Amazon announced the new Echo — and other Echo products — at an event today. The new model offers multi-room audio, meaning users can stream audio to multiple devices in multiple rooms at the same time. This gives consumers a new and mostly cheaper way to get whole-home audio in comparison to some competing products from companies like Sonos.The company is also making it easier for consumers to get more than one Echo in their home by offering a new bundle of sorts, which includes three devices that work out to $50 each. Working with the separate Connect device, which Amazon has also just announced, users can call 911 directly with the Echo, which also now supports making calls to number in the US, Canada and Mexico.Though it doesn’t seem like so much time has passed, the original Echo smart speaker was announced back in 2014; this is a welcomed update over that model, one that is necessary to keep pace with growing competition from Apple and others. Other features include support for Dolby Audio, far-field microphones, a 4in woofer, and an array of 7 tweeters. Amazon has unveiled the next-generation version of its Echo device, a smaller cylindrical tower with a classier design and $99 price tag. Unlike the original Echo, this second-generation update features a cloth design not unlike what we find on Google Daydream devices. The new model boasts better sound quality versus the original smart speaker, and it is joined by a bundle discount on additional Echo devices.
Though there’s no post on the WhatsApp blog officially announcing the feature, an explanation about it has appeared on the company’s FAQ page, explaining that users can use this new feature to “delete specific messages you have sent to either a group or an individual chat.” The message doesn’t disappear without a trace, though.According to the FAQ page, the other user or group will see a message saying that a message was deleted. If you want to delete the message for everyone, you only have seven minutes to do so; once the first seven minutes after sending the message are up, you won’t be able to delete it for everyone. There are also some requirements.First things first, the message can only be deleted if both the sender and the recipient(s) are using the latest version of WhatsApp for either Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone. As well, WhatsApp warns that you won’t get a notification if the ‘delete for everyone’ feature failed to work, so be sure to double-check. As well, it is possible someone could see the message before you were able to delete it, and so you must move quickly if you decide it was best not to send the content. To delete these messages, open the chat with the message that’s to be deleted, then tap and hold that message. In the menu that appears, choose ‘Delete’ > ‘Delete for Everyone.’ You also have the option of deleting messages just for yourself to clear them off your chat log — this won’t get rid of them for others, though.SOURCE: WhatsApp FAQ WhatsApp users are spotting a new feature that hasn’t officially been announced yet, but that has appeared on the service’s FAQ page. The feature has been a popular request and gives users a way to recall — that is, to delete — a message they sent (hopefully) before the other person sees it. This is a life-saver if you accidentally send the wrong message or, in a moment of inebriation, say something dumb.
That report comes from Bloomberg, which spoke to unnamed “people familiar with the matter.” Those sources claim that Verizon has dropped plans to offer Huawei phones at the insistence of the US government. Essentially, it seems the biggest impact will be on the Mate 10 Pro, which was introduced back at CES 2018 but now finds itself without any carriers willing to sell it.We’ll likely see a US version of the Mate 10 Pro offered unlocked through retailers like Amazon and Huawei itself. Assuming you buy a Mate 10 Pro through one of those channels, you should still be able to activate it on the mobile networks belonging to Verizon and AT&T, so Huawei isn’t being locked out entirely. Still, having access to direct sales by way of shelf space inside carrier stores would have been a big win for Huawei, but now it looks like that might not happen.At the center of this pressure from the US government are fears of Chinese spying. Yesterday, we heard that the National Security Council had recommended a nationalized 5G network to help bolster network security in the US, but it wasn’t long before the Trump administration squashed such rumors, with the NSC saying that such an idea was never seriously considered.AdChoices广告Regardless of whether or not the recommendation of a nationwide 5G network was ever more than just a fleeting suggestion, it’s clear that the US government is hesitant to see businesses give wide access to Chinese-made hardware. For now, neither Verizon nor Huawei have offered a comment on these rumors. We’ll see if Huawei can still manage to break into US markets, but right now, the prospect of that is looking grim. Story TimelineHuawei’s Galaxy Note-like Mate 10 Pro tipped Verizon-boundHuawei Mate 10 Pro hits US carriers next year: CES 2018 details teasedHuawei Mate 10 Pro US release detailed (but no AT&T deal) It seems that Huawei is facing another roadblock in its attempt to break into the US market. Earlier in the month, we heard that AT&T was walking away from a deal that would see it offer Huawei phones like the Mate 10 Pro in stores, supposedly under pressure from the US government. Today, we’re hearing that Verizon has opted to go a similar route in regards to the Chinese hardware manufacturer.
