Britain saw record 12% increase in Canadian visitation last year Travelweek Group Share LONDON — Canadians are visiting Britain in record numbers, with visits up 12% to 643,000 and spending up 24% to a record £505 million from January to September 2016.According to VisitBritain, due to the drop in the exchange rate, Britain saw a surge in overseas visitors in the first three quarters of 2016. A strong finish is projected for the year’s final quarter.“These strong numbers show how much Canadians enjoy exploring the culture, heritage, cities and countryside of Britain. And with the current exchange rate, Canadians see value for money. It’s a great time to visit the U.K., and enjoy the benefits of how much further your dollar can take you,” said Paul Gauger, VisitBritain Interim Executive Vice President.When considering inbound visits overall to the U.K., there were a record-breaking 28.1 million visits from January to September, up 2% on the previous year. Strong growth was also seen in visits and spend from the U.S., Britain’s most valuable visitor market, with spend up 9% to a record £2.5 billion and visits up 3% to 2.7 million.More news: Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyIn the first nine months of 2016, there were a record-breaking 12.2 million visits to English regions outside London, up 4% compared to the same period in 2015. Canadian visits to the English regions from January September, outside of London, were up 15% to 280,000.Wales saw inbound visits increase 12% from January to September last year to 856,000, while in Scotland, overseas visits grew 4% to 2.2 million, the strongest year to date since 2007.As for this year, VisitBritain’s latest inbound tourism forecast shows that growth is set to continue in 2017 with 38.1 million visits, up 4% on 2016, which is likely to see about 36.7 million visits by year’s end.Spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach £24.1 billion this year, an 8% increase on spending last year, which is expected to top out at £22.3 billion. Latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that flight bookings to the U.K. for January 2017 are up 11% on the same month last year. Flight bookings from January to March are up 10% on the same three-month period last year. Monday, January 23, 2017 Posted by Tags: Britain, Trend Watch << Previous PostNext Post >>
Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians wants nothing to do with it.“I think it’s a total distraction, and I think it’s an embarrassment to players,” Arians said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I think when players are released, some of the things that are said between coaches and players are too personal, and nobody else’s business.”The league did offer exemptions to teams to allow them to avoid being picked. Teams with first-year head coaches, teams that have been in the postseason at least once in the last two seasons and teams that have been featured on Hard Knocks in the last decade would be exempt. Hard Knocks is a highly-popular HBO football documentary that focuses on one team during the course of their training camp, giving fans an inside look at life in the National Football League.The show recently concluded its eighth season, with the Cincinnati Bengals as the focus of the program.Earlier this week, the NFL announced they’ll be able to force teams to participate in future seasons of the program should no franchise volunteer to be featured. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments Share
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Tennessee Titans have been described as a “dump truck.” Their 8-4 record had been called a mirage by some critics who pointed to their negative point differential.Their M.O. this season has been winning ugly. Turns out they can lose ugly, too.The Arizona Cardinals got four second-half field goals from Phil Dawson, contained Tennessee’s running game and generally made life hard on Marcus Mariota in a less-than-beautiful 12-7 win Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. Earlier in the season, a missed field goal might send Arizona into a tailspin. That didn’t happen Sunday. The Cardinals forced a three-and-out and then drove down the field for another Dawson make — this one from 32 yards to make it 9-7 Arizona.On Tennessee’s next drive, linebacker Josh Bynes read Mariota’s eyes and picked off a first-down pass, returning it to the Tennessee 15-yard line. A late hit penalty gave Arizona a first down at the Titans’ 7-yard line. They didn’t punch it into the end zone, but Dawson hit from 35 yards to make it 12-7The defense would do the rest.The Titans managed just four yards in their last three possessions.“I couldn’t be prouder of the character of the men in that locker room,” Arians said. “We’ve never lost two in a row at home in five years, and very seldom have we lost two in a row (overall) because of the character that’s in that room.”Character isn’t quantifiable. But shutting down an opponent is.“It feels really good,” outside linebacker Chandler Jones said. “Our defense really stepped it up, buying into what the coaches are preaching and guys were just making plays.” Jones sacked Mariota once and had him in his grasp on several other occasions.“I think I have to work on that,” he said. “Once I get free, I have to break down and lower my center of gravity.”The sack he did get was his 14th of the season, a new career-high for one of the league’s best pass rushers.Olsen Pierre and Haason Reddick each registered sacks. Tramon Williams had an interception and three passes defensed. It was a total team effort.“I think we’ve been doing that the last several weeks on defense, and a lot of times this season,” Bynes said. “The season hasn’t gone the way we wanted, but definitely defensively we’ve held the last three or four opponents under 100 yards (rushing) and that’s always a plus.” – / 20 “I know what everybody’s going to say, that this was an ugly win,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians announced at the top of his postgame press conference. “There’s no such thing.”He’s right. The ugly ones count just the same in the standings as the flawless ones — and the Cardinals have racked up their fair share of ducklings this year. They had to go overtime to beat both Indianapolis and San Francisco. They held on for dear life to grab a win over a hard-charging Tampa Bay team.But Sunday’s was a little different in that the Cardinals beat the Titans at their own game. It was Mike Mularkey’s team that was supposed to come to Glendale and grind out a win, but they had the tables turned on them.Tennessee (8-5) grabbed a lead in the second quarter. After a short punt from Arizona’s Andy Lee gave the Titans a short field, they cashed in. Derrick Henry capped a 50-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run midway through the period.That would be the last time the scoreboard would change on the Titans’ side.Dawson connected from 47 and 23 yards in the third quarter to pull the Cardinals to within a point. Dawson would then miss a 40-yard attempt early in the fourth that would have given the Cardinals their first lead. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Haason Reddick, left, brings down Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the Titans 12-7. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 8 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Google is set to migrate all the videos on YouTube to its recently launched VP9 compression standard as this offers the “best path to 4K video,” according to Google executive Matt Frost. Speaking at the OTTtv World Summit, Frost, who head of strategy and partnerships for Google Chrome, said that “4K is the new 3D,” but with the latter having not lived up to its early promise, device manufacturers are looking for 4K content to satisfy customers.“For us at Google, at YouTube, trying to satisfy the consumer demand for 4K content, we know that actually the answer isn’t VP9 or HEVC, it’s the next generation of the technology. Because as we build better technologies, we figure out better ways to use all of that data,” said Frost.However he added: “Youtube is going to be migrated to VP9. It is currently supporting VP9 streams. The best path to 4K video for YouTube right now is VP9.”VP9 builds on the earlier VP8 video compression standard, which was developed by On2 Technologies – the company Frost previously worked at and was bought by Google in 2010. VP9, which was released earlier this year, is designed to deliver the same quality video as VP8 but with 50% of the bit-rate.Discussing video standards, Frost said YouTube had also made a “very significant move towards HTML5,” though admitted there were still flaws to the markup standard when it came to video.“HTML5 was not ready, really, for primetime four years ago. We’d talk at these sorts of sessions – we were met with applause and accolades because everyone was very eager to move away from Flash and Silverlight, but they all wanted the same experience that they got with Flash and Silverlight – that’s things like full screen and minor things like DRM,” said Frost.“We’re still seeing some inconsistency from site to site with HTML5. The goal when you put forward a standard is to have people implement it in a standardised way. Unfortunately that’s not always the case,” he said.While Flash and Silverlight offered a “pretty close to ubiquitous solution,” Frost said that there isn’t perfect uniformity of implementation across browsers, meaning that “with HTML5 you’re looking at creating a mosaic solution across all of these browsers.”In spite of this, Frost said “we are quickly coming to an era where all YouTube video will be HTML5 video.” Currently, all non-monetised video now from YouTube that is streamed in Chrome and Internet Explorer 11, is HTML5 video, he said.Referring to Chrome’s multi-device applications, Frost claimed that Google is “obviously looking at expanding the availability of Chromecast devices,” referring to its internet TV dongle, which launched in the US in the summer. However, he did not give specific details about international launch plans.
— Recommended Links Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida June 3, 2016 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. – • Nick thinks Brazil’s currency could collapse… That might sound like a bold prediction. But keep in mind, Brazil’s had five currency crises in the past 75 years. That’s one every 15 years. The last one was in 1994. According to Nick, Brazil is long overdue for a currency crisis. • Nick is waiting until there’s “blood in the streets” before he buys Brazilian stocks… That’s when he’ll pick up shares of the world-class Brazilian company on his watch list. The company dominates its industry and is ultra-efficient. It’s also grown its profits by an average of 13% every year since 2010 despite Brazil’s economic downturn. He will let his Crisis Investing readers know when it’s time to buy. • In the meantime, you can make money betting against Brazilian stocks… Nick told readers how to bet against Brazilian stocks in April. His timing was spot on. Last month, the Bovespa plunged 10%. According to the Financial Times, it was the world’s worst-performing stock market during the month of May. Nick’s bet against Brazilian stocks paid off big. It returned 25% in just over a month. If you didn’t get in on this trade, don’t worry. As we said, Nick thinks Brazilian stocks are headed much lower. In April, Nick said “a 300% gain is a reasonable target” for this trade. You can invest alongside Nick—and learn exactly how to profit from Brazil in the coming months—with a subscription to Crisis Investing. By clicking this link, you can sign up for a risk-free trial. You’ll also get a chance to watch a short video about a much bigger crisis on Nick’s radar…and how to profit from it. Click here to view this free video. Chart of the Day Brazilian stocks could deliver huge gains after they “bottom out.” Today’s chart shows the performance of the Bovespa, Brazil’s version of the S&P 500, since 2000. You can see Brazilian stocks began a huge bull market about fourteen years ago. The Bovespa gained 778% from 2002 to 2008. For comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 211% since its historic bull market began in 2009. In 2008, Brazilian stocks plunged when the global financial crisis hit. They never fully recovered. Nick thinks Brazil’s current economic crisis will send stocks even lower. This could set up a buying opportunity like we saw in 2002. “The backdoor that makes me $1 million a year” There’s a little-known way to legally bypass U.S. Government Rule 501 right now that could make you $10,000 a year… through a “backdoor” in the venture capital world. Click here for the full details. [Urgent] Read NOW if You’re on Social Security… or Soon Will Be Anyone who is dependent on a fixed income—like Social Security or a pension—is considered “high risk” for losing everything when the next currency crisis hits. That’s why Jim Rickards just released a new, never-before-seen book installment—and it might be the most important one yet. In fact, he personally has over $1 million invested in this new technique, in order to protect himself and his family. He strongly suggests that every American over the age of 55 do the same immediately. Even if it’s just a small amount to start. Click here now to claim your copy today before they’re gone. It’s in its worst economic downturn in nearly a century… Its stock market has plunged 70% since 2010… And its currency has lost 35% of its value over the past two years. For most folks, this sounds like a market to avoid. But for Casey Research founder Doug Casey, it sounds like a promising money-making opportunity. Longtime readers know Doug made millions buying assets most investors wouldn’t go near. He literally wrote the book on how to make money investing in hated markets. That book, Crisis Investing, spent 34 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list. In it, Doug explained how to make huge gains while risking little by investing in beaten-up markets. This strategy is so successful for those who know how to use it, we’ve called it “the world’s most powerful wealth-building secret.” • Regular readers know we’re talking about Brazil… Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous country. It has the world’s eighth biggest economy. Not long ago, it was a rising star of the global economy. Its economy more than quadrupled in size from 2000 to 2011. Brazil was even the “B” in “BRICS,” a Wall Street acronym for five emerging markets with big growth potential. But it didn’t live up to the hype. • Today, Brazil’s