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Jordan Henderson says Liverpool must learn from Man Utd drawby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJordan Henderson says Liverpool must learn from Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.The Reds were unable to flex their muscles throughout the clash and relied on Adam Lallana to score an equaliser with time running out.Asked if a point was a fair outcome, the captain told the club’s website: “Probably. I didn’t think we performed well enough in the first half, not our usual selves really, especially with the ball.”We could have been a lot better but I thought second half was a lot better. We changed it a little bit tactically, which helped us, and I thought the longer the game went on we were pushing for that winner, and towards that last five to 10 minutes I thought we were going to get it.”Ox came close with a great strike with his left foot and we kept pushing but, overall, a fair reflection of the game would have to be a point.”But, like I say, we have got to be much better for the 90 minutes. I was disappointed we couldn’t come here and put on a top performance because I felt as though we could have done that today.”When you can’t win, you don’t lose, and that’s the sign of a good team. But we’ve got to learn from the game today and make sure it doesn’t happen again.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear the appeals of an Alberta couple convicted of first-degree murder.Sheena Cuthill and her husband Timothy Rempel were found guilty three years ago of killing Ryan Lane, who had a child with Cuthill before the two parted ways.Cuthill’s brother-in-law was also convicted in the murder plot, and all three guilty parties were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.Testimony at the trial indicated Cuthill and her husband were unhappy that Lane wanted visitation rights with the child he fathered with Cuthill.Lane’s remains were found in a burn barrel about 70 kilometres northeast of Calgary months after he was last seen going to meet someone who said they could help with the custody dispute.The Supreme Court, following its usual custom, gave no reason for refusing to hear the appeals of Cuthill and Rempel.The Canadian Press
TORONTO – Energy stocks helped Canada’s main stock index close higher Thursday while U.S. markets were mixed and the loonie traded lower.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 8.85 points at 16,192.78, including a 2.06 per cent climb in the S&P/TSX capped energy index.Oil and gas gains came as the July crude contract closed up US$1.22 or 1.88 per cent at US$65.95 as the price of the commodity continues to swing on supply speculation, especially out of Venezuela and Iran.The uptick in crude prices didn’t put the Canadian dollar in positive territory though, as the traditional correlation between the two has split, said Kash Pashootan, chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc.“On days like today you’re seeing that correlation broken, you’re seeing oil prices higher and the Canadian dollar cheaper.”The Canadian dollar was down 0.35 of a US cent to average 77.09 cents US Wednesday as the US dollar strengthens on its stronger economy, said Pashootan.“You’re seeing the market start to identify the divergence between the overall health of the U.S. economy compared to the overall health of the Canadian economy.”The Bank of Canada said in a report Thursday that the housing market and high levels of consumer debt are still the top vulnerabilities for the financial system, but that both have shown signs of easing.Pashootan said he’s not convinced that the picture is improving and that the Canadian economy has yet to feel the full effects of recent interest rate hikes.“I disagree with Bank of Canada, I don’t think those key risks are easing. I think it’s premature to be cheering that those risks are subsiding. The fact of the matter is when you raise interest rates, it takes several quarters for the implications of higher rates to play themselves out for the average household.”He said Canada has yet to go through a credit reset cycle like the U.S., making the economy more vulnerable.“Not only have we not gone through a credit reset cycle, but we have continually grown household debt as a percentage of income,” said Pashootan.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 95.02 points at 25,241.41. The S&P 500 index ended down 1.98 points at 2,770.37 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 54.17 points at 7,635.07.The July copper contract closed up a penny at US$3.27 a pound after climbing five cents earlier in another day of gains for the metal as labour worries at the world’s largest copper mine in Chile raise supply concerns.The S&P/TSX base metal index had seen strong gains in recent days on the price climb, but it was down Thursday as investors took profits, said Pashootan.The July natural gas contract ended up three cents at US$2.93 per mmBTU and the August gold contract was up US$1.60 cents at US$1,303 an ounce.Cheese and dairy producer Saputo Inc. closed down $1.90 or 4.3 per cent at $42.25 after releasing quarterly results that were below analyst expectations.Questerre Energy Corp. saw it’s share price plunge 31 cents or 31.31 per cent to 68 cents after Quebec released draft oil and gas regulations that the company says will effectively ban fracking and any meaningful exploitation of natural gas in the province.
Christchurch: An Australian gunman whose assaults on two New Zealand mosques Friday left at least 49 people dead, published a racist manifesto on Twitter before livestreaming his rampage. The New Zealand government said it could be illegal to share the video, which showed the gunman repeatedly shooting at worshippers from close range. The Facebook Live video, taken with a camera that appeared to be mounted on the gunman’s body, shows a clean-shaven, Caucasian man with short hair driving to the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangHe enters the building and fires repeatedly at worshippers as he moves from room to room. AFP determined the video was genuine through a digital investigation that included matching screenshots of the mosque taken from the gunman’s footage with images available online showing the same areas. The “manifesto” detailing motivations for the attack was posted on Friday morning onto a Twitter account with the same name and profile image as the Facebook page that streamed the attack. Also Read – Want to bring back US forces engaged in endless wars: TrumpIn the video, the shooter parks his car next to the mosque and gets out of the vehicle with a rifle. He slowly goes to the boot of his car and retrieves another firearm. He then walks into the compound of the mosque and fires at a person standing near the doorway before dropping the rifle and shooting repeatedly with the second weapon as he moves inside. The gunman fires dozens of bullets at people trying to run away or lying down in huddled groups in corners of the rooms. In the excerpt of the video viewed by AFP, which did not appear to be the full clip, he can be seen changing cartridges three times in just under two minutes. The framing of the video, which shows only the gunman’s hands holding the gun as he shoots and reloads, is eerily similar to the style of a first-person shooter video game. AFP is not publishing the footage. In the 74-page manifesto entitled “The Great Replacement”, the gunman details his intention to attack Muslims. The title of the document has the same name as a conspiracy theory originating in France that believes European populations are being displaced in their homelands by immigrant groups with higher birth rates. The gunman identified himself as an Australia-born, 28-year-old white male from a low-income, working-class family. He said that key points in his radicalisation were the defeat of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in 2017 elections, and the death of 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund in the 2017 Stockholm truck attack. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday confirmed the attacker at the Masjid al Noor mosque was an Australian. “We stand here and condemn, absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist,” Morrison said. New Zealand authorities said that three people had been arrested, but their identities were not made public. They later announced one man, aged in his late 20s, had been charged with murder and would appear in court on Saturday. The gunman spoke only occasionally while in the car, with what sounded like an Australian accent. Satellite navigational audio could also be heard in the video as he drove to the mosque. Distinctive writing on his weapons was seen in the footage as well as images posted on the Twitter account. Scrawled in English and several Eastern European languages were the names of numerous historical military figures — many of them Europeans involved in fighting the Ottoman forces in the 15th and 16th centuries. A few took part in the Crusades, centuries earlier. The Facebook account that posted the video was no longer available shortly after the shooting. The Twitter account of the same name was quickly suspended. “Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,” Facebook said in a tweet. “We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.” A spokesman for New Zealand’s interior ministry said the video is likely to be classified as objectionable content under local law, and could be illegal to share. “The content of the video is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see,” he said. “This is a very real tragedy with real victims and we strongly encourage people to not share or view the video.”