To be fair, Spotify did give users a heads up quite a while back. A warning, however, doesn’t exactly the decision to ax support for these speakers more sensible or even acceptable. In a statement to The Verge, Spotify explains that this due to the upgrade of its backend platform, which dropped support for older speakers and TVs. For other types of newer content, like 4K videos, VR, and such, that might make sense. For music streaming, probably not so much.Some manufacturers and users are lucky. Spotify says that these devices only need to have their firmware updated to have the speakers working with Spotify Connect again. These brands include:• Denon• Marantz• YamahaAdChoices广告On the other hand, these are the brands whose speakers will no longer work with Spotify Connect completely:• Bang & Olufsen• Dynaudio• Logitech• NAD• Onkyo• Phillips• Pioneer• TeufelIt’s not that these speakers will be rendered completely useless. Depending on their features, Spotify users can still stream their music via Bluetooth or using accessories like Chromecast Audio. That said, this is really just a workaround, and one that might involve additional purchases.If you bought one of these Spotify Connect speakers exactly because you could play Spotify directly on them without need of a smartphone, then it’s completely understandable if you’re more than just disappointed at this change, technically sound as it may be. Spotify has effectively thinned out its ranks and turned away some users, just when Apple is set to launch its biggest assault yet. The arrival of the Apple HomePods is being heralded as the beginning of the end for Spotify in its war against Apple Music. But instead of boasting about the fact that its service has already been in homes for years, thanks to a variety of Spotify-connected speakers, the music streaming service does the complete opposite. It has just cut off a large number of those older speakers from its Spotify Connect service, leaving most, though not all, scrambling to work around this major loss of functionality.
Samsung has patented a smartphone design that features a “notch” similar to the one popularized by the iPhone X. The controversial design element has appeared in a growing number of smartphones, and the patent hints that a Samsung model may one day be featured among them. The patent was filed with China’s SIPO patent office late last month. READ: Why Android-toting iPhone X copycats are smartThe patent was recently spotted by Dutch website Mobielkopen. In it, we see illustrations of a Samsung phone sporting the same aspect ratio and rounded edges found on the latest Galaxy phones, but a different rear camera design and a notch in the display that leaves “ears” on either side.The notch houses the ear speaker, the front-facing camera, and a third item which may be a light sensor. The patent describes the design as bezel-free, which is underscored by the illustrations. No fingerprint sensor is visible on the front or rear, indicating it may be in-display. AdChoices广告The notch featured in the Samsung patent is smaller than the notch found on the iPhone X, indicating that Samsung plans to pack less technology into it. Also of note is the rear camera, which features two lenses but in the upper left corner, a design similar to iPhones but atypical for a Samsung handset. A headphone jack is visible in the design, and the buttons/ports seem to follow the same layout as the Galaxy S8/S9.That’s only one potential design Samsung’s working on, though. Another patent is similar, also bezel-free but lacking a notch. That design looks similar to the Galaxy Note handsets and features a typical centered, square rear (single lens) camera. As with any patent, it’s possible we’ll never see either design implemented into commercial products.
Story TimelineReddit says racist content and slurs don’t violate site rulesFlight Sim Labs threatens Reddit mods with libel over DRM threadReddit brings dedicated News tab beta to all of its iOS usersReddit Chat live chat rooms arrive in beta for many subreddits Reddit Encourages tokensReddit suggested today that it was through SMS intercept that passwords were captured with malicious intent. Much like Google’s very recent move toward physical authentication, Reddit announced the following: “[We] encourage everyone here to move to token-based 2FA.” To do this, Reddit almost certainly moved its employees to a system not unlike that of Google’s latest announcement. Have a peek at Titan Security Key to learn more about this bit of key-friendliness.Attack DataAttackers gained read-only access to systems with backup data, source code, and “other logs.” This included Email digests sent by Reddit in June 2018, which shows Reddit usernames with associated safe-for-work subreddits in a list. This leak also contained an old database backup that covered the years 2005, 2006, and 2007. AdChoices广告This database included usernames, salted and hashed passwords, email addresses, and all content. That’s content both public and private posted to Reddit. Reddit email digests sent in June of 2018, specifically, were also included in the incident.What to doIf you suspect you were part of Reddit back in the day, or had a Reddit email digest sent to you in June of this year, consider the following. “If your account credentials were affected and there’s a chance the credentials relate to the password you’re currently using on Reddit, we’ll make you reset your Reddit account password,” said Reddit administrator KeyserSosa. “Whether or not Reddit prompts you to change your password, think about whether you still use the password you used on Reddit 11 years ago on any other sites today.”Basically you’ll want to change your Reddit password, as you should every once in a while anyway. You should also try to think back to the year 2007 and ask yourself: Is there any subreddit I subscribed to that I wouldn’t want people knowing about? If you think you probably made some comments back in the years 2005, 2006, 2007 that you weren’t proud of – public or private – you can delete them now, if you wish. To delete old Reddit data, find the golden path over at RedditHelp. Is is there that you’ll find the instructions you seek for the deleting of content you wish to delete. Today Reddit announced a security incident that occurred in the middle of June. The incident was discovered on June 19th, 2018, and the full extent of the data shared and/or compromised was revealed this afternoon. The incident is particularly important right this minute because of the rise of understanding in the weaknesses in sms-verified authentication.
