 2018, production was up by 50% compared to the previous year to reach a total of 6,000 units. Mitsubishi offers the MINICAB MiEV van in Japan as well as commercial versions of the Outlander PHEV in some global markets.This latest research has shown that the higher the turnover of the company and the bigger the fleet, the more important sustainability is to them.Ashwani Gupta, Senior Vice President of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV business, said: “These results show that the electrification of fleets is increasingly on the minds of our customers – not just for the financial efficiencies that EVs can deliver, but because environmental sustainability is clearly crucial to the future of their businesses. I’m impressed at how optimistic these fleet managers are about the speed in which their vehicles will be fully electrified.“Renault is the global leader in making vans. Nissan makes great trucks and Mitsubishi are at the top when it comes to the production of frame vehicles. Combined, we are a truly global powerhouse, and working together on connectivity, powertrain developments and autonomous technologies will allow us to meet the rising demands of our customers and their businesses.”In addition:55% see their fleets becoming fully autonomous within the next 20 years, with 38% saying this is likely to happen within as little as 10 years.448% of businesses with a turnover of $100m or more stated environmental sustainability is “very important,’ while only 25% of businesses with turnover between $100k – $9.9m said the same.535% of respondents said that business efficiency is their main motivation for adopting new technologies.6The top identified logistical business challenge is the growth of e-commerce and the rising demand for deliveries, at 18%, even more so than keeping up with regulations (17%) and changing customer expectations for delivery times.7Connectivity will be most key to success from a logistics perspective, according to a fifth of the business leaders surveyed. 8 Other business owners believe automation will play the biggest role in their future success (14%).9In terms of an organization’s willingness to adopt new technologies, more than a third (35%) 14 said business efficiencies are the main reason for investing in new tech within their fleet, 21% 15 said that cost saving drives their decisions, and 14%16 highlighted their desire to be more sustainable.Renault offers fleet management services for its commercial line-up. Renault EASY CONNECT for Fleet is an ecosystem of connected services for business users that simplifies managing vehicle fleets and reduces running costs.As part of the Alliance 2022 mid-term plan, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is continuing to forecast that annual synergies will exceed €10 billion by the end of 2022. The member companies will also increase commonality, targeting nine million units based on four common platforms. The plan will also extend the use of common powertrains to 75 percent of total sales. In addition, 12 new zero-emission electric vehicles will be launched during the plan, and 40 vehicles will be introduced with different levels of autonomy.REFERENCES  Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q7. Cumulative figures derived from 20.3% believing electrification will happen within the next 5 years, 29.5% in the next 10 years, and 16.4% in the next 20 years. Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q6 – How important is environmental sustainability for your company’s logistics? Cumulative figures were derived from 44.2% answering “very important”, 48.8% answering “fairly important” when combining the following two fleet size options, (“51-100 vehicles’ category & “More than 100 vehicles’ category into a “Greater than 50 vehicles’ category) in our reporting software. Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q8 – In your opinion, how long will it be before fleets are fully autonomous? Cumulative figures derived from 13.9% responding in 5 years, 23.7% saying in 10 years, and 17.4% saying in 20 years. Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q6 – How important is environmental sustainability for your company’s logistics? 48% of businesses with a turnover of $100m or more responded “very important”. Only 24.2% of businesses earning $100k – $999,999 responded “very important; only 25.1% of businesses earning $1m – $9.9m responded “very important.” Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q3 – What is your main motivation for adopting new technologies within your fleet? 35.4% of respondents answered “business efficiency.” Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q2 – Logistically, what is your biggest challenge as a business? 17.8% of respondents answered “The growth of e-commerce and the rising demand for overall deliveries”      Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q1 – Logistically, what do you believe is most key to the future of your success as a business? 19.9% of respondents answered “improved connectivity”, 13.9% answered “autonomous technologies,” 9.2% answered “sub-contracting third party delivery services,” 7.4% answered “more vehicles”, 4.8% answered “drone deliveries”, 4.1% answered “fleet electrification.”   Global survey results of 3257 respondents Q3 – What is your main motivation for adopting new technologies within your fleet? 35.4% of respondents answered “business efficiency”, 21.1% answered “cost savings”, 14% answered “to be more sustainable.” French Post Now Uses 7,000 Renault Kangoo Z.E. Electric Vans The Alliance already offers several models and develops more:Renault (46.2% market share among EV vans in Europe)Kangoo Z.E.Master Z.E.Twizy CargoZOE Societe100% of its vans will be electrified by 2022 MitsubishiMINICAB MiEV in JapanOutlander PHEV (commercial versions) in some global markets Nissane-NV200 (in 2018 up by 50% to 6,000)new models expected Nissan To Cancel Diesel NV200, Only Electric e-NV200 Remains Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 3, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles [See image gallery at www.cleanfleetreport.com] Related Stories You Might Enjoy—Other Subaru News & ReviewsRoad Test: 7 Things to Know About the 2019 Subaru AscentFlash Drive: 2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEVRoad Test: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek PremiumRoad Test: 2018 Subaru OutbackRoad Test: 2018 Subaru Impreza SedanRoad Test: 2014 Subaru Forester& the Only Other Affordable Plug-in AWDRoad Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Steve’s view)Road test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (John’s view) Make sure to opt-in to the Clean Fleet Report newsletter (top right of page) to be notified of all new stories and vehicle reviews.Disclosure:Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at email@example.com. Finally, an Electric ModelSubaru has been very successful over the last decade in the U.S., with sales rising every year. They build and sell the kinds of cars that Americans crave. However, they’ve been a no-show in electric vehicles. Well, that’s over now, with the introduction of the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.Subaru gives you the option of taking your electric drive off the highwayThe Crosstrek itself is an appealing model and has been doing very well in the increasingly popular compact crossover market. Much like the Outback did with the Legacy wagon in the 1990s, the Crosstrek takes an Impreza wagon and lifts it a bit, applies some cladding and, with Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive, provides a credible vehicle for heading off-road. It boasts 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru’s designs have never been gorgeous, but they’ve become a bit more stylish and less purely practical. The Crosstrek shape looks like a Subaru, and the inside features rugged-looking, well-finished materials. The Hybrid interior gets some blue door and dash accents and stitching (blue is the “green” color across the industry). The center screen is not the largest in the industry, but the technology behind it is easy to understand and use.The Power GameSubaru finally adds electric drive to its flat fourThe drivetrain combines a 137-horsepower, 2.0-liter, flat four-cylinder engine with StarDrive Technology for electric power. StarDrive uses two motor generators: the one up front