economy is a disaster… Its economy hasn’t grown since 2010. To put that in perspective, the U.S. economy has only had two down years since 1992, when it shrunk during the 2008–2009 financial crisis. Brazil’s stock market and currency have also tanked. Inflation in Brazil is above 10% for the first time in 12 years. Unemployment is at a six-year high and rising. Brazil’s socialist president, Dilma Rousseff, is a big reason the country’s economy imploded. Five years into her presidency, Brazil’s finances were in shambles. The country went from a 2.3% government surplus in 2011 to a 10.3% deficit last year. Rousseff is still in office right now. But she may not be for long. She’s currently standing trial for impeachment. Many folks are hopeful a new government can turn things around in Brazil. • Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, has been following Brazil closely for months…. As you may know, Nick is Doug’s globetrotting companion. His investing style is similar to Doug’s—he buys cheap markets and industries other investors run away from. In 2013, Nick used this strategy to make huge gains investing in the tiny European island of Cyprus. The country just had a horrible banking crisis. Its stock market was down 98%. It was one of the world’s most hated markets. Nick recommended eight dirt-cheap Cyprus stocks to his readers. One of those stocks tripled in less than two years. Two doubled over the same period. Another gained 97%. • Now, Nick is stalking Brazilian stocks… He’s not a buyer yet. As bad as things are in Brazil right now, Nick says things will get worse. • And with Brazilian stocks staging a big rally recently, there’s no reason to buy Brazilian stocks today… Brazil’s main stock index, the Bovespa, jumped 45% from the end of January to the end of April. Some investors wondered if Brazilian stocks had bottomed. Nick says they haven’t. In the April issue of Crisis Investing, he said fundamentals weren’t fueling the rally: [T]he only buyers of Brazilian equities the last few months were foreigners. Local investors have been selling. As far as I can tell, foreign investors are buying in hopes the new government magically makes things better. I don’t see this happening… Nick knows that it pays to watch who’s buying and who’s selling. In this case, the locals are selling. Locals have a front-row seat to the action. If they’re selling, that probably means things are getting worse. • Back in April, Nick warned his readers to stay away from high-flying Brazil stocks… He reminded them that Brazil still has big problems: Replacing one corrupt government with another is not going to fix these problems. The worst is yet to come in Brazil. It’s shaping up to be a lovely train wreck. I believe soon, one (or a combination) of these things will trigger a full-blown crisis in Brazil. It will thrust Brazil onto the front pages of First World newspapers…and get Wall Street to say, “Sell anything Brazilian.”
— If Doug had bought the hotel in 1979 and sold it six years later, he could have made 150 times his original investment. These are the kinds of returns you can make by investing in crisis markets and only by investing in crisis markets. You don’t have to trek through a civil war battle zone or dodge bullets to find these kinds of colossal returns. I was just recently in Zimbabwe with Doug. And like in 1979, it has huge potential for profit. If you’ve ever seen Zimbabwe in the news, I’m certain it wasn’t positive. If you’ve ever seen Zimbabwe in some sort of international competitiveness rankings, I’m sure it ranked at or near the bottom. There’s good reason for that. The country is in an economic and political crisis. Hyperinflation has totally destroyed the local currency. There’s been some bad press, and rightly so. But there’s a lot more to the story… Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources… gold, platinum, diamonds, and fertile farmland. The geological potential of the country is huge. Zimbabwe has production upside in platinum and other minerals that few can match. The bad press has conveniently (for us) camouflaged the opportunities in Zimbabwe. And that’s part of what makes it so appealing for us as contrarians. Zimbabwe currently has a severe cash shortage. ATMs are running out of money, liquidity has dried up, and there’s panic selling. Plus, Zimbabwe has absolutely dismal public relations. You’ve probably heard only bad things about Zimbabwe, if you’ve heard about it at all. Some of those negative opinions are valid. But having just spent 10 days in the capital city of Harare, I think they’re mostly overblown. Zimbabwe isn’t that different from other places I’ve visited with very poor external images, like Lebanon and Colombia. None of these places is even a fraction as bad as the press would suggest. Another misconception about Zimbabwe is that it’s dangerous and full of crime. While there is a crime problem in neighboring South Africa, Zimbabwe is pretty safe. I never once felt uncomfortable and neither did any of the locals we spoke with. In South Africa, it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone to kill for a cell phone. But not in Zimbabwe. For whatever reason, that’s just not their culture. Zimbabwe has enormous wealth. It has some of the largest platinum, diamond, and gold reserves in the world. It has an educated population, relatively decent roads and other infrastructure, and an abundance of productive farmland. The country should be one of the richest in Africa… not one of the poorest. For Zimbabwe to improve, the government must be less hostile to the country’s crucial industries. That could happen soon. President Robert Mugabe has basically run the show since the country’s independence. But he is 92 years old, and it’s only a matter of time before the country moves on. There’s a real chance for things to get “less bad.” And because things are so dirt-cheap, that could mean huge profits. Doug and I met with the top dogs in the government on our recent trip. It appears that, after hitting rock bottom, they understand they have to make some radical changes. Surprisingly, in our meetings, nearly all of the top officials in the government understood the perils of Keynesian economics. Some even quoted Ludwig von Mises, the godfather of free-market Austrian economics, in their internal memos. Seeing this in a country known for its destructive economic policies felt like stepping into the twilight zone. Nobody knows if the government will actually make the needed changes. But I think there is a plausible chance the country will turn around. And given how cheap some asset prices are right now, the risk-reward ratio is in our favor. This is exactly the kind of contrarian situation I look for in Crisis Investing. It’s an environment where we can find huge bargains. It’s a risky bet. But because the upside is so large, it’s one worth taking. Regards, Nick Giambruno Editor’s note: In April, Nick revealed to his readers two ways to profit from Zimbabwe’s crisis. One of those picks is up 9%. The other has surged 31%. Those are big moves for such a short period. But Nick thinks both could deliver 100%+ gains. You can get in on these investments by signing up for Crisis Investing. But before you do, we want you to try our newest training series. This FREE, four-part workshop tells you everything you need to