3D-printing has become an increasingly popular method for creating prosthetic arms. With this technology, the cost of the limb is greatly reduced compared to traditional technologies while retaining the ability to offer a custom fit and full functionality. As the video above shows, the prosthetic devices are capable of gripping items.Limbitless is the result of a group of students who began their work to help a child born without an arm. Since then, the non-profit organization has created many prosthetic models with a variety of designs, including one that looks like Iron Man’s arm.Families and individuals in need of a prosthetic can sign up with Limbitless and apply for a device. “We believe that no family should have to pay for their child to receive an arm,” the company explains on its website. For this reason, the organization provides families and recipients with the prosthetic limbs for free. 343 Industries has teamed with Limbitless Solutions to offer a new Halo-themed prosthetic created using 3D printing technology. The prosthetic is targeted at children, offering them a “cost-effective” artificial limb with an empowering, fun design. The non-profit organization, which also offers other stylish and fun prosthetic designs, donates its prostheses to the recipients for free. 343 Industries revealed its new collaboration on Tuesday, stating that it has helped provide a new Halo-style prosthetic arm designed for children. The prosthetic design resembles Master Chief’s military green arm — muscular, futuristic, and immediately recognizable. Story TimelineProsthetic bionic arm has integrated charger, light, and droneDEKA LUKE prosthetic arm to see commercial release in 20163D printed wristband turn prosthetic hands into a mouse
Dodge is resurrecting one of its feistiest nameplates for an even more potent car than the Hellcat, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Set to be unveiled next week at the New York International Auto Show, details about the new car are in short supply, but Dodge is promising to drip-tease us tidbits to keep us going. One thing seems almost certain: we’re talking about more than 707 horsepower here. Story Timeline2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat: The insane 707HP sedan you wantedDodge’s craziest number for the Challenger SRT Hellcat is the mpgDodge just priced up its crazy 707 HP Charger SRT Hellcat That’s the (still frankly astonishing) amount of power that the current Challenger Hellcat has on tap. Launched two years ago, the SRT Hellcat wowed even time-jaded muscle car fans with its combination of ridiculous performance and a comparatively affordable price tag. While it isn’t cheap, at just shy of $65k, at the same time it’s far less than the sort of supercar you’d previously have needed to cough up for if you wanted this sort of power. That’s not to say it was a perfect car, mind. Dodge’s focus on horsepower, squeezing as much as possible out of the 6.2-liter V8 HEMI engine, didn’t leave much room elsewhere. Getting all that power down to the asphalt can be tricky, therefore, if you don’t want clouds of smoke and eye-catching wheelspin. Cornering, too, isn’t necessarily the Hellcat’s strong point. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Trv-MTZDUpMAccording to the rumor-mill, though, that may be where the Demon steps in. Whispers were already rife about the possibility of an all-wheel drive Challenger, which would be dressed up in wide-body form with meatier tires for SRT Hellcat AWD duty. Now, there are questions as to whether that car will in fact be the mysterious Challenger SRT Demon, pairing the infamous straight-line speed of its predecessor with the ability to go around corners with just as much enthusiasm. How much might that cost? It’s the big question Dodge fans – and existing Hellcat owners – are already asking, and something we’ll admit to being mighty curious about ourselves. The Challenger range has a little headroom before you start getting into more exotic territory, but after a point it’ll have to start cranking up its cabin quality and general refinement too. We’ll know more in just a few days time. Dodge is promising more teaser videos ahead of the big Demon reveal in New York City, and it’s shaping up to be an interesting year for American muscle-car enthusiasts. MORE Dodge
For all of that, the DJI RoboMaster S1 will retail for just $499. A more expensive “PlayMore” kit will be made available at a later date and still unannounced price, featuring a dedicated gamepad, one battery, and gel beads for shooting. DJI will also be offering discounts to students and teachers to encourage the robot’s adoption in classrooms. DJI is perhaps best known for its drones but, at its core, it is a robotics company. It has dabbled in every aspect related to robotics, from computer vision to AI to mechanical engineering. While those have been mostly applied to hobbyist and professional unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs (a.k.a. drones), it has yet to tap one budding market in the robotics industry: education. That changes today with the introduction of the RoboMaster S1, the company’s first robot designed for entertainment and education. With the RoboMaster S1, DJI is pulling out most of the stops while still keeping the price of the robot affordable to those who will need it the most: young learners (and their parents). The S1, which stands for “Step 1”, boasts of 31 sensors that lets it see the world in as much detail as possible. A brushless motor, Mecanum wheels, a mechanical gimbal, an FPV camera, and six Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) ports are just some of the parts you’d find inside