functions as an engine starter and electricity generator, while the other one provides hybrid and EV driving modes and charges the hybrid battery when you press the brake pedal to initiate regenerative braking.The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid gets electrified by adding an 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. The battery can be charged to provide 17 miles of pure electric motoring at up to 65 miles per hour. That’s enough for local fuel-free jaunts, and, as the hybrid system switches back and forth, helps limit running the gas engine in some situations. You can recharge the battery on Level 1 household 120-volt current in five hours or on Level 2 240-volt current in three.The Downside/UpsideThe Hybrid model has a couple of disadvantages. With its added battery and generators, while using the same engine as the non-hybrid Crosstrek, at 3,726 pounds it outweighs the non-hybrid Limited model by nearly 400 pounds. Additionally, the battery lives below the cargo area and pushes the floor there up a few inches to keep that desirable ground clearance. That means it offers only 15.9 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up, and 43.1 cubic feet for your tents and backpacks with the seat down. The standard Crosstrek holds 20.8 and 55.3 cubic feet respectively.The battery takes away some of Crosstrek’s storage spaceHowever, the big advantage of the Crosstrek, besides a full second better 0-60 acceleration from its 148 combined horsepower, is its smaller carbon footprint. Official EPA numbers are 90 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) versus the automatic-transmission standard Crosstrek at 27 city/33 highway/29 combined. I recorded 61.7 MPG combining gas and electric driving.While cruising in EV mode, the car is quiet and smooth—an aesthetic advantage enjoyed by cars that spin motors rather than translate piston motion into twist.Selection is LimitedWhile the gas-only Crosstrek comes in base, Premium and Limited models with ascending levels of standard equipment, the Hybrid is the top level Crosstrek, with all the electric, high tech and safety features you’d want. The seats and steering wheel are leather-covered, and you get keyless entry, climate control, black 18-inch alloy wheels and the all-weather package, which includes heated front seats and exterior mirrors, along with windshield wiper de-icers. This one figures–Subaru is a favorite in snow country.Inside, it’s the same old Subaru with a touch of blueYou can add a $2,500 option package, which includes a power moonroof, heated steering wheel, a high-tech navigation system, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, Sirius XM All AccessRadio and a 432-watt Harmon Kardon premium audio system with eight speakers.My test vehicle came in a new color—a beautiful Lagoon Blue Pearl. It was very pleasant for driving to work and around town, and, although I didn’t take it off the pavement, the all-wheel-drive made me feel more secure during California’s drought-cancelling wet winter.Pricing for the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $34,995 plus $975 for destination and delivery. The option package, full of quality-of-life-enhancing features, added $2,500 for a bottom line of $38,470 for my tester. Compare those numbers to the non-hybrid models, which start at $22,870 for the base car and range up to the more fully equipped Limited at $28,170 (all prices include destination and delivery).A welcome plugI welcome Subaru to the world of electric vehicles, and hope to see more soon, including a pure electric model. While the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has reduced cargo capacity and a significantly higher price, it boasts much better fuel economy, part-time EV driving pleasure, and all the “Subaruness” that’s helped the brand thrive.
Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 10, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Please bring tech like Tesla Sentry Mode to all cars … and soon!When Tesla first launched its Sentry Mode, we were excited and impressed. However, we’ll be honest to say that we didn’t realize its true potential. Now that it has been around for a bit of time, we’re happy to share and report that it’s pretty awesome. Clearly, in today’s crazy world, all automakers should work to eventually implement such a system. While it seems so simple, this technology is proving its worth in more ways than one.Additional Tesla Sentry Mode Successes: Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Sentry Mode Catches Construction Truck Damaging Model 3: Video As you can see from the video above, Tesla’s Sentry Mode caught a thief once again. This brazen (and seemingly unaware) criminal was attempting his exploits in broad daylight. Sadly for him, the Tesla owner has saved and shareable video of his face, as well as the license plate number of his getaway car.The situation occurred about a week ago, on the Embarcadero near Levi’s Plaza in San Francisco, CA. Fortunately, there was nothing in the car to steal. However, unfortunately, the Tesla Model 3 sedan’s rear-quarter window was punched out. While we don’t have any official verification, an update to the YouTube comment section says that the criminal has been arrested: San Francisco Police confirmed they were able to arrest a suspect, 21-year old Jeremiah Jefferson on second-degree burglary charges and a probation violation.Video Description via Jed Franklin on YouTube:Tesla Model 3 break-in recorded with Sentry ModeTesla model 3 break-in recorded with Sentry mode cameras. Incident occurred on 4/3/19 on the Embarcadero near Levi’s plaza in San Francisco. Nothing to steel but damage was done to the car. Broken rear quarter window. Tesla “Hater” Purposely Keys Model 3: Sentry Mode To The Rescue: Video Watch Tesla Model 3 Sentry Mode Catch Thieves On Camera: Video
Liverpool Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt and manager Rafael Benitez both have only 18 months remaining on their current contracts. Photograph: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Rafael Benítez has called on the Liverpool owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, to resolve contractual issues that threaten to destabilise his title-chasing squad when the transfer window reopens in January.Dirk Kuyt, Daniel Agger and the Liverpool manager himself have only 18 months remaining on their current contracts and while Agger has opened talks on an extension, the Spaniard is increasingly concerned at the lack of progress. Though Benítez would not dwell on the potential ramifications ahead of tonight’s Champions League group tie with Atlético Madrid, the delays provide a further indication of the uncertainty that surrounds the club’s future under its American co-owners.Hicks and Gillett, who have delayed work on a proposed new stadium indefinitely, have not approached Benítez with a new contract offer 10 months after Hicks first revealed his intention to extend the Spaniard’s reign. Likewise Kuyt, Liverpool’s leading goalscorer this season, is also in the dark over the club’s long-term intentions.”Agger is very close and he is talking with the club,” Benítez said yesterday, although the Danish defender and reported Real Madrid target is entitled to buy-out the remainder of his existing Liverpool contract in January.”There is no news yet with Kuyt but he is another player that I would like to get done as soon as possible. They have to be done before the new year. In each team you need people with quality, that work hard and with a good character. I want to do it as soon as possible because it is better for them and better for the club.”Agger, a £5.8m signing from Brondby in January 2006, has only recently recaptured his place in the Liverpool defence following his recovery from a series of metatarsal injuries and a knee injury suffered by fellow centre-half, Martin Skrtel. By contrast, Kuyt has been almost ever-present since his £9m arrival from Feyenoord in August 2006 and yesterday declared he wanted to stay at Liverpool.”My intention is to stay here for as long as possible. I am really happy but so far there has been no talk of a contract,” said the Dutch striker. Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Share via Email Benítez worried title hunt could be derailed by contract delays Shares00 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter First published on Mon 3 Nov 2008 19.01 EST Liverpool Premier League Share on LinkedIn Topics Share via Email Share on Facebook Mon 3 Nov 2008 19.01 EST Share on WhatsApp Andy Hunter Reuse this content