Tennis is played and followed in most nations worldwide. But professional players aren’t making much money. Fewer than 1,000 pro players break even at the sport. Far fewer make a decent living.The opportunities to make good money are dwindling. More players are competing for prizes that are growing slowly, especially at the game’s lowest levels. Earlier this month, the ATP World Tour, which runs the most lucrative pro men’s events, announced it was increasing prize money significantly over the next four years. But the most exclusive tournaments will get the biggest boosts. After adjusting for inflation1Which I did using the U.S. Consumer Price Index, since U.S. dollars are the standard currency in tennis, prize money on the ATP’s Challenger Tour — the equivalent of baseball’s AAA minor league — has fallen by 25 percent in the last six years.Soon after the ATP’s announcement, the International Tennis Federation released results of its analysis of the pro game’s financials. Among the sobering findings: Only 336 men and 253 women made more than they spent playing tennis last year.2That doesn’t count sponsorship money and appearance fees, but it also doesn’t count coaching expenses.In every pro sport, many compete for few lucrative slots. Tennis’s economics are particularly brutal. Players are individual contractors who have to cover their own transportation, equipment, coaching and — at some events — accommodation and food. Almost all of them have to supplement their winnings with sponsorships, support from their national federations or their families, odd jobs or all of the above.The best 104 men and 104 women get safe passage to the four Grand Slam tournaments each year.3Each Grand Slam tournament has spots for 128 men and 128 women in its singles draws. Typically 104 men enter singles directly based on their ranking, while the rest of the slots go to players who qualify in a pre-tournament playoff, or who get a wild-card slot from organizers. Women’s draws are constructed similarly, though most majors allot four fewer qualifying slots for women, and four more direct-entry positions. They’re the players who have a chance to make a lot of money playing tennis. Lose your first match at each one last year, and you would still earn roughly $130,000. The rest of the players in the world are fighting for much smaller purses. The ITF estimates that the 4,978 men who won some prize money last year but weren’t in the top 1 percent earned, on average, a little over $13,000. The bottom 99 percent of the 2,650 women who earned prize money averaged about $22,600.If you’re the 350th best man in the world at baseball, basketball, American football, ice hockey or soccer, you’re earning more than $500,000 each year, expenses paid. If you’re the 350th best man in tennis, you’re probably either falling into debt or getting help from a sponsor or parent. Tennis looks better financially for women than for men, relative to other sports, yet it’s likely that fewer than 200 women are earning a living from tennis prize money.Tennis’s problem is that its fan base is wide but not deep. It has fans in countries around the world, but rarely enough to support a major tournament with sellouts and big TV ratings in any single market.The ITF is considering how to divide the revenue among players in a way that’s best for the game. The nonprofit body is studying the sport’s economics to make sure that players who are good enough to break through don’t quit the game before doing so — and to hasten the departure of those who aren’t good enough. The ITF’s data shows it takes about a year longer now than it did in 2000 for a player to go from his or her first ranking to reaching the Top 100, which is another year during which promising players might get discouraged and drop their rackets.“The last thing I’d want is for an exceptionally talented player to have to leave the game after a year or two, before they realize their potential,” Kris Dent, the ITF’s director of pro tennis, said in a telephone interview. “That’s something that drives what we’re doing, first and foremost.”The ITF enlisted outside researchers in Australia and the U.K. for its study. It surveyed 7,605 players worldwide, three-quarters of them active professional players. Just 6 percent of women and 5 percent of men who responded said their prize money in their most recent year of professional play covered their expenses. More than half of men and women said they had to cut costs to a level they deemed unacceptable for hotels and the number and quality of tournaments they played.The life most pro players lead is far from glamorous. They are concerned more with having enough balls and a good court to play on, than with paparazzi and endorsements. Players were asked in the survey where they’d be OK with cuts. Balls and facility maintenance were lowest on their list. In a recent post on Facebook, 22-year-old Tomás Buchhass of Argentina lamented “courts in a pitiful state which are a hazard to the physical well-being of the players” at a Chilean ITF event. And a photo of a shredded net on a practice court at a Tunisian ITF event made the rounds on Twitter last month.4An ITF spokesman confirmed the photo is genuine and added, “It is essential that tournament conditions meet the minimum standards expected by the ITF. Where complaints about an unacceptable site are upheld following investigation, as they were on this particular occasion, we will not approve the site for any future Circuit tournaments unless we are entirely satisfied that steps have been taken to ensure no repetition.”In one of the least surprising findings of modern polling history, nearly all players said prize money should increase. (Just who were the 12 percent of men and 21 percent of women who disagreed, the ITF couldn’t say.)Dent agrees with players, to a point. He’d like to see less hardship for young players. For instance, he wants the lowest-level tournaments to cover players’ food and hotel costs in the form of a per diem; this year fewer than 4 percent of ITF pro events covered all players’ hospitality costs. That would help encourage players to travel to more tournaments. More prize money would help, too, but big increases aren’t realistic for most events. Below the top rungs of the men’s and women’s tours, there is little to no income coming from sponsorships, ticket sales or broadcast rights, Dent said. National federations, sometimes with grants from the ITF or the Grand Slams, generally cover costs, and aren’t likely to pay for big prize-money increases.Many different bodies run the sport. Each of the four Grand Slams is run by the host nation’s tennis federation. The ATP runs the men’s tour, the WTA the women’s tour. For the men, the ATP handles the highest minor-league level, of Challengers, while the ITF runs the lowest-level pro tournaments, called Futures. For women, the ITF runs all events below tour level.The ITF runs the least lucrative tournaments, so it doesn’t have much leeway to increase prize money at those. Dent wants to shrink the player pool so there is more money for each player. “We need to look at how we reward players who are progressing, but start to make it harder for players who aren’t,” he said.Tennis isn’t likely to start forcing players to earn tour cards, as golf does. But Dent repeatedly cited golf as an example of a sport that properly “signposts” steps on aspiring pros’ journeys. Tennis, he said, needs to a better job of that. The point of Futures and Challengers isn’t to award enough money for players to live on, but to identify the best emerging talents and bestow ranking points so they can qualify for bigger, more lucrative tournaments. Toughening playing-down rules, which prevent players from competing at events below their level, are a way for the ITF to ensure that prize money and ranking points at entry-level events get divvied up among emerging stars, not established veterans.Dent also envisions adding yet a lower level of competition — development events that cash-strapped national federations can support so that local players can afford to play without heavy travel costs. The events would have smaller draws and use officials with less experience than is required at current ITF events — while not skimping on costs for courts and balls.