that are more often found in professional competition robots.On the software side, the robot tanks has six AI modules that use computer vision and object recognition to know where to turn or move or even recognize gestures. And if those are not enough, the robot can be programmed using a choice between the child-friendly Scratch language or the more sophisticated but still easy-to-learn Python. Leveraging the robots’ programmability can give it an edge in competitions using SOLO and multiplayer battle modes with other S1 robots. There is no shortage of consumer robots aimed at education but many of those have too many training wheels in both hardware and software. Some have only basic sensors and parts installed to simplify construction and cost. Others let users program the robots but with limited functionality through custom block-based programming.
The Web is both a wonderful and frightening place where one can learn things and also learn things they probably shouldn’t. While there are many helpful souls on the Internet, there is also no shortage of people ready to take advantage of others’ innocence or ignorance. In fact, there are just too many potentially harmful sites for a single entity to keep track of. That’s why Google is now enlisting Chrome users to report such sites to its Safe Browsing list. Google boasts that its Safe Browsing efforts have been protecting users on the Web for 10 years and protect 4 million devices daily. It does so by warning users when they visit suspicious sites or download suspicious files. That’s before they even take action, of course.Google Safe Browsing is able to do that by keeping a list of suspicious sites that it generates when it crawls sites for indexing. It might not be able to reach them all so it’s now asking users to install the Suspicious Site Reporter extension for Chrome to help report those it didn’t catch and help make the Web a better place for everyone.Google doesn’t go into detail how the submission process works, emphasizing instead on how easy it can be. Hopefully, it has considered the possibility that some will abuse the facility to report perfectly innocent sites. It could then be used to make such sites lose traffic or viewers by holding them suspect.Google is also improving the detection of URLs designed to trick users into believing they’re legit. This usually involves names that can be easily typed incorrectly. Chrome will compare that to the user’s browsing history and, if a discrepancy is detected, will suggest the authentic URL.
BMW has revealed the first all-electric MINI, though the 2020 MINI Cooper SE may not be the EV you were hoping for. Joining the existing plug-in hybrid in the line-up, the distinctive Cooper SE promises punchy performance from its 181 horsepower front-wheel drive powertrain, but range is looking underwhelming. MINI doesn’t have US EPA figures yet, but in European testing it’s quoting 146 miles for the Cooper SE standard and 168 miles for the Cooper SE long-range. Along with the 181 hp you’ll get 199 lb-ft of torque. 0-62 mph comes in 7.3 seconds, BMW says. They’re hardly inspiring numbers. A Chevrolet Bolt EV, for example, is rated for 238 miles on a charge; a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus does 240 miles and 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. Things are only likely to get less impressive when the US testing is complete, too, as EVs typically get worse range on the EPA’s cycle than they do in its European counterpart. BMW is clearly counting on MINI fans driving sales. The Cooper SE is based on the 3-door model, with its electric motor under the hood and the 32.6 kWh battery a T-shaped block under the floor. That means a lower center of gravity than the gas version of the car, but also no reduction in trunk space. Still, it’s 319 pounds heavier than a Mini Cooper S 2-door hardtop. Outside, the charge port is above the right-hand rear wheel, and gets a door with an embossed MINI Electric logo. Yellow highlights are on the tailgate and front radiator grille, along with the side indicators. The front grille itself is closed off, and is flanked with LED headlamps. Optional 17-inch aerodynamic wheels have an asymmetrical design, while the standard wheels come in at 16-inches.Inside, meanwhile, there’s a controller to switch between four drive modes. Sport tightens up the steering and makes the electric drive more eager than the standard MID mode; GREEN and GREEN+ modes focus on efficiency. In GREEN+ mode, for example, HVAC and seat heating are either limited or deactivated to save power. There’s also a separate control to switch the regenerative braking between intense and low levels, to adjust how rapidly the Cooper SE slows when you lift off the accelerator. The instrumentation uses a 5.5-inch color display, and there are custom graphics and navigation as standard; the latter can show potential range based on the current battery level. Level 2 7.4 kWh charging is supported, as is up to 50 kW on a DC fast charging station. With the latter, a 35 minute charge is good for 80-percent of the battery. MINI – and BMW more broadly – has been promising an electric version of its urban favorite for some time now, though the Mini Cooper SE doesn’t stray too far from what we’ve seen before in BMW’s stable. Its specifications aren’t all that different to the BMW i3, for example: that pretty much matches the new MINI EV for speed and range.That may not be enough, when you consider how fierce the small EV space is getting. BMW says the 2020 MINI Cooper SE will start at around $35,000 with a healthy level of standard equipment, but it’ll take more than brand to lift the car out of the growing segment.