Free 90 Minute 2017 FCPA Year In Review Video A summary of every corporate enforcement action; notable statistics and issues to consider; compliance take-away points; and enforcement agency and related developments. Click below to view the engaging video tutorial. As highlighted in the article “FCPA Ripples,” settlement amounts in an actual Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action are often only a relatively minor component of the overall financial consequences that can result from FCPA scrutiny or enforcement. Other ripples include, most prominently, pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses, post-enforcement action professional fees and expenses as well as a host of other negative business consequences.As long as there has been FCPA enforcement, it has been known that culpable employees have been terminated or disciplined in connection with FCPA investigations and enforcement actions.Yet, as highlighted in this post, in certain recent FCPA enforcement actions (but not all – the SQM and Las Vegas Sands enforcement actions were silent on this topic) the DOJ has quantified the number of employees terminated or disciplined. According to DOJ resolution documents, in six recent enforcement actions approximately 160 employees have been terminated or disciplined. (This figure is in addition to numerous third parties terminated by companies resolving FCPA enforcement actions).These employee figures represent yet another “ripple” of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement. The aggregate costs of this ripple are surely meaningful when one considers certain inevitable wrongful termination or separation costs, lost productivity, and the time and expense of recruiting and hiring replacements.The November 2016 DOJ NPA used in connection with the JPMorgan enforcement action appears to be the first instance of the DOJ providing specific number on this topic.As highlighted in this prior post, the NPA stated in pertinent part:“the Company and JPMC engaged in extensive remedial measures, including: (1) causing five employees who participated in the misconduct described in the Statement of Facts to separate from the Company—one employee resigned after being placed on leave, one employee received a notice of separation while on leave, and three employees resigned or retired after receiving a notice of separation; (2) causing one employee who failed to identify issues with referral hiring and failed to take appropriate steps to mitigate risks to separate from the Company; (3) disciplining an additional twenty-three employees who failed to detect the misconduct, failed to supervise effectively those who were engaged in the misconduct, failed to take appropriate steps to mitigate corruption and compliance risks, and/or who were lower-level employees engaged in the misconduct at the direction of supervisors; (4) imposing more than $18.3 million in financial sanctions on former or current employees in connection with the remediation efforts.”Thereafter, as highlighted in this December 2016 post, the Odebrecht plea agreement stated in pertinent part:“the company engaged in extensive remedial measures, including: (i) terminating the employment of 51 individuals who participated in the misconduct; (ii) disciplining an additional 26 individuals who were engaged in the misconduct, including suspensions of up to a year and a half, significant financial penalties, and demotion to non-managerial, non-supervisory, non-decision making roles, for each of the 26 individuals.”Similarly, as highlighted in this December 2016 post, the Teva plea agreement stated in pertinent part:“the Company and the Defendant engaged in remediation measures, including: (1) causing at least 15 employees who were involved in the misconduct described in the Statement of the Facts to be removed from the Company, because their employment was terminated, they resigned after being asked to leave, or they voluntarily left once the Company’s internal investigation began.”Likewise, as highlighted in this December 2016 post, the General Cable NPA stated in pertinent part:“the Company has enhanced and has committed to the Fraud Section to continue to enhance its compliance program and internal controls, including ensuring that its compliance program satisfies the minimum elements set forth in Attachment B to [the NPA], the Company has engaged in extensive remedial measures, specifically by: (1) terminating the employment or accelerating the previously-planned departures and resignations of 13 employees who participated in the misconduct, (2) causing the resignation of 2 employees and accelerating the previously-planned departure of an additional employee who failed to supervise effectively others who were engaged in the misconduct described in the Statement of Facts, (3) causing the resignation of an additional employee who failed to take appropriate steps in response to identifying the misconduct; (4) terminating the business relationships with 47 third-party agents and distributors who participated in the misconduct described in the Statement of Facts;”This trend continued into 2017 as this prior post highlighted how the Zimmer DPA stated in pertinent part:“the Company has engaged in remedial measures, including: (1) terminating or causing the resignation of five employees who participated in the misconduct described in the Statement of Facts; (2) terminating one employee who failed to identify issues with the use of a prohibited distributor in Brazil and failed to take appropriate steps to mitigate risks; (3) disciplining two employees who failed to detect the misconduct, failed to supervise effectively those who were engaged in the misconduct, and failed to take appropriate steps to mitigate corruption and compliance risks, including by placing an official letter of reprimand in their employment files, reducing their bonuses, and requiring them to take additional anticorruption training;”Finally, as highlighted in this post, in the DOJ’s most recent corporate FCPA enforcement against Rolls-Royce the DPA stated in pertinent part:“the Company engaged in significant remedial measures, including: (i) terminating 6 employees and accepting resignations from 11 other employees who were the subject of internal disciplinary investigations, where all 17 employees were implicated in the corrupt schemes described [in the DPA] or in other conduct that the Company disclosed to the [DOJ] prior to signing the [DPA]; (ii) terminating the Company’s business relationships with all third-party intermediaries involved in the corrupt schemes …” View
FCPA Professor has been described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and “the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA.”Set forth below are the topics discussed this week on FCPA Professor.Contrary to the assertion that “inability to pay” determinations are a new trend in FCPA enforcement, this post highlights “inability to pay” determinations in several FCPA enforcement actions over the years.While actual FCPA case law is rare, other cases frequently touch upon issues relevant to FCPA enforcement. This post highlights how in an FCPA-related civil claim the court dismissed various causes of action based on the notion, among other things, that causation matters. In another civil claim (see here) a court provided a refreshing reminder that failure to act consistent with “best practices” is NOT a legal violation.Just following instructions here from former DOJ compliance counsel Hui Chen.As highlighted in this post, among the many “ripple” effects of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement is the ability to raise capital.This post highlights the DOJ’s FCPA and related enforcement action concerning an Aruban telecommunications bribery scheme.How much do you know about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? Let’s find out in this week’s FCPA challenge.Stay informed. Read FCPA Professor.To receive posts from the award-winning FCPA Professor website direct to your inbox, click here and go to the bottom left hand of the page to subscribe.Elevate your FCPA knowledge and practical skills at the FCPA Institute – Nashville on May 3-4. To learn more and to register, click here.