know about crisis investing. As you’ll see, many of the world’s legendary investors used this same simple approach to make billions. Just remember, both of Nick’s Zimbabwe picks are on the run already. If you want to make money in this crisis market, now is the time to strike. Click here to get started today. Leopard Rock Hotel It was the crisis and fear that generated such a dirt-cheap price. Investor sentiment couldn’t have been worse. In 1979, Zimbabwe was the last place most people wanted to put money into… which made it the best place in the world to go looking for bargains. Happening Now! Historic Free Training Event with Doug Casey… Doug Casey’s forecasts helped investors prepare and profit from: 1) the S&L blowup in the ’80s and ’90s, 2) the 2001 tech stock collapse, 3) the 2008 financial crisis, 4) and now… Doug’s sounding the alarms about a catastrophic event. One he believes could strike America, just months from now. To help you prepare and profit, this week, we’re hosting a free online training event. Click here now to accept your invitation. Editor’s note: This week, we’re focusing on “crisis investing,” a little-known investing strategy that involves buying hated markets for cheap. Casey Research founder Doug Casey used this simple method to make millions. In the following essay, Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, talks about the time Doug went to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1979 looking for opportunity. At the time, Rhodesia was in the middle of a civil war. Most investors wanted nothing to do with the country, which is exactly why Doug went there. According to Nick, there’s a similar investing opportunity in Zimbabwe right now. Investors who take advantage of this could quickly double their money. We’ll show you how at the end of this essay. If you were in a window seat, you’d pull down the shade to reduce the risk of anti-aircraft fire hitting the plane. At least that’s what flight crews used to tell tourists to do when landing in the African country of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The year was 1979. Rhodesia was in the midst of a civil war. On the ground, it was like a scene out of the movie Mad Max… soldiers, armored vehicles, danger and confusion everywhere. Doug Casey was perhaps the only foreign investor still there. Doug took a bus across the country, trying to avoid the Rhodesian Army and the rebels they were fighting. He kept asking what he should see while he was in the country, and he kept hearing about the Leopard Rock Hotel. So there he went. What he found was a grand castle complex that Italian prisoners (captured by British forces) had helped build during World War II. By 1979, the owners had converted it into a fantastical luxury hotel. It had 12 enormous suites, oversized fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, broad terraces, miles of horseback trails, a nine-hole golf course, 200 acres of garden with vast mountain views, and 50 acres of coffee trees. It was beautiful and huge. It had everything you would want in a luxury resort hotel. Federal Reserve Member Gives Urgent Warning to Americans The nation’s top bankers are warning of a “doomsday scenario” that threatens every American with a checking account. As the president of the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis puts it: “You type in your code, no money comes out.” And Janet Yellen – the most powerful banker on Earth – says “We could find ourselves in a devastating spiral.” Click here to see how insiders (including a high-ranking member of Congress) are protecting themselves… – Recommended Links
Everybody loves a winner — even toddlers, according to a study published Monday. But even though kiddos tend to like high-status individuals, they don’t like those who win conflicts by using force.”It seems like toddlers care about who wins, but they also care about how they win,” says Ashley Thomas, now a researcher in cognitive development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.In recent years, scientists have devised experiments to show that babies and young toddlers not only notice the social interactions happening around them, but also actively evaluate them.Thomas, who was then a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine, wondered if toddlers understood the concept of social status. After all, adults constantly have to navigate situations that involve people of different rank and prestige, and it can be helpful to have friends in high places.To try to find out what toddlers think of this, Thomas and some colleagues had children ages 21 months to 31 months watch a series of puppet shows. First, one googly-eyed puppet crossed the stage repeatedly, from right to left. Then, another puppet crossed the stage from left to right. After that came a conflict: The two puppets bumped in the middle, blocking each other’s way.”One of two things happened,” Thomas explains. “Either one of the puppets kind of bows down and moves out of the way, allowing the puppet to pass, or one of the puppets pushes the other away and passes in front of him.”After the show, she offered the two puppets to the toddlers and asked which one they liked.Toddlers vastly preferred the puppet that “won” because the other yielded the way and bowed down. “The toddlers liked the winner. They liked the guy who reaches his goal,” says Thomas, who did this work as part of her Ph.D. research at UCI.But they didn’t like it if the “winner” had pushed the other puppet out of the way. In that case, the toddlers switched their preference and reached for the loser, according to a report in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.That’s an intriguing finding, because a recent study in one of our close primate relatives, the bonobo, showed that bonobos always prefer a winner — even when that dominance comes from beating others up.”They prefer dominant individuals, no matter how they achieve their dominance,” notes Kiley Hamlin, an associate professor studying developmental psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. “Whereas human babies, in this case, are preferring only those who are dominant and not mean.”Previous work has shown that babies in the first year of life understand that certain individuals tend to win in social conflicts — such as individuals that are physically larger, or that come from larger social groups, Hamlin says. And some research done in day care centers in the 1970s showed that social hierarchies form among toddlers as young as 18 months old.This new study offers convincing evidence that babies prefer those of high social rank.”That’s a totally unique finding in the literature and, I think, is really compelling to how similar it is to what adults do — how much we tend to like celebrities and rich people and those who are granted status for various reasons,” says Hamlin. “It suggests that that kind of process is already starting by the end of the second year of life.”This study fits into a large body of work by her lab and others, Hamlin says, showing that human babies prefer helpers and distain bullies of all kinds.”It’s not enough to just have high status,” she notes. “It seems like you have to have not gotten there for the wrong reasons.