The Washington Post: Bill Clinton’s Tutorial On The Need For Government Clinton, once known for the strategy of “triangulation” between the parties, was among the speakers who answered Patrick’s call. He assailed Romney and Paul Ryan for falsehoods on welfare and Medicare, dismantling one Tampa argument after another. Offering a vision of “shared responsibilities, shared prosperity [and] a shared sense of community,” he stoutly defended Obama’s health care law, student loan reforms, rescue of the auto industry, commitments to community colleges and job training, and budget proposals (E.J. Dionne Jr. 9/5). The New York Times’ Taking Note: What The Democrats Didn’t Say For all the enthusiasm there was one thing Democrats didn’t talk about much, and it just happens to be the main purpose of the law: providing health coverage for 30 million uninsured people, many of them poor. Democrats have been glossing over this essential fact since the law was written. The Obama administration and its Congressional allies were afraid their opponents would accuse them of creating another social program for the poor, so they added a large number of other (very significant) benefits to the law to make sure the middle class felt its impact (David Firestone, 9/5). The New York Times: The Better Economic Question The contradiction between the plain facts of the data and the tepid feel of the recovery suggests that the recession created a more important question than the simplistic “are you better off?” Voters should ask themselves — and their leaders — how to keep this and future generations better off. How to prevent future recessions. How to design a tax code that promotes fairness and reduces inequality. How to make sure a safety net is in place for those who inevitably need more help. And when the question is phrased like that — looking forward rather than backward — it becomes obvious that the Republicans’ answer is inadequate (9/5). The New York Times’ Opinionator: The Arkansas Innovation Mention medical innovation, and you might think of the biotech corridor around Boston, or the profusion of companies developing wireless medical technologies in San Diego. But one of the most important hotbeds of new approaches to medicine is … : Arkansas. The state has a vision for changing the way Arkansans pay for health care. It is moving toward ending “fee-for-service” payments, in which each procedure a patient undergoes for a single medical condition is billed separately. Instead, the costs of all the hospitalizations, office visits, tests and treatments will be rolled into one “episode-based” or “bundled” payment (Ezekiel J. Emanuel, 9/5). The New York Times’ Opinionator: A Never-Ending Story [A recent article] reported that the German pharmaceutical company that had once made thalidomide, a sedative that 50 years ago led to deformed or missing limbs in thousands of babies whose mothers took it during pregnancy, had issued an “apology” to the drug’s victims. The route that led me from there to thoughts of the Republican platform ran through one of the most compelling stories in pre-Roe v. Wade America: the story of Sherri Chessen, a mother of four young children who left the United States for Sweden in order to obtain a legal abortion after learning, to her horror, the consequences of the pill she had taken to help with morning sickness early in a much-wanted pregnancy. … Abortion was illegal in every state, and Arizona, like most states, had an exception only for abortions necessary to save a woman’s life (Linda Greenhouse, 9/5). Bloomberg: How Democrats Lost Their Way On AbortionWhy has the party removed the sentence “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare” from its platform? … Abortion won’t be a defining issue for Democrats this election, but the party’s more militant posture guarantees that bipartisanship is still a long way off. On this issue, we can’t get along. But it wouldn’t hurt to put the word “rare” back in the platform (Margaret Carlson, 9/5).Journal of the American Medical Association: The Political Third Rail Of Controlling The Soaring Costs Of Health CareAs the 2012 presidential election approaches, the political debates on health care reform are consistently confused, often conflating the critical dimensions of any well-functioning health care system: access, equity, cost, quality, and choice. The Obama administration’s health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), addresses each of these key dimensions but at its core revolves around access — and access was also the factor most at play in the Supreme Court’s decision on the ACA. A factor that is now dominating the political debates, particularly with respect to the contentious question of Medicare reform, is the issue of cost (Lawrence O. Gostin, 9/5).The New England Journal of Medicine: Health Insurance — Motivated Disability Enrollment and the ACA The United States relies on employer-based health insurance to cover working-age adults and their families. As a result, Americans who are unable to engage in full-time work because of a chronic health condition must not only seek out wage replacement but also pursue alternative sources of health insurance. … However, purchasing private insurance is rarely an option, owing to high costs and structural barriers