Learn More & Register A few hours after the DOJ announced a net $293 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Société Générale S.A concerning conduct in Libya that occurred 9-14 years ago (see here for the prior post), the DOJ also announced that investment management firm Legg Mason also agreed to pony up $64 million to resolve a related enforcement action.Pursuant to a three-year NPA, Legg Mason agreed to pay $64 million based on the conduct of “only two mid-to-lower level employees of a subsidiary of the company” (specifically Permal Group Ltd.). According to the DOJ: “Permal’s financial statements were consolidated into Legg Mason’s financial statements and they participated in a net revenue sharing arrangement, and all employees of Permal were subject to Legg Mason’s code of conduct.”Under the heading “Overview of the Scheme,” the NPA states:“Between in or about 2005 and in or about 2011, following the lifting of broad economic sanctions, the Libyan State Agencies sought to place substantial funds with financial institutions for investment purposes. These placements were heavily sought after by a number of financial institutions, including Permal and Societe Generale, as well as at least eight U.S.-based financial institutions. By at least 2006, two Permal employees and several Societe Generale employees, together with their co-conspirators, knew that the Libyan Intermediary [described as a dual Libyan and Italian national who resided in Dubai and London during the relevant time period and who traveled to the U.S.] was paying bribes and providing other improper financial benefits to Libyan government officials in order to secure financial investments for Societe Generale, and willfully agreed to continue to use the Libyan Intermediary despite that knowledge. In providing bribes and other improper benefits on behalf of Permal and Societe Generale, and taking other acts in furtherance thereof, the Libyan Intermediary acted as an “agent” of Permal and Societe Generale as that term is understood under U.S. law. Societe Generale employees also concealed the bribes through payments to the Libyan Intermediary for purported “introduction” services. During this time period, Societe Generale sold the Libyan State Agencies seven structured notes that were linked to funds managed in whole, or in part, by Permal. The total value of these notes was approximately $950 million. Permal earned net revenues of approximately $31.6 million in connection with these transactions. For each of these seven transactions, Societe Generale, on behalf of itself and Permal, paid the Libyan Intermediary’s Panamanian Company a commission of between one and a half and three percent of the nominal amount of the investments made by the Libyan State Agencies. In connection with these seven transactions, from approximately 2005 to 2008, Societe Generale paid the Libyan Intermediary approximately $26.25 million for supposed “introductory” services. Societe Generale engaged in six other transactions with the Libyan State Agencies that did not involve Permal.During the course of the scheme, two Permal employees and several Societe Generale employees, including Permal Employee 1 [described as the head of Permal’s four-person Dubai office from 2005 to 2008], Societe Generale Employee 1, Societe Generale Employee 2, and another Societe Generale employee, discussed their belief and understanding that, in order to secure deals for Permal and Societe Generale, the Libyan Intermediary was using some portion of the commissions from Societe Generale to pay Libyan officials, including Libyan Official 1, and was providing smaller payments and improper benefits, such as free travel and entertainment, to Libyan Official 2, Libyan Official 3, and other Libyan officials.[Libyan Official 1 is described as “a close relative of then-Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Although Libyan Official 1 did not hold a formal title within the Libyan government, Libyan Official 1 possessed and used a Libyan diplomatic passport and conducted high-profile foreign and domestic affairs for, and on behalf of, the Libyan government. Libyan Official 1 made administrative and investment decisions for the LIA, including through proxies. Libyan Official 1 was a “foreign official” within the meaning of the FCPA.” The LIA (The Libyan Investment Authority) is described as a Libyan government entity formed in 2006 to serve as a Libyan sovereign wealth fund, with a focus on investing and managing oil revenues on behalf of the Libyan government. The LIA was overseen by senior Libyan government officials, was controlled by the Libyan government, and performed a government function on behalf of Libya. The LIA was an investor in Societe Generale structured financial products for which Permal managed certain assets. The LIA was an “agency” and “instrumentality” of a foreign government, as those terms are used in the FCPA.”Libyan Official 2 is described as “an individual whose identity is known to the United States and the Company, was an official at several of the Libyan State Agencies, including the LAFB, the ESDF, and the LIA. Libyan Official 2 was a “foreign official” within the meaning of the FCPA. LAFB (Libyan Foreign Bank) is described as a Libyan bank that was owned and controlled by the CBL (the Central Bank of Libya) which is described as a Libyan state-owned financial and regulatory institution responsible for, among other things, managing the country’s official monetary and foreign reserves and regulating its financial system. The CBL performed a government function on behalf of Libya and was an investor in Societe Generale structured financial products for which Permal managed certain assets. The CBL was an “agency” and “instrumentality” of a foreign government, as those terms are used in the FCPA). The LAFB performed a government function on behalf of Libya and was an investor in Societe Generale structured financial products for which Permal managed certain assets. The LAFB was an “agency” and “instrumentality” of a foreign government, as those terms are used in the FCPA. ESDF (The Economic and Social Development Fund) is described as a Libyan state-owned financial institution that managed assets in Libya for the purpose of investing in major economic projects that supported the overall development of Libya and the distribution of its wealth. The ESDF performed a state government function on behalf of Libya and was an investor in Societe Generale structured financial products for which Permal managed certain assets. The ESDF was an “agency” and “instrumentality” of a foreign government, as those terms are used in the FCPA.”Libyan Official 3 is describe as a senior official at the LIA and was a “foreign official” within the meaning of the FCPA].Some employees of Permal and Societe Generale also used coded language in furtherance of the scheme, including discussing when the Libyan Intermediary had “cooked” various Libyan officials, which was used to connote that the Libyan Intermediary had established control over the official, whether through bribery or other means.Several Societe Generale employees, including Societe Generale Employee 1 and Societe Generale Employee 2, also undertook to hide the commission payments to the Libyan Intermediary’s Panamanian Company from certain officials of the Libyan State Agencies who were either unaware of or unconnected to the bribery scheme. Permal Employee 1 was