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The Food and Drug Administration has failed to ensure that drugs given prized rare-disease status meet the intent of a 35-year-old law, federal officials said in a report Friday.The Government Accountability Office, which spent more than a year investigating the FDA’s orphan drug program, said “challenges continue” in the program that was created to spur development of drugs for diseases afflicting fewer than 200,000 people. The investigation began at the request of three high-profile Republican senators last year after a Kaiser Health News investigation. The reporting found that the program was being manipulated by drugmakers to maximize profits and to protect niche markets for medicines being taken by millions. The GAO uncovered inconsistent and often incomplete reviews early in the process of designating medicines as orphan drugs and recommended “executive action” to fix the system. In some cases, FDA reviewers failed to show they had checked how many patients could be treated by a drug being considered for orphan drug status; instead, they appeared to trust what drugmakers told them.In response to GAO’s probe, the FDA issued a statement saying it agreed with the report recommendations regarding documentation and that the agency is “streamlining our processes.” The agency declined requests for interviews. In a comment included with the report, Matthew D. Bassett, assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services, said HHS agreed with GAO’s recommendations. John Dicken, director of the GAO’s health care team, said the focus of the report is “ensuring that the intent of the law is being met.”The FDA’s rare-disease program began after Congress overwhelmingly passed the 1983 Orphan Drug Act to motivate pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for people who lacked treatments for their conditions. Rare diseases had been ignored by drugmakers because treatments for them weren’t expected to be profitable. The law provides waivers from FDA fees, tax incentives for research and seven years of marketing exclusivity for any drug the agency approves as an “orphan.” The incentives, though, have proven to be more powerful and highly coveted than expected, said Avik Roy, president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank. Many people are “starting to wonder whether or not the Orphan Drug Act over-corrected for the problem,” Roy said, noting that a third of all pharmaceutical spending in the U.S. will be on so-called rare-disease medicines in 2020. GAO analysts examined FDA records for 148 applications submitted by drugmakers for orphan drug approval in late 2017. FDA’s reviewers are supposed to apply two specific criteria — how many patients would be served and whether there is scientific evidence the drug will treat their disease. In nearly 60 percent of the cases, the FDA reviewers didn’t capture regulatory history information, including “adverse actions” from other regulatory agencies. The FDA uses experienced reviewers, Dicken noted, who may already know the history of certain submitted drugs and not see the need to document it. And 15 percent of the time FDA reviewers failed to independently verify patient estimates provided by the drugmaker. Of the 148 records the GAO reviewed, 26 applications from manufacturers were granted orphan status even though the initial FDA staff review was missing information. “It is tempting to think that perhaps those approvals were sort of granted routinely without sufficient scrutiny,” said Bernard Munos, senior fellow at FasterCures and the Milken Institute. By contrast, early Orphan Drug Act advocate Abbey Meyers said she was not concerned about the lack of population estimates because many rare diseases lack population studies that show how common a disease is. Rather, Meyers said, she’s “disappointed that there is no government-funded agency that is willing to finance” such research. The GAO investigation began after Scott Gottlieb, who took over as FDA commissioner in May 2017, announced a “modernization” of the rare-disease program. Critics have long complained that drugmakers game the FDA’s approval process for orphan drugs. In January 2017, the KHN investigation, which was co-published and aired by NPR, revealed that many orphan drugs aren’t entirely new and don’t always start as treatments for rare diseases. The GAO report, while not analyzing the same years, found that 38.5 percent of orphan drug approvals from 2008 to 2017 were for drugs that had been previously approved either for mass-market or rare-disease use. About 71 percent of the drugs given orphan status were intended to treat diseases affecting fewer than 100,000 people. KHN’s investigation found that popular mass-market drugs such as cholesterol blockbuster Crestor, Abilify for psychiatric conditions, cancer drug Herceptin and rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, the best-selling medicine in the world, all won orphan approval yet were already on the market to treat common conditions. In addition, more than 80 orphan drugs won FDA approval for more than one rare disease — or several — each one with its own bundle of rich incentives. Genentech’s Avastin, a cancer treatment approved for mass-market use in 2004, won three more orphan-designated approvals in 2018 for the treatment of three rare forms of cancer. Avastin now has 11 approved orphan uses in all, and exclusive protections that keep generics at bay won’t run out until 2025.Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tom Cotton of Arkansas sent a letter in March 2017 asking the GAO to investigate the program and find out if Congress’ original intent for it was still being followed.”Despite the success of the Orphan Drug Act, 95 percent of rare diseases still have no treatment options,” Hatch said in a statement Friday. “I hope that my colleagues will utilize this [GAO] report as they work to strengthen the accomplishments of the Orphan Drug Act and encourage developers to continue their investment in this patient population.” The GAO report also mentioned concerns about prices, noting that “the ability to command high prices” was one reason the rare-disease market was growing so rapidly. The average cost per patient for an orphan drug was $147,308 in 2017 compared with $30,708 for a mass-market drug, according to a 2018 EvaluatePharma report on the 100 top-selling drugs in the U.S. Celgene’s chemotherapy drug Revlimid was the top-selling orphan with $5.4 billion in sales and $184,011 in revenue per patient. “We have accepted culturally that it’s OK for a company to charge high prices for [orphan] drugs,” said the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity’s Roy. “The end result is that a lot of these orphan drugs are $10 billion drugs, even though they are for rare diseases.” From 2008 to 2017, more than half of the drugs granted orphan status were for cancer or blood disorders, according to the GAO report. And nearly two-thirds of drugs approved in the program were given expedited review processes, such as accelerated approval or fast-track designation. Prior to the announcement of FDA Commissioner Gottlieb’s modernization plan, the agency had a backlog of 138 drug applications for orphan status that had been waiting more than 120 days. The backlog was cleared in August 2017 after staff from across the agency stepped in to help.Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.