such as lifetime spending caps, waiting periods, and exclusions of preexisting conditions from coverage. Disabled workers often apply for public financial disability benefits in part to obtain public health insurance — a uniquely American phenomenon that we call health insurance–motivated disability enrollment (HIMDE). We believe that HIMDE is an important driver of the unsustainable growth in enrollment in public assistance programs for people with disabilities (Jae Kennedy and Elizabeth Blodgett, 9/5). The New England Journal of Medicine: From Sick Care to Health Care — Reengineering Prevention into the U.S. System Although the United States pays more for medical care than any other country, problems abound in our health care system. Unsustainable costs, poor outcomes, frequent medical errors, poor patient satisfaction, and worsening health disparities all point to a need for transformative change. 1 Simultaneously, we face widening epidemics of obesity and chronic disease. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes now cause 70 percent of U.S. deaths and account for nearly 75 percent of health care expenditures. 2 Unfortunately, many modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases are not being addressed adequately. A prevention model, focused on forestalling the development of disease before symptoms or life-threatening events occur, is the best solution to the current crisis (Drs. Farshad Fani Marvasti and Randall S. Stafford, 9/5). Viewpoints: Clinton’s Rousing Support For Medicare, Health Law; Thalidomide And The Struggle For An Abortion; Arkansas Health Innovations This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., will introduce legislation requiring compounding pharmacies to meet the sterility, record-keeping and manufacturing standards faced by large drug makers. The Wall Street Journal: Bill Would Tighten Pharmacy RulesLawmakers are assembling legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration clearer authority to regulate large pharmacies that mix customized drugs like the one tied to a deadly meningitis outbreak. On Friday, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D., Mass.) plans to introduce a bill that would require large compounding pharmacies to meet the same sterility, manufacturing and record-keeping standards as those required of large drug makers (Burton and Dooren, 11/1).CQ HealthBeat: Markey Bill Would Set Standards For FDA Oversight Of Compounding PharmaciesMassachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey will introduce a bill Friday to clarify the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over compounding pharmacies, the first such bill since the September outbreak of fungal meningitis. Markey, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said his bill would end “this regulatory black hole by giving the FDA new, clear authority.” It would specify when the FDA can regulate compounding pharmacies, and when the pharmacies would be exempt from some regulations. It also would allow the FDA to provide waivers of its requirements for compounding pharmacies in certain circumstances (Ethridge, 11/1).The Hill: House Dem Writes Bill Tightening Rules For Drug CompoundersRep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is preparing to introduce a bill that would impose stricter regulations on drug compounders. Markey’s district includes the Framingham-based New England Compounding Center (NECC), the pharmacy operation linked to 28 meningitis deaths around the country… “Compounding pharmacies have been governed by fragmented regulations for too long, leading to the worst public health disaster in recent memory,” Markey said in a statement Thursday. His bill would require compounders that distribute medications on a large scale to register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as drug makers, subjecting them to tougher rules (Viebeck, 11/1).Meanwhile, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is staying focused on efforts to undo certain parts of the health law – Roll Call: Darrell Issa Keeps Health Care Law In His SightsHouse Republicans are opening a new front in their drive to derail the 2010 health care overhaul, using an expedited legislative procedure to upend targeted parts of the law. Republican leaders are preparing to launch the effort during the post-election session that begins Nov. 13. But whether they will have the House vote on a resolution of disapproval intended to sideline an IRS rule related to the health care law hinges on who wins the presidential election. The resolution backed by Rep.Darrell Issa, the California Republican who heads the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Tennessee Republican and the measure’s chief sponsor, is meant to nullify the upcoming IRS rule authorizing the distribution of subsidies through tax credits in every state, even the 35 that have not yet established state health care exchanges, as an incentive to get most Americans to buy insurance, a central tenant of the overhaul (Ota, 11/1). Legislation Planned To Tighten Oversight Of Compounding Pharmacies This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