aware that Societe Generale employees were taking steps to hide the Libyan Intermediary’s commission payments from the Libyan State Agencies.Societe Generale partnered with Permal and others to issue, market, and sell structured notes to the Libyan State Agencies. In these transactions, Societe Generale acted as the “structuring bank,” receiving the money invested by the Libyan State Agencies in consideration for the issuance of the structured notes. The structured notes were issued by Societe Generale subsidiaries. Societe Generale agreed with Permal that, for certain of the products, the money invested by the Libyan State Agencies would be placed in funds managed by Permal. As the structuring bank, however, Societe Generale made the ultimate determination over how investments from the Libyan State Agencies would be allocated among several potential underlying funds. Permal recognized these investments as part of its assets under management and earned fees on the amount of funds received.Permal and Societe Generale, together with their employees and agents, took a number of acts in the United States in furtherance of the scheme. This included, but was not limited to, Permal Employee 1 and Societe Generale Employee 2 accompanying Libyan Official 2 on at least two trips to New York, where they discussed and planned the corrupt scheme. There, Societe Generale Employee 2, at the direction of the Libyan Intermediary and Societe Generale Employee 1, sought to prevent competitors of Societe Generale and Permal from soliciting business from Libyan Official 2. Societe Generale Employee 2 also paid for Libyan Official 2 to enjoy multiple days of entertainment in the United States, including paying for stays at expensive hotels, expensive meals, nightlife excursions, and gifts of luxury goods. In addition, Societe Generale, in connection with transactions it pursued with Permal, made a series of commission payments to the Libyan Intermediary totaling approximately $26.25 million, each of which cleared through Societe Generale’s New York branch. Two Permal employees and several Societe Generale employees believed that the Libyan Intermediary was using some portion of the commissions for corrupt purposes.”The NPA makes several references to recorded phone calls between Societe Generale employees, Permal Employees and/or the Libyan Intermediary. As to the things of value provided to alleged Libyan “foreign officials,” the NPA references that “Permal provided Libyan Official 2 with a course in negotiations at a university.”Although the NPA technically does not charge anything, it makes generic reference to “corrupt payments, false books and records, failure to implement adequate internal accounting controls, and circumvention of internal controls.”Based on the above, the NPA states:“The Company agrees to pay a monetary penalty in the amount of $32,625,000.00 to the United States Treasury no later than five business days after the Agreement is fully executed, and to pay $31,617,891.90 in disgorgement of profits no later than one year after the Agreement is fully executed. The monetary penalty is based upon profits of at least $31,617,891.90 as a result of the offense conduct, and reflects a discount of 25% off of the bottom of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines fine range. The Offices will credit any disgorgement paid by the Company to another law enforcement authority in connection with the resolution of this matter, so long as such disgorgement is paid within one year of the execution of this Agreement.”As stated in the NPA, the DOJ entered into the agreement based on the individual facts and circumstances presented including:“(a) the Company did not receive voluntary disclosure credit because it did not voluntarily and timely disclose;(b) the Company received full credit for its cooperation with the Offices’ investigation, including credit for conducting a thorough and robust internal investigation; proactively bringing information to the Offices’ attention; making factual presentations to the Offices; timely and fully producing all requested documents; voluntarily making foreign-based employees available for interviews in the United States and facilitating their occurrence; entering into agreements tolling relevant statutes of limitations; and collecting, analyzing, and organizing voluminous evidence and information for the Offices;(c) the Company provided to the Offices all relevant facts known to it, including information about the individuals involved in the conduct described in [the enforcement action] and conduct disclosed to the Offices prior to the Agreement;(d) the Company implemented remedial measures, including adding full-time legal and compliance employees, along with a designated anti-corruption officer; initiating internal audit reviews of its policies in this area; enhancing and regularizing employee training, including routine in-person training handled and quarterly external training; and instituting compliance oversight across a broad category of business expenditures;(e) the Company has enhanced and committed to continuing to enhance its compliance program and internal controls, including by ensuring that its compliance programs satisfy the minimum elements set forth in [an Attachment to the NPA);(f) the mitigating factors present in this case, including that the misconduct … involved only two mid-to-lower level employees of a subsidiary of the Company and was not pervasive throughout the Company; that the employees are no longer employed by the subsidiary and have not been for at least four years; that the Company’s co-conspirator — and not the Company itself— maintained the relationship with the intermediary and was responsible for originating and leading the scheme; that the profits earned by the Company in connection with the corrupt transactions … were less than one-tenth of the profits earned by the Company’s co-conspirator; and that the Company has no history of similar misconduct;(g) the nature and seriousness of the offense conduct, including that the Company, through the actions of employees of its subsidiary, participated in a scheme to pass on bribes to high-level Libyan officials to secure lucrative placements with various Libyan-owned and controlled sovereign wealth funds; and(h) the Company (on behalf of itself and any of its legacy subsidiaries and affiliates that were involved in the actions described … (including any current subsidiary or affiliate whose predecessor entity was involved in such actions) (the “Covered Subsidiaries and Affiliates”)) has agreed to continue to cooperate with the Offices in any ongoing investigation of the conduct of the Company, its subsidiaries and affiliates and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, business partners, and consultants related to corrupt payments, false books and records, failure to implement adequate internal accounting controls, and circumvention of internal controls;(i) accordingly, after considering (a) through (h) above, the Offices believe that the appropriate resolution of this case is a non-prosecution agreement with the Company, a criminal penalty with an aggregate discount of 25% off of the bottom of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines fine range, and disgorgement of the illicit gains. Based on the Company’s remediation and the state of its compliance program, and the Company’s agreement to report to the Offices as