“Already a number of developing nations, particularly in Africa, find it difficult to host events at the prize-money level we have,” Dent said. Nearly half of men’s prize money at ITF events, and more than half of ITF women’s prize money, was distributed at European events this year.The pool of money for aspiring players could be growing soon. In March, the ITF Board will consider the idea of the development tour and other potential changes — including increases to prize money and hospitality — in light of the research. The ATP likely will increase prize money and hospitality spending at Challenger tournaments next year, too, according to a spokesman — which would reverse recent stagnation and decline.The big money, though, remains at the top of the game — and the gap likely will widen. The ATP’s recently announced prize-money increases are biggest for the 500- and 1,000-level tournaments, which are the most exclusive ones, with increases of 50 percent and 54 percent, respectively, in 2018 compared to this year, after adjusting for projected inflation. The 250-level events, one notch up from Challengers, will increase prize money by just 6 percent.
If you followed FiveThirtyEight’s coverage during the World Cup, you know that we’re big fans of the World Football Elo Ratings. They’re based on a relatively simple system developed by the physicist Arpad Elo to rate chess players. But they can be adapted fairly easily for other head-to-head competitions from baseball to backgammon.We thought we’d have a little fun and extend them to American football. In an accompanying post, you’ll find our initial Elo ratings for all 32 NFL teams (at this point, the ratings are based on a team’s standing at the end of last season, discounted slightly to reflect reversion to the mean). We’ve also developed a simulator program that plays out the NFL schedule thousands of times and projects a team’s likelihood of making the playoffs, based on a team’s record up to that point in time, its Elo rating, its remaining schedule and the NFL’s various tiebreaker rules. We plan to update these projections at the end of every week.But first (inspired somewhat by The New York Times’s personification of its election model, Leo), we thought we’d “interview” the Elo system about how it does its work.FiveThirtyEight: What are some of some of your best qualities?Elo: I’m simple, transparent and easy to work with. I can do a lot with a little, such as calculating point spreads and the probability of either team winning a game.Can I use you to beat Vegas?I wouldn’t try that. Vegas lines account for a much wider array of information than I do. When Nate backtested me, he found that I got 51 percent of games right against the point spread. That’s not nearly enough to cover the house’s cut, much less to make a living.We noticed that you have the Seattle Seahawks favored by 10 points in their Thursday-night game against the Green Bay Packers, while Vegas has the Seahawks as six-point favorites instead.That’s a perfect example. Has anything strange been going on with the Packers?Well, their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, was injured. Now he’s back!If this Mr. Rodgers fellow is as good as you say he is, that could account for the difference. I don’t know anything about him. I only keep track of the final scores, the dates of games and where the games were played.So what good are you?Think of me as a benchmark. I do a pretty good job of accounting for the basic stuff — wins and losses, margin of victory, strength of schedule. I also retain a memory from past seasons, so I know that the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t as likely to win the Super Bowl as the Denver Broncos. Can we get to some more technical questions?Um … what are your parameters?That’s more like it. Like K, for instance; K is my favorite parameter.What makes K so special?K tells me how much to update my ratings after each game. In a sport like baseball, where there are lots of games, any one additional game doesn’t tell you all that much, so K takes on a low value. In the NFL, it’s much higher. Specifically, it’s the number 20. That may not mean anything to you, but if you set K a lot higher than that, I’d be a nervous wreck and bounce around too much from game to game. And if you made K much lower, I’d be hopelessly sluggish and too slow to notice changes in the quality of team’s play.I noticed the Detroit Lions have an Elo rating of 1467. What does that mean?An average team has an Elo rating of 1500 — so your Lions are not so hot. But it could be a lot worse. In 2009, the Lions got all the way down to a rating of 1223. Most NFL teams wind up in the range of 1300 to 1700.We’re still not quite sure how your ratings work. If you have one team at a 1650 and another at 1400, what does that mean?If it makes things easier, you can translate my ratings into a point spread. Take the difference in my ratings and divide by 25. It’s that simple.So, if one team is rated 250 Elo points higher than the other, that works out to a spread of 10 football points.Precisely.What about home-field advantage?I can account for that, too. Historically, it’s been worth about 65 Elo ratings points or 2.6 NFL points. Just add that to the point spread.What if you want to calculate a team’s probability of winning?That’s pretty easy, too, although you’ll need a formula for it. In a game between Team A and Team B, Team A’s win probability is equal to:Pr(A) = 1 / (10^(-ELODIFF/400) + 1)Where ELODIFF is Team A’s Elo rating minus Team B’s Elo rating.Let’s say Team A wins. Its Elo rating will improve?Yes. One of my more appealing properties is that a team’s Elo rating will always improve after it wins and always decline after it loses. How much it improves will depend on how much of a favorite or an underdog it was.So, like after the 2008 Super Bowl …I can predict where you’re going with that question. I’ll admit that I didn’t have the New York Giants rated so highly compared to the New England Patriots. But the Giants’ Elo rating improved a lot after they won that game — more than the Patriots’ would have if they’d won instead. I may have my flaws, but unlike a lot of you human beings, I know how to fix them. The lower a team is rated, the easier for it to gain ground by proving me wrong.Do you also account for margin of victory?Affirmative. I took some inspiration from the soccer ratings, which account for goal differential in addition to the game result. But this is one of the more complicated parts.For the NFL, I start by adding one point to team’s margin of victory and then take its natural logarithm. Then