UnitedHealth Group has been a stock market darling for much of the past decade, dependably churning out earnings increases and rewarding shareholders with staggering returns. Its latest quarterly report, issued on Tuesday, was superb, as expected. Earnings per share jumped 24 percent. Based on the news about the diversified health service company’s fundamental businesses, you might have expected its stock price to rise. Nope. UnitedHealth’s share price dropped 4 percent that day and almost 2 percent the next. And, along with much of the health care sector, it has been on a downward trend for the past few months. (Sommer, 4/19) The New York Times: Hospitals Stand To Lose Billions Under ‘Medicare For All’ The New York Times: ‘Medicare For All’ Is Hammering Health Care Stocks. For Now. For a patient’s knee replacement, Medicare will pay a hospital $17,000. The same hospital can get more than twice as much, or about $37,000, for the same surgery on a patient with private insurance. Or take another example: One hospital would get about $4,200 from Medicare for removing someone’s gallbladder. The same hospital would get $7,400 from commercial insurers. The yawning gap between payments to hospitals by Medicare and by private health insurers for the same medical services may prove the biggest obstacle for advocates of “Medicare for all,” a government-run system. (Ableson, 4/21) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Hospitals Predict Grim Future Of Closures, Lay-Offs If ‘Medicare For All’ Plan Takes Root Hospitals sometimes get up to double the amount from a private insurer as they do from Medicare for a procedure. If all the rates were reduced to what Medicare reimburses it could cause financial upheaval throughout the industry. Proponents of “Medicare for All” argue that hospitals charge too much and could lower their prices without sacrificing the quality of their care.
Share this storyLaw firm plans to launch shareholder class action over alleged SNC-Lavalin disclosure delay Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Email Facebook February 25, 20199:00 PM EST Filed under News Barbara Shecter Join the conversation → Comment Reddit Twitter More Sponsored By: ← Previous Next → Strosberg said the proposed class action would cover anyone who bought SNC-Lavalin stock between Sept. 4 and Oct. 10, 2018, and continued to hold at last some of the shares until after the Oct. 10 news release was issued.“Our office has been inundated with calls from shareholders,” he said. “People are understandably upset.”SNC’s legal troubles are at the heart of a controversy now enveloping the Liberal government of Justice Trudeau.His principal secretary Gerald Butts resigned just over a week ago, amid reports that former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould had been pressured to help Montreal-based SNC avoid criminal prosecution.Butts denied claims that he or anyone else in the Prime Minister’s Office pressured Wilson-Raybould, who was moved out of the justice role to veterans’ affairs before the controversy erupted. 4 Comments Law firm plans to launch shareholder class action over alleged SNC-Lavalin disclosure delay The firm says it appears SNC learned it would not be invited to negotiate a remediation agreement on Sept. 4, 2018, but did not tell shareholders for more than a month advertisement A man walks past the headquarters of SNC-Lavalin in Montreal.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press Featured Stories The Ontario law firm Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP plans to commence a class action lawsuit as early as Tuesday on behalf of shareholders of SNC-Lavalin, the engineering firm already facing criminal corruption charges and now at the centre of a federal government controversy.The proposed lawsuit, which would have to be certified by a court to proceed, will allege SNC failed to meet timely disclosure obligations to shareholders enshrined in securities law, said Jay Strosberg, a partner at the Windsor, Ont.-based firm that specializes in class actions.“We’ve been retained and we’re going to start our proposed class action, probably tomorrow morning,” he said in an interview Monday.At issue is when the Public Prosecution Service of Canada denied the firm the opportunity to try to negotiate a remediation agreement — and thereby avoid criminal prosecution on fraud and bribery charges — and when this information was publicly disclosed. Here’s how a new escape route could open up for SNC-Lavalin Woes pile up for SNC-Lavalin, company at centre of political storm SNC-Lavalin being used as ‘a puck in a political hockey game’: CEO Strosberg said it appears from a media report over the weekend that the company learned it would not be invited to negotiate a remediation agreement on Sept. 4, 2018, but did not tell shareholders for more than a month, when a news release was issued the morning of Oct. 10, 2018.“If that information was communicated to the company on Sept. 4, we say that under securities law they would have had an absolute obligation to disclose it right way,” he said, adding that this obligation is triggered when there is a material change to the business and operations of a company.None of the allegations have been tested in court.Strosberg said his firm will argue that the immediate disclosure threshold was met, and illustrated by a significant drop in SNC’s share price in the wake of the Oct. 10 news release that disclosed the new information to shareholders.