set forth in [the agreement] (Corporate Compliance Reporting), the Offices determined that an independent compliance monitor was unnecessary.”Pursuant to the NPA, Legg Mason agreed to report to the DOJ annually during the three-year term of the NPA regarding “remediation and implementation of the compliance program and internal controls, policies and procedures” mandated by the NPA.In this release (which pursuant to the NPA the DOJ needed to approve), Legg Mason stated:“The resolution with the Department of Justice involved its findings concerning the actions of two foreign based mid-to-lower level employees of our legacy Permal affiliate who left the firm four or more years ago. The resolution described an illegal scheme to bribe Libyan government officials or their family members in return for Libyan government funds investing in an unaffiliated third party financial institution’s structured investment products in which the former Permal business provided investment advisory services to the underlying funds within the structure. No bribes to such Libyan officials were ever paid by the former affiliate itself. Rather, they were paid by an intermediary – someone who passed along money that was received from the unaffiliated financial institution – in order to obtain the business for the third party financial institution and the former Permal affiliate.At that time, the former Permal affiliate was a sub-adviser of several of the structured products marketed by the unaffiliated financial institution. The investments in question were made in calendar years 2005 to 2007 and were closed no later than 2012. In fact, only 3% of the former affiliate’s total business during the period came from Libya. No payments were ever made by the former affiliate to the intermediary who was the one who paid the bribes, and no payments from the former Permal business were otherwise used as bribes. EnTrustPermal is a new entity, formed years after the activities in question, and is not at all involved in this matter.[…]Other than this one unfortunate matter, neither Legg Mason nor the former Permal business have ever engaged in any misconduct similar to that involved in this case. Over the past decade, Legg Mason has significantly enhanced its oversight compliance policies and procedures and put in place a robust set of policies, training programs, and employee notifications and reminders that reinforce the principles underlying our anti-corruption program. An Anti-Corruption Officer has been named and is responsible for implementing our anti-corruption program throughout the organization. Recently, Legg Mason’s anti-corruption program was certified by the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board as being in compliance with the standards released in October 2016 by the International Organization for Standardization with respect to anti-bribery management systems. We note with pride that Legg Mason was the first company globally to be certified as meeting these standards.”John Savarese and Jonathan Moses (Wachtell, Lipton) represented Legg Mason. FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.
Username Lost your password? Remember me Password An East Texas jury on Wednesday found William E. Mapp liable for one count of negligence for misleading investors about the business prospects of company that he founded and formerly led, McKinney-based Servergy. But it also cleared Mapp of seven other charges that Mapp committed fraud and offered unregistered securities . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.
by, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweet2Share289Share6Email297 SharesAbout eight years ago, Ashton Applewhite began interviewing people over 80 for a project called “So when are you going to retire?” It didn’t take her long to realize that almost everything she thought she knew about aging was wrong.“I had no idea that people are happiest at the beginnings and the ends of their lives, for example,” Applewhite exclaims. “That the vast majority of Americans over 65 live independently. The older people get, the less afraid they are of dying. Why don’t more people know this stuff? Because we live in a culture that drowns out all but the negative about growing old, or even just aging past youth.”ChangingAging readers know exactly what Ashton is talking about. A frequent ChangingAging contributor, Ashton published her ground-breaking new book This Chair Rocks: A Manifest Against Ageism (on sale here March 15!) to help us catalyze our nascent anti-ageism community into a full-blown culture-jamming movement.To celebrate her book launch ChangingAging published an exclusive excerpt here and I’ve got an amazing Q&A with Ashton below: If you could banish one stereotype about aging, what would it be?Ashton Applewhite: The notion that older people are alike! It’s why people think everyone in a retirement home is the same age—“old”—even though residents can span four decades. (Can you imagine thinking that way about a group of 20- to 60-year-olds?) It’s why the last box on those marketing checklists – you know, 18-26, 27-39, etc., end at 65+—as though everyone over 65 buys the same stuff and does the same things.Stereotyping—the assumption that all members of a group are the same— underlies all the “isms.” It’s always a mistake, but especially when it comes to age, because as the years pass, of course we grow more different from one another. It’s why geriatricians say: “If you’ve seen one 80-year-old, you’ve seen one 80-year-old.” We all age at different rates —mentally, physically, and socially—which is why there’s no such thing as “acting your age.”Chronological age tells you almost nothing about an individual—not what they’re listening to or who they’re voting for or where they’re headed—and the older the person, the less reliable an indicator it becomes.You make a case for an anti-ageism campaign as a public health initiative. Tell us about that.A growing body of evidence shows that attitudes towards aging have an actual, measurable, physical effect on how we age. There’s no inherent reason for the effect to be negative. But an ageist culture tells us that wrinkles are ugly. Old people are incompetent. It’s sad to be old. When we assimilate these stereotypes, they become part of our identity, and this influences how our brains and bodies function.In one experiment, social scientists primed a group of college students with negative age stereotypes—words like “forgetful,” “Florida,” and “bingo”—that they flashed on a screen too briefly for the subjects to become aware of them. The students then walked to the elevator measurably more slowly than a control group! Imagine the effect on older people for whom the terms are more relevant, and thus more likely to become self-fulfilling prophecies.People with more positive feelings about aging behave differently from those convinced that growing old means becoming irrelevant or pathetic. They do better on memory tests and have better handwriting. They can walk faster and are more likely to recover fully from severe disability. And they actually live longer—an average of seven and a half years. Everyone agrees that health has the biggest effect on how we age—and how much it costs. So think what a national anti-ageism campaign would do to extend not just the lifespan but the “healthspan” of all Americans. Why do so many of us have such a hard time actually admitting our age…saying it out loud?You’d