I multiply that result by the K value. That means I’m more moved by big wins than narrow ones, although there are diminishing returns. I’m not so impressed by the fifth touchdown when a team is ahead 28-0.That seems simple enough.It would be, but that isn’t all there is to it. We haven’t talked about my autocorrelation problem. It’s a little embarrassing.Go on. “Autocorrelation”? Was that the weird David Cronenberg movie?Autocorrelation is the tendency of a time series to be correlated with its past and future values. Let me put this into football terms. Imagine I have the Dallas Cowboys rated at 1550 before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Their rating will go up if they win and go down if they lose. But it should be 1550 after the game, on average. That’s important, because it means that I’ve accounted for all the information you’ve given me efficiently. If I expected the Cowboys’ rating to rise to 1575 on average after the game, I should have rated them more highly to begin with.It’s true that if I have the Cowboys favored against the Eagles, they should win more often than they lose. But the way I was originally designed, I can compensate by subtracting more points for a loss than I give them for a win. Everything balances out rather elegantly.The problem comes when I also seek to account for margin of victory. Not only do favorites win more often, but when they do win, they tend to win by a larger margin. Since I give more credit for larger wins, this means that their ratings tend to get inflated over time.Is this also a flaw with the soccer Elo ratings?Possibly. You may want to reconsider what you wrote about Germany.So, how do you correct for this?It isn’t complicated in principle. You just have to discount the margin of victory more when favorites win and increase it when underdogs win. The formula for it is as follows:Margin of Victory Multiplier = LN(ABS(PD)+1) * (2.2/((ELOW-ELOL)*.001+2.2))Where PD is the point differential in the game, ELOW is the winning team’s Elo Rating before the game, and ELOL is the losing team’s Elo Rating before the game.It’s a little ugly, but we all have our vices.I see that you have ratings for this year’s teams, but they haven’t played any games yet! How does that work?I take their rating from the end of last season and discount it slightly. Specifically, I revert it to the mean by one-third. Remember that the mean Elo rating is 1500. So, if a team finished last season with a rating of 1800, I’ll revert it to 1700 when the new season begins. This whole notion of “season” is strange to me, by the way. We don’t have them in chess.For now, the ratings are all about which teams were good last year?Technically speaking, a game affects my ratings forever once it’s played, just with a smaller and smaller weight that gradually diminishes to almost nothing over time. But, yes, for the time being, my ratings are mostly about who was good last season. Games toward the end of the season will count more, especially games during last year’s playoffs.Thanks for taking the time! So, you’re saying we should take the Seahawks?How about a nice game of chess?See the Week 1 Elo ratings and playoff odds.
Embed Code Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. Neil, Kyle and Chris are previewing the NBA playoffs in a special two-for-one edition of the podcast. On Friday’s show (April 13, 2018), they break down the first-round matchups in the Eastern Conference, where the Toronto Raptors are embarking on their journey as the No. 1 seed while the Cleveland Cavaliers are the betting favorites. (For The Lab’s discussion of the Western Conference, check out the April 12 show.)Here are links to what the podcast discussed this week:Keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.Neil wrote a preview of the playoffs’ sleepers, favorites and best first-round matchups. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner
With just less than a minute remaining in the first half of the Ohio State men’s basketball game against Penn State, OSU sophomore guard Aaron Craft attempted to alley-oop freshman forward Sam Thompson about 35 feet from the basket. Thompson leapt to catch the ball, but Craft’s pass never made it into his hands. Instead, the pass landed in the hoop and was good for a 3-pointer. “Well, I got pretty lucky,” Craft said. It was that kind of night for the Buckeyes. No. 4-ranked OSU routed Penn State, 78-54, and moved into a share of the Big Ten lead. The 24-point victory is nothing new for the Buckeyes, especially at home. Not only are the Buckeyes undefeated at the Schottenstein Center, but only one team — Florida — has come closer than 17 points. The win moved OSU’s home record to 15-0 on the season and extended their home win streak to 37 games, the second-longest such streak in program history. PSU coach Patrick Chambers said playing at home is a huge advantage for any team. “The comforts of home and playing in this arena and the fans — it helps (OSU),” Chambers said. “It makes a difference. Going on the road in the Big Ten is absolutely brutal.” Defense led the way for the Buckeyes. PSU missed their first seven shots from the floor, and OSU jumped to an early 8-0 advantage. With six minutes remaining in the first half, PSU had managed just six points and was shooting less than 25 percent from the floor. OSU led at halftime, 38-18. Coming into the game, PSU junior guard Tim Frazier was the Big Ten’s leading scorer, averaging 18 points a game. Frazier got his points in the game, finishing with 16, but 11 of those came in the second half when Craft was only on the floor for six minutes. Craft contributed offensively as well, adding 11 points. Chambers said Frazier needs to bring it every night for his team to be successful and Craft got him out of his game. “I thought Craft did a great job on him.” Chambers said. “I think Craft got into Tim a little bit mentally and physically.” OSU coach Thad Matta agreed. “I thought Aaron was extremely effective,” Matta said. “I think (Frazier) had six points with 12 minutes to go and Aaron likes a good challenge. But for the majority of the game we gave him good support.” Craft made up for missing Thompson in the first half by throwing a lob from an inbounds play that Thompson caught high above the rim and finished with a one-hand jam. Thompson, who joked that he was a “decoy” on the first play, said he and Craft talked about the 35-footer at halftime. “I had a pretty good laugh about it,” Thompson said. “We just executed the play in the second half. The dunk gave OSU a 51-29 lead. Thompson finished with six points, two rebounds and three assists. Senior guard William Buford, who has been going through what some have described as a midseason slump, found his stroke from behind the arc, connecting on three 3-pointers. Buford had 15 points and 9 rebounds on the game. OSU sophomore forward Jared Sullinger left the game with just under 11 minutes remaining, but was still the Buckeyes’ high-point man, ending with 20 points and 13 rebounds. The win improves OSU’s overall record to 18-3 and its conference record to 6-2. The Buckeyes are now tied atop the Big Ten standings with Michigan, which travels to the Schottenstein Center Sunday for a 1 p.m. tipoff. The game, which is already sold-out, will have Big Ten title ramifications. “You always got to get up for Michigan,” Sullinger said. “Every sport at Ohio State and Michigan, if we clash it’s always a rivalry.”