“The implications of (the Public Prosecution Service of Canada decision revealed by the company in October) are serious because what it means is there’s a prospect of a conviction, and if there’s a conviction, then the company isn’t eligible for federal contracts for 10 years,” Strosberg said.SNC shares, which were trading at $51.90 on Sept. 4, were little changed at $51.85 on Oct. 9 but fell more than 13 per cent to $44.86 on Oct. 10 on heavier-than-usual volume with more than four million shares changing hands.A company spokesperson did not return calls or an email seeking comment on the company’s disclosure.People are understandably upset What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Recommended For YouFDA approves expanded label for Regeneron/Sanofi’s DupixentWilliam Watson: Andrew Scheer’s ‘1993’ economic vision sure beats that big ’70s governmentChina shares edge down as trade, growth worries dragFrench rail infrastructure group Alstom’s Q1 sales riseBarrick gets three more weeks to make formal Acacia offer
This Model 3 owner doesn’t have to worry about being stranded or waiting in long lines like others.Source: Electric Vehicle News
Jun 19 2018A new study, led by Dr Andrew Kunzmann, researcher from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, has found the combined risk of death and developing a number of cancers is lowest in light drinkers, consuming less than one drink per day, and increases with each additional drink per week.The research findings have been published today (Tuesday, 19 June) in the prestigious journal PLOS Medicine and were conducted in partnership with the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health in the U.S.The study analyzed whether combined risk of cancer or death from any cause differed in individuals with different alcohol intakes across their entire lifetime, using data from 99,654 individuals who were followed for an average of 8.9 years around the U.S. participating in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairEach participant’s alcohol use was measured using a diet history questionnaire administered between years 1998 and 2001.Dr Kunzmann explains: “These results provide further insight into the complex relationship between alcohol consumption, cancer incidence, and mortality and may help inform public health guidelines.”The study found 9,559 deaths and 12,763 primary cancers occurred among the participants of which lifetime light alcohol drinkers had the lowest combined risk of mortality or developing cancer.In comparison, lifetime never drinkers and infrequent drinkers as well as heavy and very heavy drinkers had increased combined risk of mortality or developing cancer.Previous evidence has suggested a “J-shape” risk curve to alcohol intake and mortality, with some protective effect of light to moderate drinking, particularly for death from cardiovascular disease.However, studies looking at cancer as an outcome suggest that even light-moderate alcohol intakes are associated with increased risk of cancer.Dr Kunzmann continues: “This research reflects the ethos of Queen’s University which is dedicated to tackling global health challenges.”Alcohol misuse is a major public health concern that affects every level of society. This study helps to provide robust evidence about the health impacts of various levels of alcohol consumption so that individuals can make informed, healthy decisions.”The study analysis is limited to older adults and may be confounded by socioeconomic factors, the authors caution. Source:http://qub.ac.uk/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 11 2018In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (Volume3, Number 2, 2018, pp. 149-162(14); DOI: https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2017.0045 Zhen Ge, Jaya Chandrasekhar and Roxana Mehran from the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA consider the use of bivalirudin for anticoagulation in interventional cardiovascular procedures.Related StoriesThe use of aspirin in elderly now questionedBowel cancer on the rise among younger AustraliansMenstrual cups just as good as sanitary pads or tamponsAnticoagulation is imperative to reduce the incidence of thrombotic complications in patients undergoing percutaneous interventional cardiovascular procedures; however, this is at the expense of increased risk of bleeding. The optimal anticoagulation strategy for these procedures remains unclear. Unfractionated heparin is the most commonly used anticoagulant during interventional procedures, but has several limitations, such as relatively high incidence of bleeding events, occurrence of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, and a paradoxical thrombotic effect. Contemporary studies have demonstrated that bivalirudin decreases the occurrence of bleeding complications, but potentially increases the risk of acute stent thrombosis. The authors discuss the pharmacology of bivalirudin and its current clinical application in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention and transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures. Source:http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cscript/cvia/2018/00000003/00000002/art00004