have to live in a cave to miss the messages all around us that old=bad, and that aging is to be feared and avoided by any means necessary. No wonder so many of us are reluctant to part with the equivalent of a cultural “sell-by” date! It’s an understandable strategy. Attempting to “pass” for younger, the way people of color have passed for white and gay people for straight, is a way to avoid being discriminated against. But “passing” takes a psychological toll, because it’s rooted in denial and distaste, even disgust. We’re reluctant to divulge our age because we’ve internalized the profoundly ageist notion that our older self is inferior to our younger one.Do you honestly think that the person you are now has less to offer than the twenty- or thirty-something you once did? That you’re less interesting now? Less valuable? How about less attractive? If that gets a nod, consider the industries that make billions by commodifying our dissatisfaction with our bodies, especially women’s. Who gets to decide that wrinkles are ugly? It is high time to look more generously at ourselves, as the body-acceptance movement urges, and to stop colluding in devaluing ourselves as older women.When we claim our age, the number loses its power over us. It’s a little like a spell breaking. We can’t stop aging, even if we wanted to, but we can change the way we feel about it—the first step in any revolution. Then we can start to see where those ageist messages come from, and work together to challenge the structures that benefit from them. We’ve always disliked the term “successful aging” at ChangingAging and I think you agree. Why?Terms like “successful aging” and “productive aging” and “active aging” are popular, and provide an upbeat counterpoint to the standard narrative of aging-as-deline. They’re seductive, because we really, really want to think we can keep doing the things we love for as long as we live. We often can—versions of them, that is—especially if we have access to healthcare, and exercise, and eat well. But the goalposts shift. In addition to taking care of ourselves, we’d do well to decouple self-worth from longstanding measures of earning power or physical prowess. Much is not under our control, and making the necessary supports available to all older Americans will require implementation at the policy level. It’s important to keep in mind that many of the resources that help us “age well” are predominantly available to the lucky and reasonably well off. Sanitized or romanticized exemplars of “successful aging”—those silver-maned couples waltzing on the foredeck of a cruise ship—set an unreasonable standard and suggest that less “successful” agers are responsible for their circumstances. Everyone can make sensible choices, but barriers like heavy caregiving responsibilities, inadequate health care, and neighborhoods with few resources make it more difficult. Blaming the poor for “bad choices” makes aging another arena in which we succeed or fail based on terms that are far from neutral. There’s a lot of harsh judgment of olders who aren’t physically mobile or conventionally economically productive, and that’s not OK. All aging is successful—not just the sporty version—otherwise you’re dead. My favorite chapter in your book attacks the media for portraying older adults as an economic drag on society. Is the media full of shit on the economics of aging?Absolutely! People 50 and up fuel the significant, fast-growing, and often-overlooked “longevity economy,” which according to AARP accounted for 46 percent of US gross domestic product ($7.1 trillion) in 2012. By 2021 the 50-plus age group is projected to drive more than half of US economic activity, as their spending fuels industries that include apparel, health care, education and entertainment. These statistics capture only part of the economic contribution of older Americans, whose unpaid volunteer work in 2013 was valued at $67 billion. And while “entrepreneur” might conjure up an image of a kid in that proverbial garage, twice as many successful American entrepreneurs are over age 20 as in their early 20s.. More resources have always flowed from older generations to younger ones than the reverse.This is despite widespread age discrimination in employment, which prevents older workers from finding challenging work of which they’re eminently capable, and relegates them to jobs that don’t take advantage of their skills and experience—Wal-Mart greeters, say. It also makes it harder for them to find part-time and volunteer positions. Discouraged and diminished, many become economically dependent, contributing to the misperception that olders are a net burden to society, but it’s not by choice. Society has grown far less tolerant of sexism, racism and homophobia. Why do ageist attitudes and behaviors still get a pass?That’s what I’d like to know! Can you imagine anyone, Donald Trump excepted, complacently identifying himself as sexist or racist? Yet no one even blinks when older people are described as incompetent, or boring, or even repulsive. (And most people are unaware that younger people also face age bias.) Older people can be the most prejudiced of all, having had a lifetime to internalize negative myths and stereotypes that have gone unquestioned—until now. Diversity became a buzzword because society grew less tolerant of racism and sexism and homophobia. We want different faces around the table because we don’t think access to opportunity should depend on what someone looks like. Graying hair and wrinkles count. It is high time to make the last socially sanctioned prejudice as unacceptable as any other kind.If that seems like a tall order, look at how much has shifted in how we look at gender, and how rapidly. It used to be viewed as a rigid binary, male or female, but we now understand that it’s far more fluid. If gender can be conceived of this way, why on earth not age, which is inherently, obviously, a continuum? Why not shake off our fear of being on the “wrong” side of some imaginary old/young divide and embrace a more flexible, friendly, and far more rational view of age? You call yourself an Old Person in Training (as do I!). Why?I’m 63. I know I’m not young, I don’t see myself as old, and I know a lot of people feel the same way. We spend a lot of energy pretending that the old are somehow not us—not even future us—and that we’ll somehow never get old. Even though it’s irrational. Even though we’re doomed to fail. Even though it fills us with needless dread. Even though that denial is where ageism takes root. That’s why I’ve become an old person in training, a phrase I appropriated from geriatrician Joanne Lynn.Becoming an Old Person in Training bridges that divide between our younger and older selves, and connects them empathically. It acknowledges the inevitability of growing old while relegating it to the future, albeit at an ever-smaller remove. It swaps purpose and intent for dread and denial. It’s a relief. It feels right and it makes sense..What’s does becoming an Old Person in Training involve? It means looking at older people instead of past them, remembering they were once our age, seeing resilience alongside infirmity, allowing for sensuality, enlarging our notion of beauty, and acknowledging that an apartment, or a room or even just a bed can be home to an internal world as rich as ours—and very possibly richer. It means thoughtful peeks through the periscope of an open mind at the