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 01 Feb 2016 – A weekend statement from Gordon Butch Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International paints a grim, very grim picture for the lead defendant, Michael Misick in the ongoing SIPT trial.Stewart said principals of his company did not know that $1.65 million dollars, plus, was paid into the account of Prestigious Properties and they named four Misick brothers as owners of that real estate firm: Michael, Washington, Philip and Chalmers through his law firm, Chalmers & Co. A high powered law firm and a big time accounting firm were hired by Sandals and reportedly scoured the SRI accounts in search of the alleged pay out, and with the pressure from the DOJ or US Department of Justice; Sandals did find the payment. According to Stewart, it cost him a fine by TCI Authorities of $12 million and he fired the Treasurer who according to this release went rogue to issue the money to Prestigious Properties. “The unauthorized payments were made by a Senior Executive and then Treasurer of Sandals. This culminated in the separation of the Senior Executive from the company and was followed by Sandals filing a lawsuit against him in the Bahamas to recover the unauthorized payments.” Sandals said they also had to give evidence to the DOJ and SIPT and said the Robin Auld Commission of Inquiry was what led them to dig deeper and Sandals found that others also siphoned money from the company; they are now facing prosecution in Jamaica. PNP Party takes credit for Beaches pier resolution Related Items:beaches resort and spa, butch stewart, michael misick, prestigious properties, robin auld commission, sandals, Sipt Recommended for you TCI: Judge rules there is ‘a case’; all nine defendants will go to trial in September Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp SANDALS RESORTS FIRST HIGH STREET STORE OPENS
Highly venomous jellyfish have sting more than three thousand people on Australia’s northeastern shores. Photo: CollectedHighly venomous jellyfish have stung more than three thousand people on Australia’s northeastern shores in just a few days, authorities said Monday, forcing the closure of several beaches.The massive influx of Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish, whose stings are notoriously painful, has been described as an “invasion” by local media in the state of Queensland.Coastguard association Surf Life Saving said a “whopping” 3,595 people had suffered painful burns after encounters with the creatures, also known as bluebottles for their transparent bluish appearance.At least four major beaches remained closed as the organisation warned that even more jellyfish were on their way.“A wall of bluebottles is approaching #Rainbow beach. Lifesavers are closing the beach. Please stay out of the water,” read one of several warnings from Surf Life Saving.Bluebottle stings are a frequent occurrence and it is not uncommon to hear howls of pain from changing rooms along Australia’s eastern beaches during the southern hemisphere’s summer.But the sheer number of people stung in the last few days has surprised authorities.There are usually around 10,000 cases of bluebottle stings each year on the east coast of Australia, according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.The extraordinary number of stings in the last few days has occurred as strong onshore winds have come in from the north-east, bringing the creatures into contact with swimmers.The doctors’ group describes the symptoms of a sting as an “immediate sharp pain and acute inflammatory skin reaction”.“The intense skin pain can last from minutes to many hours… The sting can also cause systemic signs such as nausea, vomiting and general feeling of malaise.”Treatment includes rinsing the wound with water at 45 degrees Celsius or using icepacks.It is less straightforward to treat stings from the fearsome Irukandji variety of jellyfish, however.Stings from these box jellyfish—which can be smaller than a finger nail—can cause acute muscular pain, violent vomiting, feelings of “impending doom”, hair that stands on end, strokes, heart failure and death within minutes.State-backed broadcaster ABC reported that the number of people taken to hospital with Irukandji stings in Queensland this season is already 20, double the normal yearly average.
Tags: Malaysia Source: The Associated Press Malaysian court lets off Aussies who partied in swimsuits Thursday, October 6, 2016 KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Nine Australians charged after stripping down to skimpy swimsuits at the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix walked free Thursday without a conviction after pleading guilty to causing a public nuisance and apologizing.The nine were detained Sunday after they partied in Budgy Smuggler-brand swimsuits decorated with the Malaysian flag and drank beer from shoes in full view of thousands of spectators at the Sepang track after Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo won the race.Budgy smuggler is Australian slang for a tight swimsuit worn by men, and the drinking out of a shoe was done to honour Ricciardo, who drinks out of his shoes to celebrate winning.Defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the court accepted his argument that it was a trivial offence and that the nine, dressed in suits in the court, were ignorant of the local culture and remorseful. He said one of them read out an apology to the court, admitting to an “error of judgment.”More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckShafee said their actions were not illegal in most countries, including Australia.“We are sensitive about it but they didn’t know. They sincerely thought it was a respect and a celebration with Malaysians,” Shafee said.“The court accepted my mitigation that this was a trivial offence and under extenuating circumstances because they misunderstood the local culture. They have been admonished by the court and released without conviction,” he added.He said one of the men fainted in court briefly due to dehydration.The nine, mostly Sydney University graduates in their 20s, left the court without speaking to reporters. The men included Jack Walker, an adviser to Australian Defence Industry Minister Chris Pyne.His father John Walker said they were very thankful.“There’s no charge, there’s no fine and the boys apologized. They recognized what they did was unacceptable but they have been completely cleared and are free to travel and resume their lives,” he said.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyRicciardo, the driver whose success inspired the Australians’ beer-fueled revelry, described the incident as “pretty harmless.”“I respect the laws of Malaysia, but beyond that I don’t think they deserve any further punishment,” Ricciardo told Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper.“In Australia, it’s a bit different, but I’m very sure they didn’t intend to offend anyone,” he said.Budgy Smuggler, the Sydney-based, family-owned swimsuit manufacturer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company features on its website and social media photographs of customers wearing its swimwear in public locations, including in front of Westminster Palace in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.The Australian media has dubbed the men the Budgie Nine, using a spelling variation of the abbreviated name of the budgerigar, a small Australian parrot. The name plays on nine Australians arrested in Indonesia for heroin trafficking in 2005 who became known as the Bali Nine. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, July 26, 2019 Posted by MISSISSAUGA — After being charged by TICO, Emmanuel Adjei, who operated under the name ‘Mr. Half Price’, has been convicted on three counts of operating as a travel agent without registration.Adjei was ordered to pay $6,561 in restitution and perform 200 hours of community service. He was also placed on probation for two years.Adjei was found to have sold travel services online under such names as ‘mrhalfprice’. It was found that consumers sent him money by e-transfer through an email address to pay for travel services they never received.Travellers who are booking travel services online, including through email and social media, are encouraged to verify if the person or business is registered with TICO. Prior to booking travel, go to TICO’s directory at https://members.tico.ca/TICO/Search/Directory.aspx to confirm registration. Travelweek Group Tags: TICO Share ‘Mr. Half Price’ convicted after failing to provide travel services
Next: at Tampa Bay23. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) ▼ 2I think the Carson Wentz hype train has officially died down. — DimakosNext: vs. Washington24. San Diego Chargers (5-7) ▼ 2Rivers threw a big pick-six? Weird. I know, I know, he’s awesome. — MarottaNext: at Carolina25. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1) ▲ 1 Marvin Lewis is still talking playoffs. He’s not getting there and he’s 0-7 when he does. — MorganNext: at Cleveland26. Carolina Panthers (4-8) ▼ 1If Cam would have only worn a tie, they might have stayed within four touchdowns of the Seahawks. — GreenNext: vs. San Diego27. Los Angeles Rams (4-8) —When I think of the Rams, I hear Nelson Muntz’s “Ha-ha” on a loop in my head. — MarottaNext: vs. Atlanta28. Chicago Bears (3-9) ▲ 1Matt Barkley is the superstar we’ve been waiting for (text from my Dad). — DimakosNext: at Detroit29. New York Jets (3-9) ▼ 1It cost more to buy a beer than it did to go to a MNF game. It’s a new low in New York. — DimakosNext: at San Francisco30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) —Calling them a dumpster fire is offensive to garbage receptacles that have been set aflame. — Green Next: vs. Seattle14. Washington Redskins (6-5-1) ▼ 2Tough loss in Arizona. Offense is good. Defense needs work. — GreenNext: at Philadelphia15. Miami Dolphins (7-4) ▼ 4Getting shredded by Joe Flacco doesn’t exactly scream “contender.” — LapinskiNext: vs. Arizona16. Minnesota Vikings (6-6) ▼ 1 Even Mike Zimmer could see that Sam Bradford got hit in the face on the potential game-tying two-point conversion. What?! Too soon? — GrialouNext: at Jacksonville17. Tennessee Titans (6-6) ▲ 2I think they’re a year away from the playoffs. — DimakosNext: vs. Denver18. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1) ▲ 5Too little, too late? Either way, that was easily their best win of the year. — BurnsNext: at Miami19. Buffalo Bills (6-6) ▼ 5So average, you’d think Jeff Fisher was their coach. — GreenNext: vs. Pittsburgh20. Indianapolis Colts (5-6) ▲ 5With Andrew Luck back, we’ve got ’em winning the AFC South. — Morgan Next: vs. Houston21. Houston Texans (6-6) ▼ 4Money wasted. — BurnsNext: at Indianapolis22. New Orleans Saints (5-7) ▼ 2Remember when the Superdome was a tough venue for visitors? Saints are 10-13 at home since ’14. –Marotta Keep inventing new ways to win games, like Eric Berry’s INT 2-point conversion. — MorganNext: vs. Oakland6. Denver Broncos (8-4) ▲ 1Not exactly a convincing win over Jacksonville, though I’m not convinced this team can win convincingly. — GreenNext: at Tennessee7. Detroit Lions (8-4) ▲ 2*Dory voice* “Just keep winning, just keep winning.” — GreenNext: vs. Chicago8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) ▲ 2The team New England should fear in the AFC. — BurnsNext: at Buffalo9. New York Giants (8-4) ▼ 3Schedule now tougher…two WRs talking about not getting targets — trouble! — MarottaNext: vs. Dallas10. Atlanta Falcons (7-5) ▼ 3A Sirius/XM NFL radio caller said Matt Ryan is “a human piece of garbage” who must be cut. — MorganNext: at Los Angeles11. Baltimore Ravens (7-5) ▲ 2They always seem to get better as the weather gets colder. — LapinskiNext: at New England12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) ▲ 4Dirk Koetter, coach of the year? — BurnsNext: vs. New Orleans13. Green Bay Packers (6-6) ▲ 5My money’s on Aaron Rodgers earning the NFC’s final Wild Card spot. — Morgan For the second straight week, the Dallas Cowboys got a scare. For the second straight week, they survived.For the 11th straight week, they won.The Cowboys are in the top spot again this week in the Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings, following a controversial 17-15 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football. The New England Patriots, who slogged through a win over the punchless Los Angeles Rams, and the Oakland Raiders, who staged a furious rally to beat the Buffalo Bills, stayed in the top three. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling There was movement in the top five, however. The Seattle Seahawks leapfrogged the Kansas City Chiefs — who scored a crazy, one-point win in Atlanta — by virtue of Adam Green’s ballot. Green, apparently unimpressed by what Andy Reid’s team has cooking, has the Chiefs sixth in his pecking order, so feel free to call him out (@TheAdamGreen on Twitter). Just kidding. Maybe.Locally, the Arizona Cardinals surged for the first time in a while after a nice 31-23 win over the Washington Redskins that actually resembled something from their special 2015 season.Here’s the way our panel voted this weekHere’s each member’s individual ballot1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1) — Too much Dallas garb in the Valley…can they suck again? — DimakosNext: at New York Giants2. New England Patriots (10-2) —Losing Gronk is a legitimate big-picture concern. — LapinksiNext: vs. Baltimore3. Oakland Raiders (10-2) — Derek Carr for MVP? — GrialouNext: at Kansas City4. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1) ▲ 1 The injuries are mounting. How do they deal with losing Earl Thomas? — MarottaNext: at Green Bay5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) ▼ 1 Next: vs. Minnesota31. San Francisco 49ers (1-11) —1-for-5 with 4 yards and you’re surprised you got benched, Colin? — BurnsNext: vs. NY Jets32. Cleveland Browns (0-11) —There’s somebody like this in every office: do nothing for 12 weeks and they get a vacation. — LapinskiNext: vs. Cincinnati Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