3 min read Apple TV+ Subscribers Can Expect Ad-free Original Shows and Movies This Fall On stage at today’s “show time” event, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple TV+, an ad-free subscription home for the company’s new push into original content. With the Apple TV app now extending onto other smart TV platforms while collecting shows and movies from other outlets into Channels, it’s giving people even more of a reason to stick with Apple by adding exclusives you can’t get anywhere else. According to senior VP Eddy Cue, “Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”We’ve heard a lot about its content buying spree over the last year or so, but on stage, execs kicked things off with a video featuring big names like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Octavia Spencer. Spielberg himself appeared on stage first to talk about Apple TV+ and the stories he wants to tell.Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston showed up to talk about their new project The Morning Show, along with co-star Steve Carell, before Alfre Woodard and Jason Momoa hit the stage to talk about See, a new sci-fi series coming to the service. Kumail Nanjiani was up next, discussing his experiences as an immigrant that will be a part of the series he’s writing with his wife for Apple, Little America.Still, the biggest star in the run is Big Bird, with Sesame Workshop programming coming to Apple TV+ as well. The show is called Helpsters, featuring another Muppet who popped up on stage. Sara Bareilles and JJ Abrams were the last to appear, with Sara dropping in a musical number to mark the end of the celebrity parade before we finally saw a trailer featuring clips from all of Apple’s new shows.At the (not quite) absolute end, we finally got a few bullet points: Apple TV+ is a subscription service with no commercials that will launch in over 100 countries this fall, full of original content from many big names in entertainment. Whenever it launches, all of the new TVs with support for AirPlay will be able to stream its videos, and once they have the Apple TV app it will be home to this service, the new Channels and all of your purchased videos from iTunes. What we don’t know yet is how much it will cost, and in a press release, Apple said that info will come in the fall.Oh wait — one more thing: Oprah. As expected, she will “join forces” with Apple to “serve this moment.”Follow all of the news news from Apple’s March event here! Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. March 25, 2019 Add to Queue Image credit: via Engadget This story originally appeared on Engadget Apple Next Article Register Now » What we don’t know is how much it will all cost. Richard Lawler –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business
Register Now » Next-Gen Wi-Fi Is Here Next Article Add to Queue –shares Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals As if it isn’t hard enough keeping track of all the next-gen Wi-Fi terms (802.11n, draft-n, and so on), you then have to figure out what the heck they mean. In the Wi-Fi space, draft-n is the new, faster, stronger, more reliable form of Wi-Fi. More than 25 percent of the Wi-Fi devices shipped in 2008 supported draft-n, says Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. He points to ABI research that estimates by 2012, 90 percent of all devices will support it.Fortunately, old and new versions can work and play in harmony. So while “there probably won’t be a time when it’ll be absolutely necessary to upgrade,” says Figueroa, “the market is naturally moving toward the best technology.” And next-gen is where it’s at.Draft-n gear can provide significant improvements to your network, including five times the throughput (up to 250 Mbps) and twice the range (up to 200 meters). So if you’re trying to decide if it’s time to upgrade your office to draft-n Wi-Fi, consider these questions:Do you have 15 or more employees using entry-level gear or 40 or more employees using enterprise-level gear?Are you expanding your office size?Does your office setup have hard-to-reach coverage areas–for example, numerous floors or rooms within a building?Do you frequently use real-time or high-bandwidth applications, such as web conferencing, VoIP or streaming HD video?If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be time to upgrade. The good thing about draft-n is that it’s backward compatible, meaning it works with previous versions (and vice versa). This allows for an easier, gradual transition. So if you’re not in the financial position to upgrade all your Wi-Fi devices at once–who is really?–you can switch out a few, or even just one, at a time, Figueroa explains. “Yet that device offers benefits to all the old devices already using the network.” Magazine Contributor March 16, 2009 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. It might be time to upgrade, if you answer yes to any of these questions. This story appears in the April 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Lindsay Holloway 2 min read Technology
Source:https://news.rutgers.edu/research-news/mother%E2%80%99s-age-race-weight-affect-hormone-concentrations-pregnancy-rutgers-study-finds/20190204#.XFh_vBlKi4T Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 5 2019Hormone concentrations during early fetal development — that may affect the child’s development and increase the mother’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer years later — are significantly affected by maternal age, body mass index and race rather than lifestyle, according to a Rutgers study.The findings appear in Maternal and Child Health Journal.The researchers looked at the concentrations of estrogens and testosterone in 548 healthy women in the first trimester of pregnancy in relation to their lifestyle to better understand what drives elevated sex hormones during fetal development.”Hormones in early development play a key role in human health and disease risk. Since we are unable to directly measure hormones in fetuses as they are developing, the next best way is to study the mother’s hormones since they can be transferred to the fetus,” said Emily Barrett, an associate professor at Rutgers School of Public Health and a faculty member at Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.Previous studies have suggested that excess fetal exposure to estrogens and androgens, which are male sex hormones such as testosterone, may play a role in future risk of reproductive cancers and other conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, prostate cancer and semen quality in the infant.In the new study, researchers recruited women during early pregnancy and collected a blood sample to measure hormones. The participants completed questionnaires with items on demographics as well as lifestyle factors, including their alcohol or tobacco use, and stressors in their livesRelated StoriesNew research examines whether effects of alcohol/pregnancy policies vary by raceData collected by ESHRE show rise in use of IVF in infertility treatmentIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyMost of the women were white, married, well-educated and had an average age of 31. Less than 5 percent drank alcohol and less than 8 percent smoked. The researchers found that older mothers and women who had previously given birth had lower estrogen and testosterone levels. They also found that heavier women had lower estrogen levels, but higher testosterone levels than leaner women. Confirming results from previous work, they found that black women had higher testosterone levels than women of other races, a difference that may help to explain health disparities in reproductive cancers and other hormone-sensitive diseases.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women and white women get breast cancer at about the same rate, but black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women.The study found no variation in maternal hormone concentrations in relation to fetal sex, stressful life events during pregnancy or lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol use, suggesting that hormone concentrations were not influenced by maternal behaviors or the gender of the fetus.”Characterizing sex steroid concentrations during pregnancy may yield important insights into the mother’s own future risk of disease as high levels of exposure to estrogen have been shown to increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancer later on,” said Barrett, whose research focuses on prenatal exposure to endocrine disruptors, agents which interfere with the normal activity of hormones in the body.