terrain we’ll inhabit when we are finally old. I see the ninety-year-old me as withered and teetery, but also curious and content. Envisioning her won’t make it happen, but the aspiration will surely help. The consensus from people over eighty, who should know, is that young people worry way too much about getting old. So the earlier we make this imaginative leap, the better—and the better equipped we’ll be to benefit from the journey. My favorite reviewer of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, says this book can help catalyze a mass movement against ageism the way Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring catalyzed the environmental movement. What kind of actions would you like to see?My book lays out a blueprint in every domain. Change starts between our ears, with the difficult task of unlearning beliefs we’ve held all our lives. Some places to start:Look for ways in which you’re ageist instead of looking for evidence that you aren’t. You can’t challenge bias unless you’re aware of it, and everyone’s biased some of the time.Talk to people significantly older and younger than you, and listen carefully. If you don’t know many of them, seek them out.The next time you wonder whether an outing or an outfit or an attitude is age-appropriate, reconsider the question. There’s no such thing.Change ripples outward when we point out ageist behaviors and beliefs in the world around us. Some places to start:Train yourself to notice when everyone in a group is the same age, and unless there’s some legitimate reason, speak up about it.Assume capacity, not incapacity. Don’t assume someone is too old—or too young—to weigh in on a topic or take on a responsibility.If you’re on the receiving end of an ageist comment, ask gently, “Why would you say [or think] that?” Then just be quiet.If you’re feeling ambitious, start a consciousness-raising group around age bias. This powerful tool catalyzed the women’s movement in the 1960s and 70s. You can download my guide, Who Me, Ageist?,here.Changing the culture is a tall order, but look at how women’s roles have changed in a single generation, and at the amazing progress we’ve made in this century alone against homophobia and transphobia. Every radical movement needs a slogan! What would you like it to be?Age pride! Age pride is for dissed teenagers and dismissed olders and everyone in between. Age pride is for Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers, who said, “We must be proud of our age” and who, if she’d lived long enough, would have beaten me to “Occupy age!”—my other favorite slogan. If marriage equality is here to stay, why not age equality? If gay pride has gone mainstream, and millions of Americans now take pride in identifying as disabled, why not age pride? The only reason that idea sounds outlandish is because this is the first time you’ve encountered it. It won’t be the last. Longevity is here to stay. Everyone is aging. Dismantling ageism benefits us all.Bonus video: I’ve figured out what to call ourselves.https://vimeo.com/album/3748539/video/152238376Related PostsA New, Powerful Tool to Defeat AgeismAshton Applewhite, activist and author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, recently delivered an 11-minute barn-burning TED Talk called “Let’s End Ageism” that is the clearest and most concise, entertaining, and impactful introduction to the scourge of ageism I’ve ever heard.Rocking Our Views on AgingAbolishing ageism is a revolutionary cause whose time has come. This Chair Rocks by Ashton Applewhite is its inspiring manifesto.Declaring Independence From AgeismThis Fourth of July lets declare independence from ageism! It won’t be an easy revolution. Like the colonial British Empire, ageism won’t roll over without a fight.Tweet2Share289Share6Email297 SharesTags: Ageism Ashton Applewhite books manifesto
Source:https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/186270/molecule-that-acts-human-cells-might/ May 15 2018Researchers have lab-tested a molecule that can combat the common cold virus by preventing it from hijacking human cells.Early lab-based tests with human cells have shown the molecule’s ability to completely block multiple strains of cold virus, and the team hope to move to animal and then human trials. The results of initial tests are published today in the journal Nature Chemistry.The common cold is caused by a family of viruses with hundreds of variants, making it nearly impossible to become immune to or vaccinate against all of them. On top of that, the viruses evolve rapidly, meaning they can quickly gain resistance to drugs.For these reasons, most cold remedies rely on treating the symptoms of the infection – such as runny nose, sore throat and fever – rather than tackling the virus itself.However a new molecule, developed by researchers at Imperial College London, targets N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), a protein in human cells. Viruses ‘hijack’ NMT from human cells to construct the protein ‘shell’, or capsid, which protects the virus genome.All strains of the virus need this same human protein to make new copies of themselves, so the molecule should work against all of them. Additionally, the molecule also works against viruses related to the cold virus, such as polio and foot and mouth disease viruses.The molecule targets a human protein and not the virus itself, making emergence of resistant viruses highly unlikely.Lead researcher Professor Ed Tate, from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial, said: “The common cold is an inconvenience for most of us, but can cause serious complications in people with conditions like asthma and COPD. A drug like this could be extremely beneficial if given early in infection, and we are working on making a version that could be inhaled, so that it gets to the lungs quickly.”Related StoriesProbiotic-derived molecule optimizes the immune system to combat viral inflammatory diseasesDiscovery could lead to new drugs for pain conditionsStudy finds increase in fatal opioid overdoses after cold weatherThere have been previous attempts to create drugs that target human cells rather than the viruses, but many have the side effect of being toxic. The researchers showed that the new molecule completely blocked several strains of the virus without affecting human cells. Further study is needed to make sure it is not toxic in the body.The research team included the labs of Professor Roberto Solari and Professor Seb Johnston at Imperial’s National Heart & Lung Institute, Dr Aurelie Mousnier from Imperial and Queen’s University Belfast, structural biologists at the University of York, and colleagues at the Pirbright Institute.Professor Tate said: “The way the drug works means that we would need to be sure it was being used against the cold virus, and not similar conditions with different causes, to minimize the chance of toxic side effects.”The medicinal chemistry team in the Tate group at Imperial, led by Dr Andy Bell (who previously invented Viagra as a researcher at Pfizer), were originally looking for compounds that targeted the protein in malaria parasites. Screening large libraries of compounds, they found two hits and were surprised to discover that they worked best together.By inventing a novel way to combine the two, they created a molecule, codenamed IMP-1088, which is more than a hundred times more potent than previous molecules targeting the protein in humans.