After a woman gives birth to her baby, labor is not over. She also has to birth the placenta. And this can be quite risky.The placenta attaches to the uterus through a series of blood vessels, which reach from the mom into the placenta. After childbirth, the placenta tears off the uterus, leaving these vessels open and exposed.”That’s just part of the bleeding,” says Dr. Jeffrey Smith, an OB-GYN at the nonprofit Jhpiego in Baltimore. “The uterus has large, wide-open vessels all around, which have been pouring blood out for nine months. Now all the sudden, these vessels need to close up.”In many cases, the uterus stops this bleeding on its own. It contracts and literally squeezes the vessels closed.But in about 1 in 6 women, the uterus can’t contract fast enough. Without help, the woman will bleed to death.Here in the U.S., doctors give women the hormone oxytocin to help the uterus squeeze tighter and stop the bleeding, often intravenously but also via a shot.But oxytocyin isn’t an option in many places — not because it’s not available but because it must be kept cold. It degrades when stored above 86 degrees Fahrenheit.”This is huge, huge problem,” Smith says. “In many clinics around the world, oxytocin will be sitting on the shelf, ready to be used, but health workers don’t know which vials have lost their potency.”Now the World Health Organization says it has found a way around this temperature-sensitivity — and the solution could save tens of thousands of lives each year.A few years ago, chemists at Ferring Pharmaceuticals developed a heat-stable version of an oxytocin-like molecule, which retains its potency even after sitting at 86 degrees Fahrenheit for three years, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit for six months.WHO then led a massive trial around the world to test the new drug — called heat-stable carbetocin. And overall, it works just as well as oxytocin, the WHO reports Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. And it’s just as safe.The study included nearly 30,000 women in ten countries. About half the women received a shot of oxytocin right after giving birth vaginally. The other half received a shot of the heat-stable carbetocin.The results: Blood loss was similar in both groups. About 14.5 percent of women in both groups lost at least a half liter of blood after delivery. And the percentage of women who lost more than a liter of blood wasn’t statistically different for the two groups: 1.45 percent for women who received oxytocin and 1.51 percent for those receiving carbetocin.”We are very excited about this drug,” says midwife Anatole Manzi, who directs patient quality and safety for the nonprofit Partners In Health. “We want to start using it right away.””I have seen so many cases in which my colleagues uses oxytocin, and the woman continues to bleed excessively because the drug has lost its potency,” he says. “To see a woman dying of bleeding, it never leaves your mind.”But, Manzi says, for the drug to be effective, it has to be affordable.Right now, it’s not clear how expensive heat-stable carbetocin will be.”It is too early to comment on pricing in specific countries,” Klaus Dugi, of Ferring Pharmeceuticals told NPR in an email. But the company is working together with WHO and other companies “with the aim of making heat-stable carbetocin available at an affordable and sustainable price,” he writes. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The combined Mega Millions and Powerball winnings have topped $2 billion. Tickets are reportedly selling at a rate of up to hundreds per minute in the 44 states (plus D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands) where they’re available.It’s more than money at stake if you win. A financial windfall is life-changing, but lottery wins, in particular, are not always a reason to celebrate. Because maybe money can’t buy happiness.But can it? Recent psychological research indicates that while money isn’t everything, not having it actually is.“When our basic needs for adequate food, safety, health care, and shelter aren’t met, an increase in income makes a much larger difference for us than when we are relatively comfortable,” Sonja Lyubomirsky writes in Psychology Today.Another way to put it is that money makes us happier if it keeps us from being poor. After all, those of us who have very little are more likely to be evicted from our homes, go hungry, live in a crime-ridden community, have a child drop out of school, lack the resources to obtain medical care, or be unable to manage the pain, stress, and practical demands of a disease or disability. Even a modest increase in income can alleviate or prevent many of these adverse situations.These ideas help explain why money makes poorer people happier, but why does money have a relatively weak effect on wealthier people’s happiness? One answer is that as income rises beyond a certain level, its positive effects (e.g., the ability to fly first class or retain top-notch medical specialists) may be offset by some negative effects, like increased time pressure (e.g., longer working hours and commutes) and increased stress (e.g., holding powerful positions, anxieties about investments, and problems with overindulged children). And because wealth allows people to experience the best that life has to offer, it can reduce their capacity to savor life’s small pleasures.Winners of the lottery face an additional set of pressures, and these issues start piling up as soon as the winning number is drawn. First, who do you tell? Sure, you may want to brag, but lottery winners are hounded by scammers and sometimes robbed or killed. Time found several winners who regretted even buying a ticket. Next, if you win, do you take the money in installments, or settle for a smaller amount up-front? And how do you handle taxes and the inevitable outreached hands that reach toward you once it becomes clear you’ve won?Fortunately for most people reading this, odds are, we’ll never have to answer these questions.GUESTSJay Zagorsky, Professor, Boston University Questrom School of Business; @ProfJayZSusan Bradley, Founder, Sudden Money Institute; expert, financial transitions planning; @SuddenMoneyFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.