Citation: Copyright board boosts songwriters’ music streaming fees (2018, January 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-copyright-board-boosts-songwriters-music.html A federal copyright board has raised the music streaming royalties for songwriters and music publishers by more than 40 percent to narrow the financial divide separating them from recording labels. The decision announced earlier this weekend by the National Music Publishers Association stems from a dispute pitting songwriters against steadily growing music streaming services sold by Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora.The Copyright Royalty Board’s decision will require those services to pay 15.1 percent of their revenue to the songwriters and publishers, up from 10.5 percent.The music publishers association hailed the ruling, even though the trade group estimates recording labels will still be receiving $3.82 for every $1 paid to songwriters and publishers. Even so, that still represents “the most favorable balance in the history of the industry,” said David Israelite, president of the music publishers association.None of the major companies affected by the new music streaming royalties responded to requests by The Associated Press for comment, leaving it unclear whether the shift will prod any of them to raise the prices paid by consumers.The popularity of music streaming services has soared in the past few years as more consumers have embraced paying a monthly or annual subscription fee for unlimited access to tens of millions of songs instead of incrementally buying a more limited amount of music on CDs or in a digital download.Those changing habits have pushed artists, songwriters and publishers to step up their efforts to get a larger cut of the royalties generated from music streaming—a format that didn’t even exist when some performers signed their last record deals years ago.The Copyright Royalty Board drew up the new rates for songwriters and publishers after hearing evidence during a trial last year.”Songwriters desperately need and deserve the rate increases,” said Bart Herbison, executive director for the Nashville Songwriters Association International, another trade group.The new royalties seem unlikely to faze Apple, Google and Amazon—all of whom rank among the world’s richest companies and operate their music streaming services as complements to other products that generate most of their revenue.The new royalty systems could leave a bigger financial dent in smaller and less diversified companies such as Spotify and Pandora, even though both are music streaming pioneers. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Spotify reaches royalty deal with music publishers This Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, photo shows music streaming apps clockwise from top left, Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and Google on an iPhone in New York. A federal copyright board has raised the music streaming royalties for songwriters and music publishers by more than 40 percent. The decision announced earlier this weekend stems from a dispute pitting songwriters against steadily growing music streaming services sold by Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
© 2018 AFP Activist fund Elliott had called for the removal of six board members at a shareholders meeting next month, complaining about Vivendi’s management of Telecom Italia (TIM), which like many other former state monopoly operators has had trouble in the face of heightened competition and rapid technological change.But in a statement released on Thursday, Telecom Italia said that eight directors had announced their resignation, which it says under the company’s bylaws means that the entire board must be re-elected.”In resigning, the aforementioned directors have expressed their hope that this move would help to clarify and provide certainty to the governance of the company,” said a company statement.A shareholders meeting was called for May 4 to elect the new board.Among those who quit was executive chairman Arnaud de Puyfontaine, who is also Vivendi’s CEO, and whom Elliot sought to remove.”As chairman of TIM, and in the interest of all the shareholders, I want to free the board from the climate of uncertainty that was created,” de Puyfontaine told journalists.He said at the May 4 meeting “shareholders can rapidly elect a new board instead of voting for partial changes as requested by Elliot.”Sometimes called a “vulture” fund, Elliott has regularly invested in companies in difficulty or whose shares it considers undervalued, and often engages in showdowns with those companies’ management.Last week it called for a shake-up at the top “to improve both governance and performance at TIM”.Despite controlling only 24 percent of ordinary shares, Vivendi has managed to gain de facto control over the company through getting its people on TIM’s board and senior management.”Elliott believes that the company is managed in the interest of Vivendi and to the detriment of all other TIM shareholders,” it wrote. It also highlighted the 35 percent drop in the value of the company’s share price from when who it calls “Vivendi nominees” joined the board in December 2015 to “the day before our interest in the company was made public”.De Puyfontaine said Thursday the election “gives each shareholder an opportunity to choose between a business strategy capable of creating long-term value and a programme of short-term financial engineering.”Elliott will need to find allies to carry the day at the shareholding meeting as it holds a stake of around 5 percent in TIM. Eight members of Telecom Italia’s board of directors resigned on Thursday, triggering a re-election of the entire board as an activist investor fund has challenged the control over the company by France’s Vivendi. Explore further Telecom Italia said that eight directors had announced their resignation, which it says under the company’s bylaws means that the entire board must be re-elected China’s Tencent to take stake in Ubisoft games maker Citation: Telecom Italia board hangs up, dials battle for control (2018, March 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-telecom-italia-board-dials.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
© 2018 AFP Facebook “misleadingly gets people to sign up… without informing them in an immediate and adequate way of how the data they will provide will be harvested for commercial purposes,” a statement from Italy’s AGCM consumer and market watchdog said on Friday.The company also does not clearly tell people about “the remunerative purpose that underlies the provision of the social network’s services, simply stressing the fact that it’s free.”Facebook “aggressively” discourages users from trying to limit how the company shares their data by telling them that by doing so they risk “significant limitations”.Facebook has repeatedly said it does not sell users’ data.The company has faced a barrage of criticism recently for the misuse of users’ data to influence elections amid increasing calls for the company run by Mark Zuckerberg to be regulated. Facebook has repeatedly said it does not sell users’ data Explore further Citation: Italy fines Facebook for selling users’ data (2018, December 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-italy-fines-facebook-users.html Facebook fined 1.2 mln euros by Spanish data watchdog Italy’s competition authority has fined Facebook 10 million euros ($11.3 million) for selling users’ data without informing them and “aggressively” discouraging users from trying to limit how the company shares their data. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Apple says it has fixed a software flaw that could allow users to see people on the FaceTime application before they answered their phones Earlier this week, Apple disabled the feature known as Group FaceTime calling, following media reports of the security lapse.”We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week,” Apple said in a statement.”We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue.”A video posted on social media before Apple shut off the feature showed how to take advantage of the flaw and listen in on an iPhone being called using FaceTime.According to US media, a 14-year-old Arizona boy discovered the flaw and his mother struggled for a week to get Apple’s attention.”My fear is that this flaw could be used for nefarious purposes,” Michele Thompson wrote to Apple, according to reports.Thompson was reportedly initially told she had to register as a developer to report a software bug before the flaw became public.Apple acknowledged the help in its statement, saying: “We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Worried about FaceTime eavesdropping bug? How to disable the app Citation: Apple issues fix for FaceTime eavesdropping bug (2019, February 1) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-apple-facetime.html © 2019 AFP Apple said Friday it had fixed a software bug that could allow iPhone users to see people through its FaceTime calling application even before they answered the phone.
Explore further Provided by Tilburg University In recent years, many jobs in banking and insurance have disappeared – a trend that continues to this day. And even more jobs will disappear through the rise of artificial intelligence, researcher Charissa Freese observes. The fear this prospect instills in people is as real as it is justified, but more technology also has a positive side: research shows that, over the past quarter century, work has become cleaner, safer, and less demanding physically.In healthcare, robots and home electronics will reduce the number of jobs for care workers, but at the same time they will create jobs in designing, programming, installing, and supporting technology. And not just for highly educated workers, Freese points out. Some manual work is, and will for the time being continue to be, very hard for robots to do, such as cleaning, cutting hair, working precious metals, and making furniture. It is repetitive work especially that will be taken over by robots or computers, making human skills such as creativity and interpersonal contact all the more important. Not in the least because in work, trust is key. Who will let a robot shave them? Who will think nothing of getting into a self-driving taxi? In the new jobs, it is human aspects that often matter most: creativity, human contact, coaching, skill. Low-skilled workers complain that they feel like robots more and more”Robotization is often implemented without the impact on workers and jobs being properly considered. One side-effect of robotization is “leftover” or residual jobs; not all operations can be fully robotized and workers become little more than steps in the robotized process. They experience zero autonomy and the work pressure is high – a very stressful situation to be in. Take the crane operators in the Rotterdam port area. Today computerized cranes offload container carriers: the operators no longer physically operate the cranes from their driver’s seat, but remote control the cranes from behind screens in a control center. They only have to revert to manual control when something goes wrong or when there’s a special shipment. That is completely different work and unions have good reason to be concerned about such changes. Employers should be more ethically attuned to the quality of the jobs they create. And that is a cultural shift.” Credit: Charissa Freese: Gerdien Wolthaus Paauw Robots will take over all jobs, so it is often thought. On the contrary, say Charissa Freese and Ton Wilthagen: robots will create jobs. It’s just that these new jobs will be different, and the challenge is to anticipate which jobs will disappear, which ones will change, and what the new ones will be like – and when. Tilburg University aims to prepare employers and employees to the labor market of the near future. Machines will do more tasks than humans by 2025: WEF This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: More robots, more work (2019, March 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-robots.html How can that shift be brought about?”It is important that companies and workers look ahead and learn new skills early on. To teachers, a smartboard doesn’t just mean putting down the chalk and picking up an electronic pen. They are also expected to use the new possibilities smartboard offer. And that requires training and coaching – on a permanent basis. We must aim to keep workers fit for the future, and there’s still much room for improvement there. Take the current job market. It exhibits a major mismatch: a serious shortage of jobs yet high unemployment. New professions come into being for which no turnkey training program is available. Ten years ago, we couldn’t imagine the position of app developer. Schools and companies must work together much more closely to prevent mismatches.” What advice would you give companies?”Anticipate: follow trend watchers, hire innovation managers, think ahead. And when robotization is on the table, don’t wait to have a discussion about fundamentals. What impact will robotization have on jobs and workers? What will robots do, what will workers do? How can robots and people work together as effectively as possible? Sadly, costs and benefits are often the only issues to be considered, with robotization simply being viewed as an investment decision that ignores the effects on workers. Have any role models come to the fore?”Yes. It is often such family businesses as VDL that are leading the way: they have a clear long-term vision and accentuate caring for their staff. These trailblazers also have a chief HR officer with outspoken ideas who from the word go engages in discussions about robotization and digitization. But legislation too can help improve ethical awareness. For example, the EU is looking to ban constant monitoring of workers as well as to prescribe human contact in the workplace.”
Next India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 10:43 IST Diogo Fernandez was anxious after his passport expired in December last year. (Photo: Facebook/Aldona Matters)HIGHLIGHTSFernandez, 100, visited the Kolkata office on Friday for passport renewalOfficials say passport will reach Fernandez’s home in seven daysIt is Fernandez’s resilience and spirit that impressed us: officialAge ain’t nothing but a number’ perfectly fits the story of 100-year-old Diogo Piedade Jose Simplicio Fernandez of Goa who recently got his passport renewed to take a trip to Europe at least once.Bitten by the travel bug, Fernandez visited the Kolkata regional passport office on Friday for the first renewal, around three months after he celebrated a century of life on March 2, The Times Of India reported.Originally a resident of Goa, Fernandez who moved to Kolkata for work in his early 20s, was accompanied by his wife Mary (89) and daughter Beverly, the daily said.As the 100-year-old arrived at the scheduled appointment time, the otherwise mechanical’ office came to life with employees rushing to Fernandez with a wheelchair.On why Fernandez decided to renew his passport, Beverly said her father was anxious after the passport expired in December and had been insisting for a renewal.”But I was worried that he might not be able to wait in queue for an hour or so and wrote to the RPO chief. I am relieved with the ease with which things happened, Beverly was quoted as saying by ToI.RPO chief Bibhuti Bhushan Kumar told the daily the “grand old man’s resilience and spirit” was impressive. “It is great that he has kept his dream of travelling abroad alive at this age. I offered to help and make things easy the moment I came across the mail. I was really impressed,” Bhushan Kumar said.Kumar added that Fernandez told him that he had travelled abroad just once — to visit his son in Bahrain. And so when he expressed his wish to visit Europe at least once, Kumar explained to him that he could travel anywhere except Israel, the daily reported.Meanwhile, officials said the passport should reach Fernandez’s Macleod Street home by next week and added that the police verification will be done later.Before he left, Fernandez shared the secret of his happy, long life with the officials. A peg of good liquor after dinner and long walks,” he told them.READ | 5 off-beat career options to break the monotony of 9 to 5 jobsWATCH | How does social media influence travel trends?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySumeda Tags :Follow Kolkata Europe on his mind, 100-year-old uncle gets passport renewed in KolkataDiogo Piedade Fernandez, 100, renewed his passport to take a trip to Europe at least once.advertisement
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two days before a queuing hard restaurant closed. This restaurant is the new Sichuan, to open a store in community in Xiamen. Since the store lowered the price to the original 30 percent off (at the same time to buy), the store guests more up, and almost every day in line.