Advertisement The Brazil-Germany match has broken the record for the most discussed single sports game ever on Twitter with over 35.6 million tweets.This smashed the previous record of 24.9 million tweets set during the 2014 Super Bowl.Sami Khedira’s goal in the 29th minute — a record fourth German goal in six minutes and the fifth goal to cap the fastest five goals ever to start a World Cup match — set a record for tweets per minute (580,166).The previous record for most tweets at the 2014 World Cup was set during the Brazil-Chile match that went to a shootout: 16.4 million tweets.Credit: Soccer America
John C. Dvorak This promises to be a year of confusion in the tech world. Less than two weeks in, and we’re already mired in this chip flaw madness, while the continued rise in Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies is concerning. What’s a sure thing? Driverless cars? Quantum computing? Nobody knows.I could go down the list, but I’m feeling a little déjà vu. In the late ’90s, those who questioned a stupid idea or trend were immediately told they did not “get it.” We were in a “new economy” where everything had changed, after all.What didn’t change was an economic collapse when reality set in. Having dog food shipped to your house by Pets.com was not viable as a business model. It folded.How is that different from what Amazon is doing today with Amazon Prime? You join Amazon Prime for $99 a year and get all sorts of free benefits including video streaming of movies and free two-day shipping of everything imaginable. Only creative bookkeeping makes it work. Hello 1999. I won’t even bother with the Webvan parallels.Then there is the mania over driverless cars. According to one observer at CES, if you weren’t there with some driverless car technology, you might as well have stood in the corner.Driverless cars will only work in a crime-free, vandal-free world. Don’t kid yourself, these devices have decades to go. It’s not because of the car tech. It’s because computers are still stupid and can easily be fooled when placed in the real world to navigate and interact on their own.Onward to the most dubious of all technologies: quantum computing. Nobody can ever explain it in a way that doesn’t make you draw back your head and flash a sour look on your face. I have listened to the theoretical angles about this so-called technology and, afterwards, felt I was just in a game of three-card monte.I spent a long time talking to one of the most knowledgeable reporters who has covered the technology from the outset and he still doesn’t know what to make of it and whether the inventors are sincere, deluded or just full of it. It’s impossible to tell. Yet, Intel and others are jumping on board “just in case.”Perhaps the most amazing hoax ever perpetrated since Piltdown man is Bitcoin, all the other cryptocurrencies and the blockchain hoo-hah.We were all fools not to buy it when one bitcoin was 50 cents. That much I will agree on. But would we be holding on forever? Who knows? For years I have equated Bitcoin with the Beanie Babies phenomenon; its collapse foretold the dot-com collapse. At least a Beanie Baby had an intrinsic worth, that of a small plaything for kids. Bitcoin has removed anything intrinsic. All it has is perceived value. You cannot play with a Bitcoin, you cannot melt them down, you cannot use them as a toy or art. They are magic dust.But mention this to a Bitcoin fanatic, and I’m told I “don’t get it.” Hello, 1999.I’ve heard there is a Bitcoin vending machine someplace, but I cannot imagine what a hassle it would be to use. It’s nuts. But through the mechanism of mass hysteria, they are worth a fortune and going higher in value.How long can this go on? If the scene has locked on to the late 1990’s groove of insanity, it’s possible that we are in an analog of 1998 and can maybe make it through the year without a collapse. But looking at the start of the year, I doubt it. Smoke, meet mirror. Image credit: via PC Mag –shares Lessons Columnist at PCMag.com January 15, 2018 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Did We Learn Nothing From the Dot-Com Bust? Next Article 4 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business A lot of ‘tech’ these days would fit perfectly into the pre-bust dot-com era-and that should have us all very, very nervous. Add to Queue Register Now »
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 28 2019While exact causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unknown, new research shows pesticides and other environmental pollutants advance the progression of the neurodegenerative disease.The latest study from the University of Michigan ALS Center of Excellence, recently published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery Psychiatry (a BMJ journal), supports the group’s 2016 research that found increased levels of numerous pesticides in blood tests of people with ALS, says senior author Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., director of U-M’s ALS Center of Excellence”Our latest publication shows that other toxins like polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, are also elevated in ALS patients and correlate with poor survival,” says Feldman, a Michigan Medicine neurologist. “Our research shows that environmental pollution is a public health risk that we believe must be addressed.” ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive disease that causes people to lose their ability to move their limbs and body.For the study, each of the 167 U-M patients had blood drawn shortly after being diagnosed with ALS. They were then divided into quartiles based on the concentration of pollutants in their bloodstream. The quartile with the highest amount of pollutants had a median survival time of 1 year and 11 months from the initial date of ALS diagnosis. Meanwhile, the quartile with the lowest concentration of pollutants had a months-longer median survival time at 2 years, 6 months.”Our concern is that not only are these factors influencing a person’s likelihood to get ALS, but also speeding up disease once they have it,” says Michigan Medicine neurologist Stephen Goutman, M.D., M.S., the study’s primary author and the director of U-M’s ALS clinic.High rate of disease in MichiganMichigan Medicine researchers are uniquely poised to study the origins of ALS in the search for more effective treatments and, eventually, a cure. Feldman says Michigan has one of the highest rates of ALS in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”‘Why us? Why Michigan?’ We believe the answer may lie in the fact that Michigan is both an industrial and agricultural state,” says Feldman, who founded Michigan Medicine’s ALS Center of Excellence in 1998.Throughout Michigan’s farming history, a variety of persistent environmental chemicals have been used in pesticides. These chemicals are absorbed into the ground and can potentially reach water supplies. While harmful pesticides have been identified and banned, such as DDT in 1972, their consequences persist, taking decades to degrade in some cases. These chemicals can accumulate in the sediments of rivers and the Great Lakes, as well as in the fish that populate them.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairMichigan’s industrial activities have placed the state among the top five generators of hazardous waste in the U.S., with 69 designated Superfund sites. PCBs, which are non-flammable, man-made chemicals used in electrical and hydraulic equipment, were in use until 1979. Similar to pesticides, these industrial chemicals degrade slowly, can leech into the ground and may affect the environment for decades to come.”If these chemicals are getting into the water bodies, such as lakes and rivers, in Michigan, this could be a source of exposure for everybody,” Goutman says. “These persistent environmental chemicals take a long time to break down, sometimes decades. Once you’re exposed they may accumulate in your body. They get into the fat and can be released into the blood. We’re particularly concerned about ALS patients who have been exposed to higher amounts of these chemicals.””As pollution changes the environment, we are being exposed to more and more toxins. We don’t yet know how this is going to contribute to human disease over time. As we look at more toxins, we want to identify those that are of greater significance in terms of disease onset or progression,” Goutman adds.”If we can determine what these chemicals are doing to our organs, brains and motor neurons, then we can develop drugs to counteract those effects.”Improve quality of life, advance the researchALS has no cure, but two FDA-approved medications, riluzole (also known as Rilutek) and edaravone (also known as Radicava), are shown to have modest effects in slowing disease. Goutman says using non-invasive ventilation – a ventilator that’s connected to a mask that covers the nose, nose and mouth, or entire face – is an extremely effective therapy for ALS. It’s reported to increase survival by 13 months on average. Also, it is important to not overlook other related symptoms in ALS and treat these to improve quality of life and to address mobility and safety, which Goutman discussed in a recent Facebook Live presentation.Feldman says future research will continue to address the question her patients most frequently ask: “Why did I get this disease?” A clear understanding of the development of ALS will help researchers work toward a cure.Next, the team plans to study a new cohort of patients in U-M’s clinic. Repeating similar results would further validate their findings, they say, establishing the framework for a national study. The scientific team has also received funding from the Center for Disease Control to understand the metabolism and interactions of pesticides and pollutants in ALS patients, and how specific metabolites correlate with disease onset, progression and survival. Feldman says understanding the metabolism of pesticides will lead to drug discovery. Source:https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/pesticide-exposure-contributes-to-faster-als-progression